Kimmy Sophia Brown

Animal Magnetism

Jul 6, 2003
My neighbor was telling me that she doesn't like cats. They congregate on her front porch at night, and spray whatever it is that they spray, and fight under the windows. I said that I sometimes hear them under my kids' bedroom during the night.

Actually I thought I heard my kids howling one night, and peered into their darkened room. Moonlight fell softly across their sweet, sleeping faces. The howling, I concluded, was either coming from their digestive systems or else it was coming from under the house. I put my ear against the wooden floor and could hear them under there. It sounded like half a dozen cats were either giving birth or watching a Bruce Lee film festival. ("Yeooooooow!")

I watched a cat claim our yard a while back. It was a big yellow tom. He sauntered into the yard with that air of ownership akin to most males. He backed up to a telephone pole and christened it. What gaul. He didn't even introduce himself.

I wondered what it would be like if people marked their territory like cats. What if a man goes to a Jaguar Dealership and wants to go for a test drive in an XJ6L? The salesman sits with him as he takes it out for a spin. They return. The prospective customer decides he wants the car. Why wait to sign a contract? The customer gets a quizzical expression on his face, backs up to the car and leaves his mark. Such behavior gives him a greater possibility of driving home with that particular model, even if he doesn't have enough money. Who could the salesman sell it to after that? Who would want it?

There are endless ways people could implement this "stake a claim" method. It would make society a strange place though. People would prowl around, marking parking spaces, tables in restaurants and seats at the movies. There would be hissing. The "Nail" industry would boom with sales of 'press-on claws'. In fact, sales would double because men would be buying them too. What would that do to professional fighting? Mike Tyson would be biting his opponents, as well as scratching their eyes out! "Time out man, I broke a nail!" Women wouldn't be the only ones in society described as having "catty behavior".

I believe that God gave us human nature instead of the nature of animals. Unfortunately, it's hard to find in some people. My husband often tells my boys to "stop acting like dogs" when they fight over a toy. Some people respond like sheep. What kind of animal name should we assign to aggressive drivers who endanger everyone else by tailgating and weaving in and out of traffic? Definitely something stupid, and probably extinct. Dung beetle has a nice ring to it.

Anyway, people have been described as behaving like bears, vultures, rabbits, serpents, wolves, doves, mice and rats! Won't that be the day, when to ere won't be human, but will be animalistic? Acting with human nature should be a complimentary thing, not an excuse for weakness. Acting human should mean to act with bravery, nobility, selflessness and warmth. I'm going to wax really philosophical about that next week when I mark that dark green Chevy Suburban I've got my eye on.

Kim lives in Maine, which is lovely, and where she continues her enthusiastic relationship with Art, Music, Nature, Books, Animals, Humor and Trees.