Hominoid Effect on Barking

What is it about barking dogs that is so incredibly irritating and that provokes malignant and murderous thoughts toward an entire species? Barking seems to penetrate my rational shield in piercing pulses of petulance, weakening the shield’s primary purpose to both contain and guard against undisciplined emotional arousals. There’s some elemental receptor within the primitive, “reptilian” core of my human brain that barking offends. Or maybe it’s not offense, but rather a type of harmony which forces my beast to high, involuntary alert.

Judging by the distance I must travel to reach the more ‘developed’ regions nearer the surface of my gray matter, Godzilla (reference to reptilian) herself might frolic care-free and unfettered within the reptilian wilderness area of my brain, with full-choral reverberation in concert with the canine emissions that cruelly enjoin my attention.

When I regroup to assert my more rational side, of course I know it’s not a “fault” that the dogs bark. It is the nature of a dog to protect his “home” by barking to ward off unfamiliar scents, sounds, and unknown or unwanted presences. But how natural is it, and is it natural or necessary to bark Continue reading

Coolness Factor

I’m sitting down at the beach watching the tourists tan. I don’t sit out in the sun for the purposes of tanning anymore, because … well, I wasn’t sure.  I guess, before I lived where it’s sunny most of the time, I felt like I had to make the most of the sunshine there was to counteract a syndrome I developed while living in Seattle with its 6 months of gray: SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and undamaged white skin. But the people I was observing come down here for 6 months of the year during the winter, traveling back to the cold in short hiccups. So I voiced my comment, something like: you’re getting a tan so you can go back to milk-toast land and show off that you’ve been someplace cool.

“COOL?!” … a decidedly non-cool gust of indignation nearly fried me to a cinder like a million years of sitting in the sun couldn’t do if compressed into a single second of time. Cœur d’Alêne (orthographically rendered here according to one theory of the name’s origin), Denver, Seattle, Vancouver BC, Montréal, and on. Each ambassador of these locations asserted the coolness of the places they chose to not vacation in. I folded up and vowed to myself I would muse on just what in the hell could I possibly have meant by Continue reading

The Virtues of Purring

Lately, I’ve been contemplating the meaning of love … not because I’m having marital problems or anything like that. Rather Patrick and I have been considering taking in a pet, a cat to be more precise.

But I’ve been watching cats closely lately to evaluate what might either be a prejudice toward kitties or an abhorrence for having to take a dog out for walks. Patrick and I are currently courting a kitty who lives nearby somewhere with a fantastic personality. He’s playful, cuddly, squeaks lightly instead of yowling, and he’ pretty. Unlike the other humans in our building courting the same cat, we open the front door to this one — and he comes running in, comfortable and expectant as he can be. He goes right to “his” food bowl, nibbles a bit, and then fearlessly and nonchalantly roams through the house, returning periodically to his food bowl as though this would be his triangulatory point of reference. (We watch him like a hawk, however, since he comes fully and surgically untouched.) He even resists our taking him to the door. But this cat goes from door to door, nibbling at all the bribes or offerings or whatever they are. Continue reading