Animal Antics

“I just wanted animals to do what they do. It’s very poetic, and unpredictable. You never know what they’re doing next.” — Heiner Goebbels, the director of “De Materie,” a Dutch avant-garde opera being performed at the Park Avenue Armory, on the use of live sheep in the show (New York Times Quotation of the Day, March 25, 2016).

Thanks to the universe and its animal lovers who post videos! Where would we be without them? Dying of boredom hunched over our computers, tablets and phones.

cat looking out windowThere is only so much work we can do in one sitting, only so much raunchy news and outright terror we can handle after a few minutes. And so we welcome the animals and their antics, no matter how silly. In fact, the sillier the better.

Cat videos outnumber all others (15 percent of Internet traffic, according to one article). Traditionally, dogs have been more popular pets in the United States, but cats now surpass dogs. They are easier to care for and take up less time and space in our busy lives. They may be difficult to train or stuff in cat carriers, but not to capture on video …

In the last week ALONE, here are the videos friends and family have emailed me or posted on Facebook:

  • Cat plays with new puppies
  • Cat plays with dolphin
  • Cats steal dog beds; dogs shake out cats or steal cat beds
  • Dog bounds into ocean for first time
  • Dog plays ball with machine
  • Dog greets owner after absence
  • Three dogs left home alone (and caught on camera) jump from couch to couch in living room
  • Dog plays with kangaroo. Kangaroo plays with dog.
  • Bird pecks dog on ass
  • Turtle plays ball with dog
  • Wolves and hyenas hunt together, proving Middle East peace is possible
  • Miniature horse and turtle munch on shared lettuce
  • Parakeet shoots down tiny ramp on tiny skateboard
  • Chicken rides on back of turtle
  • Butterfly perches on lizard’s head
  • Snails are pimped out with psychedelic designs to prevent getting squished. They look like walking Easter eggs.
  • Naked (hairless) guinea pig poses with food (lettuce, grapes, strawberry, cupcake …)
  • Baby goat with ADD runs around in a frenzy, jumps on other baby goats and knocks them down
  • Animals sniff flowers: cat, dog, fox, tiger, chipmunk, squirrel, gopher, rabbit, raccoon, owl, orangutans, lizard, donkey
  • Animals yawn: hippo, kitten, monkey, turtle, porcupine, panda, koala, seal, donkey
cat hanging on
Ho hum, get back to work you idiot

Yes, even animals get bored and tired and must take a break. Let those silly idiots videotape something else.






Doggie Don’t Do

I’m a moderate when it comes to dogs pooping on my lawn. I’m not conservative – let’s ban all dogs from going to the bathroom anywhere outside, make them wear diapers. Nor am I a liberal – let them poop and pee merrily away and run around in restaurants, Parisian-style.

Curb Your DogNo, I don’t mind if a dog poops on my lawn, as long as the owner picks it up. It’s not as if I’m out there rolling around on my grass, or even walking barefoot. I’m not as squeamish as some who even hate the idea of dogs on bike paths, the idea of walking where dogs have done their business, although I do admit that walking through a dog beach bothered me a bit.

Now that my son and his wife have adopted a dog and I see what they go through encouraging little Ruby to squat quickly and quietly, whipping out the teeny plastic bags and bending over and deftly scooping and tying the end and making sure nothing is left behind, I’m even more sympathetic to dog owners. Most, I think, are conscientious, and don’t have room in their homes for dog litter boxes, assuming dogs would even know what they are, unless a fire hydrant or a tree could be planted next to it.

Not everyone agrees with me. One of my neighbors glares from under her gardening hat at dog owners as they amble by. One morning, I point to a man in front of me with a dog the size of a horse. “How would you like to pick up after that?” I joke. She turns red. “The other day I caught him,” she said. “I wasNo! Dog up on my roof and he couldn’t see me. It’s amazing what people will try to get away with when they think no one is watching.” I try to imagine what she saw. Then she adds, “If you see anyone letting their dog on my lawn, tell them to get off.”

So the next time I’m out walking with my daughter-in-law and Ruby starts sniffing my neighbor’s pristine lawn, I explain that it’s not dog-friendly and the owner may be up on the roof watching us. “It’s almost too perfect, isn’t it?” I say. There’s not a blade out of place or sullied by soil. We look closer – and both realize that it is too perfect, because it’s not real! It’s fake grass.