â€œSit!â€ Booker stands. I try again. â€œSit!â€ He lays down and looks at me with hopeful eyes. I have to rough up his fur and tell him heâ€™s a good boy for trying. To do otherwise breaks my heart.
The other day I watched a pair of ducks swim in a pool of snowmelt. â€œDo you think they know this is a temporary body of water?â€ I asked my husband. â€œCan they tell itâ€™s just a momentary, wet, respite on their journey as opposed to the actual pond across the road?â€ He looked at me the way he does when heâ€™s sure I have mental deficiencies. â€œYou give animals way too much credit,â€ he said. I thought about that as we walked along, but in the end could not agree with him.
Let me give a prime example. On Sunday night I asked our cat, Pudgy, if sheâ€™d seen any mice lately. Thereâ€™s been a dry spell in the hunting department. Pudgy looked at me for a moment as if considering, and then walked away. The next morning I again asked her if sheâ€™d seen any mice. She looked at me with a far off sorta gaze, but I felt like we understood each other.
That night, prior to going to bed, I walked around the house turning off lights and other electrical devices. Pudgy walked up to me and with a â€œPtttuweeâ€ thud, dropped a mouse at my feet. If she could have said, â€œTHERE! Thereâ€™s your @#$%^ mouse! Happy now?â€ I think she would have. I was startled by her gift. So startled, in fact, I froze as the small grey mouse took off with not one, but two, cats in pursuit. Giese, kitten that she is, wasnâ€™t sure what to do, but hey it was running soâ€¦
As of today that poor mouse is still being chased. Both cats have made a mission of finding it, tormenting it, and bringing it to my attention as often as possible. When I told the story to my husband as an example of Pudgy understanding me, I got an eye roll. He hasnâ€™t seen the mouse, so itâ€™s just a figment of my imagination once again.
Do pets understand what we say? Ask the !@#$% mouse. Realizing maybe, just maybe, I should be careful in my conversations with my pets? The best part of my day.