They know something we don'tI hug my horses. But please don’t tell anyone. I’d like to keep it under my ... hat.
By: Kevin Holten, The Dickinson Press
I hug my horses. But please don’t tell anyone. I’d like to keep it under my ... hat.
I’m admitting it now because I’m pretty sure they like it, see it as positive reinforcement, even expect it and I think that means there could be some brain power behind those eyes of theirs and maybe even a whole lot more than we think.
You see, we humans are under the assumption that our intelligence level far surpasses that of any other creature on this planet. And this might be important for going to the moon, overhauling an engine, investing in stocks, erecting a skyscraper, outdoing the neighbors and figuring out what to serve with Spam. But it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when you’re savoring a pasture full of lush vegetation, the wind blowing in your mane, an attractive filly who likes to snuggle under a nice shade tree and a sip of fresh creek water on an incredibly hot day.
Especially when the key to happiness is simplicity; which most creatures figured out long before Eve coaxed Adam into eating that apple and something we humans still must learn as we continue to advance technologically and pile more you know what on top of you know what.
I was reminded of this again during the Christmas break, when my family flocked to my sister’s big ranch house that sits atop what might be the highest point in the Turtle Mountains, seven miles north of Bottineau, where members of my family filled six bedrooms and more each night.
Also lodging in this house on a permanent basis is an evil-eyed Siamese spin-off, affectionately name Fuzz Buster, who more closely resembles a well-used mop than a frisky feline.
By day, Fuzz appears to be under sedation, complete with legs in the air, barely moving while the sun shines, except to breathe and shudder occasionally whilst in the midst of a particularly intriguing dream.
Meanwhile, at night he reigns supreme, ruling the abode like a CIA operative, tickling people’s noses with his tail, watching them scratch and giggling endlessly, hopping in and out of luggage, dragging underwear from one bag to another, hiding toiletries in corners where they’ll never be found, and sneaking peeks inside presents before it’s time.
At least one night during our time there I made a mid-evening, pitch-black visit to the restroom, tripping over shoes and other discarded items, looking a lot like a hot coal dancer with Fuzz watching my entire jig while smirking and rolling eyes that are nine times better than yours and mine and see as clear as day, even in the dark.
I doubt that anyone rolls their eyes more than Fuzz, the house cat, who along with his contemporaries, has somehow managed to gain control over a large portion of the human race; doing what they want to do when they want to do it and getting nothing but deep massages, the finest canned fishes, and hours of nap time each day on a sun-baked bedroom pillow in return. No high blood pressure, no headaches or stress and the whole human race to enjoy, like watching “America’s Funniest Videos” continuously; humans, live in 3D.
It makes me wonder if at some point, cats, along with other creatures, were given a choice of staying put or upgrading to a higher rung on the evolutionary ladder. A promotion in rank which would have enabled them to stand erect, buy clothes off the rack, eat dinner at the finest restaurants, date, marry and divorce, communicate worldwide, invent once unimaginable things, order at the drive-up window, participate in philosophical discourse, gamble in Las Vegas and be witty and sarcastic to which they replied, “Er….no thanks. “We’d rather keep it simple, stupid.”
Each of them instead choosing just one gift that was greater than any of man’s, thus being the master of one rather than a neophyte at many; a beaver able to hold its breath for 45 minutes, penguins jumping higher than a 6-foot man, dolphins sleeping with one eye open, ants never having to sleep at all, sharks growing back lost teeth within 10 days and dogs chasing their tail occasionally for fun, rather than doing it all of the time, like humans.
A simplistic choice, best summarized perhaps by Alexander Pope, the 17th century English poet, who said: “There is a certain majesty in simplicity which is far above all the quaintness of wit.”
Or as Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian sculptor, painter and architect said, about which Fuzz Buster would probably agree: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Holten is the Dickinson State University Foundation communications coordinator.