Last night while I was lying in bed, looking at my newest painting, Jams was lying across my stomach as she does. I was idly stroking her and she was rumbling away - sort of like a vibrating bed effect - anyway, my mind drifted away and I stopped petting her. She then reached out her paw and gently patted me on the hand as if to say "Keep on doing that, please!" and I chuckled and commenced stroking again whereupon, she turned her head and licked my hand. At that moment I was suffused with the most powerful feeling of love.....astounding that a creature 1/10th my size and unable to speak should engender such a visceral emotion! And that got me to pondering the human trait of having pets.
'Cause when you think, really think, about what a "pet" is, it is a bizarre thing to do. We take on an animal that basically becomes dependant on us for everything. And because of us and this "collecting" as it were, they have changed from their original selves unutterably. I'm mainly speaking of dogs and cats now, but most "pets" probably fall into this category. Well, maybe not snakes or lizards or even fish so much as you don't really cuddle them do you? And they basically just keep on being "snakey" or "fishy" or "lizardy" in the wild or in a cage. (altho' there are some pretty strange folks out there and maybe they do cuddle their ..um...lizards...however let's try not to stray too much into the realm of freakish)
And what is the 'thing' that makes we humans want to have these creatures beside us? Yes, yes, I get the "companion, friend, love/child substitute,etc" bit, but I guess I'm wondering about the core desire to attach a non-human (golly, I'm struggling for the right word here!) 'pal' to ourselves. And we know they have such a short life span as compared to us and the grief we feel when they die is almost unbearable but we still do it.
All I know is that this small furry little cat means the world to me and she makes my life the easier for being there with me.
Maybe just in that I have answered my own question.