Some Cuban crows woke me today. Two stood on the railing of my porch, just outside my window, making their distinctive loud gobble-call (more like a turkey than an American crow). Others skritch-hopped on the roof above me, back and forth. They made an effective alarm clock.
When I am in Richmond, I have a different animal alarm. Kit sits on my bed stand, meowing and whapping my head and face, claws out. Also quite effective.
I prefer these animal wake-ups to the buzzy mechanical kind. The nature-based ones start my day by telling me I am a part of a larger scheme, just another carbon-based life form getting on with the business of living.
That reminder seems to be one of the reasons many people keep animals in their lives. You don’t have to be a member of PETA to respect lives that are other than human; you only need to run a hand through thick fur, or nod your head along with a bird, or look into the wild eye of a visiting gecko.
Sure, we go too far. We anthropomorphize, ascribing our own thoughts and feelings to our pets. We cherish our creatures to the point of placing them above us, our masters, instead of by our sides … an inversion of the equally lopsided view that humans are superior to other lives.
Nevertheless, I’d rather be around someone who dotes on an animal than someone married to a device. The phone and the screen give nothing back, letting the person assume that he or she is the only one who matters.
Our machines, as wonderful as they are, feed only our self-importance. The animals in our lives put us in our place within the circle of life.
So give me the cat and the crow rather than the bing and the buzz.