Aisle Of Wit

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The Rigorous Honesty of Pets

As a society, we’ve learned how to multitask and co-exist in environments that are now both work and personal.  This site will be no exception to this “new norm”.  We will frequently pivot from media musings to personal stories.  You will learn of my own journey, particularly since December 2019, when my life was changed forever and I began an odyssey of self-exploration, sheer joy, utter heartbreak and remarkable growth.

Part of that growth is that I do a LOT of walking these days.  You’ll learn a particularly influential muse got me literally off my butt and I have never stopped since she provided the ultimate bait to do so.  My favorite times to do these walks are VERY early in the morning–while the homeless are still asleep–and around sunset, when lots of very healthy humans are walking their dogs and, in my complex, taking their cats out for some sunshine and much needed bathroom breaks.

The pandemic has left an enormous void, at least in my world, for human contact.  Even though Dr. Fauci and the CDC have essentially said if you are fully vaccinated you can effectively ditch your masks, I seem to live in an environment that hasn’t or doesn’t want to hear that message.  A majority of my neighbors still wear masks, making them almost indistinguishable and forgettable, and look at me with terror if I happen to be maskless.’ I am shunned as if I were a leper, let alone a super-spreader.

Note: I am FULLY VACCINATED.  I NEVER tested positive.  I own dozens of masks and love wearing them when advised to be necessary–in a crowded indoor environment, in a store and on a plane.  I am NOT disrespectful of others who insist on still wearing masks.  I am DISAPPOINTED.  Because to me there is no more necessary element of human life than simply the touch of another human being,  I have been mostly denied that much longer than the 15 months that millions wear as a badge of honor.  I am dumbfounded that people who aren’t blessed enough to have another living creature under their roof have conditioned themselves to thinking it is endemic to existence to not touch another human being in perpetuity.

Which brings me to pets.

Notice I never use the word human when it comes to the need for contact.  A furry friend, more than ever, has defined the concept of intimacy.  Responsibility.  Unconditional love.  And they don’t wear masks.  Their eyes don’t grow like saucers when I dare to approach them.  In fact, many come closer, rub up against me, purr, bark, lick, and even knock me down.  That never happened to me in a bar and I highly doubt it will anytime soon,  When you get intimate enough with pets I experience the catharsis of an actual conversation.  And it’s SO reassuring.  You’re a good guy!  You’re full of love!  You smell nice! (well, OK, for dogs it’s relative) .  And you can see their mouths!  Their smiles!  Their slobbering tongues!  Oh the joy!  I experience honesty–raw emotion–better through non-humans than through humans.  For me, it’s been the difference between life and death.,  And, I suspect, for many of you fellow friends and viewers.

My particular living situation at this time denies me the chance to own a pet.  My life priorities make volunteering with pets prohibitive as well.  The one thing I truly miss terribly from my recently ended marriage is my cat.  She was a beautiful little female tuxedo who always talked to me (tuxedos truly have a unique sound that is both adorable and scary at once).  I’ll likely never see her again.  When I type those words I never fail to tear up.  I’m blessed that it’s the greatest loss I’ve experienced in these horrible times.  But to me it is still a dramatic loss.  Particularly when humans shun you so consistently.

Relief, though temporary, comes whenever I encounter another pet on a walk.  It’s almost always a different pet, a different socially distanced owner who I tend never to meet a second time.  But every lick, bark, nuzzle or knockdown reminds me that living creatures still have the potential for responding to honest emotion even when conveyed wordlessly.  I need contact.  I deserve contact.  Pets are the source of it for me, at least for now.  Thank heaven for little pups and kittens, and their big brothers and sisters.

I think I’ll go for a walk now,  Until next time…