The critters around us

Growling jaguar

Despite the wild appearance, this jaguar is not in the wild. He was (I say was, I shot this image more than twenty years ago on film) a resident of the jaguar enclosure at the Little Rock Zoo. He was expressing his displeasure at the behavior of one of his neighbors. Those of us observing the exchange gained new appreciation for the word “enclosure,” as we admired the art of the Almighty.

tiger at little rock zoo

Click on the tiger to see more critters

For those of us who appreciate critters, viewing just about any critter is always a pleasure. Granted there are some critter people who get off the bus as it transitions to the lands of slinky, scaly, and slimy, but I would submit to you that those three maligned aggregations have their place in the overall scheme of things.

Now, before you say that I sound sanctimonious, I must confess that despite the fact that they are God’s creatures, I have yet to fathom the good reason for “skeeters” and ticks to exist, with chiggers running a tight third.

This story got underway with a look at a tiger and some domesticated beasts on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. Take a look and we will wait here until you return f0rthwith.

picture of donkey

While our dependence on beasts of burden has diminished in the developed world, their affection for us as humans has not faltered. You can generally confirm this by stopping your truck by a pasture fence and watch the hooved critters proceed in your direction. It is not your magnetic personality, it is that most of their food arrives in a pickup. This donkey, a jack, perked up the minute I slowed down. He began to “hee-haw” to the top of his lungs as he trotted from the pasture to the gate where I parked. Later we engaged in a conversation. Even after he figured out that there were no goodies forthcoming, he stuck around for the visit.

squirrel eating acorn

Our front yard is home to several large oak trees as are our neighbor’s yards. As a result, we have a good population of fox and gray squirrels. We have more than our share of these little boogers because my spousal unit regularly provides a front yard smorgasbord for their dining pleasure. In this case, the young gray squirrel has eschewed the corn and other seed for an acorn. She appears to be offering thanks for the largess of the oak before digging in.

rotweiller and cat lying together

Cats and dogs can get along just fine if their human companions let them know it is just fine and perhaps even preferable so to do. Cats getting along with cats is another story when both cats believe they are the Alpha Cat, which continues to be an issue here at the Chez Dempsey. Here in 2006, Cleo, the Rottweiler, at about five months or so has not yet achieved her adult mass, but has learned that it is a good thing to get along with the late Kodak, our yellow tabby. Our cats and dogs get along so well that the cats in taking the most direct route from point A to point B, will walk under Cleo and no one bats an eye.

Our critters (with the notable exception of cat vs: cat) have taught us that we can get along. Perhaps even the cat cataclysm has value in reminding us that we do live in an imperfect world.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind


One Response

  1. Thanks for the excellent blog on the Internment of the Japanese in Rohwer and Jerome and the Museum in their honor in McGehee. I especially liked the information that you included about the active duty soldiers who served in WWII.
    Pat McDermott Scavo
    (I lived in two of the re-furbished barracks – in McGehee and in Arkansas City which were provided to the schools for faculty)

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