As I sat in Peggy’s recliner last night in the wee hours (which were my worst hours when my father was dying), I remembered a runaway cat named Boots from thirty years ago. My Georgia cousin, Carrie, had given Boots to me because she was allergic to his fur. I drove him 450 miles back to Mississippi, and he soon disappeared. I said nothing about this to Carrie, but she called nine months later to tell me that Boots had come home. He scratched on the door, she said, and went straight through the house to where his bowl used to stay.
Bonnie and Baxter have a strange way of appearing unheralded when something of interest is about to happen. Like if I take cheese from the refrigerator. Even if I try to be sneaky about it, they are capable of awakening from a deep sleep at the other end of the house and making their way to the kitchen before I can get the package open.
My species has habitually demonstrated the capacity for one generation to declare whole groups of people as hopelessly, obviously, and unarguably inferior, only to have their own children declare them a hopeless, obvious, and unarguable embarrassment. I suspect that our feelings of superiority over other animals is similar, only they present our bigotry with a greater challenge because they compare to us so poorly in some ways even while possessing gifts that we can scarcely imagine in others. What pet lover has not looked at his dog or cat and wished mightily that he could see through their eyes? Whole worlds at our fingertips, yet they might as well be on the far side of the galaxy.