A few weird things happened to me in the course of a 15 minute trip today.
Firstly I saw a man waiting at the traffic lights who was sporting the most perfect handlebar moustache I have ever seen. That, combined with his air of utter nonchalance and the fact that he was wearing a t-shirt so well-worn-in that it looked super soft made me want to burst out of the car and hug him.
Thirty seconds later, and on the same street, I saw Thom, who either didn’t recognise me or was embarrassed to admit to knowing someone who was, at the time, attempting to make a right hand turn while stuck somewhere between first gear and neutral and waving out the passenger window in a state of apparent hysteria.
Finally I met this awesome grey cat who befriended me while I was walking back to my car. It was collarless and just sort of wandering the street but plump enough that I figured it probably belonged to someone nearby so I stroked it and played with it and then attempted to get back into my car. The problem was that it seemed keen to get in with me.
No matter how many times I set it back on the pavement it jumped on to my bonnet or followed me around the car to hop in with me. It was adorable but also worrying because I was on Beaufort Street and I was shit-scared it was going to get cleaned up if I just left it there.
Eventually I hefted it over my shoulder and dumped it near a house, then got the hell out of there but it got me thinking about how different things would be if animals could speak English.
I’m not sure what this cat was trying to communicate with me, other than ‘hey I sort of like you,’ or ‘a little bit to the right’ but would I have had the heart to leave it behind if it had opened its little cat jaws and said in perfect English “excuse me but could I possibly come home with you? I’m awfully cold and lonely”?
Similarly I think a lot of you carnivores (ok, omnivores if you must) would convert to my team once you experienced the trauma of meeting a little piglet or cow who asked you, if you wouldn’t mind, not to eat it. Then again, if animals made out of the tastier meats turned out to have really annoying personalities or were closet racists or something then maybe I'd change my stance on the whole vegetarian thing.
Someone whose name I can’t be bothered looking up famously said that if lions could speak we wouldn’t understand them. Meaning not that they would be speaking Swailee but that their experiences were so different to ours that we wouldn’t have common words to communicate with. I’m not so sure about that but the possibility of what animals could tell us is pretty fascinating. Oh sure in reality it would be all “I have soiled myself - how embarrassing” but in my mind they’ve discovered the secrets of the universe and are just trying to tell us all about it.