My cat here looks like she is tired of being bothered by the Pupparazzi. After all, one can’t look glamorous every minute of the day. Some people frown on anthropomorphism, but since I see animals as having souls and personalities, I enjoy it. Some of my British readers might be old enough to remember Animal Magic with presenter (and zookeeper) Johnny Morris. He would do voices for all the animals, and they were well-observed, funny and often, poignant. It helped birth in me a lifelong love and respect for animals and I think that, done with a self-conscious understanding, putting words in others’ mouths this way can often allow the joke to be on us! It can help us too, in our contemplative seeing, to recognise the “human” characteristics or behaviours in other species, so that we find out we are not so very different after all. It aids our inner poets and storytellers too, if we can imagine a ladybird going shopping, or a dandelion feeling the cold. Humour is often built upon empathy.
text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017