One thing people usually learn about me quite early is that they should never underestimate my love for animals (especially birds). Though I have learned to keep my enthusiasm in check most of the time, and usually only show my true love for animals when I am around people I feel comfortable with. I’m the kind of person you’ll find in the kids’ zone in a zoo, petting a goat, and being happy like a child (note: I usually prefer other settings than zoos though – and some zoos deserve to be shut down, but that’s a topic for a different blog). I’m the kind of person who goes out of her way to help animals in need, and also the kind of person who often prefers the company of animals to the company of people. Let me explain why that is so.
Animals make good friends and good companions. I know there are people out there who believe animals have no souls, no feelings, no intelligence – but I definitely do believe that animals are intelligent, and do have feelings. Though I have my doubts about cats sometimes….
Of course, communicating with animals is not as easy as talking to people who speak the same language. But when you look at human communications, you need to ask yourself: Is it really that easy, and that straight forward? To me, it is not. I often leave words unspoken, avoid certain topics, and often wish that people would be easier to deal with. When it comes to people, I often worry that my words will be misunderstood, too much or too little read into them. And when you are friendly to someone, they often suspect that you are being friendly because you have a hidden agenda, or would like to get something from them. But to me, when I thank someone, when I tell someone something positive, I usually just do so because I honestly mean it. There are people out there to whom I would like to say so much more, but I don’t – because these days it is so easy to be misunderstood. And once you have to start explaining, even defending, why you say something nice, the words lose their value a little, don’t they? I have made horrible experiences with people after saying something honest and nice (and no, not talking about declarations of love here!), but I’ve never had such an experience after saying something nice to an animal.
You can be nice to animals, you can tell them you care – and they will not take it the wrong way. You can show your love to them, and they will not hate you for it. Of course, animals can be quite “rude”, and not care much about what you feel or say – but at least you know that a rooster, for example, might be a snob one day, but the loveliest darling the other day. This was the case with my dear Frodo. Most of the time, I could just pick him up, or sit next to him, and he would hang around. He was a good chap. But he also had some days where he just gave me a dirty look and walked away. He died a few weeks ago, and I’m quite sad about it, he was a good friend, a very fine rooster.
Other animals (dogs, cats, even goats!) also have that one great advantage that you can hang out with them without having to be someone you’re not. You don’t need to impress them. They either like you or they don’t. Simple as that. Fortunately, animals usually tend to like me (especially goats for some reason, they are such cuddly, lovely animals!). I like the company of animals. You can sit down on a couch, or next to a tree, and the animals will either join you or they won’t. If they join you, they simply are with you, no hidden motivations (well, unless it’s a cat).
I know there are plenty of people out there who get along with other people well enough – and maybe I’m just not a very likeable person, who knows. To me it is simply a truth that I usually get along better with animals than with people. They don’t care about where you were born, what colour your skin is, what kind of accent you speak, what your qualifications are, how much money you earn, what you wear, or what your religion is. Don’t get me wrong: animals can be quite judgemental, but at least they are not judgemental in the same way as people.