As a child I grew up with always some animals around me. And like I had extensive conversations with my teddy bears, I also had them with the animals. And I actually never stopped doing that. Maybe people will declare me insane! At this moment I have no pet at home, but I regularly have experiences with pets of other owners, which I meet in the town I live…
When I walk alone and encounter a cat, I have the weird habit to say “Hey puss!” at them. Nice is that often I get a reply. A lot of them have something else on their mind and appear glad to safely pass me in an alley. But other cats meow in return, some of them even begin to tell extensive stories or rub their heads against me. With a smile on my face I then continue my walk.
Not always it’s a happy contact. It happens when I greet a cat it starts to meow in a plaintive way. And at such moments it again is inconvenient I don’t master the cat language. I then give it a little pet, ask if it maybe got lost and if I should call for an animal ambulance. But if it looks well and taken care of, it seems better for me to just walk further. Sometimes I have to make sure the cats don’t follow. And I tell them not to. That actually always works out well! I do check the websites for lost pets if I think there’s something wrong or make a phone call for some advice.
With dogs I’ve less of these casual encounters. Mostly because outside there’s an owner attached to it, I rather would greet. But occasionally people in my neighbourhood let their dogs loose outside. “Hey doggy!” I say to a large dog, I often encounter. And at first it barked, but after the first greets it stopped doing that and nowadays it reacts enthusiastic.
Even with a ditch of 5 meters and a fence in between, I experienced you can make contact with dogs by talking to them. And also with the feral and shy cats, living outside in the woods and fed in the winter, I noticed they didn’t flee. But stayed sitting at about 6 meters, when I spoke at them. Why did they stay and didn’t walk away? Curiosity?
But if we understand each other? Last week I stood in the doorway and told the tomcat of my neighbours, who wanted to sniff for a moment in my hall, “And now I’m going to do shopping. Are you coming outside?”. And he just came along out of the door…
Do you ever say hello to an animal? Or do you think that is somewhat strange?