The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

June 24, 2014

Be nice to your cats and dogs, they’ll be your master one day

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 — Apparently, it’s starting.

My eyes have been opened, and I’ve seen the truth.

Nice knowing you.

I’m talking about the animal revolution. The point and time when the animal population rises and overtakes us humans.

Suddenly, before you can even do anything about it, Mr. Fluffy, Speckles and Grover the Iguana will be running things and making us use the litter box in the corner (at least they’ll have to clean it out instead of us doing it).

It’s apparent the uprising is coming at a slow burn. You see it in Hollywood with all those cute and cuddly films about hamsters, penguins and talking cats and dogs. There’s even a new Paddington Bear film coming out that’s supposed to make us feel good about the animals.

Pffffft! They lull us into a false sense of security then, like a viper coiled in the grass, they strike when you least expect it.

You see ... we even use animals as a way to express something terrible that may happen to us. We’ve been warned before.

How else can you explain the rash of animal films such as the new “Planet of the Apes” series? The latest installment, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” (which you can read about in a future issue of “Cinema Corner” ... heck, I might as well get in a shameless plug while I still can) comes out on July 11. I mean, if there’s not a better blueprint for how animals can take over the world, I don’t know what is.

We’re seeing signs everyday of animals growing more confident in our environment. We all know about the opossums and raccoons that ransack our garage looking for food. Those are the cute and cuddly instances.

I, on too many occasions, have seen the revolution rise to a larger level. Deer are now more free to roam the streets and highways, allowing me and others to hit them with reckless abandon. No longer do they run away when a vehicle approaches. Now, they are braver and more willing to accept their fate, almost like a suicide bomber trying to drastically get their point across.

The great philosopher Tony Kornheiser, of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” and a former writer with The Washington Post, tried to emphasize the animal revolution in the past in his columns and radio broadcasts.

Kornheiser regularly used references to the animal revolution in his show when reporting on events that involved animals doing strange things. It was his way of pointing out the animal revolution was imminent.

Of course, one of the classic examples of the animal uprising comes in the book “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. The book reflects upon the Russian Revolution of 1917 by using farm animals in an artistic way to describe what happened during that period.

I point all of this out because I have no other way of putting it how the animals have become so brave these days.

It’s true that we are developing more land than ever before. More forrests and open spaces usually dedicated to wildlife are being turned into places for us to live, shop and play.

I guess a crude example of this was when our settlers drove the Indians out of their homeland in the fight for control of this country. We saw how that all unfolded.

But I’m not here to make political light of an issue that could create some tense responses by people on both sides. Instead, I’m here to make fun of it.

Just recently, there was a bear in Alaska that stopped an American Legion baseball game because he was roaming in the outfield area. ESPN.com reports the West Anchorage Post 1 team was hosting Juneau Post 25 when the game was stopped because someone saw a bear on the other side of the outfield fence.

A YouTube video (because all good animal news usually ends up on YouTube) shows the bear wandering from left to right field, no doubt scouting the game for talent (or maybe a tasty meal).

ESPN even asked the question “Why did the mama bear scout the baseball game? So it could finally teach the Cubs how to play.”

Insert laughter here!

We hear about bears approaching people in parks and stealing their lunches. That happened earlier this week in Anchorage, Alaska, during a summer camp. The bears were not aggressive, they just simply came up, grabbed the lunches and wandered back into the woods to enjoy their meal.

You see, it’s like an invasion. First it starts in Alaska then it’ll no doubt migrate into the lower 48.

I’m sure it’ll be far worse than any episode of zombies taking over in “The Walking Dead.”

It does seem like we are doing something about it, but it may be too little, too late. You hear about dog whisperers who channel the inner thoughts of a weiner dog who obviously has issues with people calling him a hot dog.

One day, that dog is going to say enough is enough and bite your nose off. I’ve seen those little suckers get angry. You try to stick your finger anywhere near one of those angry mutts and you’ll lose that digit in a hurry.

Our publisher even experienced firsthand how the animals are displeased with us. She got married last week and went on her honeymoon to the Outer Banks. Their dog was left behind, well protected and cared for, while they enjoyed their time together.

When she came back, she told us how the dog seemed depressed. He would look sternly at them, pout and not respond to affection.

It sounds like he’s holding a grudge and wasn’t happy with the doggie shirt that read “My folks got married and went to the Outer Banks for their honeymoon and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”

Keep your eyes open for instances like this from your pets in the future. They’re no doubt plotting the revolt as soon as you close that door to go to work. Look for things such as blueprints under the sofa and sift through that kitty litter for hidden messages being exchanged.

Remember, you’ve been warned.

To submit story ideas, contact Jason O. Boyd at jason@stanlynewspress.com or (704) 982-2121 ext. 21.

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