I think wild animals, as well as the domesticated ones, have me figured out as soon as they see me. Take for instance, this young deer that crossed my path this morning. Well, he didn’t exactly crossed my path, the deer was actually in someone’s garden, happily nibbling his way across the buffet of blooms. I was passing by, on the other side of a low rock wall. At seeing wildlife so close, I whipped out my senior phone and fumbled for the camera setting. The deer didn’t even lose a beat chewing and munching—he just stared at me as if to say, “Well for Pete’s sakes–hurry up and take the darn picture so I can move over there where there’s even tastier stuff.” Hubby always told me it’s not what a person say, but the attitude delivering it. He was right. These darn deer have the attitude thing nailed. When Hubby and I were returning from the Village, across the street from our condo building, two young deer crossed at the pedestrian cross walk with the walk sign flashing. They then leaped over the rock wall of my building and proceeded to munch their way around the garden–probably their version of a delectable lunch date.
Last week, I encountered a deer, ambling across the road to get to a corner lot where there had been some clearing of brush and trees. I swear this deer knew I was trying to get a decent photo with my senior cellphone. It actually posed–first, turning his head this way and then turning his head that way. I assumed this deer didn’t play poker as his expression plainly showed his disgust at how slow this human was in aiming for a good photograph. While I was still adjusting my camera, the deer turned completely around, showing me his butt-end, which came out perfectly framed and focused on my cellphone’s camera.
When Hubby and I had our little house some years ago, the deer were beginning to invade civilization, but not to the extent the deer invasion has taken place now. I remember coming home and turning onto our street. A young deer had wandered over to the house across the street from us, peeked into the living room window and satisfying itself that no one was home, proceeded to eat our neighbour’s prized roses. See, it’s all in the attitude.
My area also has lots of dogs. And trust me, dogs have attitudes too. Some dogs are scrappers and barkers. Usually these are the tiny ones. The smaller the dogs, the more feisty and confrontational they seem. And, the bigger the dog, these frisky scrappers are in their element, tossing down their challenge. I love the attitudes of the huge dogs like the St. Bernard or the Newfoundland Bouvier. One swipe of their front paw would be enough to knock a yapper into the next county. But you have to admire their restraint because the look they give is absolutely priceless. It’s as if they say, “Tone it down, Junior and give some respect or I’ll knock you silly.” The look, just like the parental looks we got as kids, worked too. The noisy “fuzz-ball” instantly quieted until the ginormous dog ambled past and almost out of sight before the gleeful yapper began again.
Cats are notorious for attitude. A cat can out-stare its human and show a range of expressions that its owner know does not bode well, especially if the human left the cat alone for most of the day. The cat’s posture manifests a territorial boldness that reminds their owners exactly who the real Boss of their domain is. Owners develop a deep sense of guilt when they get that look from their feline room-mate.
Again, it’s all attitude and in the animal kingdom, attitude is alive and well.