Monday, November 30, 2020

Her brightly coloured materials

Cat, with various supernatural qualities and inhuman physical skills, catching up on BBC's patchy but entertaining Dark Materials from a relatively safe distance*.

This of course brings me onto the rather awkward subject of names we give to animals (particularly pets) and the names they give themselves. This does assume a certain level of animal awareness and human ignorance. I'm happy to go with that. We tell ourselves stories to explain the world all the time. I suspect that for many animals their self given names are nothing we could recognise. I'm almost sure that the language of "animal smell", pretty much unknown to humans, is the basis of what might be loosely described as an animal name or at least a means of recognition. Smell as a label and marker and way of telling time works very well it seems. Just watch how cats and dogs behave towards each other (assuming that they don't begin the social encounter with an all out attack), the scent of another is key to communicating and understanding time and distance. I'll just remain silent and happily odourless to other humans as you mull over these deep truths and revelations.

*Photo by LB

No comments:

Post a Comment