I was looking through the photographs I took on my trip to Peru a few years ago. I loved some of the shots I got of the local fauna:) Unfortunately I do not have many opportunities to use these shots-so I figured a blog post was appropriate venue to share them.
Cats and dogs are the ubiquitous co-inhabitants of the human landscape. They have traveled with us to every portion of the globe. It is this juxtaposition of familiar animals living unfamiliar lives that for me illuminates the “otherness” of a foreign place. During our own human travels to these far flung locals we are prepared for the cultural differences among the humans we meet in our travels but seeing the cultural differences among the animals is surprising. They are far more “worldly” than the brands of house dogs and cats I am used to. They have daily schedules to keep which humorously reflect the humans. Up and out in the morning they go to pursue their own daily lives and activities on the streets. In the streets they mingling with the human populace, who acknowledge them but pay no real mind. They meet up with friends, go to their favorite spots for a bite to eat, play a game of pick up soccer with the kids or just relax at their favorite cafe.
To me they are a more dignified version of dog and cat. You do not see them barking at people they do not know. They are not trying to chase every small animal they see. I see them as the well adjusted, adult version of our (mine definitely included) pampered and isolated animals. They have not forgotten how to live independently. Which I think comes in large part because they have the freedom to associate with other animals.There is an intriguing collective knowledge. Adult animals have been able to teach the young what is and is not appropriate. And more importantly what is and is not dangerous. They know how to cross a street! I see more dogs hit on the side of the road on my route to the grocery store than I saw in all of Peru.
Anyway all this verbage to say I prefer this relationship with our domestic animals than the sterile and overbearing one we tend to have here. Dogs and cats are a part of everyone’s daily life-even if they do not belong to you. And it is okay, because they have been given the chance to learn to be intelligent and well behaved members of the daily landscape.