The Jungle Wants Our Cities Back

Have you ever wondered what’s behind your cat’s steady stare or you dog’s occasional snarl? Maybe nothing, but then again….

Lately we read: Coyotes prowl city parks! Eagles nest in western suburbs! Deer coming up to front lawns foraging! Hawks become a threat to children! Wolves found as far east of Yosemite as Milwaukee!

Something’s going on here. A persistent spike in wild life intrusions on urban life. Of course from their point of view, urban life has been intruding on them for generations. Maybe they want it back.

Think about it this way. The difference between your lovable tabby and faithful collie and their jungle counterparts is really very slim. Genetically they are still about 98% tiger and wolf. The only reason man has pets is because over the geological centuries, some animals decided life in domesticity was easier than in the wild. In effect they allowed themselves to be domesticated, to become our faithful pets, to be fed and cared for as well as they are.

But wait a geological minute…!

This recent intrusion of wildlife right up to our front doors raises some questions. City officials see it as a safety problem, and it is. However, perhaps we’re experiencing something else here. Is it possible that our tens of thousands of lovable pets have somehow communicated with their genetic counterparts out there in the wild…? Might they be saying something like, “Hey come on over, the living’s easy”….? And might the undomesticated animals out there be collectively arriving at a decision: “Humans took over the land from us, but sure haven’t done an especially good job with it.”

Put such imaginings together — like I do on those evening’s trying to decipher our cat’s mysterious glare — and it’s easy to come to a conclusion. A little outlandish, I grant, but then again. Are the animals getting ready to domesticate US….?

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