Walks for us begin with the jingle of our collars. No, even before that we know we are going for a walk when the Folks reach out for the newspaper to tear neat little squares that will slide exactly under our rear when we give the signal for our business downstairs. Though sometimes our perverseness gets the better of us and we shift around to position our rears outside the square patch, we are more or less proud of our neatness in not getting any excreta on the ground. It all goes into the square which is then neatly folded into a packet and dropped into the nearest red waste bin.
Which is more than you can say for yourselves, humans. It makes us smirk when you pontificate and put up signs with a red line across a hunched dog. You cannot ban nature’s business. By your logic little babies should not be crawling around on mother earth because they have stuff in their diapers; in fact, you too should not be on earth because you are carrying the same stuff in your intestines that we place on the newspaper squares. Why you can’t carry your newspaper squares and poop pickers instead of soiling railway tracks and walls is beyond us. You only talk of green, blue and red dustbins – we actually use them correctly.
Then there is the wrinkled nose when you learn we are female on top of everything else. Obviously we are not conducting a biology class here, so all we will point out is that today there may be special diapers for us. The reason we say even this much is that while we are made to take our precautions, maybe even you should hang such diapers round your necks. That way you won’t spew red from your mouths on walls, pavements and generally everywhere. There is something ugly about the parts of your bodies above your shoulders: guttural sounds and chewing of paan that result in dirtying God’s own earth with bodily fluids and what have you, and we won’t even touch upon what you do with the contents of your noses.
In fact, apart from poo packets our walks are punctuated by an interesting addition to our vocabulary of human words – “chee chee” in addition to “Watch out!” We always get a tight tug on the leash whenever we want to sniff at pieces of roti and bread scattered on the ground because the Folks feel one should not step on food. It is a mystery what they are doing there: our brethren never leave food lying around to be trampled underfoot. The “chee chee” comes when we approach the carpet of cigarette butts always to be found under some window or the other, balls of hair obviously dropped out of windows rather than into red dustbins, and the all pervading saliva and mucus. Whenever we go home after a walk in human territory, we are scrubbed with a mixture of antiseptic and water – every part of our body that may have touched any space occupied by human dirt, the “chee chee” space, and we are rather glad of it. Who wants to contract HS (Homo sapiens’) infections?
You look askance if we enter the lift with you. Perhaps you haven’t noticed how impeccable our lift manners are. We sit or stand quietly in one corner – the cleanest corner, the one without aforementioned fluids, half eaten confectionery dropped on the lift floor and not picked up etc etc. We do not push our way in before those in move out; we like it when the doors are held open for someone rushing to get the lift rather than allowed to slide shut on the hapless person’s face. We do not break queue to push in front or wiggle our heavy selves in despite seeing a full lift, or press both up and down call buttons irrespective of the direction we actually want to go.
If we sound miffed, it is because we are. It is only now, as we see more of the world outside our home, that we are learning how some of you let your irresponsibility pass while demanding responsibility from others. You may continue to disprove your claims to superiority and intelligence by your own actions, or not. But you cannot forget that our ancestors were here at least 10,000 years before you even started cultivating your food. When you turn from HS Type 1 (Homo sapiens) to HS Type 2 (Hypocritical species), you do not wag fingers at us … we tell you where to leave off…