More good thoughts / facts about higher animals
"In the last three hours of the day, God sits and plays with the Leviathan, as is written: "you made the Leviathan in order to play with it."
(--Talmud, Avodah Zarah, quoted in Goirgio Agamben, The Open: Man and Animal, Stanford Univ. Press, 2004, p.1)
The arrival of spring for some of nature's 4-legged creatures means waking from a winter slumber with a nasty case of distemper. Other animals, weak from hibernation and in need of food, become infected shortly after heading out from their dens.... "These animals aren't aggressive, but they are in pain and very uncomfortable," said... Rockport [Maine] ACO Maynard Stanley.... "They don't know what's happening to them and they are in a bad way and they just want it to end. Distemper is always fatal to wild animals." Distemper is not the same disease as rabies, although some of the symptoms are similar.
(--Holly Anderson, "Distemper spreads in Midcoast", The Village Soup online, 05Apr06, via ProMED Digest V2006 #179)
Tatiana is now 24, so she was four when her family left Chernobyl... on buses, taking at face value official advice that they'd be back in a day or two. Some animals seemed to know better.... She remembers her granny decided not to take the family cat. But as they boarded the bus, the cat threw itself at the folding doors - the last glimpse they ever had of it.
(--Bridget Kendall, "Chernobyl's unsettling legacy", BBC online, 22Apr06)
"A cat saved the life of a newborn baby abandoned on the doorstep of a Cologne house in the middle of the night by meowing loudly until someone woke up.... 'The cat is a hero,' ....
Cologne police spokesman Uwe Beier said. 'Its loud meowing got the attention of the homeowner and saved the baby from suffering life-threatening hypothermia. The homeowner opened door to see why the cat was making so much noise and discovered the newborn.'"
(Reuters, "Cat saves baby's life", 15Apr06 10:26pm ET)