About the Animals
Dear Humans of 3020 AD,
I wonder how a story like this might read in your time.
In our day, the symbiotic relationship between humans and certain domesticated animals--cats and dogs mostly--are enough part of the fabric of our lives that an event like this, while self-evidently newsworthy, raises our eyebrows (will that term have survived to your time?) only a little.The boy, whose ordeal mirrors that of the character Mowgli from Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book, was discovered by police in Misiones, in Argentina, surrounded by eight wild cats.
Doctors believe the animals snuggled up with him during freezing nights which would otherwise have killed him.
The boy was seen eating scraps foraged by the animals while they licked him, it has been claimed.
Policewoman Alicia Lorena Lindgvist discovered the child by a canal in the Christ King district of the city.
She said: "I was walking and noticed a gang of cats sitting very close together. It is unusual to see so many like that so I went for a closer look and that's where I saw him. The boy was lying at the bottom of a gutter. There were all these cats on top of him licking him because he was really dirty.
"When I walked over they became really protective and spat at me. They were keeping the boy warm while he slept."
Police have found the boy's father who is homeless and said he had lost the boy several days ago while out collecting cardboard to sell. He told officers cats had always been protective of his son.
We recognize in it the life-affirming triumph, but have personally experienced the human/domesticated animal dynamic throughout our lives; enough so that we accept the connections at their core with little question.
It has taken all of human history for man to engineer wild cats into today's foofy playthings, and the descendants of wolves to the point certain man-made breeds like this cause us at best a chuckle.
What might they look like in your day? What changes might you have made to the way they think? Assuming either have survived the past thousand years, do you even have wild cats, dogs and streets?
Do little boys still wander off in your world, to be found days later in your equivalent of a gutter, tended by them?
If so, are your cats more likely to eat said child or, if you have given them the wherewithal, to simply communicate his whereabouts to you? Would the event in this news story even be news?
I'll tell you one thing I hope you have not lost. I hope you have not lost the bond we in our time have with "our" animals. Perhaps the arguably involuntary servitude in which he hold them is abhorrent to you--it is not difficult for us to make that leap, even today.
But in our time, we generally believe humans provide our animals rich lives full of love, security and sustenance. And in return, they give us what we interpret as unconditional love--in our time, and one hopes in yours, still the single greatest gift one living being can offer another.
Evolution of the Cat
Evolution of the Family Dog
Cat vs. Dog Evolution
Dogs May Laugh, but Only Cats Get the Joke