Fat Cats

I remember in my high school years I went back to the Birmingham Zoo, and what I saw appalled me. I remember it well, it was a sunny day in the dog days of summer (late July through August for you non-southerners), the heat was around 98 and the humidity was at least at 125%. It was a typical summer afternoon in The Magic City. The zoo was much how I remembered it as a wide eyed child on the annual field trips. I used to love going to that zoo, but there was one odd thing about that zoo. I remember that the zoo had a big plaster replica of a 60-70’s style brontosaurus on the entrance sign to the park, yet there were no dinosaurs there to view. I always felt that I was being screwed as a kid due to the false advertising, where was my damn dinosaur?!?

Anyway… The last visit prior to this summer day in 1992 was probably 2 or 3 years earlier at the unveiling of the new and improved Predator House. At this unveiling the animals seemed to be enjoying their new enclosures, and seemed immensely happy to not be cooped up in their previous cement floored abodes. Now the big cats enclosures had been updated to be more comfortable naturalistic places than the garages with faux trees in them. The cats finally had room to run and frolic and be all big cat-like. Funny thing happened though, the cats stopped wanting to escape from their captivity, and started to get comfortable. In the 2 or 3 years since the opening of the new enclosures the big cats got bigger, and not muscularly bigger either. Them were some fat cats when I last saw them. The larger enclosures made them complacent. They had room to roam, room to run, etc… but instead of pacing back and forth like caged animals they were now napping in the mid-day sun exposing their round bellies to the sky. It was truly sad to see.

I am not advocating the cooping up of predatory animals into small cement floored enclosures with plaster of Paris trees. I am also not condemning the creation of appropriate zoo enclosures for the same predators. I am not saying that zoos are bad places or that animals should not be in captivity. Most of the animals in zoos could no longer survive in the wild anyway. I am saying that it is sad when the captive gives up the hope of gaining freedom, and starts to luxuriate in its prison. A golden cage is still a cage. A fat tiger is a sad sight. Animals are not supposed to get fat and lazy, that is what separates them from us. It is not the opposable thumb, the soul, or a higher level of consciousness that separates man from beast; it is humanity’s ability to become complacent, fat, and lazy.

I had cheesecake on Saturday then I sat on my ass. I am embracing my humanity like nobody’s business.

To recap:
No brontosaurus makes me angry, even as a child.
It is hot in Bama in the summer.
Fat cats are sad sights
Golden cages are still cages.
Did I mention Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Mmmmmm cheesecake!!!
It is time for lunch, and I want to feel fat, dumb, and happy.