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  • Robert Bruce Adams

Kissing Cousins

I’VE HAD A THOUGHT THAT HAS BEEN SPINNING in my cerebrum for a good week. It goes something like this – Perhaps we humans, with our deep-seeded attraction to our pets, have some unconscious mechanism that helps spark this magnetism. I’m leaning toward embracing the two-decade old discovery that a great percentage of our genes are shared. Yep, cats, dogs, bunny rabbits and humans are all related. I’m not kidding. Don’t forget fruit flies.

Results from this national genome study suggests my cat possesses over 90% of my genes. Or, more to the point, I possess 90% of his genes. Just ask him. His ancestors were here first. I think this works under some mathematical law that I might have studied in school many eons ago. Bottom-line, we are all related and the list keeps expanding.

No longer do we nervously eye chimpanzees and monkeys who were the focus of the 1925 Scopes Trial. Ah yes, evolution and biblical creationism in the best of courtroom battles. Tennessee apparently hadn’t heard about a change in venue and let Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan duke it out. Can you imagine?

The human genome project was funded by our NIH (National Institute of Health) and came with some fanfare but not too much, which is unusual with the tendency of broadcast news, a medium that’s own DNA is intent on excesses. Was I in denial when this discovery hit, or perhaps in some crisis with females, or just tuned out? Perhaps, all the above.

Thinking about this relationship to our fury friends and further surrendering that we all have a cousin Eddie who is no longer relegated to the backroom closet. We must now take into life’s equation that we have a Cousin Spot, or Twinkle, or Fluffy. That is mind-boggling to me. I’m thinking this must explain our nurturing concerns toward our pets. Hell, they’re family, and now, they seem so human.

My cat and I look into each other’s eyes both knowing the truth. The old boy still likes me, especially when I rub his chin.

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