Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Update: Brief Thoughts on Extraordinary Cuteness and the Ingesting Instinct

What is it about dolphins that is so exquisite? On the beach today, as pods of graceful water royalty crisscrossed the water in front of our sandy perch, folks could hardly stop themselves from pointing and staring and smiling as they caught a glimpse of cresting fin and graceful arc of back. None more than my daughter Sierra, who epitomized all our emotions with her joyous squeals, excited leaps and indefatigable pleasure at each new sighting. Dolphins seem to be made for 11-year-old girls. What an honor for both parties.

Why are some humans genetically programmed to ooh and coo over cute animals? We just can't help it. My friend Maile recently remarked on a newborn swarm of puppies, “They have grown from little furry cannolis to fuzzy super burritos!” Her food analogy was apt. When I encounter a particularly cute kitten during our weekly visits to Dakin Animal Shelter for our “cat therapy,” I have an almost irresistible desire to just gobble that little kitten right down. Before you call PETA, please unbunch your panties, Frances. I would rather eat my own foot than to pull out a knife and fork, splurp some mustard on the mewing munchkin and dig in to Cat in a Blanket. My ingesting instinct is just some reptilian-brained reaction to extraordinary cuteness. One that I know at least my daughter shares because when I croon, “Ooooh, he’s so cute I just want to eat him right up!” She replies breathlessly, “I know.”

How lucky are we to live in a world with kittens and dolphins and 11-year-old girls?

1 comment:

  1. i think the fascination and wonderment associated with dolphins has something to do with the fact that people seem to think they're imaginary. they just seem like one of those creatures so graceful and "rare" that you swore you've just seen a unicorn. they're so often on childhood t-shirts with unicorns, and rainbows, and leprechauns that they get thrown into that realm.