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Wednesday, September 07, 2016
things are black and white in the barnyard

Listening to:tv noise
Reading:Paw Paw, forgotten fruit
Weather:foggy, 62
This summer I've got 2 hens and a bunch of cats. My hens are a silver-laced Wyandotte and a light Brahma. The cats are all tuxedos except 2 all black and 2 all white. There is no red, orange, gray, or any other color out here amongst these animals but black and white.

None of this color scheme was planned, it just happened. Cats wonder in, get fed, hang around, make more cats. I've had longhaired tortoise shells and orange and white tomcats here in past years. Past chickens have included Rhode Island reds, Americaunas, barred rock.

It's random, but it's brought me to wonder about black and white and absence of gray as I sit on the porch with my morning coffee or stare at the campfire of brush and neverending black walnut that the squirrels keep planting all over my yard (why never in the pasture or back 40??). It's the Hillary/Trump year, too, also seemingly absent much nuance or gradation.

The transgender bathroom nonsense had me thinking about this barnyard thing, too. Maybe part of the reason country people might be slower to get that is that the non-human animal world, at least in agriculture, is pretty well binary on sex. Not a lot of intersex critters survive and there's virtually no transitioning from one sex to the other. Not only that but we even have different names for critters based on their sex, and you better be cognizant of what you're dealing with on that front. If that cow is actually a bull, watch out. Or that mare rather a stallion.

But humans are full of nuance and fluidity. Maybe the critter world has more of that than we know, but we just aren't capable of understanding it, the thoughts of nonhuman creatures, and how they perceive themselves and others.

permalink posted by cat 8:10 AM

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things are black and white in the barnyard