The following blog post will not only discuss the co-existence between animal and man but the relationships between them. It will also refer to Donna Harraway’s “The companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, people and significant otherness” by giving examples of companionships.
According to Harraway “the companion species” is about the decline of nature and culture in the joint lives of animals and people, who are bonded in significant otherness. She explored the significant otherness by taking animal and human relationships seriously; telling stories of connections between humans and animals to help us realize their importance. Companion species is about the kinship between species, being partners, growing alongside, protecting and caring for each other (Harraway 2007).
In the paragraphs to follow readers will get to know life stories, stories of friendship and the personalities of different household pets, from biographies to pet-human relations.
Starsky and Hutch- “The loveable pavement specials”
Starsky and Hutch are two inseparable brothers, named after the famous detectives as their personalities differ like night and day. Hutch is the socializer; he wants all the attention and gets very jealous if Starsky receives more recognition than he does. Starsky on the other hand, is the very sensitive introvert, always minding his own business but loves the attention when he has the chance to get some. Starsky and Hutch were found in a gutter as four-week old puppies, full of dirt and worms. The owners became their new parents; they are not seen as dogs but a part of the family.
Mia- “The Stray”
Mia is the lady-like, caring, adventurous stray from Johannesburg. She is also very talkative and people-oriented. One day her current owner was ons his way to his car when a stray kitten started following him, as soon as he opened his car door, the kitten jumped right into the grocery bag, he then took her to her new home in Pretoria.
Jackie- “Loyal to the end”
Jackie and his owner had an extreme bond; he followed his owner everywhere, always waiting at the front door until he returned. He was very overprotective of his owner, if someone just yelled at him, Jackie would attack them. Sadly, Jackie’s owner passed away six years ago and since then, Jackie has not been the same. It was as if he knew his best friend will not be returning; he was waiting at the front door when the owner’s mother walked in and saw Jackie walking away as he went to go lay down on his owner’s bed.
Muffin- “The ugly duckling”
Muffin was the last kitten left at the pet shop, apparently no one wanted the “ugly-looking black kitten”, but his owner saw his personality which led to an extraordinary friendship. Muffin is a very playful, energetic, loving cat with an enormous tummy. Since Muffin was a kitten he would lay on his owner’s lap while he was playing games and he still does it to this day.
The above stories shows that each animal has a distinctive personality , it is also proof that we can live in unity and that great friendships can rise between animals and humans. It shows how we are bonded in significant otherness; how we can acknowledge the similarities and differences in species and gain companionship.
Haraway, D. 2007. The Companion Species Manifesto: dogs, people, and significant otherness. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.