How would life be different if your pet had opposable thumbs? Would your cat abuse her can-opener privileges? Would your dog open the pantry door or raid the cupboards?
A holiday to be grateful that our pets don't have a better grip.
How would life be different if your pet had opposable thumbs? Would your cat abuse her can-opener privileges? Would your dog open the pantry door or raid the cupboards? Well now there's a day to imagine these scenarios... and be grateful that they're not possible. March 3 is What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day.
Most species do not have opposable digits, which allow for the development of fine motor skills and precise hand-eye coordination. With opposable thumbs, one can accomplish dexterous tasks such as writing and using tools. That's how ancient humans built fires, cooked their food, and invented crude axes, knifes, spears and scrapers made out of stone, wood and bone.
Opposable Thumbs Day is the brainchild of Thomas Roy. He has appeared in a movie with Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, but that may not be his biggest claim to fame. He and his wife, Ruth, are the creators of more than 90 holidays, perhaps none quirkier than the one that's celebrated on March 3.
The Brad Pitt movie in which Roy played a street preacher was the 1995 time-travel thriller 12 Monkeys, which is fitting because opposable thumbs are the signature feature of the primate family. However, it wasn't his time on set that inspired him to create this wacky holiday.
Roy explains, "Having cats and dogs in the house for the past 45 years, it suddenly dawned on me that they've always been beholden to me for food. They run to the kitchen at the sound of the can opener, or even the lifting of the glass lid of the cheese dome. So one day about 15 years ago, I knew I had to create a day that all pet owners would appreciate: how things could go very awry if these pals of ours could get stuff out of the fridge, open cans, lift the cheese dome, open doors, and who knows ... drive off with the car?"
The image of a cat operating a can opener does make the mind wander to the other ramifications of pets getting a grip, so to speak. Consider, for example, this comic strip in which a cat with opposable thumbs devises a more effective way to wake up her owners. What would life be like if your pet had opposable thumbs? Feel free to share these imagined hijinks in the comments section below.
So how does one celebrate Opposable Thumbs Day? Roy recommends, "Get on your knees and give thanks that your pet doesnât have thumbs!"
Or better yet, take some time to appreciate the extraordinary abilities that your pet already has. Here's one petcentric pet who doesn't even need thumbs to open the refrigerator and fetch a beer for his owner. As long as you've got the thumbs to throw a ball or open the front door to go on a walk, your pet is good to go. With an owner like you, who needs opposable thumbs?
Learn more about What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day and other quirky holidays at http://www.wellcat.com/holiday.html