In Chuck Shepherd’s “News of the Weird” there was a column about a man in Wales who went to jail and trial because the police had placed hidden microphones in his home. The man had been talking out loud to his cats and supposedly made confessions to them about committing the crime. A later follow-up story reported that the man had not been convicted. The jury believed that his confessions were merely his laments over the fact that the crime had occurred, not admissions of guilt.
The story got us thinking about talking out loud to animals in your home. We do converse as if we think they understand our words. It’s our understanding that animals, especially dogs, do have quite a large vocabulary of human words that they understand.
That’s not why we talk to our pets, though. We do it because it feels natural to speak to family members who share our home. To outsiders it might seem bizarre, but it fits for us.
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