On Saying Hello to Animals

by F.

I may strike some as strange, but as I walk through my neighborhood I involuntarily say “Hello” to the (non-human) animals I meet. Cats in particular. Usually I stop and pet them if they’re friendly. (Generally they are.) But I also greet dogs tied up outside the supermarket (“And how are you?”). Squirrels, too. Even crows. It’s not an affectation. It just happens, like smiling back when someone smiles at you. What makes it even funnier is that I pass by a number of people as I walk and yet I don’t even acknowledge them. Their dogs, however, I greet.