Yesterday my cat Lucy watched as I was topping up the oil under the bonnet (hood) of my car. Of course, cats have a natural curiosity about them. But she didn’t come any further than the garden gate as I’d previously impressed upon her (more than once) that were she to venture into the road, she’d almost certainly be flattened into a two-dimensional tabby wall-hanging by a runaway juggernaut carrying twenty-two tons of concrete blocks and a replacement propeller for the Queen Mary.
Yet it was she who was looking at me as if I were the dumb critter. So I admitted that humans have often ignored the obvious and done many things that are quite dumb.
‘You mean like basing an entire civilization on the internal combustion engine?’ her expression intimated. ‘All the while knowing full well that one day you’ll run out of the resources to maintain it? … And even though rare geniuses like Nicola Tesla and Wilhelm Reich come up with free-energy devices, rather than being welcomed with open arms, their work is destroyed and they’re declared insane?’
‘… Errm …’
Sparing me further embarrassment, she yawned, lay down and nodded off.