Guilty of Anthropomorphizing

Tara and I were shopping for groceries last week and I sort of freaked out because she was grabbing cans of cat food from the shelf and throwing them into the cart without even looking at the flavors.

“What are you doing?!” I shrieked inquired.

“Buying cat food?” she said, turning a declaration into a question the way that people do when they think the answer should be plainly obvious to the person with whom they are conversing. And then, adding insult to injury: “It’s on the list?”

As much as I adore my wife, I realized in that moment that she was doing it all wrong.

“You’re doing it all wrong!” I said.

“How so?” she asked.

I rifled through the cans, showing them to her. “You’ve got chicken, chicken in gravy, and chicken pate,” I pointed out.


“Sydney needs variety!”

“I really don’t think Sydney gives a damn what she’s eating. She’ll wolf down whatever we put in her bowl.”

“That may be so,” I conceded, “But she won’t enjoy it as much. She cares! I know she does!”

In that moment, I realized I was guilty of anthropomorphizing. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, anthropomorphization – besides containing about a million and a half syllables – is the act of attributing human traits to non-human entities. For instance, you might think a daffodil is sad when it’s raining. Or that a cat will get bored eating the same old thing day after day.


Recognizing I was guilty of this did not, however, stop me from switching out several of the chicken flavors for beef and tuna.

You’re welcome, Sydney.

I’m curious if anybody else with a pet feels the way I do?

This past weekend, we crossed another item off our Farewell Tour with a two-night stay on the Oregon coast. Our list is now 38.4% complete. With 144 days until we move, give or take a few, I’d say we’re in good shape.

We both took a PTO day on Friday and were on the road by late morning. We took the scenic route over the Coast Range and through Tillamook, stopping at a couple of farm stores along the way to stock up on cheese, mustard, artichoke dip and other essentials. It rained most of the way, but check-in wasn’t until 3:00 so we were in no hurry. Once we hit Lincoln City and settled into our oceanfront room, we drove to the outlet stores and Tara bought herself a nice winter coat for South Dakota. We’re both prepared for whatever cold weather Mother Nature sends our way next winter! After dropping off our purchases, we walked a half-mile to a dive bar on the main drag and killed several hours with drinks and bar food. There was quite the eclectic crowd there: early on it was all rowdy locals, but they cleared out and were replaced by  out-of-towners like us. Tara loaded up the jukebox with some great tunes and we rocked out before calling it an evening.

Saturday was a full day that included a three-mile hike to Drift Creek Falls; Bloody Marys and sandwiches at a steakhouse in Newport; a long walk on the beach; a couple rounds of Cribbage in the room; and a delicious seafood dinner at Pier 101, our favorite restaurant on the coast. It was bittersweet, knowing we won’t get to enjoy their chowder again for a long time to come, but that’s the price to pay for a brand new adventure.

Sunday morning we again walked on the beach in search of glass floats but came away empty. At least the fresh salt air was invigorating. After checking out we grabbed breakfast at Pig ‘n Pancake, as is our tradition, before making the two-hour trek home. Arrived with an hour to spare before the Super Bowl. Great game, by the way. Yay, Eagles!! (And thank you, dad, for not taking that bet. I didn’t want the Patriots to win…I just figured it was inevitable. I’m happy to have been proven wrong).

Here are some pics from our weekend getaway.

Typical grey and gloomy coast weather.
Great place to stay – every room has an oceanfront view.
The Old Oregon Saloon: hippies are welcome!
We always stop at Barnacle Bill’s for fresh seafood.
Drift Creek Falls trailhead.
The moss looks like curtains draped across this section of forest. That should tell you how much rain the place gets.
This suspension bridge is not for the faint of heart.
…but what a payoff if you’re brave enough to cross it!

11 thoughts on “Guilty of Anthropomorphizing

  1. “I’m curious if anybody else with a pet feels the way I do?”

    HA! Yes, absolutely, Mark! When I had my two cats, I did the same thing. I would consciously buy them a variety of flavors in canned food. And I did that because I thought, “They’ll get bored eating the same ol’ food. Like I do. They need change!”

    Your trip to the Oregon coast looks and sounds like you had an AWESOME time. Gorgeous photographs! I love how the gloomy/misty weather gives the images such a peaceful feel. I especially love the one on the beach. How stunning! I’m one of those strange people who actually adores grey, gloomy days. I love to walk outside in them. I find that grey days relax me yet, at the same time…invigorate inspiration.


    1. I knew somebody else would prove I wasn’t crazy!! (Or maybe we’re both crazy. It’s okay. I can live with that.)

      I’m also not at all surprised you share my love of grey days.

      BTW, congrats on the Eagles’ win!


  2. Regarding cat food, I can tell you the Humane Society tries different types and flavors of cat food on cats that are being finicky, so flavors can matter.

    As it turns out, we’ll be going to Lincoln City for a couple days next week. Small world. Hopefully, we’ll get drier weather than you did.


    1. Oh, really? This is good to know. I wonder which flavors are the most popular. My cat loves all things tuna. I’m curious whether that’s universal.

      I have no doubt you’ll enjoy your Lincoln City trip no matter what the weather is like!


  3. Classy honky tonk bar. Quite an upgrade from the ones I usta frequent in Miami. You know, the kind with a ceiling fan that revolved 8 times in an hour and one front window still covered with plywood from the hurricane 3 years ago. Oh, how I loved falling in love with barmaids. Married one too. Lasted 5 years which is gal dern remarkable. What are glass floats.


  4. I feed my dog the same thing over and over as it is supposedly good for her digestion, but I do try to mix up the treats.

    By the way, have you ever considered licensing some of your photos? Some of them would make some very fine covers.


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