We recently received an email that we found a little puzzling. The writer was a human who accused us of not paying appropriate attention to people in our writing.
What puzzled us wasn’t the question. Rather it was how they had found us in the first place.
Generally speaking, there are only a few people who would go to a blog that openly proclaims that it is edited by mice. For some reason, there is a prejudice against mice in many parts of the human world.
Additionally, it seems to us that there are enough magazines, blogs, videos, and so on dedicated to humans. There are magazines for potato farmers, croquette players, and lighthouse keepers, and everyone else (it seems).
However, humans are mammals. In light of our non-speciest pledge, we decided to speak with this person. We sent Lexi, our language specialist.
Lexi: Welcome to Cheeseland. I’m Lexi.
Human: Hello, Lexi. I’m Charles. Thank you for meeting with me. I hope you don’t mind that I brought along someone to document our meeting.
Lexi: I guess not. Why is he wearing protective gear?
Charles: I was hoping to meet someone a little more, um, exotic.
Lexi: Really? Like what?
Charles: I was thinking a crocodile or hippo.
Lexi: You realize that we’re not in Africa, don’t you?
Charles (embarrassed): I didn’t think I was going to be meeting with an actual animal.
Lexi: Excuse me?
Charles: You know. A non-human. I thought this was a gimmick for some type of animal rights group. You are an actual dog, aren’t you?
Lexi: Of course I am.
Charles: You wouldn’t mind me touching you just to make sure, would you?
Charles: OK. Don’t get excited. Just let me talk to the humans who work here.
Lexi: What are you talking about?
Charles: You know. The people who write the articles.
Lexi: Have you actually read Cheeseland?
Charles: A little. You don’t expect me to believe that cats and a mongoose and an elephant write articles do you?
Lexi: Why not?
Charles: What do they do? Use their furry little paws to type? And their furry little brains to think?
Lexi growls again.
Charles: OK, OK. Let me see the newsroom. I can decide who to talk to there.
They walk down the hall and enter the newsroom. There are a few cats, a couple of dogs, a hedgehog, and a couple of ravens.
Charles: Very funny. A room full of animals making a bunch of noise.
Lexi: This is the newsroom. And these are the reporters. The editors are next door.
Charles: There aren’t any real computers in here.
Lexi: Those are real computers. They have voice recognition technology instead of keyboards. That way we don’t have to use our “furry little paws” to type.
Charles: Let me talk to one of the reporters. I want that cat over there.
He points to a gentle-looking mixed breed. Lexi talks to her.
Lexi: Dar, this man would like to speak to you. He has the strange idea that we’re all humans dressed up like animals. You’ll have to listen carefully, he has a very thick human accent.
Dar: Hello. My name is Darlene. How may I help you?
Charles: Will you please take me to the humans who are running this place? I don’t understand all the animals running around thinking they’re people, but I’m going to get to the bottom of this.
Darlene: Why would we think we’re people? We’re happy the way we are.
Charles (frustrated): Just show me any human.
Darlene: We don’t have humans, just other species.
Charles: There has to be a person somewhere.
Lexi: The only human we know is Cat. She pays for the blog.
Charles: I knew it! Take me to her office.
Lexi: She doesn’t have an office. She doesn’t live in Cheeseland.
Charles: Fine. I’ve had enough. You get all of this, Willy?
Willy: Yep. But people are never going to believe it.
Charles: That’s OK. It’s not fake, so they’ll know there’s something weird out here.
Charles and Willy returned home. They posted the video to YouTube and waited for the response. The only comment they got was “???”. When they looked at the video again, all it showed was Charles talking and a German Shepard barking. Then Charles talking and a cat meowing.