I have seen cows on Carson St. in the South Side for many years but I thought that they were just passing through. Little did I realize that they settled down and started to breed. They seem to be everywhere now and much like the beer stains on my shirts, they are here to stay.
I saw my first one late one evening in the 80's when I came home form an outing. I saw a female sitting on my steps. I though she just had too much to drink and wanted to rest. Being kind to animals then I was going to leave her stay. As the number of bars on Carson was fewer than today there were few cattle running about. But as I got closer I noticed that she had her pants to her ankles. She was all set to do a No.2 pie drop on my steps. Well, you should have seen what it took to get her to move. Yet she fought with me like I was being mean. Why are cattle prods illegal I ask?
Today they have taken over the South Side like teenage boys at a wet tee-shit contest. Most of the cattle seem to know to stick to the pathways but crossing streets seems to mystify them. They will get to a corner and look at the colored light on the other side and go into a trance. They will walk towards the lights slowly and without preference to the lights being red, amber or green. I think they are drawn to the red lights more. An effective method of making them move faster is to point the front of your car towards then and give it a go. That seems to take them out of their trance.
And it is not just crossing from one path to another. Very often they stop and gather in the middle of the street or crosswalk to collectively chew their cud. Pigeons do this as well but seem to know that cars are coming for them. Maybe the cows like the middle of the street because it reminds them of open pasture? As they don’t start moving about until mid-day they stay up late at night, which seems to be the preferred time for personal tasks. Many of them seek the farmer’s house to let free the day’s liquid intake. Never mind that they have barns of their own for this. Male and female cattle have been observed doing this. The females seem at ease with the outdoors, as they will, without hesitation, perform hygienic maintenance activity. Watching them in groups can be most disturbing. I think the sociology people at the nearby universities should look in this. Better still, video bloggers.
Some cattle actually know how to operate cars. Not well, but who can when ones tail is pushed up ones butt? Should they ever be required to have a license like the rest of humanity they could be instructed on proper parking, turning when permitted and the meaning of colored lights hanging down in front of them. I wonder what Darwin would have written had the H.M.S. Beagle landed on the South Side boat launch?