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What Whiskers and Emotions Have in Common

Emotions are as important to humans as whiskers are on the nose of a horse or a cat. Well, that’s not too important you say since folks shave whiskers on cats and horses all the time. Yes, you are correct some folks shave the whiskers on their horses and cats so that the animal conforms to a specific look or norm. Just like how some people tell others, especially males, that feelings are for weaklings/sissies and they should toughen up. To understand the importance of whiskers and emotions let’s examine why horses and cats have whiskers and why humans have emotions.

Why do we have emotions? Why do horses and cats have whiskers? They actually exist for the same reason, to help us safely navigate through the world. Whiskers inform horses and cats about what is around their faces. In cats, whiskers assist them in navigating at night because they can feel the slightest change in the air. Whiskers also can aid horses in navigation when they lose sight in one or both of their eyes because whiskers give the horses details about his surroundings. Horses use their whiskers to explore and to identify objects. Whiskers help horses avoid eating things they should not eat since horses cannot see directly under their noses. Cats use their whiskers to determine if they can fit through an opening, so they do not get stuck. Whiskers on horses help them detect danger before it gets any closer to his face. Whiskers for cats are also are a communication tool. When a cat is upset his whiskers will be pulled back. When a cat is calm his whiskers are relaxed and forward.

Emotions provide humans with feedback about what is happening around them and inside of them. Emotions inform humans as to whether a situation is safe or unsafe. Emotions assist humans in navigating the web of relationships and assist in understanding what needs to be done. For humans to use emotions, they must be connected to their bodies since humans experience emotions in their bodies through sensations. Emotions are not touchy-feely as some folks claim. It is true that some humans feel certain emotions and become touchy-feely, but emotions are not that in and of themselves. Emotions are useful tools that assist us in navigating a complex world by providing us with information just like whiskers do for cats and horses.

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