Happy “What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day!” Yes, it’s true–a holiday that is both a question and a celebration! This particular question/holiday is the creation of Thomas and Ruth Roy, under the name of Wellcat Holidays & Herbs and brings to mind any number of ways to celebrate your companion pets. But mostly it’s a day to sit back and ponder the age-old question: what if cats and dogs had opposable thumbs?!
Some animals other than humans do have opposable thumbs. Chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans have opposable thumbs. Many of these primates also have toes on their feet that perform like an opposable thumb; these “opposable toes” are used in climbing trees. Opossums have toes on their hind feet that help them grip branches and climb, while giant pandas have a bony portion of their wrist bone that they use like an opposable thumb to grasp bamboo when they eat. Polydactyl cats and dogs, those with more than the usual four toes, may exhibit extra dexterity, but they don’t truly have opposable digits.
Nonetheless, we’ve heard of a cat who can turn door knobs and a dog who can change the remote control–imagine what one of these handy pets could do with the addition of an opposable thumb? We know that Care2 members have especially extraordinary pets, and we want to know what special tricks your companions can perform. And tell us what you think they could achieve if they really did have opposable thumbs?!