I have seen quite a few animal mating rituals, if not the actual act of procreation itself. In retrospect, it’s sort of funny.
1. Dogs – our mutt gave birth to the cutest puppies, though I’m glad I only saw neighbors' pets doing the deed. Watching Trixie have sex would have just been wrong.
2. Mice – we ended up with several generations of pets when I was a small child; I didn’t quite understand what each boy mouse was doing to his girlfriend. I’m not sure my older brother did, either, though he acted like he knew more than me.
3. Housecats – the strays in our hometown used to wail at night like the world was ending.
4. Freshwater fish – more pets managed to self repopulate. We must have had something in the water when I was growing up.
5. Mole rats – you can watch every cycle of their life at the local zoo. It’s rather disturbing.
6. Ducks – this rather surprised me at my last visit to the St. Louis zoo. The male actually bit (is that the right word?) the feathers at the back of her neck. She was halfway underwater at the time, which didn't look like fun at all.
7. Leopards – the big cat house at our zoo saw a great deal of amorous activity one afternoon. My friend and I were captivated by the ferocious beauty.
8. Groundhogs – an amusing, low key affair.
9. Butterflies – I suppose the mating flight is much more glorious than the egg fertilization.
10. Squirrels – like groundhogs, but faster and with fluffier tails in the way.
11. Praying mantids – the not-so-tender aftermath of the male’s headless body still attached to the female rather ruined my romantic plans for the evening.
12. Vultures – an oddly elegant shuffling dance high on a limb. They’re a surprisingly social bird. We’ve had as many as forty sunning their wings in one tree.
13. Humans – there’s nothing like bonding over delivery pizza and a Monty Python film wearing nothing but a blanket.