Do You Get the Zoomies or the Zennies?

Does your pet dog, cat, or sloth ever get the zoomies? We don’t have pets; I just read about animals getting the zoomies the other day. It’s an interesting phenomenon. Right after a bath, a dog might race around the yard, getting all dirty again. They look like they’re having great fun and veterinarians say it’s harmless.

It would be great if we could catch a sloth with the zoomies. Not only would that be a first for zoology. Maybe it would outrun the fungus and other parasites growing on its hair, making it easier to gather by scientists. Some of that stuff might have potential for use in developing medicines for humans.

Other animals including those in the wild can get the zoomies, and some version of it might be done by Springbok antelope, although it’s called pronking. They just run around and leap, maybe for no apparent reason. Some claim that dogs occasionally pronk, but I wonder if it’s just a special case of the zoomies.

The veterinary term for zoomies or (and maybe pronking) is Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAP).

Technically, I don’t think humans get the zoomies although some would debate the issue.  Many of us try to do the opposite, especially nowadays. One example is mindfulness, which I’ve been doing for the last 8 years. It’s difficult for me to describe, but you’re really not trying to do anything, not even trying to relax, per se.

But I try to be still and notice whatever is unfolding, nonjudgmentally. It’s a little hard not to scratch that itch right next to my temple. I’ve seen on the web that some people call it the zennies—maybe we could call it Focused Regular Awareness Periods (FRAP).

I guess dogs and cats enjoy their brand of FRAP, or at least it looks that way. It’s really hard to tell what’s going on if you just watch people doing the human brand of FRAP. Sometimes they just look like they might be asleep—which occasionally happens.

Zoomies or zennies; could they be different paths to the same place?

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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