Some of you may already have thought of this, but I hadn’t, until yesterday when my husband pointed it out.
Cleo – our youngest furry baby – likes to play fetch. Lionel does as well, but not nearly as much.
Now Cleo, she’ll bring her pink mouse to you, and wait for you to throw it. When you do, she’ll run to get it, and then bring it right back – the first one or two times. After that, when you throw it, she’ll run down the hall, stop when she gets there, look at it, turn around, walk back half way, look at you – and if you don’t respond by getting up to get it yourself – she’ll just leave. The game is done.
Now, all this time, I’ve been thinking, “She must not be very smart. She can’t seem to bring it back every time. Maybe she just gets distracted. Or bored.”
Until yesterday, that is, when my husband made very this astute observation. Keep in mind that he’s not even the cat lover out of the two of us. “It’s almost like she’s trying to teach US how to fetch,” he said. “If she were teaching her babies, that’s probably what she’d do. She’d go after it, get it the first time – showing them how – and then on subsequent attempts, she’d leave it, thereby giving them a chance to try.”
“That makes total sense,” I said. I was amazed. It did seem quite plausible.
I knew cats (and animals were smart) but for some reason, I didn’t give her enough credit. Now if I could only figure out why Jackson – one of our older cats – chews at the baseboards. Maybe he’s missing something in his diet. Or maybe he’s trying to clean his teeth. Or maybe it’s a nervous habit – he IS that kind of cat. (Our housekeeper’s cat is on some sort of anti-anxiety drug, like cat Xanax. Maybe he needs something like that.) Or maybe it’s because he’s certifiably C-R-A-Z-Y, as my husband says. And I say to my husband – “You are the reason Jackson is the way he is. You give him a complex. He can sense that you don’t like him.”
“Well, he keeps chewing on my baseboards.” Fair enough.
He also tries to hump Cleo. She really doesn’t like it, and routinely swats him in the face. He hovers over me when I sleep as well, and sits and stares at the wall sometimes.
So there you have it, I have one Jeffrey Dahmer-esque cat (because he IS pretty cute), and three normal ones. I’m actually glad that paws can’t hold giant kitchen knives, or I think we might all be in trouble.
Note: from some of the articles that I’ve read, cats are listed only behind dolphins and chimps in terms of intelligence. Yes, cats ARE smarter than dogs. The cerebral cortex of a cat is greater and more complex in comparison, and it contains almost twice as many neurons. Why don’t cats come when they are called then? They haven’t been domesticated as long as dogs, and/or they are way too smart to be enslaved by us humans. I tend to think the latter.