Thursday, March 21, 2019

My Cat Is Smarter Than Your Cat So Hah!

Much being made today of a cat that when his owners accidentally closed the bathroom door denying him access to the litter box, he went to a new bag, slit it open with a claw and pooped in the new bag.

Very smart, granted.  But:  Consider the following -
Fred wants kibbles.  So he knocks something off of a table which gets our attention and then he trots confidently down the upstairs hall cabinet where two kinds of kibbles are stored.

 The diet ones are in the manufacturer's bag.  The non-diet are in an empty red plastic coffee can.  If we put out one and he wanted the other he simply does not respond by following us down the hall to his dishes, but stays planted right in front of the cabinet until we come back and get some of the other - then (and only then) he trots happily along right behind us.

Fred loves his morning inspection tour of the balcony - any squirrel visits overnight?  Dead birds?  Anything going on below him in the back yard?  He knows that when I put his collar on him, he gets to go out.  So he marches over, plops down on his butt and Looks At Me. I put his collar on and let him out.

Because our mornings are cool-ish, I slide the balcony door shut behind him.  When he wants back in, he rattles the screen door and sits there on the mat and Stares At Me.   I've had one eye on the door and the other on the newspaper I'm trying to read so he gets prompt service - speeded up by the screen noise.

Most important was this training.  Cats love to climb - avoidance of ground enemies.  Fred is not immune - he likes the top of the grandfather clock; goes from the floor to the desk to the top of the wardrobe and there he lies, stately, checking out the world.

To get him down I snap my fingers and point at the floor nodding at it as I do.  When he hops on down, he gets lots of verbal praise "Good boy!  Good boy!"  Dogs are suckers for a good boy (or girl - sorry PC crowd)  but cats aren't usually said his vet when I demonstrated for her.  Frankly and not to brag, she was amazed.  At an aloof, snotty cat working for words and not a food reward.

So to the cat whose thoughtless owners locked the bathroom Fred counsels, "Next time shit in a shoe.  They'll never do that again.  Best regards, Fred."

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