My cats have always made me suspect they understand plain English. And they do things that convince me that they have their own reasons for whatever they do–reasons which will always be inaccessible to humans.
The closer we look, the more personality we can see in animals–especially our pets. After all, they live intimately with us and some of us is bound to rub off on them. A jolly home makes for a jolly dog. I can’t remember who said that, but it’s true.
2 comments on “‘Are Cats “Persons”?’ (2016)”
I believe that humans, especially “science” (whatever the hell that has come to mean) has grossly underestimated animals. Animals don’t have the gift of symbolic speech, but they seem to understand much of what we say.
In the past, I have brought up Messi, a Cougar that lives as a house cat in Russia. He obviously understands that rules of the situation and never lashes out, even though he has been with his owners for for 5 years now. He’s at least as docile as the Siamese that is on my lap as I type this, and even though he understands the rules, he has seen for to change one rule; no cougars on the bed. He insists upon taking naps with Alexander, the man that rescued him from being euthanized.
Experiences with my own cats have been telling. The cat I had until a few years ago had a deal with me. There were boundaries and expectations, but there was an understanding, of sorts, in place. She was very obedient, but there were freedoms she reserved for herself and as long as I respected these, she was fine. I guess the same is true of my cat, who is very docile, but doesn’t want to be picked up and held. If I do pick her up, she will give me a little time, and then object until I put her down. She’s not angry, or out of control, but she does not want to be held. I can pick her up and move her, but if I extend this she lets me know that I am violating her space. It’s situational, as well, which is to say that if there are strangers present, she will tolerate being held until she feels safe with the strangers; who are subsequently “cat scanned” and invited to lavish attention upon her. 🙂
She seems to enjoy, to the point of savoring, being lightly petted and her body language is such that you can see her taking in the enjoyment of a light stroke on her fur. There is no doubt in my mind that these animals were made to add something important to our lives. I have a friend that credits many of his life lessons to a cat he had as a child.
Many speculate that cats have chemicals in their brains similar to LSD and DMT – seems feasible to me.