Saturday, 27 January 2007

The Smart Of Cat

A while ago now, I posted about when we were remodelling the first bathroom, and Ghostie Cat Esq followed me to the shower every night. At that stage there were no shower curtains so he had to sit out of spray range, but he stuck it out in this environment for several nights. He watched me, I thought because he was worried about a member of his pride getting under water. But it turned out to be much more than that.

Night after night, he'd walk in, sit at a safe distance, and observe. On the third evening, he gave a sharp meow, and started washing himself, then lookign toward me, then washing himself again. A message had been passed. "Ha! I know why you do that! You're not so different to me after all - you wash yourself!"

So there is a certain amount of culture that cat societies develop and pick up. When Fwuffee discovered that he liked beef jerky, the other cats picked up from his posture that this was what he considered bloody good tucker, and they all came to beg a scrap of it. But it seem 3 out of 4 ginger cats will reject good biltong, and it's still Fwuffee's special treat.

In the last year I've started buying diced beef heart and diced beef kidney for them, they share one tin of cat food in the morning, and around 150g of diced whatever's on top in the evening. Evening is a bit of a ceremony. Originally, this developed from Ghostie begging the meat offcuts when I was cooking. At first, he would walk to where the dropoff had been placed, smell it, and then come back to me to say thank you.

Then the other cats caught on to the culture if not the spirit of the event, and if he came to thank me another cat would scoff his morsel, so the thank-you's went by the wayside. Then I started the official offal feed every night and now Ghostie could feel confident enough that he started thanking me again. And now the other cats also go, sniff, return, and thank me, before they settle down to eat.

That's culture being passed between them, right there. They have a very attuned sense of culture. And ours are developing a dandified culture because they get so many of the good things in life and now expect it.

So tonight I can't sleep. Heat and walking have caused lactic acid buildup and given me restless leg syndrome - all over. So at 4:30 in the morning I go have a shower. Ghostie comes to sit and then herd me to the kitchen to prepare the diced food, because this has become a custom between him and me. He guards my shower, I follow his meowing excited fuzzbutt to the kitchen where I bring on the food.

As luck would have it I'd let us run out of diced bits for the cats so I told him "sorry, I don't have any to give to you tonight." As I walked out he remained sitting - he'd worked it out from my tone of voice.

So very clever, our furry buddies. So perceptive. So glad we have ours because they always surprise me.

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