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Mon Mar 1, 2021, 03:23 AM

My cat denies reality when it doesn't fit her experience. [View all]

I like to watch how pets react to new situations and solve problems.

My current cat, Ember, likes the fuzzy little wind-up toy chickens that stores sell in the spring, around Easter. This year I found a variation that looks similar, but is called a palm pet. When you hold it in your palm, it makes little peeps that sound exactly like a bird.

When Ember heard it she ran to the window to see where the bird was. I showed her the toy. She sniffed it, rubbed it, and looked out the window again. Each time it peeped, she jerked her head in a different position in the window, searching for the bird. She is normally very good at identifying the location of sounds. But, in her experience, the sound that the toy made could only come from a bird, and birds are only outside. Therefore, in spite of me holding the toy next to her to see where the peep came from, she continued to seek the source outdoors. She is normally a very clever cat, smarter than some I've had. But she could not believe new evidence before her eyes that conflicted with her previously learned experience.

A previous cat of mine, Leo, used to be fascinated with the cat in the mirror when he was a kitten. But, it didn't act like he expected another cat to act, so he was puzzled. Since he couldn't figure it out, he refused to look in mirrors after that. Turned his head away if I held him to a mirror. Would not let me turn his head to look. His attitude was like, "That does not compute, so I refuse to acknowledge it at all."

Then I realized how often people are like that, too. Indoor cats, with their limited experience of new situations, can be excused for sticking to set patterns of thinking. But what's our excuse as humans?



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Reply My cat denies reality when it doesn't fit her experience. [View all]
wnylib Mar 2021 OP
Karadeniz Mar 2021 #1
wnylib Mar 2021 #2
TexLaProgressive Mar 2021 #3
soothsayer Mar 2021 #14
Karadeniz Mar 2021 #5
wnylib Mar 2021 #7
Ocelot II Mar 2021 #20
JohnnyRingo Mar 2021 #4
NJCher Mar 2021 #6
progree Mar 2021 #8
wnylib Mar 2021 #10
progree Mar 2021 #11
wnylib Mar 2021 #12
progree Mar 2021 #13
wnylib Mar 2021 #9
marylandblue Mar 2021 #15
wnylib Mar 2021 #16
marylandblue Mar 2021 #17
wnylib Mar 2021 #18
marylandblue Mar 2021 #19
wnylib Mar 2021 #21