a reply to: grumpy64
My cat comes to me when he needs things,he will come to my chair and softly paw my leg,no claws,when he has my attention he will give me a specific
look and then he will calmly turn around and lead me to what he wants,it can be food,a bath,his toy stuck under something,a person outside near the
doors,but he ALWAYS takes me to where the problem is,there is nothing random about it,he doesnt sit there and meow when his toy is stuck,he comes and
gets help,and he doesnt get it by meowing,he gets it by asking for it another way and then by taking me and showing me.My cat eats corn on the
cob,from on a plate,and he eats it in rows like we do,I have videos to prove it,he plays fetch like a dog,and he likes to be in the bathtub for his
weekly baths,as a kitten he showered in the sink,I will not let him in the shower with me although he is game.
In fact the only time he meows is on is way to the Tub and then he mimics the word no,and this is a half hearted resistance because he loves it once
he is in the water he just doesnt like being PUT in it before he is ready himself,ha haha.If you take care of an animals needs you will not hear them
vocalise much,they do not need to.
I had a Cable guy come in when I was not home to do some work,as soon as I got home my Cat immediatly came to me,no helloes just the paw to the leg
and then an assertive march right to the spot the Cable Guy had been working,THE EXACT SPOT,then he gently pawed the new cables,THEN he took me to the
washroom,my money says the Cable Guy used it ha ha ha.
When anyone comes down the way he hears them long before I do and goes to his sentry spot by the door AFTER coming and giving me the Paw of
I used to have cows,and yes I think they are self aware,all living things are,it is some crap pushed down our throats that it is any different.
My Cat goes out on the Deck to play and i do not allow him to go off of it,the first time he tried i taught him not to do it,by TALKING TO HIM AND
SAYING NOOOO just before he bailed off the edge.
After the first time he tried and I verbalised the word NOOO,he understood 100% ,the first time i busted him and said NOOO he immediatly sat down on
the spot to the word NOO because he understood it,and as soon as I went inside I watched him in the reflection of the Glass doors and he watched ME
until i was out of sight and then he began to look over to the spot I had just busted him at,considering his options i am sure,well all i did was say
from inside out of sight his name and BE A GOOD BOY,and immediatly he sat down on the spot again and looked into the doorway,after that he was good
permanently,he understood his boundrys and that I was there wether he could see me or not,to reinforce him after that any time I saw him near the edge
of his boundrys I simply said his name and asked him if he was being a good boy,I didnt TELL him to be a good boy i asked him,and every time bar none
he would sit down immediatly when I asked him and give me the squinty eyes softly,If I CALL him a Bad Boy he will go to his room and sulk because he
will feel bad,i have to be carefull because he reads my intonations and knows the difference when i am directing something right at HIM.
Cats use their eyes a LOT to communicate,and I am sure the squinting is how they communicate together at night silently.His reply to me AFTER he sits
down nicely is always in Eye squints and they are intentional and consistant and he doesnt use them in many situations.It is a distinct reply he
expects I understand.And I guess I do now.
I had a 31/2 legged Pig that would sit and play fetch in the country as well although you had to treat him to get him to give you the stick back he
would just sit there and look at me and never just give it up for nothing.I could tug on it and he wouldnt let go,and if I didnt treat him he wouldnt
just leave it for me and go away he TOOK the stick with him and kept ti,no treat no stick,simple and definatly with some thought given to it.I used to
give him carrots as his fetch treats until he started taking his stick and dropping it inside the empty dog food bucket,and i got the point,he wanted
Dog food more than carrots and I immeditly switched treats for him.But HE taught ME what he liked what his preference was,so he knew he was individual
preferences are individual.I NEVER gave him Dog Food and he was NEVER out alone to get it himself ,but he ALWAYS saw the Dogs eating when i played
with him.HE wanted what THEY had,he knew he was individual he wanted to try SOMETHING NEW.i guess in retrospect he also watched me make the dogs sit
and behave when I fed them,I used to take turns letting each one eat first while the other two watched,fair and squarein a rotation they all learned
fast,one eats and two sit and wait their turn and tomorrow it is the next fellas turn and they KNEW WITHIN A WEEK WHOS TURN WAS COMING UP and after a
month they were in rotation and sometimes I would look across the Yard and see two of them sitting already and one messing around excited,the RIGHT
ONES SITTING EVERY TIME.They knew they were individuals and even when it was their own turn and when it was each others turns.But who ever does this
stuff?My parents thought I was nuts,I used to go catch magpie and Raven Chicks and teach them to talk then give them away as gifts.Ravens are
heartbreaking because they bond with you quickly and are very very smart and curious,in fact they may be the smartest animal have ever seen.They can
easily count and ask you for TWO when they want extra treats,I would put one treat in one open palm and show it to one of my favorite Ravens but keep
TWO in my other closed fist,he would not take the one on my open palm,he would say the word TWO and peck my closed fist,as soon as he learned the word
TWO opened the closed fist he was off to the races.The sucker would give up one to get two,but other animals couldnt rationalise anticipatory thoughts
so far ahead.If the Raven will sacrifice one to get TWO he is self aware because he is SELFISH,ha ha ha.So Ravens can count and anticipate and be
greedy intentionally,they are willing to sacrifice one to get two,that is awareness and not instinct.
I mean grumpy i used to shoot cats to prevent overpopulation in the country,with no thought about it,I never had time to spend with the cats,they
werent special,but I found time for the Dogs and a Pig and Ravens,so really i guess we pick our favorites but they ALL are self-aware if you take time
to interact with them.
Later in life I worked at a Major Citys Zoo,and I learned a lot more about many kinds of animals,to many storys to list here,except one to show you a
funny thing,we had llamas at the Zoo and they were constantly fed cotton candy from people against the rules,so they had a bad habit of chasing people
along their fenceline begging for Cotton Candy,well as an Employee when people were gone I had to work around them and they were aggressive because
they were hooked on sugar,ha ha ha,so i used to shoo Big Daddy the Bully away all the time with my corn broom,i would yell at him and shoo him away
from the fence so he wouldnt spit at me because I had no Cotton Candy for him so I was pro-active and sghooed him every time .Well 5 or 6 years later
when I visited the Zoo with a Girlfriend I bet her on the way there that the same llama would remember me and come straight for me spitting like mad
as soon as he saw me from a far far distance,she was doubtfull,well ha ha ha,we didnt get within 100 feet of his Compuond and he saw me and came
thundering right to the fence ,we got it on video,man he was coming for me and I kept walking towards himas he was running towards me,and oh yes he
remembered me and even ignored people who thought he was coming for Cotton candy to SPIT AT ME AGAIN,that sucker remembered me completely,and he did
not like me,it was personal,and he has a sense of individuality all right.He passed over the Cotton Candy to get his vengence many years later.
I used to give the racoons sugar cubes for kicks to drive them nuts, ha ha ha,they would always wash and rinse them and they would dissolve but
Racoons are very very smart so they would spend a great deal of time looking for the sugar cube they KNEW THEY HAD DROPPED.Even when I gave them a
piece of fruit to break the spell and give them a break they would surely return to searching for the sugar cubes,ha ha ha.They didnt eat the cubes so
it wasnt bad for their health.But it sure as hack drove them batty.
I went from Farmer who could raise wild ravens and teach them to talk and teach a Pig to sit and fetch and my dogs to wait their turns but ignored
cats AND could kill with no bad feelings given what I thought was a good reason,to a Big game Hunter who killed no trophys here,to a non-hunting
Wild Animal lover working at a Major Zoo to a baby Duck saving Pet loving Cat owner.Go figure huh?
Now that I am thinking about it the llamas never spit on anyone at first they ALWAYS followed and waitied till they were nearly out of fenceline and
knew that you didnt have time to really give them Cotton candy and they would spit on people on the last leg of the fenceline.This means they were
simply angry and vindictive ,if it were an instinctual action it would have happened much sooner,but the buggers didnt want to ruin their odds of
getting the Cotton candy to soon!!
Now its all coming back to me,how about this,the Spider Monkeys used to be incredible,I watched one steal the keys off of a Trainers belt as he was
leaving the cage area,then the Monkey actually reached through the bars and started trying to put keys in the padlock securing the chain ,he couldnt
see what he was doing and he was more than able to get the job done he had awsome mirror dexterity,so he had to be self aware to visualise what he was
doing in a mirrored backwards sense.
If you didnt talk or write and I put you in a cage like the Monkeys in their environment with their resources how would I know you were self-aware