Counting Cats

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Frankly, I think it’s overrated. But, hey, the internet is made of cats. And it’s a sweet diversion for a lazy holiday weekend.

Let’s turn now to animal behaviorist John Bradshaw, who will give this post some substance:

We know they dream because you can measure the brain waves and the movements of the animal (unintelligible) which are very similar to the sorts of things that go on in humans when we dream… So what we don’t know is whether they remember their dreams when they wake up, and we tend to remember the last dream we had in the night when we wake up. We don’t know whether a dog or a cat will do that or whether it is purely a, you know, a mechanical refreshing of the brain that goes on and the animal is never aware of it in the way that we are aware of some of the things we dream about. But it does point to the possibility that dogs and cats are capable of some sort of limited thoughts about the past. They’re not simply little robots programmed by training to do particular things, that they have minds of their own. I mean they can count, for example. They can count small numbers. Both species can count. So if they can do that, you know, they have a level of cognitive complexity which is not totally robotic at all.

In other cat news, Cheezburger has hired a data scientist. And motion data and radio telemetry tracking find a feral cat roaming over 1,351 acres.

For dog lovers, a report last year on cats’ gravity-defying lapping mechanism surmised that dogs just crudely scoop up liquids. Not so, researchers now say:

“Dogs are just a little more exuberant and messy in their drinking, so it looks like it’s being scooped up,” Dr. Crompton said. “But they do it the same way as cats.”

Video proof: cats; dogs.

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  • KATHY KATTENBURG

    Cats remember much more and better than they’re given credit for, in my view. I have two cats, mother and daughter. The older cat formed an early and intense bond with my daughter. After she went to college, there were (obviously) large gaps of time where the cat did not see her. But when she comes home to visit, the cat *always* recognizes her. And it’s quite obvious that she’s acknowledging her in a way she doesn’t, for example, me, whom she also loves, but whom she sees every day.

    Kathy

  • JSpencer

    I’ve come to the same conclusion Kathy. One of my two cats will always disappear if a “stranger” (which to her is anyone who isn’t me) shows up and she won’t come out for hours. Whenever my friend from FL (who spent time with the cat years ago when it was a kitten) comes to visit (once or twice a year) she always remembers her and comes out immediately. Interesting article about the radio telemetry Joe. Quite an amazing range some feral cats have staked out.