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Posted by on May 28, 2011 in Miscellaneous | 2 comments

Counting Cats

5,609,004 views and counting…

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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