Official disclaimer: I am not a crazy cat lady. For one thing, I only have one cat. For another, I harbor no illusions that he is my “child,” and I do not treat him as such. Eli is definitely a cat.
Having said that, after living with him for more than nine years, I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s a genius. Seriously. This is one scary smart cat.
How do I know? Simple. Through personal observation, that’s how.
The other day for example, my 11-ish, (possibly) Birman/American Shorthair mix, was clearly looking for something when he came into the living room. He’d already eaten, but I knew there were some leftovers on his saucer and asked him if he wanted his “crumbs.” He promptly went to the spot where he usually eats, and didn’t find his saucer there. So he came and sat in front of me.
“Go on,” I told him. “Go and find your crumbs.” I didn’t point him in any particular direction. I didn’t tell him where they were. I simply told him to go find them. And he did.
In past posts, I’ve shared how I taught Eli to sit, so I won’t do so again. However, it’s interesting to note that while he does sit on command, he usually sits when he wants to. To me, this is a sure sign of intelligence. He thinks about it. If it’s in his best interest to plop his butt on the floor, that’s what he does. If he doesn’t feel like it, I can tell him to sit until the cows come home and it won’t make a bit of difference. Like I said, Eli is definitely a cat.
A few other things of interest:
- If I tell Eli to go to his “number two person,” he goes to my mom.
- If she tells him to find his “number one person,” he comes to me.
- If I ask him to “show me out,” he goes to the door.
- He comes when he’s called (if it suits him)
Room for debate
Of course, there’s always room for debate. And there’s been plenty of debate about just how intelligent our pets are. There’s been plenty of debate about how much they really understand, how much they remember and how much self-awareness they truly have.
Skeptics say that dogs and cats don’t really understand what we’re saying. They say that our pets only understand body language and tone of voice.
Personally I believe that our pets do understand those things. I know for a fact that they understand and appreciate the love and kindness that we share with them. As living, breathing creatures, they need those things.
Don’t we all?