Tuesday, January 07, 2003


We have two cats. One of them, Seth, has occasionally suprised me with his behaviours, which I think are evidence that he is actually doing some sort of reasoning. Reasoning more in a human sense than feline reasoning, which must of course go on all the time. Here's the scene: we baked macaroons, and left them wrapped on the counter overnight. Now Seth has a sweet tooth - enough of one to steal food from the hummingbird feeders, if he could only get at them. So naturally the macaroons were too much to resist, and he made off with one during the night. But he placed something where the macaroon had been: a small nugget of cat food.

Now what could this mean? "Here is a gift for you," "Here is an exchange," or even "Maybe they won't notice"? -- The fact that he had to carry his food from a bowl across the room and up onto the counter without eating it meant that this was a deliberate act. And one that required reasoning. Now cats are well known for presenting gifts: the proud show of a mouse or bird to a not very appreciative owner is a cliche. But it's the 'exchanging' part of this that I have not heard of before. Ah, that fuzzy-head...