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  #21  
Old 05 February 2013, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
What's really happening is the cats and humans are both being trained by toxoplasma gondii.
And the toxoplasma are also being trained by the cats and the humans. The world is complicated, and full of interrelationships in which the effects go more than one way.

I've thought for many years that the reason some species became domesticated is because they were interested in "domesticating" the humans. I strongly suspect that it isn't only that humans changed wolves and wildcats, but that they also changed us. (ETA: the dogs have had a much longer time living with us in which to do so, and have probably therefore had much more of an effect.)

-- As far as the relative intelligence question: most* dogs put a great deal of time and attention into trying to learn Human. Most* cats expect the humans to learn Cat. I think most dogs are better at learning human language than most humans are at learning feline (we're pretty heavily handicapped in Feline by our lack of a tail and pointable ears, as well as by our tendency not to pay attention); but I don't think that means that the dogs are necessarily taking the more intelligent tack. And I note that assuming that the canine attitude takes more brains would imply that humans are less intelligent than dogs, because most humans expect the dogs to learn human communication rather than the other way aroud.

When I first noted this paragraph near the end of the OP article, I thought it actually came close to making sense:

Quote:
So are dogs smarter than cats? In a sense, but only if we cling to a linear scale of intelligence that places sea sponges at the bottom and humans at the top. Species are designed by nature to be good at different things.
but when I look at it harder, it's still got a couple of complications: for one, that use of the word "designed"; for a more serious one, you not only have to assume a linear scale, you have to assume that being better at learning human communication styles automatically places a species nearer the top.


*Both species include a huge variation in intelligence and in personality styles among their individuals. Anything you think of as being "dog" behavior, some cats do. Anything you think of as being "cat" behavior, some dogs do. (with the exception of a few strongly physically-based things such as purring and howling; though I've known a dog-raised cat who didn't retract his claws when walking, which I would previously have thought of as a purely physical difference. He could retract them; he just usually didn't, and walked around the house clicking just like a dog.)
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  #22  
Old 06 February 2013, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Maybe DevilBunny has really good cheese. Not just regular cheese, but sex with turtles quality cheese.
Well...

*looks around, lowers voice*

The local farmers' market does have this rather fine 'Wiltshire Loaf' made to a family recipe, and also a blue veined version. And then there's the extra aged cheddar...

No, Chloe! Look! The fishing toy, the fishing toy!
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  #23  
Old 09 February 2013, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
-- As far as the relative intelligence question: most* dogs put a great deal of time and attention into trying to learn Human. Most* cats expect the humans to learn Cat. I think most dogs are better at learning human language than most humans are at learning feline (we're pretty heavily handicapped in Feline by our lack of a tail and pointable ears, as well as by our tendency not to pay attention); but I don't think that means that the dogs are necessarily taking the more intelligent tack. And I note that assuming that the canine attitude takes more brains would imply that humans are less intelligent than dogs, because most humans expect the dogs to learn human communication rather than the other way aroud.
I've thought the same thing. Also, I think that some people have the tendency to not to just project human terms of intellect on cats, but the intellect of dogs on cats, too.

Also, I think I'm pretty good at understanding cats, but I think it's because I act much more like a cat than I do a dog.
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  #24  
Old 09 February 2013, 06:44 PM
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You like chasing laser pointers but aren't all that interested in fetching a ball?
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  #25  
Old 09 February 2013, 07:01 PM
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Well, you got to admit that laser pointers are bright and shiny. You don't have always have that with a ball. Considering that, I'm not a huge fan of fetching sticks, either.
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  #26  
Old 09 February 2013, 11:13 PM
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I have seen the cat flip me off with her tail. Also, my dad has taught her to sigh. She is the only sighing cat I have ever met.
The funny part is seeing her get frustrated when she's trying to get you to do something. (I am staring at you and walking toward the stairs because I want to go upstairs with you, stupid. Why are you still sitting in that chair with that paper thing?)
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  #27  
Old 09 February 2013, 11:52 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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My first Smoothie, Jake, was well-known for taking and showing offense. We first noticed this hanging out at my parents house. Jake did something silly and undignified, I can't even remember what, and dad laughed at him. Jake squared himself up, looked at my dad with what was clearly disdain, and turned around and stalked out of the room. He refused to so much as look at dad the rest of the day.

Barkley, when he biffs it at the dog park, demonstrates the same type of behavior. Today, we went to the dog park, it was just starting to snow. Barkley went up the hill to get a ball on a weird bounce and slipped, landing on his shoulder. He caught the ball, but went directly to the gate and stood by it, quite clearly ready to go.

Dogs clearly have emotions and convey them. At least many do.
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  #28  
Old 09 February 2013, 11:55 PM
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Our cat, Ollie, sighs as well. He can heave a sigh to compete with the most angsty of teenagers. Usually he does it when he finally realizes I know he wants to eat, I'm choosing not to feed him (because it's hours away from one of his three daily meals).

He also plays with cat weight magic* to stomp around the kitchen if I'm in there, so I don't forget he exists and wants to be fed. He sounds like he's wearing combat boots. I've seriously thought my husband walked into the room, and it was just the cat.

* you know how a cat can seem weightless when jumping or sneaking around, yet nearly give you internal damage stomping on your stomach at night, or how two (supposedly) ten pound cats can sound like a herd of elephants? That's cat weight magic.
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  #29  
Old 10 February 2013, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Latiam View Post
I have seen the cat flip me off with her tail.
Oh yes, I've seen that one.

I once said that my sister's cat had given me a disgusted look (when she realized I was packing up to leave) and one of my great-nephews said "How could she give you a disgusted look? Cats don't have expressions!" I said, "She laid her ears back, turned her back on me, and jerked her tail."

Two out of those three things humans can't do at all; so many humans don't notice that they mean something when a cat does them.
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  #30  
Old 10 February 2013, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latiam View Post
I have seen the cat flip me off with her tail. Also, my dad has taught her to sigh. She is the only sighing cat I have ever met.
The funny part is seeing her get frustrated when she's trying to get you to do something. (I am staring at you and walking toward the stairs because I want to go upstairs with you, stupid. Why are you still sitting in that chair with that paper thing?)
We used to have a cat who would flick her ear at certain moments when she was in a mood and pretending to ignore us. Mom always referred to that as the "NSFBK-you ear."

I've also heard both dogs and cats sigh. I wondering if this is something that is limited to dogs and cats who have regular human contact.
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  #31  
Old 10 February 2013, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Oh yes, I've seen that one.

I once said that my sister's cat had given me a disgusted look (when she realized I was packing up to leave) and one of my great-nephews said "How could she give you a disgusted look? Cats don't have expressions!" I said, "She laid her ears back, turned her back on me, and jerked her tail."
The first time my Mum went away without our lab, Gemma, she so got the cold shoulder when she came home. It got to the point when mum would pack out of sight so Gemma would get in her moods when going away.

Luckly she had a sense of humor and wouldn't mind you laughing at her when she did something silly, in fact she would play it up.

She was a jealous little miss though and didn't like Mum talking to and feeding other animals. And on the occasions when my (much younger then me) cousins would stay overnight, she didn't like the fact that they would get into bed with Mum on Sunday morning. She wasn't aggressive (she was a typical lab) but would absolutly make sure she got some "on the bed time" when they had gone.
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  #32  
Old 10 February 2013, 03:49 PM
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I say my dog is terrible at playing fetch, but she might just be incredibly efficient at it

She clearly wants me to throw the ball, then chases it, catches it, and drops it. Then looks at me expectantly. And I inevitably get up, go retrieve the ball for her and throw it again. Sounds like she's got me trained pretty nicely

Bea is nothing if not stubborn. We do Nothing in Life is Free training with her so she has to sit, or lie down, or roll over etc. before she gets to do anythng fun like eat dinner or go for walkies.

There have been nights where she looks me in the eye and goes to sit on the couch instead of just sitting for her supper. She is in no danger of starving to death but there has been a few nights where dinner is delayed a few hours because the royal princess does not feel like sitting for her food!
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  #33  
Old 10 February 2013, 03:56 PM
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If Pebbles could have talked, I think her response to our attempts to play fetch would have been "Um, if you wanted it, why did you throw it away?"
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  #34  
Old 10 February 2013, 04:38 PM
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Heh, I think if Bea could talk her nickname for me would be "dumbass."
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