Just about every pet lover has a story about the astonishing intelligence of his cat, dog, bird, ferret or chinchilla. Ethologists, the scientists who study animal behavior, have amassed thousands of studies showing that animals can count, understand cause and effect, form abstractions, solve problems, use tools and even deceive. But lately scientists have gone a step further: Researchers around the world are providing tantalizing evidence that animals not only learn and remember but that they may also have consciousness - in other words, they may be capable of thinking about their thoughts and knowing that they know.
Oh, I don't need researchers to tell me that my cat is a conniving little sneak who carefully plans out her ponytail attacks under the cover of darkness, and then sits in the corner, laughing at my pain.
And I know that she knows that I know, I can tell by that so very cute, but very intelligent look in her eye.
-------------------- "In the harsh light of day, your plans seem crude and childish, making it all the more obvious that you need a good planning lamp." >Liquor in the front, poker in the rear< Posts: 424 | From: Edina, Minnesota | Registered: Jan 2004
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My dogs? Sure, and I know exactly what they're thinking about most of the time: sleep, eat, go for walk, go to beach, run, play, be petted, be with family and friends, meet new people and dogs, chase non-canine quadrapeds, beg, get attention, and more - in fact, a lot like me!
The fact is, the more we learn about other animals, the more we find that the differences between us are more a matter of degree than they are a matter of yes or no. Most of the things that were considered the differences between humans and other animals - several species, at least - have been shown to be untrue in my lifetime.
I know what my rabbit used to think. Food. Sex. Food. SCRATCHBITEOMFGKILLKILL!!!
My dog: Yay! I sit like a good boy yay treats food yum! Oooh, let's lick this person. Oooh, mailman has yummies. YAY! *poing* Lets bounce all over... ooh shiny yay!
My parrot: Shut up you bunch of idiots with your asinine social customs. Cute little birdie trying to sleep. Is that my owner? I am now going to be all pretty for her and show off. YOU TOUCHED MY OWNER! YOU MUST DIE! CHOMPITY CHOMP!
Yup, life with pets was sure a lot more interesting then I wished it would be.
Nico: When are you getting up? Are you getting up now? What about now? Now? What about right now? Here let me remind you that you should be getting up. Ahh.. you got up. Must be time for food. Let me show you where the bowl is. Where's the food? Hey!! Why did you go back without feeding me? Don;t you know that you have to feed me whenever you get up? Guess I will have to make do with treats. When are you getting up? Are you getting up now?...
Sasha: What have you done for me lately? Scoot over. I like this spot.
-------------------- Nico Sasha In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel. Posts: 4912 | From: VA | Registered: Jul 2003
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My dog Lucky (who is not dead AFAIK, but no longer with us): "See what I did? You didn't like all those papers in a neat pile, did you? I fixed them so now they're everywhere! Do I get a reward huh huh huh?!"
My tortoise, Spike: "Well, I've fallen off of this log five times now. Are you going to pick me up or what?" (He has a log hut to go under when his heat lamp gets to be too much for him. He climes up there a lot and always falls down. He hasn't learned that he'll end up on his back every time, but he's learned how to flip himself over.)
-------------------- Take a step outside the planet, Then turn around and round Take a look at where you are It's pretty scary. --"Turnaround" - Nirvana Posts: 60 | From: Richmond (Glen Allen), VA | Registered: Oct 2006
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My BILs fishies: I will eat you when I am big enough.
My BILS cat: PURR!!!! (The poor kitty was so confuzzled at the vets: Should I purr or hiss? OW! PURRHISSSSSS! OWWWW! PURRHISSSS!)
My toad: I'm gonna put one foot up, and then another. And then my back foot, yup and then the other... crap what's holding me up? (THUD!)
Hey it moved. It must be food. Yummy, human fingers. Yummy, electric cords. Wait a sec, I don't have teeth. Awwwww man. (Of course he made great pest control, kinda like those bug vacs. No need to touch, and of course he is 100% natural )
My dog was always like, oooh shiny birdie. And the bird was always like SHUT UP, you touch my owner I KILL YOU DEAD! ROWR! Ah yes my parrot. The one who learned to shoot seeds out about 10 ft, he had a decent aim too. He also learned to open his cage. (It was kinda cute actually when the dog and the parrot would compete for volume while howling/whistling along to CDs )
The dog learned to open the bathroom door, childproof locked cupboards, and how to bounce kong toys at people. The rabbit learned how to open doggie gates. How can animals be so smart and yet so dumb? They're like small children O_<
-------------------- Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave Posts: 8528 | From: Nottingham, England | Registered: Feb 2000
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