Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Dumb animal

That’d be me, I guess. CC left for work a little while ago. Moments after her departure, one of the cats, Brownie, who rarely meows at all, came towards me softly mewing, as he sometimes will do when he wants attention. He hopped up onto my desk and stood between me and the computer screen, looked me in the eye, and repeated his statement. While I seem to have mislaid my Human-Cat, Cat-Human phrase book, I got the basic message and, pushover that I am, gave him the attention he craved, once again reinforcing this behavior for future use by Brownie.

And in what form did I give him this attention? Why, I spoke to him, of course. I spent a solid minute explaining to him that his adoptive mother had gone to work, and that she would be home later in the day. I suppose I could have left out the “adoptive” part – they always say there’s no point rubbing the cat’s nose in it. But then I experienced the moment that led to this post – the moment where I realized that I had better be saying this for my benefit, because Brownie wasn’t catching a whole lot of it (though he did seem to relish the attention).

Ah well. We own them, they own us, and our communication with them is surely a funhouse mirror reflection of our communication with our fellow humans. And if I were to compel Brownie to try spelling “anthropomorphism,” I’m betting he’d spell it wrong!

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