Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Don't French the Faucet

For some reason lots of folks seem to think dogs are smarter than cats.

Now I'm not saying dogs are dumb... Heck my childhood dog was one smart little bowser. We got him from the pound as an adult dog. His whole life, to that point, had been spent at the end of a chain in his previous owner's back yard. He'd never been in the house. He didn't know any commands, not even "sit" or "come here".

In my family, the dog was a member, with full house privileges. The first couple days, Butch did not understand that leg lifting inside was a cardinal sin. He quickly learned otherwise and behaved himself thereafter.

There was a continuing problem with the nighttime hours, when he thought he could slip one by the humans, but that was cured by giving him his own bedroom. Every night, he was locked in the pantry in the basement with a nice, soft rug. He discovered if he left a liquid deposit or a "calling card" that he had to sleep in very close proximity to it all night long. Cured him real fast.

Within a couple of months, he was a well mannered and affectionate dog with a whole arsenal of tricks. When he got old and went deaf, he learned to do all of his tricks to hand signs instead of voice commands -- even added a couple new tricks to his repertory.

He was one smart puppy.

In common with most dogs, however, the humans trained him.

Cats are not trained by humans; they do the training.

My cats are waited on hand and paw. I give them food and water on their command, I clean their litter box. Or, as I call it, mining for cat jewels. If they want something, they tell me and I do it -- though occasionally I'm downright obtuse and don't comply.

Sachi's very favorite water comes out of the bathroom faucet. Whenever I make a bathroom trip, she hops up onto the counter and expects me to turn the faucet on to a trickle for her. Sometimes she doesn't realize that I'm in there immediately and comes in after I'm already seated, so the service isn't up to its usual standards.

She has discovered that standing there with her front feet in the sink, alternating stares at the faucet and at me does not get the water turned on immediately. If she starts licking up the inside of the faucet, however, the human will squawk, "Don't french the faucet!" and make great haste to turn it on for her.

Guess that shows who trains whom in this household.

1 comment:

Kate said...

LOL. Cats are definitely smarter...