I thought of training Miss Margot
to be a circus cat but she wasn’t really ept enough. Buster,
however, has the combination of smarts, suckiness and athleticism which makes for a perfect circus cat. His contemplation time is 5-10 seconds, as opposed to the 18-20 seconds it took Margot to work anything out. (All cats have a response time to inputs, unless you’re dropping something on them or they’re actively in danger. It’s not the only thing I gauge intelligence on but it’s quite indicative.)
This morning, he announced (body language, he’s a quiet critter normally) that he wanted to train. He flopped on the rug (which our mOm made….) and I bounced a couple of treats over to him. It seems weird to start training by offering treats for no harder a task than showing up in the kitchen, but Buster wants to know if I’m going to keep loving him even if he’s feeling lazy, so I bounced the treats. Then he got up and wound himself around my ankles making very quiet mews, so I asked him to jump for treats. And he did, twice. Then he jumped onto the tuffet and stared meaningfully at me. When he sits nicely on the tuffet he gets a reward. I gave him a treat and he dropped it from his paw onto the floor. He just stared at it and I picked it up and put it back in front of him.
He mewed after he finished eating it, and then I put the next treat in the air above the chair next to the tuffet. I said jump, and HE DID, HE JUMPED OVER TO THE OTHER CHAIR, and then jumped up for his treat. Then we did the ‘cool down’ which is him running after treats along the kitchen floor, which can be marvellously entertaining, and then I gave him a pat, told him he was a good boy, and gave him the sign language for ‘all done’, so he knows it’s over (I’m trying to do that all the time now when I’m done with whatever activity, cleaning him or treats or grooming.)
It’s May and it’s just so frikking cold all the time. It’s not my imagination I just checked the data for May 2019. If this is another ‘no sun summer’ I’ma gonna be choked. I think we had the aircon on this time last year at least once.
My current fave pic of Katie
My current fave pic of Keith:
My fave pic of Paul, or among them anyway.