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Our ‘brilliant’ cat’ sets a high bar


In the first week of February, this newspaper published an article entitled, “Are cats actually as smart as dogs? New study says so.”

Japanese researchers found that just like dogs, cats could “retrieve and utilize information from a single past event.”

Both cats and dogs recalled which food bowls they had previously eaten.

This study’s results shows that cats maybe as smart as dogs.

If the scientists had observed Abby, our 15-year-old cat, for the day, they would have saved themselves much time and effort.

The domestic gray and white short hair could be the smartest member of my family.

In our last home, we had a door installed so Lucy, our passed dog, could go in and out to the backyard with ease.

Abby, an indoor cat, learned to use the door before Lucy had a chance to try it out.

We paid for a doggy door Lucy never got to use.

Lucy had separation anxiety. If we were gone too long in her mind, she would shred the toilet paper in the small guest bathroom. When we came home, Abby would be sitting next to the pile of shredded paper to make sure we saw it. She was literally ratting out her big sister.

When Lucy passed, Abby was upset and looked for her furry friend. I would venture to say the feline missed the canine as much as we did.

Teddy our rescue lab was a different story.

Abby, now the queen bee, did not take too kindly to the newest member of our family.

The cat squawked. She howled. She hissed.

If Teddy brought her a toy, Abby, with all the dignity she could muster, got up, flicked her tail, turned and walked away.

Abby and Teddy have worked out their differences.

I frequently find them laying next to each other.

But make no mistake, Teddy knows Abby’s in charge. The canine gives the feline the respect a queen bee deserves.

So how do I know Abby is as smart as Teddy?

Teddy licks our arms and legs when we’re eating ice cream until he gets his fair share. Abby butts her head up against us when we’re eating cereal and milk until she gets her fair share.

But the best example of our cat’s brain power is a little family incident known as Abby’s coupon revenge.

Abby likes to get on my lap when I’m working at the computer.

It would be OK if she just laid on my lap. But she doesn’t.

She butts my arms. She squawks. She tries to sit on the keyboard.

One afternoon, I was making a grocery list.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Abby sauntering in my direction.

I wanted to get this task done. The queen bee’s antics would only delay the list’s completion.

I blocked her path to my lap.

Abby was not happy with the blockade.

When finished, I placed the list on our kitchen island with a stack of coupons sitting next to it. I left the kitchen to check on the laundry.

When I returned, Abby was sitting on the kitchen island. My coupons were scattered all over the floor.

As I watched, she calmly pushed my grocery list on the floor, too. Abby jumped down and slowly walked out of the kitchen.

Smart? Our cat is brilliant.



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