To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I had A Thought today.

I think we can teach the cats to read. No, I'm serious. F needs to do this for her senior project.

Here's the plan. We'll make two posters, maybe about the size of a piece of copy paper. Each will have a single symbol on it, something large and simple like an X or an O. Maybe an X and an I. Something like that. We'll show one or the other poster to the cats at various random times, but one poster will be followed by treats and the other one will not. The cats will learn to interpret these symbols as meaning "I will get a treat" or "nothing will happen." To verify this, the treats will have to be given in a certain spot. We'll know the cats can read when they see the treat poster and run to that spot.

What do you think?


Tsiporah said...

I find cats to be extremely intelligent creatures and with training and a lot of patience your little scheme just may work. Although, I feel that most cats might think doing tricks is totally beneath them and rather leave that type of behavior to the dogs. Don't get me wrong I simply adore dogs, but they are little bit more apt to please their humans then cats are.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

If they got the idea that they were Learning a Trick, they definitely would not do it.

I've wondered about genetic memory in cats ... these always run into the kitchen when they hear the can opener even though cat food has come with a pop-top during their whole existence. I have to show them the peas, or whatever, before they believe it's not for them.