Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I Think My Cats Can Count

OK. I have about a dozen clocks, of which six chime. I get home from work between 7:00 and 7:30 am and the first thing I do is feed the cats. I then go to bed and set my alarm for 7:30 pm. I have noticed over the past several days that after 7:00 pm, (after my clocks have chimed seven) my cats descend on me and wake me up before my alarm can go off. My black cat Guinevere pokes me in the back or touches my arm. My crazy calico Willow stomps up and down on top of me, and my precious Ginger rubs her head against my face. Sarah is already out sitting next to the food bowls. And they won't leave me alone until I get up to feed them. Seems cats don't have snooze buttons. So, can cats count or am I imagining things?


Trader Rick said...


Jean said...

I don't think it's so much counting as having a very accurate internal clock and a strong understanding of their human's habits.

Our Ajax becomes quite agitated if at least one of us hasn't made our move to go to bed by 10 pm. He also knows when we usually get up, and if we aren't up by then, we get several visits involving tromping upon. My husband gets up earlier than I do, so he gets visited before I do. It's not food-related, because the cats have a food tower and eat when they want.

Tonto said...

I don't know if the cats can count but if I was resting peacefully and heard SEVEN clocks CHIMING at ONCE!...I would poke you too! - to get up! and shut them off! :)

But if I were a cat and hungry I would also think - MAN I LOVE THE SOUND OF THE DINNER BELL! and thank you for reminding me - Dinner's coming! :)

Joe said...

Our pugs have a routine. At 4 PM they start running to the door to go outside. They begin scratching to get back in at 4:50. They actually get in and get fed at 5 PM. Then they run to the back door and whimper to go back outside to do what dogs often do after they eat.

Can they count? I don't know. But Jean is certainly right about animals having some kind of internal clock.

Trader Rick said...

As far as internal clocks go, it's even more than that:

Years ago some experiments were made with clams from New England that naturally open with the incoming tide and close when the tide goes out, to feed.
They moved the clams to Chicago, and after being confused for a few weeks, they started opening and closing in conjunction with what would have been the tides in the midwest.

So I guess they can feel the tug of the moon.

I know I do.
Clam chowder, yum!

Anonymous said...

I refer to Twix as Pavlov's cat. She's a grazer, but she runs to the laundry room for food anytime the dryer buzzer goes off--anytime, day or night. She bugs me until I get up to answer it. If there's already food in her dish, she has a nosh. :)