I’ve written before about how I believe our animals know more about us and have more cognitive ability than we like to think.
Sasha is one skittish cat. She was born here and has never been mistreated at day in her life, but my mother and I are the only humans she wants anything to do with—making occasional exceptions for Son.
Sasha has lived her entire life on my back porch and in our fenced back yard. She has her own little kingdom back there, shared with birds, who take their lives into their own wings by being there, and a raccoon who peaceably comes to her dish to share her cat food. She makes occasional forays outside the back yard fence, but only few. It is to this that we attribute her long life.
I have never been able to get Chili to quit thinking of Sasha as prey. I have come to terms with the fact that he is incapable of this. The few times he has gotten into the back yard, he has gone like a rocket trying to get her, ignoring my commands. And his is normally a very obedient dog. We have solved the problem by making the back porch/yard off limits to Chili.
Chili knows and respects this fact, and he has stopped trying to go out the door when he is in the house and I go out onto Sasha’s porch. He knows the rule and respects it. But he sometimes goes to the windows of my breakfast room which look out onto Sasha’s porch. He watches my cat, and I do not like the gleam I see in his eye.
Today I was in doing laundry and, as is his custom when “Mom” is home, Chili was in with me, following me around when I move from room to room, lying around when I am sitting at work on the computer.
Son started the lawn mower up and was riding it back and forth through the meadow next to my house, working his way to the back yard. When he made it to the yard section, Chili became restless. He looked out the window which is at my back utility porch (a different porch, opposite side of the room from Sasha’s windows) toward where Son was working.
Chili began to whine, which is very unusual. He began pacing from the window back to me, then back to stare at Son out the window. Then back again. This is very unusual behavior. He clearly wanted me to get up and let him out. I was wondering what the heck was going on. Normally he is quite content to be with me even when Son is outside. This was not his normal request to go out. It seemed to me that he would want to avoid that noisy lawn mower, but he was getting rather insistent.
Then Chili did something that gave his motives away to me. He left his post at the window and moved across the breakfast room to look out toward Sasha’s porch, then back to the other window, then back to me and then back to look out at Sasha—whining all the way.
The pieces of the puzzle fell into place. This evil dog realized that Son had to open the back gate to mow the yard….his chance to get the cat!
I spoke sharply to him and he reacted with pure guilt. Ears went back, tail between his legs. Oh, he was guilty, alright—of impure thoughts about my cat.
Here’s his mug shot:
You think you can’t tell when a dog is guilty? Look at this little video from YouTube and then try to tell me that. I don’t know this dog, but I can tell you one thing: she’s guilty!
When Son came in later, I asked, “Has Chili ever gotten into the back yard when you mow?”
His answer: “Oh, yes! I have to watch him like a hawk. When I get the mower he tries his best to get in the gate and run like a streak around to try to get Sasha!”
So, Chili remembered, put two-and-two together and was asking me to let him out so he could take advantage of the situation! His body language busted him!
And we call them “dumb animals!” C
PS – am I anthromorphizing here?