mia-8-mos.jpgHave been keeping my cats in while I’m at work because of my neighbor’s free roaming dogs.

Mia, my Siamese, is inventing games to keep herself and her buddy Haley occupied during the day. 

Came home to find both water bowls colored with red water.  

Later, as I was preparing their canned food, I watched Mia carry her favorite red and gold crackly toy over to the water bowl and drop it in the water. She and Haley took turns bobbing for crackly toy. ..splashing red water all over the floor.

This bit of fun apprently gave Haley, my silver tabby, an idea.

I woke up this morning and the  water bowls were orange.  Next to one was a soggy, fuzzy orange mousey toy lying in an orange puddle on the floor.  This is Haley’s favorite toy.

Now, while this is cute, you have to stop and think about this whole process.

1. Even if the toy ended up in the water by accident the first time while Mia was batting it around, once it happened, she wanted it to happen again. So she had to “think” about how to do that and “figure out” how to MAKE that happen again.  There a number of sophisticated thought processes going on here:

         A. Noticing the toy in the water,

         B. Liking the toy in the water

         C. Wanting the toy to go back in the water – i.e., thinking about and remembering the toy in the water and that it was fun

         D. Thinking about or figuring out what needs to be done to make that happen again – “If I pick up the toy and carry it there, I can drop it in the water” (Obviously, not in that exact phrase like a human but you get my meaning)

         E. Going and getting the toy and dropping it in the water –  a kind of using tools to accomplish a goal – in this case the enjoyment of bobbing for toy in the water          

         F. Then, teaching another cat by her actions.

Then, Haley obverves the behavior, and does she go and get the shiny crackly toy? No! She gets HER favorite toy – 3″ long fake fur, orange, “thing” that she considers as close to a live kill as she’s going to get – and drops THAT in the water. 

So we have another cat who has engaged in her own independent thought process to accomplish a similar goal, but one more to her liking.

There is some rudementary rational thought going on here.