View Single Post
  #17  
Old 01-19-2006, 10:26 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A better place to be
Posts: 26,718
Cats are quite intelligent enough to associate particular sounds with particular objects or events, such as "out," "food," etc.

I tell this story and I expect skepticism about it, though it's the truth: We had a cat once who mastered speaking about 20 English words (insofar as feline vocalizing equipment will match a human language), apparently because she was discouraged and disgusted at our inability to learn the meaning of her different calls. She would use "aaooouuuuwww" for "out," "ppfffooooooo" for "food" (the "ppfff" mimicking a spitting sound she apparently indended for /f/), "mmmmmeeeeehhhww" for "milk," and several others to represent, insofar as she could, the English terms for things she wanted. Apparently she figured that if we were too dumb to learn Cat, she would have to master English. And it was bemusing for me to have a short conversation with my cat, in the same language!