Are animals capable of keeping pets?

I saw a chimp that had like a pet cat or something on TV. What’s up with that?

I think you’re referring to Koko, the gorilla trained to communicate using American Sign Language by Dr. Francine Patterson, and her pet kitten, whom Koko named ‘All-ball.’

All-ball got run over by a car.

Well, there’s honeypot ants and their aphid livestock…does that count?

My vet told me to get my dog a pet when it turned out that the raw spot on his front leg was from him chewing on it out of boredom.

Enter Edith the Pug. Technically she’s my dog’s dog, but he never does anything for her. It’s always me making sure the water dish is full and cleaning up her accidents. I try yelling at him, but he uses that “no opposable thumbs” excuse for everything. So I don’t recommend getting your dog a dog, even if your vet tells you to do it.

I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking, here. Are you wanting more information about Koko, specifically, or are you asking about the general ability of animals to form emotional bonds with other animals? Or are you asking about their ability to take proper care of other animals?

Um, I guess all of that :slight_smile: .

Meet Conan the Wonderkitty.

Conan was a very rambunctious kitten, and a real attenton whore. When Mom and I were working different hours, Conan frequently destroyed Mom’s pantyhose by trying to climb her clothing while she was getting dressed. When he was about six months old, we decided it was time to get him a kitty companion.

Meet Schrodinger the Invisicat.

Schrodinger is not too bright, He still hasn’t leaned how to bury his poo when he uses the litterbox. He tries, he really does, he scratches the side of the box, the wall, the plastic liner, but he just can’t seem to figure out where to scratch to make litter go on top of the poo. I think Conan has buried it on a couple of occasions.

Conan takes very good care of Schrodinger. When Schro, in his dumbness, sat outside of the balcony door crying because he couldn’t get inside, Conan placed his body halfway through the pet door and meowed at him “this is how you get back inside”. He held the pet door open until Schrodinger got back inside. We used to let the cats outside, until it got to be too much of a hassle trying to get them back in. One day, Conan came back into the apartment without Schrodinger and meowed fretfully for several minutes. “Meow. Meow. Oh, my God, meow!” We figured he wanted his little buddy to come back in, too (Conan gets upset if he “loses” Schrodinger). So, we went outside and found Schrodinger in a tree, my neighbor’s two very cat-friendly Yorkshire Terriers at the foot of the tree. Yep, Schro was treed by a couple of dogs, and Conan came to get the humans to rescue him.

Of course, Conan also tends to treat Schrodinger as a big toy, to be pounced on, chewed on, rassled with at Conan’s convenience, and if Schrodinger doesn’t want to play, too bad.

So, yeah, I guess you could say Schrodinger is Conan’s pet. If either of them had any hunting instincts, Conan would probably be bringing Schrodinger live mice and trying to teach him how to kill them.

Didn’t she get another one later, named Penny?

I thought Penny was the scientist who taught Koko to “communicate”. IIRC the later cat was Smokey.

Koko also enjoyed rolling her own cigarettes.

Good grief. What scientific purpose did teaching Koko to roll and smoke cigarettes serve?

Who the hell thought * that*was a good idea?

Probably the same person who thought of teaching an Orangutan to make a flint axe.

Though…that last was mentioned in a Crichton novel, so it might not have happened. (Profressor Per Fraus-Dolus might have written it.)

It’s fairly common for valuable performance horses (like racehorses and show horses) to provide them with a ‘companion’ animal. Often another horse, but sometimes a smaller, cheaper to maintain animal like a goat or donkey or pony.

Not a pet exactly, though. These animals are moved to different locations frequently, and having a constant companion seems to make them more comfortable & less stressed in new surroundings, which usually results in improved performance.

My grandparents used to live on a farm and they had these big beautiful egg chickens of different breeds. The chickens were quite pampered so that layed a lot of eggs. Suddenly though it was as if they stopped completely.

Now the neighbors had free-roaming dogs but they never attacked the chickens. One time at dawn the chicken owner watched through the window as one of the dogs approached the chicken coop. At first all the chickens hid but then the dog lay down and began to make soft little yelping noises. One of the chickens came out and approached the dog which began licking it. The chicken then layed an egg and the dog ate the egg. The rest of the chickens soon followed suit.


Best. Cat name. EVER.

Hell, including the Invisicat part, it’s not a bad band name either. :wink:

What next; is someone gonna train a bunch of chimps to use swords, and have them fight a grizzly bear? And don’t get me started on the whole "Planet of the Apes " thing.

No, the chimps get their own monolith instead.

I once suggested to a friend who had a single cat that she set up an aquarium for the cat’s sake.

She ended up getting three more cats instead (all rescuees). Cat #1 was not amused.

Has anyone here known of anybody’s setting up an aquarium for the amusement of a bored kitty?

My dear departed wife had a horse with a goat for an “animal companion”. She had a picture of the horse with the goat standing on the horse’s back. She told me that they used to hang around like that all of the time, casual sort of. If I knew where the picture was, I would scan it and post it.

When I was a teenager, my dad had a dog that was half collie, half german shepherd. At my dad’s work place, there was a cat that had kittens; the boss threatened to kill the kittens if no one would take them, so my dad took three of them; however, my mom hated cats, and wouldn’t have them in the house, so they had to be yard cats. Long story short, the dog adopted those damned kittens! If the kittens’ food bowl was empty, the dog would bring it to the back door and scratch at the door until someone put food in the bowl. If it started raining, the dog would go gather up the kittens, by the scruffs of their necks, and put them in the shed. I don’t know if the kittens were the dogs pets or adopted children, but there certainly was an undeniable bond.

Well, that I can understand, especially if the experiment reaches as far as teaching the ape to use a tool to make a tool. (Isn’t that supposed to be one of the marks of sentience?)

Teaching Koko to roll her own smokes seems to have little value besides the dubious cuteness factor, “Aw, she thinks she’s people!