I was just thinking about my cats (surprise, surprise) and wondering how much they can remember. The reason I’m thinking about this is that my cat Harley seems to be afraid of short, dark-haired men. If my landlord or my father (both around 5’7", stocky and dark) come into my house, he hides and refuses to come out at all, even to eat, until the man leaves. When my dad visited, Harley was under the bed and inside a suitcase for 2 days and I couldn’t get him out for beans. My ex was well over 6 feet, and Harley was fine with him. Do you think Harley is remembering abuse at the hands of a short, dark-haired man? Note: I’ve had Harley for 5 years and he’s never been abused in that time.
However: I used to live in the building next door to a friend of mine. Achmed (my Siamese) and I would visit him often, and Achmed loved him. Then we moved, and Achmed didn’t see my friend for 3 years. My friend visited recently, and Achmed acted like he had no idea who my friend was. Achmed can be pretty snooty and aloof to people he doesn’t know but is extremely affectionate if he knows and likes you. However, this same Achmed, when he hears a doorbell on TV, goes to the door of the house, even though we haven’t lived in a house with a doorbell for 4 years.
Do cats remember specific people? Places? Why would Achmed remember a doorbell but not a person? Do they remember other cats if they used to live with them but separated? Do they remember kitties that died, do you think (how you would prove that I have no idea, just wondering aloud) ? Anecdotal evidence is welcome.