Caturday felid: the wisdom of the kitteh

June 4, 2011 • 4:54 am

Today we have two videos showing the awesome wisdom of felids.

Reader Janice called my attention to a video of a tool-using cat.  In this case the tool is its owner’s hand:

(There may be a bit of the ouija-board phenomenon going on there.)

And here Ceiling Cat cannot resist a felistic intervention, especially to prevent a discussion of the Euthyphro Dilemma, which questions Him as a source of morality.

15 thoughts on “Caturday felid: the wisdom of the kitteh

  1. Praise Ceiling Cat, from Whom all blessings flow;
    Praise Him, all creatures here below;
    Praise Him above, ye felid host;
    Praise teh, haz, and lol.

    1. Raises an interesting question: what, exactly, is a tool?

      Baihu has me trained to open doors for him. He reaches up, grabs the (round) door handle, and waits for me to open it. It seems pretty clear that he knows the handle is the key, and that he needs my thumbs to open the lock.

      I’ve heard of other cats who’ve figured out how to operate lever-style door handles all by themselves.

      How is that not tool use?

      Sure, it’s not tool design or even tool improvisation, but it sure does seem to qualify as tool use.



        1. I like “caxology” but that would mean a doxology was…

          Do you perhaps mean the taxology? Where “ta- is part of the praised being’s name, reversed – as it is in “doxology”

          Then if anyone was so foolish as to praise those other household mammals, they would be reciting a goxology.

      1. In the top video isn’t it more like ant’n’aphid ‘mutualism’ rather than an example of tool use ?

        [The currency exchange in the case of felix/hoomin being food/affection]

      2. We had to replace lever-style door handles in our house with round ones, because Talitha figured out how to work the lever ones.

        She also head-butts my hands when they’re not doing something she thinks they ought to be doing.

      3. Raises an interesting question: what, exactly, is a tool?

        Baihu has me trained to open doors for him…

        So you’re saying, you’re a tool?


  2. Grisgris, one of the cats who lives with me, opens any round door knobs using both anterior paws and a backward lean, so doors must be locked as well as closed if he is to be denied access.

    1. Lucy does the same thing. When she used to get locked in the closet in the old house by accident, we could see the doorknob rattling pressumably because she was working on it from the inside. Lever-style door knobs are a no-brainer for her and have to be locked at all times when leading to the forbidden outside … It’s always amusing to see her hanging from those. Poor desperate house cat.

  3. LOL, loved both videos!

    Regarding the first–cats seem to not just have regular old tools, like other intelligent species; they actually have robots they can program.

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