Friday, November 6, 2009

Animals are intelligent, soulful creatures. I strongly believe this, I've seen ample evidence that despite not being able to communicate, that they UNDERSTAND things about at the level of a three year old. Dogs immediately perk up at "walk" and fetch their leashes. Cats understand the words "protein treat" and "turkey."

And sometimes, SOMETIMES they outsmart you, and make you feel like an idiot child.

So, I was doing some touch up work in acrylics on some Christmas ornaments today. My family starts early, we decorate pretty thoroughly for Christmas, and we're already making our plans in October.

I had a little plate out where I'd put samples of paint, and I was using a little toothpick for the detail work. Dab, dab. Dab, dab. One of my cats was nearby, watching, and I KNEW what she was thinking. So I kept pushing her away, but I didn't really feel like putting her somewhere else. She wasn't hurting anything, and it was kind of companionable.

Well, I don't pay attention for three seconds, and suddenly she's dabbing her paw in the paint like I was. I yell at her, "Misty!" and she goes into one of those playful crouches, feet splayed apart, then darts off.

If she was human, she probably would have given an evil mischievous laugh.

I was anticipating this, so I was pretty quick to catch her. She had a lot of fun being chased, and even didn't mind the quick rinse-off I gave her. It was actually kind of funny, so once I cleaned up, I gave her a good scratch behind the ears.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009 7:54 AM


Although, the more I look into this, the more skeptical I am... Oh well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 7:47 AM


On cats painting:

You'd be surprised. Apparently there's a link between the feline marking/scratching instinct and painting. Cats are, in fact, able to paint.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 2:22 AM


Animals certainly can be reasonably intelligent. It's rumored, for instance, that if pigs had hands, they could perform small manual labor (like assembling clothespins and such). Painting, though? It that even possible? Gotta say I doubt it. It requires quite a high level of abstraction to paint what you see onto canvas (or, conversely, to recognize reality from a photo or television). Not to mention the staggering amount of abstraction it takes to create art.

Friday, November 6, 2009 3:02 PM


I agree with you completely on the fact that animals have a baseline intelligence of a toddler. I live with three very observant cats and a dog that not only knows how to open doors but will quietly open the door with her paw on the handle, push it open slightly, look around to make sure no one is watching, and then finally when the coast is clear exit the house (and when she's caught she'll promptly go back inside and lay down on her bed like she had no desire to leave whatsoever).

Friday, November 6, 2009 12:01 PM


I'm almost wondering if I could. There's lots of interesting stories about cat painters, kind of a rare talent, I'd be interested to see whether she can cultivate it. And she's the first cat I've ever had who actually seemed to express an interest in it.

Friday, November 6, 2009 10:46 AM


Companiable, that's what YOU think! Haha. That's why curiosity is specifically attached to cats. :) Paint all over the house?

My aunt's dog does this. We joke she's really a cat. Watches when you wash dishes, watches when you fold laundry. Watches when workmen lay tile. Every. Single. One, her nose about two inches from the poor guy. Luckily he loves dogs, but it is a little unnerving having a dog that watches you hand sew, which happened to me. As if she was learning it, as if she'd look up and say "you dropped a stitch there." Or "wait, wait, that's backwards." Don't plan to try painting round her, as you have so clearly illustrated. Let the kitty do one. :)


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