It has been said and written many times over the years that man is superior to animals because of his/her ability to reason. But I am here to say that that ability in and of itself is NOT enough. Just as a weaker opponent can overcome his stronger foe by concentrating on the opponents weaknesses, I believe critters with lesser trained reasoning can conquer their human counterparts. I am a case in point for this argument.
I have two young cats named Frankie and Diego. They should have been named Piss and Vinegar. They are brothers born out in the woods, but found when they were just about 10 days old. They were in good health, but there was no mother to be seen. At about the same time, a gray cat was found dead in the area, so it was assumed this cat was the mother.
Frankie and Diego were raised in the house where they were bottled-fed and played with quite frequently. As soon as they decided they were ready, they integrated themselves into the family pack.
They have evolved into being the brat pack here in the house. Frankie seems to prefer dogs to cats and Diego loves the female cats. However, in a heartbeat, they both can become an irritation to all cats in the house as you see cats scurrying to get away from them.
Along with this bullish attitude comes their curiousity about all things kept hidden from them. In cat language, that translates into, “Hey, what’s behind THAT door?” They are fed in a bedroom by themselves so the others can enjoy their food. I keep a small container in their bedroom with food for the convenience of it. The food container is kept in a cat carrier with the door securely closed. Guess that how evolved? I can’t tell you how many times I have walked into the bedroom to see the cat carrier knocked over and moved several feet in an attempt to get to the food container inside.
Recently, their attention has turned to the bathroom vanity with its two sets of double doors. The trash can inside seems to be quite an attention getter. On a good day, there might be some dirty q-tips in there which for some reason are the creme-de-la-creme of bathroom trash can treasures.
So using my sense of reason, I tied two of the doors together with a string from one door knob to the other one. The doors opening slightly, but not enough for a cat to get it. In front of the other door, I placed a lidded container that has enough weight that they cannot easily move it.
Well, sometimes the lidded container is not as heavy as other times making it a target for frequent checking by Diego, the wildest of the two. He is a skinny boy but quite athletic — a “go for broke” type of guy. You can often hear him attempting the vanity doors.
So I decided to fix the problem once and for all. I am tired of pulling q-tips out of the mouths of dogs or finding them in odd places throughout the house — in water bowls, in pans beside the sink, under the bed, in closets. I tied the second set of doors closed. Again, they open slightly, but not enough for a cat to get in… nor can my hand get in to put a used q-tip in the trash.
And at that moment, I realize that my ability to reason has been no match for my “inferior” cat.