Monday, July 13, 2009

Pet Dominance

I kind of chuckled at this article today: Cats Do Control Humans, Study Finds

I had a cat growing up, who was brought into our household before I was, and lived to nearly 20. She absolutely knew how to get what she wanted, whether it was as unsubtly as sitting herself down on top of my homework or my text book when she wanted to be pet and I was studying, or yowling at the top of her lungs to get me to find her and let her in.

The thing I think that we forget, is that every relationship is dependent upon communication. Cross species, this is a little bit more difficult because there is no common language. At least not as we recognize it. But in order for the relationship to be successful, no matter whether it's between two humans, or between a human and their cat, one has to be able to communicate their needs to the other. I would be more surprised if cats weren't learning to "control" their people. But again, I think this is an issue of semantics. I wouldn't call a cat learning what call elicits the most expedient response "Control" but rather effective communication.

also while we're on the topic of pets-- Pet vs petted, past tense. Is "petted" out? Is this a linguistic trend? or just poor grammar?


  1. That sounds like a poor grammar alert! I recall when I was in elementary school and I learned that can and not were two separate words. Today, it is cannot. Unbelievable. But such is the fate of a living language, and so we can't really call it wrong, just wrong according to the strictures of the language. I guess. Ah, linguistics!

  2. I was just talking about cannot/can not the other day. I learned it as two words as well, and I kind of hate that it's "cannot" now. I mean, we don't say "maynot" do we? Drives me crazy!


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