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The Llewellyn Journal
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What Do Cats Know?

This article was written by Carrie Obry
posted under Self-Help

I love my cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.
—Jean Cocteau

My two cats are pretty smart cookies. I've come to see them as cute and furry domestic antennae. It never fails that when something, anything is new or out of place, they see it, track it, swat at it, or sit on it before I even notice that it's there. In fact, I've come to I think they have a feline sixth sense that innately understands every slight disturbance in their world. They zero in on a ladybug on the ceiling that isn't moving at all. They know what time it is. They know the important difference between a can of cat food and a can of people food. They know when I am walking across the house, and when I'm walking out the door. Every time I intend to leave, they are right there before me, hoping to dart out into the world, even if I am trying to sneak away.

If I am ever at home without my cats (perhaps they are being catsat while I travel), the whole place is empty and eerie. In The Enchanted Cat, Ellen Dugan says, "cats are a powerhouse of energy that can help boost your home's prosperity and your own psychic health and physical well-being. Those of us who are cat lovers know how much positive emotion is generated by our pets." I believe it! Are they also smarter than I've given them credit for? Probably. Richard Webster sheds a lot of light on the intelligence of our pets. In Is Your Pet Psychic, he explains that cats can understand more than one hundred common words, such as dinner, yes, play, and beautiful.

I’ve also learned that cats also enjoy being spoken to, as it means that they are being included in your world. They also observe your body language closely. Webster says, "A cat that is resting on your lap will be able to tell the difference between when you are moving position to become more comfortable, or shifting position because you are about to get up." Isn't that so true? According the Webster, cats are aware of much more than we think possible because they are constantly using all six senses. "When we use our sixth sense in dealing with them, we can achieve a closeness that cannot be achieved in any other way. It takes time and practice, but the rewards can be incredible." Try communicating with your cats intuitively. You probably do it all the time, just not consciously. In addition to various types of intuitive communication strategies, Webster suggests the following test to get more in touch with your feline friend. Try your own adaptations, as well. Flatter your cat’s intelligence, and you might be rewarded more than you think.

The Food Bowl Test
Choose two identical dishes and put the same amount of cat food in each of them. Place one of these to the left of the doorway your cat will be using, and place the other the same distance to the right.
Decide which dish you want your cat to choose. Think about this dish. Repeat to yourself over and over again, "I want my cat to choose the dish on the left," for instance. Call your cat (if he or she has not already arrived), and keep on repeating the words in your mind. Keep records and see if, over a period of time, your cat responds to your thoughts.


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