Understanding Our Pets
With a little adjustment in our thinking we can come away with a much better understanding of our pets, which in turn helps us to enjoy living with them that much more. I start by giving a rough definition of anthromorphism. That big word simply means to assign human characteristics to other animals. Simple examples might be to call a dog smart, a cat sneaky, or a fox lazy. None of those descriptions are true. We think a dog is smart when it can do what we ask, like fetch a stick or roll over. A cat is sneaky when it slinks around in the presence of a stranger. And I have no idea why someone would think a fox is lazy. Certain breeds of dogs are better at performing for humans than others. For example, border collies are well known to be easily trained to herd sheep, whereas many people wonder what the value of a bull dog is when it only does what it wants to do, and few are well trained to act the way their masters would want them to. And rarely can we train a cat to come or fetch or roll over.
These animals have certain personality traits that are locked into their DNA. Cats sleep a lot during the day, and tend to be more active at night. This is a holdover from their ancestors that have been roaming the African continent for millennia where the daytime temperatures are very high. So, the big cats stayed out of the sweltering mid day sun lest they expire from heat stroke. All these animals have genetic codes that require them to behave the way they do. The bull dog or the cat that cannot be trained the way we want them to is not stupid. That animal has all the intelligence it needs to act in the way is was coded to act. That some can be trained or conditioned is something of our making, not something that makes them better than their brothers and sisters who do not have that training.
And with this backdrop, I come to the point I intended. That is the question of whether animals have Extra Sensory Perception (ESP). I believe the answer is yes and no. Animals see, hear, smell, and taste in ways much different from our own. We already know that a dog can smell so many bizillion times better than a human can. Cats are up there too. It simply means that they have higher levels of function in those areas than humans. We are more limited, they are not. And that is the part we know about and have been able to measure. It is not extra sensory, it is fully within their sensory capabilities.
But what about the part that has not been measured? I'm talking about senses they have that we are clueless about. As an example, your dog or cat is waiting at the door for you when you come home. I'm not talking about it hearing the car door slam as a clue to what is happening. I'm talking about when you completely sneak up on the door and let yourself in, but your pet is siting there waiting for you. It's ears and nose did not pick it up but something did. Something like a vibration that exists between you and your pet. This vibration, or whatever we are to call it, has never been measured, and is actually only theoretical. My point is that this information is outside our ability to detect or quantify, but it is fully alive in our pets. It is extra sensory to humans but well within the sensory capabilities of these animals.
It is also something that continually keeps me amazed and awestruck at the wonderment or our excellent pets. Think about that.