Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Third person (feline)

Kaylee, our little tabby, goes to a glass door or mirror and paws it frantically to signal that she wants to be let in or let out. It doesn't have to be the door she wants to be let out of; it just has to be glass.

She has recently started doing this to signal that one of our other cats wants to come in and is waiting patiently at the (glass) back door -- visible to her, but not to me.

Tonight, while drinking tea at the kitchen table, I became aware of Kaylee pawing wildly on the glass door of the toaster oven. I turned around and, sure enough, our elderly cat Betaille was at the back door, waiting to come in.

If pawing means "want in/out" (verb) then Kaylee uses both first person ("I want in/out") and third person ("She wants in/out"). I find this rather impressive. Kaylee and Betaille don't particularly like each other, so Kaylee gets no advantage from Betaille coming in. She's just busybodying.

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