I’ve tried

Kit Kat will listen politely, but don't expect her to agree with you.  Russellville, Alabama, December 2011

Kit Kat will listen politely, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she agrees with you.
Russellville, Alabama, December 2011

“I’ve tried talking to animals, but it’s no use – their minds are usually already made up.” —  Ashleigh Brilliant

Since I’ve featured dogs, birds and other animals here, I thought it was about time to include a cat.  This is my sister’s cat, named Kit Kat after the cat we had as children. Kit Kat is a very lovable animal, but like other animals I’ve known, her mind does seem to be made up about most things. Ashleigh is a cat person, so maybe that’s where he got the idea. But cats aren’t alone in exhibiting what often looks like disdain for at least a few of the people they encounter.

Even dogs, who appear to care much more about pleasing humans, often seem to be going along for the sake of being loved.  Almost all of us who have lived with any sort of animal have had the experience of having it look at us with bewilderment, disgust, pity, or some combination of all three.

That’s not a bad thing, though.  If animals thought the same way we do, their immense capacity to entertain us would be lessened considerably.  Besides, if you want to be sure to win their agreement, all you need to do is find out what they like to eat, and keep some of it on hand.  They can almost always be talked into a snack.  In fact, you can leave the “talk” part out altogether.

Have you ever successfully talked an animal into anything without food being involved?

27 Comments

  1. merry

    Julia, good morning. Thanks for your picture of Kit Kat. He reminds me of my cat, Babe. The only time I “talk” Babe into anything is when he needed care…after surgery. He “let” me treat his wound.~/ Cats are an interesting pet but so are dogs. :}
    Praying you, Jeff and Matt have a good day. Blessings…

    • Hi Merry, thanks for telling me about Babe. I think it’s so cool how different cats and dogs are, yet each make ideal companions in their own ways. I grew up mostly with cats but I think dogs have a slight edge with me, although I love cats too. Thanks so much for your prayers!

  2. She is sitting in my lap right now and seemed totally interested in the photo! Yes, is hard to persuade, or dissuade when she has something else on her mind!…yes,food!

    • She is probably thinking, “WOW, finally something worth looking at on that crazy screen these humans are so stuck on!!” 🙂 She is a great photo subject, though. She has none of the aversion to a camera that so many animals seem to have. She and Sweetie are alike in that way. Tell Kit Kat I appreciate her appearance on my blog, and the “royalty” treats (double meaning there) are in the mail. Of course they aren’t really, but she doesn’t have to know that!

  3. Yes.

    • Well, tell us about it! Maybe we’ll get some tips.

      • This day and age corporal punishment of one’s children, and in some states of one’s dog, can land you in jail. But Heath likes to play fetch so much, he doesn’t want to quit. Trying to ask him to come back into the basement turns into a game of “keep away” (his keeping away from me). He is smart enough that my tearing a switch off a nearby low-hanging limb gets his attention. Further – if I start cleaning the leaves off – he seems to say “wait, Akowees not mad at nobody!” As a last resort I swish the switch through the air menacingly. The high-pitched whip-like sound sends him running into the basemment.

        • What happens if you throw the “fetch” object (stick, Frisbee, whatever) into the basement? Does he look at you as if to say “Nice try!”?

          • singleseatfighterpilot

            Yes, as a matter of fact, that is exactly what his expression seems to say!

  4. Our cats definitely speak their minds. I love chatting with our American Bobtail who actually talks to you ~ of course, the conversation is in MEOWS! 🙂

    • Wow, that would be worth learning how to translate! I have known very few kitties who would vocalize much. But I love the sound of what they have to say. I love their unapologetic ability to RELAX and love hearing them purr. Thanks for telling us about your American Bobtail – I looked up some photos of that breed, and they are beautiful!

  5. Unfortunately, I use food as a reward and have passed that on to my pets. Our Buddy used to actually go to the door and then put on the ‘fake pee’ performance (run out and off the deck, turn around without doing anything and come back to the door) just to get a treat because he got treats for asking to go out when we first got him. I always let him out because I never knew when he was faking it…….so who’s the smart one…HA!

    • Yes, they catch on quickly. But I’d much rather give an extra treat than mop the floor or clean the carpet!!! And they KNOW this, too! 🙂

  6. PS, Kit Kat is a really cute name. I love that you got up real close and filled the frame with her, that’s always a sure way to get a more intimate photo. She’s got the prettiest markings too.

    • Thank you, I thought she was very striking. Our Kitt Katt (childhood kitty) had much more white fir, although she was a calico too. Her face and body were more white than black or orange. Carla’s Kit Kat looks like a true Halloween cat, I think, even though she’s not all black.

  7. Sheila

    Happy weekend! I thought of y’all waking up with a baby in the house this morning……what fun!

    • Yes, and believe it or not, he was still asleep when I got up at 9:00! We must have exhausted him yesterday. They said he ate around 5 am and then went right back to sleep. A nice lazy day around here today!

      • Sheila

        I agree with Boomdeeadda that the close up of Kit Kat makes a personal statement of her beauty and her being. I may have mentioned, in my many rambling comments here, about Salty’s love for our golf carts. “Load up!” meant one thing…..golf cart. We loved to tell everyone that it was Salty’s golf cart and HE let Bill and me ride with him! We even had a vanity tag from the Hilton Head restaurant, Salty Dog Cafe, on the front. Oh my, I’m rambling again….haha. Love, Sheila

        • Sheila, I love these stories about Salty! He sounds like my kind of dog. I read somewhere that most dogs have fairly large receptive vocabularies – 100 words or more – and I the ones I have known also know a lot of phrases. We taught Pasha never to get on the furniture unless we had a throw (or someone’s lap) between him and the upholstery. The code words were “you are invited up” and he knew he could ONLY jump up on the furniture if he heard those words. I hope you got some photos of Salty in the golf cart! Ramble on, my friend – it’s the rambles that make life interesting!

  8. Ann

    Of course dogs will do things that you want them to do without food involved! Current example is my Australian Cattle Dog, Solomon. He is very stubborn and opinionated but I believe he trusts me. He hates to get flea medicine which he certainly needs here in SC. But if I sit quietly on the back porch with the flea medicine in my hand for him to see and sniff, he will eventually come to me and let me put the dreaded medicine drops on his back. In my experience, dogs trust and love ‘their’ people and wil do ‘most anything once they figure out what we want. I sincerely believe that there wil be animals in heaven, what do you think?

    • Solomon is a PERFECT name for an Australian Cattle Dog! Your friend is obviously very intelligent. I do think our dogs often do things just to please us, but our Schipperke had an almost comical enthusiasm for food, so my viewpoint is a bit slanted. He was an expert beggar up to the day before he died at 16+ years old! My aunt’s cockatiel, as well as my mother’s, seemed to value ATTENTION more than anything else. As with people, animals have personalities, but I’ve never seen a dog that was not affectionate enough to want to please. During my growing-up years, I often heard that animals would not be in heaven, but I’ve never seen anything in the Bible that indicates they will not. In fact, I see over and over again that God really cares about the animals – too many verses to mention here, but I believe God loves them dearly and I don’t think this contradicts anything in holy scriptures. I like what Billy Graham said:

      “Dear Mrs. S. J., God will provide us with everything we need to be happy in Heaven — and if animals are necessary to make us completely happy there, then you can be confident He will arrange for them to be with us.
      Some Bible scholars have pointed out that the Bible suggests that there may be animals in Heaven — but without the aggressiveness and dangers that are part of their lives now. The prophet Isaiah saw God’s coming Kingdom as a place of absolute peace, where even animals that had once been enemies will be friends. He wrote: “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6)”

      Some of us believe that animals are an essential part of life as we know it, and those who don’t care for them are missing out on great joy. I can only guess what the afterlife will be like– I think it could not be described in details we could understand– but if we are to look for “new heavens and a new earth” I just can’t imagine even a new earth without animals. As Graham says, I am confident that everything will be beautiful there, and thus, from all I know here (which is admittedly limited and fallible) I do expect to see animals there – especially DOGS! 🙂

  9. Ann

    Your answer about animals in heaven brought tears to my eyes, literally. Thank you

    • Ann, you’re welcome! Just this morning I saw a wonderful quote about animals from Chief Seattle, that I plan to feature in an upcoming post here. It touches on some of the things I said. I’ll think of you when I write it :-).

  10. Rene

    Somehow, without food, Trixie and Buster learned the meaning of “crate time!”

    • I remember how Pasha used to love to go to his crate when he was young. He even knew how to open the door and go in if we left it unlatched. Perhaps Trixie and Buster like having their own little “den” to retreat to — they learn quickly which words are meant for them, don’t they? We had to spell t-r-e-a-t and w-a-l-k if we didn’t want Pasha to get to excited about something that wasn’t going to happen for awhile! 😀

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