27 April 2012

Feline Friday: Our Dog, Lily

Since the day we brought Lily home to live with us, we knew she wasn't an "ordinary" cat. In fact, on her first evening with us, she stuck her head into an open bag to grab a few Sun Chips. Over the years, Lily's dog-like behavior has continued. As of this week, I'm now positive Lily has a dog in her family tree.

 Why do I think Lily is a dog?
  • She runs to fetch toys and treats.
  • She will eat non-edible items such as drywall, wheat kitty litter, and aluminum foil. We have to keep a close eye on what goes in her mouth.
  • She plays catch with puff balls, jumping and catching them in her paws.
  • When playing catch, she responds to the simple command of "push it back".
  • She begs for food at the table. Okay, I know that's a learned behavior, but none of the other cats I've had have ever done this.
  • She will eat a wide range of people food (not that she's allowed to, mind you) including green olives and mandarin oranges.
  • She rings a bag of bells when she's hungry, a trick I taught her when I heard about a dog who rang a bell to go outside.

Two things happened this week which have me convinced about Lily's dog lineage: 
  • In watching a documentary about dog evolution and behavior, I learned that dogs are the only animal which responds to pointing. Guess who else responds to pointing? When I point to a treat, Lily goes after it.
  • And now, Lily has started having some trouble with her (ahem) rear end. How did I discover this, you ask? I'll spare you the details, but according to the vet, this problem is far more common in dogs than in cats.
So now we know for sure that our Lily is really a dog in disguise! I wonder how she would do at obedience class...

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