Saturday, April 02, 2005

Favorite Bengal Games

Leela's behavior goes in phases. She comes up with something and does it pretty consistently for a while, then stops. (We're hoping the alarm clock triggering behavior - which I watched her doing very deliberately this morning at about 4:30 - will eventually fade away.)

This includes games she likes to play. For a while several months ago, she was really into playing fetch. This is another reason Bengals are often described as almost doglike. She would chase a thrown paper ball, pick it up and bring it right back to you. Well, most of the time. And only when she wanted to. She's not all that doglike. Then she just stopped and hasn't done it since.

Is this to suggest that a Bengal cat has the mind of an eleven-month old human?

At the moment, her favorite game is peek-a-boo. Wherever she happens to be, you get her attention, then disappear around a corner, duck behind a counter, etc. She'll spring into action and bolt to where you are. She doesn't really do anything. She just tears around the corner, or what have you, until she can see you again, and then she stops. But she'll do this over and over again. She never seems to get tired of it.

I'm beginning to think this has something to do with stretching the outer envelope of her powers of reason. I think she really just gets off on the idea of realizing that something's still there even though she can't see it anymore. Babies don't initially get this - they start to figure it out around eleven months or so. This is also when they start to be fascinated by the idea that something can be inside something else, and similar abstractions beyond simply what they see at the moment.

Is this to suggest that a Bengal cat has the mind of an eleven-month old human? Well, you probably wouldn't want to push that idea too far (tempting though it may be.) But she's definitely into that stage right now. We'll see if this one lasts.


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