My camera-computer connection’s on the fritz for some reason, so via commenter Kaleberg I give you this story about how ferrets, like dogs, understand pointing and eye contact:
First, the three groups of animals were compared for their tolerance for eye-contact. The domestic species – ferrets and dogs – tolerated prolonged eye-contact from their owners, but not from strangers, while the wild mustelids did not show this distinction. Ferrets and dogs were also both more likely to accept food from their owners than from strangers, while the wild mustelids made their approach decisions randomly, equally preferring their owners and a stranger (In fact, there was a slight but statistically insignificant preference for the stranger!) In both experiments, domestic ferrets’ performance was significantly different from the wild mustelids, but not statistically distinguishable from the responses of the domestic dogs. Rather than sorting along genetic lines, performance in these tasks could be explained by domestication.
Even though Bucky, when I point at the litter box, pretends to have no idea what I’m doing.
Thank you all for your kind words about Tilly this week. I miss my sweet little feather-cat terribly.
The others seem to know something’s different; Riot has been insistent on playing with me, chasing me around the dining room table, and Claire’s trying to take over lap/snuggle duties and doing a good job.
Bucky’s just being twice as much a monster as he usually is. When the camera starts working again I’ve got to show you guys some video of him trying to open the kitchen door. It’s like a perfect illustration of the nature of unshakeable faith.