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I often wonder what cats have learned about humans from their years of study.

My cat has learned enough English (she thinks) to tell me to feed her or insist she be cuddled. It’s not really English, but they are what she thinks approximate the sounds I make when I talk. Every time I talk to anyone on the phone, she is positive I am talking to her, so it’s clear she has no conception of the telephone.

I don’t know how she recognizes me when I come home. I know she assumes that anyone who enters the apartment is me, at least for a little while. When someone who is not me comes in, she’s initially social, until she figures out it’s not me. A dog would instantly know a person by their walk, scent and so on, but cats — mine, at least — take a few minutes to be sure.

Isis sometimes performs experiments to see how well I can see in the dark. She knows I can see her moving around. She occasionally lays down on something dark where she blends in. She’s putting her life on the line to gauge how well I can see.

People are far too large for cats to see all at once. They must see us in bits — feet, lap, hands — colonies of perhaps-connected body parts that collectively form a person. Maybe she thinks of Brenda’s Hands as a being entirely separate from Brenda’s Voice. Would she be at all surprised to someday find my feet in one room and the rest of me somewhere else?

If cat scientists ever finish their research and publish, we’ll finally get a decent look at those strange, immense creatures with whom cats reluctantly share ownership of the Earth.

I got a Facebook message from Phyllis Brown, who I knew back at Sony. I wonder how she’s doing…. It’s so wonderful to hear from people from the past. Sony was a fun place to work; you could be as creative as you liked.


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