STARTING 4/8/17: Six Word Saturday is now being hosted by the lovely Debbie at Travel With Intent. If you aren't already following Debbie, please visit her blog for Six Word Saturday and her beautiful photos. I'll continue to participate from time to time but please go to Debbie's for the official posts.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012
Today I am going to tell you about Pavlov's Cat.
His name is Rusty and his conditioned stimulus is the sound of our security system chiming to indicate that it is being turned on or off. And he doesn't drool - he goes running for the door that leads to the screened porch. I believe it has reached the point of being a conditioned response; I'm not even sure he realizes he's doing it.
We didn't train him this way on purpose. We all know that you can't deliberately train a cat to do anything. But most mornings, Joe wakes up, goes downstairs, turns off the alarm and lets Rusty out on the screened porch as long as it's not too cold. We haven't had much of a winter this year but it's been too cold to leave that door open or even cracked most days. And this leaves a certain Rusty-kitty literally (and you can trust me on "literally" because it's one of my pet peeves when people use it incorrectly) SCREAMING for his porch.
Joe's more generous with opening the porch door than I am. This girl gets cold too easily! So with Joe gone, Rusty is experiencing extreme withdrawls.
But it hasn't changed his response. Any time I change the alarm status, I can count on hearing "DING DING DING" followed by "Ka-THUMP (kitty jumps off bed) badump badump badump (kitty runs for the door)." If only I could condition him to something useful. Like fetch me a coffee. Or wash the dishes. I'd put up with a little cold air for that!