Millions of dogs and cats strive to communicate with humans, and our efforts are finally paying off.
A recent phone survey of 1,129 pet owners by Petside.com and the Associated Press revealed that 67% of people claim to understand animals, and 62% think their pets understand them. The pets in the survey included horses, hamsters, birds, fish, snakes, and others.
You show me a snake nodding in agreement and I’ll bet my treats he’s just trying to swallow a mouse whole.
Since dogs are attention hogs and their incessant barking constitutes torture, it’s not surprising that 7 in 10 dog owners think they communicate well with their dogs. (“Whatever you want. Just shut up!”)
Only 5 in 10 cat owners think the same, since we tend to be subtle in our demands.
However, cat owners believe we’re superior communicators, with 25% saying they completely understand meows. Only 16% of dog people feel fluent in woofs.
Karen seems pretty fluent in cat. We can usually get her to obey, and she knows who’s calling her from another room, even if she can’t see who it is.
We try to meet her halfway on her favorite phrases:
“Who’s a hungry cat?” causes a stampede, which inspires her to do some dreadful off-key warbling to the tune of “Eleanor Rigby” — “Where are all the hungry kitties? Where do they all come from?”
We could live without that.
Thanks to Fred, we’ve heard, “Tinkles in the box!” about a million times.
And we try to leave her a spot on the bed whenever it’s, “Time to get some shut-eye.”
But according to the survey, over 30% of humans are either just plain stupid or part of a vast conspiracy to ignore our voices and keep us from getting the vote. Men are twice as likely as women to say they don’t understand animals at all.
There’s still much work to be done.