Thursday, August 18, 2011

A New Toy

A new toy for me, that is. A couple of days ago, I decided to reorganize my files and started by getting a paper shredder. Unsurprisingly, Melly's favorite part of the shredder was the cardboard packing pieces from the box it came in:

I expected Melly to be interested in the piles of minced paper, but she was completely unfazed.

In other news, Scarlett has learned a trick! A bit of backstory: Scarlett never used to show much interest in treats, which was frustrating since she wouldn't let me brush her teeth and I wanted her to eat the teeth-cleaning treats. However, after watching Melly drool over, attack, and generally go crazy over treats, Scarlett finally decided to show some interest too. Early on, I trained Melly to sit, and in order to get a treat, she had to sit. In the interest of fairness, every time Melly sat, Scarlett got a treat too. I'd tried teaching Scarlett to sit over the years, but she refused, probably due to lack of motivation.

I've been working on some more tricks with Melly, like speaking (so far not very successful) and jumping. Yesterday evening, Melly and I were practicing her tricks, and I randomly told Scarlett to sit, using the same gesture I use for Melly. Scarlett sat! I figured it must be a fluke, and tried again. She sat again! And again! It would seem that Scarlett has learned by watching Melly and has been pretending not to know all this time. Sneaky, smart girl!


bentley1530 said...

OK, time to get those kitties and their tricks on video:)

Laura said...

I've had cats all my life, but have never succeeded in teaching one a trick. (They've taught me a whole bunch of tricks, however!) How did you teach Melly to sit in the first place? I like the fact that you use gestures, though; we do that with our dog, and as he gets older and deafer, it's really paying off.

Rene said...

Oh, Scarlett, you are a sneaky girl! I agree; we need to see video of the girls! Have you seen Benny's tricks video?

Karen said...

Ha..Scarlett you sneak!

Both of ours have to sit and then sit up on their back legs for treats. Roxie will take them right out of our hand now while she is standing on her back legs instead of waiting for us to put them on the ground. Kasey is so cute..he stands on his back legs for the treat and he very gently puts one of his front paws on our hand that is holding the treat as if trying to get us to drop it for him!

Laura - when the cat is standing in front of you, if they think they are going to get a treat, move your hand back over the top of their head, usually they will instinctively sit down. Give them the treat when they sit. Keep doing this with them and when they start sitting all the time when you move your hand over their head, start saying "sit" when you do the gesture. Keep saying sit when you do the gesture and remember to only reward the treat for expected behaviour and not when they don't sit.

BeadedTail said...

Melly, that does look like a great new toy! Scarlett, you are a very smart ladycat but why'd you go prove that kitties can learn tricks? We wanted to leave the tricks to our sisfur Sadie!

ABBY said...

Oh we hope you can get this on video too.

Sparkle said...

Scarlett just learned on her own time! My roommate Binga can jump through a hoop, and all of us will sit up for treats. Even Boodie.