Cats like people and people like cats

The problem of the difference of the human behaviour from the animal behaviour can hardly be resolved by simple postulating that people have intentionality and purposive behaviour, while animals do not. Well, there is a qualitative difference—and it has to be comprehended, together with another side of the problem, the difference of life from the "coarse matter".

Starting from the integrity of the world, one should state that physical existence, life and consciousness are not only different, but also interconnected—they are the levels of the same hierarchy. Life assumes physical existence as a premise—but this is a particular kind of existence. Consciousness assumes life—but a rather particular kind of life. Inversely, one has to admit that there is something in the physical world that could be associated with life, as well as something in the animal world that could be called a prototype of consciousness.

Therefore, animals may behave like people—there is nothing mysterious in that. However, this can only occur under specific conditions, which are to be determined by non-prejudiced investigation. Moreover, the "human-like" behaviour may be observed in the physical world too—again, under definite conditions and in the specific forms. Inversely, people may simetimes behave quite like animals—or even the dead bodies. Everybody can remember the numerous examples.

Those, who live with cats, could have observed their humanlike behaviour thousand times. Cats definitely may have intentions, simple plans, wishes, and even fantasies. However, cats cannot behave like people if they do not communicate with people, so that they could learn the human ways and attitudes. This learning is especially evident for early-adopted kittens, growing with people from the age of several days. Of course, a human attitude to a cat is assumed: a cat must be treated as an equal-righted member of the family (with its rights and responsibilities), and not as an inferior creature.

Naturally, the cats' ability of learning the human forms of behaviour is most limited. A cat can hardly grow above an average 3-years-old child. Still, within these limits, all the variety of purposiveness and intentionality may develop—and there are indications that designing the special tools for cats to overcome their natural manipulative deficiencies would lead to an extension of their humanlike behaviour.

[Psychology] [Science] [Unism]