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.