I saw a post on Facebook recently. It simply said:

“I wonder what my dog named me”

Initially I found this hilarious, but once the mirth had subsided, it got me thinking.

This post is actually quite profound and points to a really interesting concept.

The philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, stated “if a lion could speak, we could not understand him”. Animals are fascinating in this way – the chances of them being able to understand the world as we do are infinitesimal, as their frames of reference are so far removed from those of humans.

So it is unlikely that when my cat sees me, she thinks, “Here comes Opener of Tins”, but she clearly recognizes me, and responds differently to me than to my fiancée. It therefore stands to reason that she probably does have a name for me, but in her own very abstract way.

Cats are very scent-orientated; maybe she mentally attaches a unique scent profile to me and thinks of me in this medium. Maybe this changes depending on the context – whether I’m playing her, if she’s sitting on my knee, if I’m feeding her etc. Maybe she dreams in scents.

Or maybe she views me with such disdain that she couldn’t care less as long as she has a comfy bed and a full stomach.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is for entertainment purposes only and any opinions contained therein do not necessarily represent those of the author.

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