Hmm. Reminds me of Ricky Jay's Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women,
which, btw, has an informative discussion of Le Petomane in the end.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Kate Troy
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 5:26 PM
Subject: Re: Rewrite The Waste Land

My dog, Red, doesn't like the telephone.  A couple of times, when I had to take a trip without them, I would call and my husband would put the phone to Red's ear and I would talk to her, but this always freaked her out a bit. The problem was the Red is so smart and emotional that she knew it was my voice but I wasn't there and she didn't understand and so became upset.  Red is very much a "thinking" dog.  As for sounds, Red makes amazing sounds with her vocal chords.
In a message dated 7/25/2007 1:08:46 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
Anyone who not only lives with but pays a great deal of attention to an
animal (in my case cats) knows that they do more than simply respond in
automatic ways to certain sounds and that they engage in something that
is like a verbal exchange.  They don't make the sounds we do, but their
sounds seem highly complex and varied to me, and I am always astounded
when a scientist "discovers," for example, empathy in animals or glee at
being tickled in a rat.  Given that our DNA is only slightly different
from theirs, it would seem more unlikely that they would be so totally

One of my Siamese cats--now, alas, dead--loved to talk on the phone.  A
friend would say "let me talk to Fritz," and would then say all sorts of
amusing cat things while I held the phone up.  He got so used to it that
when the phone rang, he would run to sit by me and would wait for his
turn.  If no one talked to him, he would sooner or later set up a
Siamese protest (if you've had one, you know the sound) until he heard
his name and talk over the phone.  My friends got used to being asked if
they wanted to talk with Fritz.  This could be called just a response to
a sign, but he knew it meant someone saying his name and other words to
him, and he instantly purred.  He was quite aware that it called for
response.  I'm not sure how different our response to the phone is.


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