The Amazing Counting Cat!
The following article was sent to me from Dubai
| By Joanna
Langley | 23-06-2001
can identify colours, shapes and calculate complex theorems © Gulf
really different. According to his owners, the palomino-coloured three-year-old
Persian, who lives in Bur Dubai, has a purr-fectly extraordinary passion for
numerical problem solving.
They claim to have discovered their cat's uncanny
calculating abilities when he was just a kitten, and say their fawn feline can
not only count, but add, divide, multiply, subtract, find square roots and even
work out algebra.
Hema Mohan Chandra, 47, from Kerala, who purchased Cuty-Boy
from a pet shop in Dubai, said she was baffled by her pet's seeming feline
genius. "We didn't think there was anything special about Cuty-Boy when we
first bought him as a kitten – but as time went on, we realised he was better
than the average cat.
"I have grown up with cats in Kerala and adore
them but I've never come across something like this. I don't know where he gets
this talent from. It is a complete mystery but we've tested him thousands of
times and know it can't be coincidence," continued Cuty-Boy's stage mother.
Her son Renjit, 25, recalled: "We realised he had
good understanding when he was given a bath for the first time. Speaking
generally, we told him he needed to be cleaned up but he clearly understood what
we were saying and put his ears back and pulled faces."
Hema claimed once she realised the potential of her
puss, she began to experiment. "I started to ask Cuty-Boy if he knew about
numbers, and as he's always been able to indicate 'yes' and 'no', it was easy to
find out what he could learn.
"I taught him numbers up to 20 and he shows he can
count by touching my face lightly with his nose the correct amount of times. He
even knows left cheek from right cheek.
"I thought I'd stop teaching after 20 because this
seemed like an enormous number for a cat to take in. I left things for a week,
then came back to it, and found that he was working things out in leaps and
bounds on his own.
"Since then we've progressed to much more
complicated arithmetic and he gets the right answer every time. However, some of
the numbers are too big for him to count for me, so I display a range of answers
for him on cards and he indicates which ones are correct by twitching his tail
and looking at them."
To convince sceptics out there of their cat's acute
mind, his proud owners also had him tested by a math teacher who supports the
bizarre findings. Sahadevan Panicker, a mathematician at the Gulf Modern School
in Dubai, described Cuty-Boy as 'extraordinary', saying: "I don't know how
that animal does it but he certainly has some peculiar gift with mathematics. I
spent just 10 minutes testing him with algebra, geometry, pythagoras and square
roots and he was right every time!"
But pressures of fame may yet press too heavily on this
temperamental feline's fragile shoulders who has to be pushed by his family to
perform in public.
Currently, other academic gymnastics on his educational
curriculum include understanding commands in eight different languages, colour
recognition and even extra sensory perception. Let's hope there is a happy end
to this extremely shaggy cat story.
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