Do pets really understand the concept of time? And, can they recognize the span of time? This notion occurred to me the other day. Once I gave it some thought, I realized that our furry friends might be smarter than we think.
Our pets – two cats and a dog – are fed twice daily, at 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. In between, they receive the occasional treat.
Like clockwork, they start circling the bed around 6:45 a.m. knowing that their morning meal is imminent.
Then, as 5:00 p.m. approaches, they begin to squawk, grumble, chirp and do whatever they can to get our attention. They clearly know it’s feeding time and they’re in a feeding frenzy.
Meanwhile, it’s apparent that our pets also know the span of time. Certainly, Danny, our rescue dog, knows for sure.
Whenever we go out for a while, Danny greets us at the door like a long-lost friend. He runs to the door, wags his tails and jumps into our arms. The longer we’re away, the more enthusiastic his greeting.
For example, last week we spent a night in Palm Desert. On our return the next day, Danny’s warm greeting made us feel like we had been away for months.
On Saturday, we went to Los Angeles for the day. When we returned after the nearly three-and-a-half-hour drive home, Danny gave us a welcome that almost made us forget about the bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic.
As for our cats, Winnie and Marley, let’s just say their reception wasn’t quite as heartfelt. It was like, “Whatever, it’s after 5, just give us our food.”
I guess the moral here is that there’s a time and a place for everything. Dogs can tell time, while cats can put us in our place.