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Just a quick word to let those friends of the decanter who may wish to contact Ol’ Robbo that I have changed my email for this place.  (I’m tired of fighting with Yahoo.)  Going forward, back-channel traffic may find me at portswillers  I’ve updated this information in the “About” section, too.



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo had considered putting up a post about the new four-handed “consent” condom as the latest example of the disaster that is “sexual liberation”.  When, I felt like asking again, are the feminist crowd finally going to admit that separating sex from procreation was a huge mistake, that the whole thing was actually cooked up by dudes as a way to get the milk without buying the cow, and that they (the feminists) got seriously, seriously scammed.  (It was a brilliant sell.  Completely evil, but brilliant nonetheless.)  My guess is no time soon and that they will continue to apply these Rube Goldberg-like band-aids to the insoluble problems of “casual” sex.

But it’s such a lovely day today that I really don’t have the heart to rant.  [Ed. – Except it looks like you already did.]  So instead, I give you a recent article  about a new study which claims to have established experimentally that cats understand some words.

Atsuko Saito of Sophia University in Tokyo says there’s no evidence cats actually attach meaning to our words, not even their own names. Instead, they’ve learned that when they hear their names they often get rewards like food or play, or something bad like a trip to the vet. And they hear their names a lot. So the sound of it becomes special, even if they don’t really understand it refers to their identity.

Well remember, that’s what cats let on to knowing.  What secrets they harbor inside remain unfathomable.

We’re on our fifth and sixth cats now.  Certainly, all the kittehs we’ve owned (“His cat he calls her but she owns him not”)** have known their names, plus a few other words.  “Mouse” and “treat” are among the terms that have meaning for our current pair. “Mouse” refers to the little plastic toys Ginger loves having thrown for her, while “treat” means Fiona has once again hypnotized Mrs. R into going to the pantry.

Of course, most of our communication with them is non-verbal – body language, facial expression, and the like.  Somebody ought to study that.  With a little practice and discernment, there’s a vast wealth of signals a cat can shoot at you just by the way she cocks her ears or flicks her tail.  And in fact, that language is far, far subtler than anything our dog is capable of communicating.

And, of course, obligatory to a post touching on feline sneekiness:


**Spot the quote


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April 2019