Re: intersubjectivity

Devi Jankowicz (
Tue, 22 Apr 97 22:54:11 +0100

Travis McGee clearly does not own a cat.

If he did, he'd know that cats have this research-hypothesis-detection
device which switches on an automatic contrariness unit whose function is
to provide the precise opposite of the H1 you're seeking to establish
(even when you arrange the experimental conditions in a way which
simulates your expectation to be the opposite of H1).

The cat is, in fact, a 4-legged H0 homing device. See the second quote.

Kind regards,

Devi Jankowicz

> sez:
>> So, to get back to Tim -- one can easily justify claims like "My Cat
>> cannot represent the church in terms of a relationship to God" by looking
>> at the behaviors of the cat, and making inferences about what the cat must
>> know, conceive, in order to engage in those behaviors. And when we do that
>> we simply find no evidence that cats engage in symbolic processes that
>> even approach that of the type that Tim was talking about. Do cats
>> construe? Of course! They construe at a sensori-motor level. If one
>> thinks that they use symbols, then let's define what we mean by that,
>> and give evidence of symbol use.
>I usually lurk, but can't resist the temptation... While this
>probably belongs in (and may yet make it to) Annals of Improbable
>Research, this point is well taken and suggests an experiment:
>Materials: one cathedral with a wooden door
> one saw
> two hinges
> two litter boxes and kitty litter
> one cat
> two large empty bags of equal weight
> one set of scales
> 52 weekly bank service rate statements.
>Procedure: saw a small cat-door in the wooden door of the
>cathedral. Use the hinges to re-install the cut-out piece to enable
>the cat to go in and out. Place one litter box full of kitty litter
>near the altar, the other outside near the cat-door. Permit the cat
>to live in the cathedral for one year. At the end of each day, clean
>out the kitty litter boxes, placing the results in bags labelled
>"indoors" and "outdoors," according to the source. At the end of
>the year, weigh the bags.
>Hypothesis: If the cat is religiously inclined to respect the altar
>and therefore avoids using the indoor "plumbing," the weight of the
>indoor "collections" should be substantially greater than that
>obtained outside. Don't forget to adjust for seasonal trends in the
>data by removing the effect through the use of housing mortgage rates
>as a covariate.
>Limitation: The cat might construe the indoor litter box as a very
>comfortable offering plate.

>>>> HOW TO GIVE YOUR CAT A PILL by Peggy Althoff
>>>> 1. Grasp cat firmly in your arms. Cradle its head on your elbow, just as
>>>> if you were giving baby a bottle. Coo confidently, "Thats a nice
>>>> kitty." Drop pill into its mouth.
>>>> 2. Retrieve cat from top of lamp and pill from under sofa.
>>>> 3. Follow same procedure as in 1, but hold cat's front paws down with
>>>> left hand and back paws down with elbow of right arm. Poke pill into
>>>> its mouth with right forefinger.
>>>> 4. Retrieve cat from under bed. Get new pill from bottle. (Resist
>>>> impulse to get new cat.)
>>>> 5. Again proceed as in 1, except when you have cat firmly cradled in
>>>> bottle-feeding position, sit down on edge of chair, fold your torso
>>>> over cat, bring your right hand over your left elbow, open cat's
>>>> mouth by lifting the upper jaw and pop the pill in - quickly. Since
>>>> your head is down by your knees, you won't be able to see what you're
>>>> doing. That's just as well.
>>>> 6. Leave cat hanging on drapes. Leave pill in your hair.
>>>> 7. If you're a woman, have a good cry. If you're a man, have a good cry.
>>>> 8. Now pull yourself together. Who's the boss here anyway? Retrieve cat
>>>> and pill. Assuming position 1, say sternly, "Who's the boss here,
>>>> anyway?" Open cat's mouth, take pill and...Oooops!
>>>> 9. This isn't working, is it? Collapse and think. Aha! Those flashing
>>>> claws are causing the chaos.
>>>> 10. Crawl to linen closet. Drag back large beach towel. Spread towel on
>>>> floor.
>>>> 11. Retrieve cat from kitchen counter and pill from potted plant.
>>>> 12. Spread cat on towel near one end with its head over long edge.
>>>> 13. Flatten cat's front and back legs over its stomach. (Resist impulse
>>>> to flatten cat.)
>>>> 14. Roll cat in towel. Work fast; time and tabbies wait for no man-or
>>>> woman.
>>>> 15. Resume position 1. Rotate your left hand to cat's head. Press its
>>>> mouth at the jaw hinges like opening the petals of a snapdragon.
>>>> 16. Drop pill into cat's mouth and poke gently. Voila! It's done.
>>>> 17. Vacuum up loose fur (cat's). Apply bandages to wounds (yours).
>>>> 18. Take two aspirins and lie down.