I asked in the December 2007 issue of the Mewsletter if people’s cats reacted to seeing themselves in a mirror.

 

Biggles, (Garfield’s brother) once, caught sight of himself in a mirror that was propped up against the wall, and jumped about 4’ in the air. He hadn’t expected to see another cat – that had come out of nowhere – in the same place where he was!

I think Garfield knew it was himself because I would often hold him up to the mirror and show him how beautiful he was. He would raise his eye brow (a la Sean Connery as James Bond) and smile to himself. ‘Yes,’ I could hear him murmuring to himself, ‘I AM a beautiful boy! She’s right!’ 

Carole in the US wrote about her cat Astra: ‘Astra actually recognised her image in the hall mirror the other day.  I could see her taking it in and thought it most unusual.  Whether she knew it was herself or thought it another cat, I don't know, but I read somewhere very recently that apes, elephants, humans and dolphins are the only creatures that recognise themselves.’ 

Barbara Floria Graham, Canada, wrote that ‘I've had two experiences with that phenomenon. I've had a full-length mirror on a bedroom door at the end of a long hall since I've lived in this house, and none of the three Simon Teakettles ever reacted to that. But I have mirrored doors on one wall of my dining room (which conceal a wonderful closet with shelves, hanging space for tablecloths, etc.) which have a slightly smoky tint.

When Simon Teakettle II was a kitten, he was fascinated with these. Every time I opened one of the doors to retrieve something, he rushed to peek around inside to find the kitty! Eventually, he figured out that there was no cat behind there and often sat in front of the doors, admiring himself.

Terzo admiring himselfSimon Teakettle III was a year old last summer. At his birthday party, a photographer friend caught him glancing at his reflection in the oven door, and the resulting photo is priceless.’

Denise Bisaillon in Connecticut, US said this:

‘I always as a rule for myself showed my kittens at about 4 months their reflections. I do this to introduce the kitten to new things, like snow. The first snow I bring some in the house, let them get a feel, taste. Love to watch the look on their faces. Now about the reflection, Jack knew it was himself, as a matter of fact he would get up on the dresser and look at himself.’

If your cat reacts to seeing his/her image in the mirror, please write to me via the ‘Contact Us’ link on the website and let me know and I’ll add your comments to this article.

Pauline Dewberry January 2008

A Cats Prayer

Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.

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