A cat, a dog, and research method

My cat Chelsea, makes sounds and looks bigger when my daughter's dog
Jethro approaches the cat. Jethro backs away from Chelsea when this
happens. In the past, Chelsea has attacked Jethro when he got too
close. There is a correlation between the sounds/sights of Chelsea and
the distance between Chelsea and Jethro.

Is Chelsea controlling the distance by means of the sights/sounds? This
would serve a protection function for Chelsea. Chelsea wants Jethro to
stay away. Chelsea could move closer or farther away but uses the
display behaviors first.

Is Jethro controlling the sights/sounds of Chelsea by means of the
distance? This is a little harder to imagine. It doesn't seem
reasonable that Jethro wants Chelsea to make sights/sounds. I could
imagine that Jethro is bored and feels like stirring/playing with
Chelsea. But this seems a little hard to buy.

Any thoughts/reactions?


From: David Goldstein
Subject: A cat, a dog, and research method
Date: 7/11/98