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Author Topic:   Can we accelerate evolution?
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Message 54 of 77 (582554)
09-22-2010 3:11 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by barbara
09-21-2010 9:21 PM

Re: genetic manipulation isn't evolution...
Mind you, I'm drawing on my biology class from around 1968. Look up the term imprinting. At a particular age, most mammals imprint on their parents. Not only does that mean that they recognize who their parents are, but it also means that that is how they identify themselves. If a member of a different species is present when imprinting occurs, then that individual will identify themselves as being a member of that other species. Malimprinting has in the past (and present, I'm sure) been used to make pets far more affectionate toward their masters (in some cases, some of which reached back to Rome, even to make sex toys of those pets).
To be honest, I grew up a purely dog-person, though like my late son I am drawn to almost any animal (once at my sister's, she was completely amazed when I approached a feral cat that she had been taking care of and it allowed me to approach it). I don't know cats, but I will try to communicate with a cat on what I think are its terms (as I will with a dog). Which means that I will willingly take on more scratches to my arm than a person normally would.
With my friend who has a cat, I once shared a humorous file that delineated the differences between cats and dogs. For example, dogs have masters, whereas cats have staff.
OK, dogs tend to imprint on their masters. More specifically, dogs have a pack mentality in which their loyalty needs to go to the most dominant dog, which needs to be the dominant human in its ersatz pack. Cats do not share the dog mentality. Understanding that I am not a cat person, I see cats as being more solitary hunters -- exactly how they merge in with humans is unknown to me. I mean, dogs are pack hunters, so it is simple to substitute in the most powerful person in the family as the pack alpha -- that even works well with wolves. But felines are normally solitary hunters, with the exception of lions, but I have no idea what bearing that has on domesticated cats.
All that said, I think that your cat has been malimprinted. Ever hear of Koko? She's a gorilla who was taught sign language. Her real name is Hanabi-ko, "fire flower girl", since her acquisition or projected birth date is 04 July, a date associated with fireworks (AKA, "fire flowers"). She's a gorilla who was raised with signing.; she was the darling of National Geographic. She was given photographs of various entities, both human and none. The photo of her father, which she recognized as such, she put in the "animal" file. Her own photo (as I recall) went into the human file. In the case of another zoo animal, female, who was supposed to mate with another of her kind but refused to, when her male handler tried to comfort her, she presented herself to him sexually.
Evolution apparently wasn't ready for a cat human yet.
Evolutionarily, this is a non-topic.
Psychologically, that is one screwed-up cat. It's already been imprinted, so I don't think there's much of anything you can do about it. Except to love that cat for what it is.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by barbara, posted 09-21-2010 9:21 PM barbara has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by barbara, posted 09-22-2010 1:27 PM dwise1 has not replied

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