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Rated: E · Article · Animal · #2318557
A brief research article on touch's effect on memory.
         Cat's are earth's most beautiful creatures and, in my opinion, the beings that are closest to a human's emotional prowess. They retaliate when uncomfortable, they form bonds that differ from person to person, and they have the body language to covey their feelings much like a human being's face. Cats are known to have the same feelings as any person and are experts at showing it.
         In other words: Cats are perfect to explore the human mind and it's capacity for memory. I'm testing a popular theory that if a cat comes into contact with a wet toothbrush, it becomes docile and usually starts to drift off. This is likely because of their mothers' tongues. Toothbrushes have a similar texture to their tongues. If all three diverse cats have identical reactions, it can be safe to assume that physical touch can stimulate the mind of cats (and therefore humans) and allow them to remember memories that happened at their youngest moments.
         For this test, I've collected three specimen from completely different enviroments all with completely different personalities. The first subject is my own cat, Payton. Payton is slightly obese due to his medicated food so he finds it cumbersome to move from one place to another. This makes it difficult to see the difference between his usually sleeping form to a more docile one. Furthermore, he has been well socialized to others and is already rather docile. To see an actual change, I waited until his most violent time of day: right before he is fed.
         When Payton is hungry, he is as agressive as he can get. He bats at ankles, bites if you try to pet him, and, much to my irritation, yowls as if he hasn't been fed since we got him nine years ago.
         As I approached him, he seemed irritated and wary as I approached with a wet toothbrush. He yowled and whined as I picked him up. As I ran the toothbrush down his head, his innecesant noises seemed to cease almost instantly. To my surprise, his hunger was dominated by the comforting memory of his mother.
         As for the next cat, Boo is a naturally anxious cat. She is about one year old. Boo is about the size of three mason jars and was adopted into a family with an Australian Shepard mutt that is about the height of a conventional oven. Little Boo has not been socialized at all which leads her to be generally mistrusting of anything. The hardest part was finding her in my neighbors house underneath all of the furniture.
         Boo, though she tried to escape my grasp, was restrained enough for me to run the toothbrush down her head. Almost instantaneously, Boo was relaxed in my arms and had a pleasant expression on her face- eyes closed and head drooped.
         Jojo, the third, ten years old, and final cat, is- without a pleasant way to say it- a jerk. Jojo could be a boy or a girl cat, but I have no idea as it is not my cat so I will assume Jojo is a he. Jojo might as well be a stray as he is always outside. He belongs to someone but is rarely kept inside. This, as I assume, is why Jojo is a permanently aggressive cat. He fights my cat for food that belongs to my cat, could probably fight the cayotes that live here, and will hiss if you even get close.
         Risking my arms, I found Jojo on my balcony eating my cat's food. I practically scooped Jojo up and he immediately tore into my collarbone and bit my hands. Though it took significantly longer to do so, the toothbrush saved my life as Jojo was soon leaning into the toothbrush. He still hissed at me after I set him down, but wasn't actively trying to kill me. I'm not sure how satan's cat can be tamed with a toothbrush, but it is somehow possible.
         Observing all of these different cats' almost identical reactions, I safely assume that the memory of their mothers- so distant from their family today- can be brought back with a simple touch. The wet toothbrush signaling their brains to remember such an early time in their lives is similar to how people work. They remember the happiness and comfort they felt years ago just from a massaged scalp, a reassuring hug, or a kiss on the forehead.
The slightest of touches can trigger a memory.
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