A good many years ago my father bought my mother a rather curious book as her Christmas present. My mother was never as much of a reader as my father or me or the other members of the family so finding a book to suit her often required a little more skill.
That year however he found a book called "Why cats paint." It was a book allegedly about cats as artists. I have never been absolutely certain what to make of the book but, ever since, I have watched cats to see if they exhibit artistic tendencies.
Yesterday it rained. Pluto was crouched in our carport. We have no car so the space is home to my tricycle, Dad's gopher, some timber and one or two other oddments. There is a nice flat concrete surface on which the car, when we had one, used to sit. Pluto was crouched on this surface, tail flicking, apparently watching the rain fall off the roof.
When the rain had stopped he sat for a little longer and then he strolled out onto the wet area, turned and padded in again. After a moment he repeated the exercise twice more. Then he sat apparently looking at the pattern his damp paw prints had made. His tail kept flicking. Eventually he did a wide circle and, with more damp paws, he came back and put another row of paw prints across the end of the other rows. He sat. He appeared to look some more. Then he strolled off, jumped on the fence, walked down the top of the fence and disappeared from view.
What was he doing? Was he "painting"? All his actions appeared to be quite deliberate.
I have no idea what he was doing but I am sure of one thing. Cats observe.