30 January 2012


So far things are going very well, I think: the black cat has effectively trained me. I had begun to leave food for the stray animal, and it began with some regularity to visit in its meanderings for a meal. I left it a bed outside the cabin in which it might achieve some warmth and comfort should it choose to rest. And during the day (and perhaps the evening too) the black cat rests comfortably in the bed I’ve provided, warm, secure and snug, I hope. However, each time I enter or leave the cabin, the cat quickly bounds up from its lethargy and scampers away; as soon as I enter back into the cabin to again begin my work (or to get away from the house), the black cat returns and walks directly to the wooden planked entrance to the cabin immediately before the door, with longing, I imagine, stares in at me. And so, thinking it wants entrance, I get up and head toward the door to offer it admittance, but it again runs away. And so, in strict behaviorist fashion, to shape the black cat’s behavior and to suggest that I am a friend, I open the door and put a handful of food in its bowl, and return to my place in the cabin. In just a few minutes, the black cat returns to consume the snack I have left, and then sits before the door again, only to run away when I move toward it. I again return to my work.
So far, the cat has put on four pounds and I have gotten a great deal of work done. Of course, I feel t-i-e-d to the cabin, but what the hell, there’s only trouble in the house. And I have proven to myself that behaviorism works: I discover I have been quickly trained by a stimulus to perform a desired response.


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