In the silly study of the week, it is reported that research "proves" dogs are smarter than cats. In an experiment, dogs and cats had to choose between two strings, one with a treat attached, one with nothing. The dogs had no problem, but the cats were mystified, demonstrating that dogs have a better understanding than cats of cause-and-effect connections between objects:
Psychology lecturer Britta Osthaus, who conducted the study, said the findings shatter the myth that cats are smarter than dogs.
Mrs Osthaus added: "If we know their limits we won't expect too much of them, which in turn is important for their welfare.
"I am not trying to say cats are stupid, just they are different. We are so anthropomorphic we can't see the world through their eyes."
Sooooo . . . We only think cats are smart, because we anthropomorphize. But, using our own standards of intelligence, we can decide that one species is smarter than the other. Yes, indeed, that makes sense. The boring truth is that cats are just as smart as they need to be to be cats, and dogs are smart at being dogs. I've had three cats in my life and known a lot of dogs, and all of them have been good at getting what they want from their humans when they want it. That makes them at least as smart as the average psychology lecturer.