"I can tell what you're thinking...” Molly and Me Photography

Why our pets are the best mind readers

NOT that I know anything about it, I am about to delve into the mystic world of extra-sensory perception, mind reading and thought transference.

We'll use fake names to protect the innocent.

Case One: Charlie hasn't given Harry a thought since they went to school together. Then one day out of the blue Harry pops into his mind. It's a bit of a shock for Charlie to find out that Harry has dropped off the twig at the exact time he was thinking of him.

Spooky, huh? Charlie pokes out his chest and believes he's been involved in a prime instance of extra-sensory perception, when it probably was just coincidence.

Case Two: George opens his mouth to speak. His mate knows what he's going to say. It's mind reading, the mate claims. Not so. George says the same damn thing every time you talk to him.

Case Three: Basil makes a remark and his mate tells him that was just what he was going to say. Thought transference? Not likely - Basil's one of those blokes who never have a thought they can call their own.

We can scrap all three cases. For genuine instances of clever mental behaviour you have to go to the animal world.

Your dog, fr'instance. It can be asleep when a thought crosses your mind that you might take it for a walk. Sleep ends, the mutt's on its feet, tail wagging, the leash in its mouth. It's read your mind.

One dog owner tried to beat her pooch's mind-reading ability by spelling out 'walkies' to her husband so the mutt wouldn't be a wake-up. No good, it still knew what was going on. A dog that can spell - now that's something.

Maxam, my galah parrot who could say "I can talk can you fly”, knew when I was going away. He'd disappear from the backyard fig tree he lived in and it cost me heaps in newspaper lost-and-found ads to get him back.

My cat Mervyn was seen only at food time. Until I was going away. Then he'd be outside my bedroom window making loud noises at my heartlessness in deserting him.

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