People From Around the World Share the Most Calculated Thing They Have Ever Seen an Animal Do
We like to think that we're the most intelligent animals out there. This may be true as far as we know, but some of the calculated moves other animals have been shown to make prove that they're not as un-evolved as we sometimes think they are. Between problem-solving and mischevious scheming, animals are able to accomplish some pretty complicated stuff, whether their end goal is constructive or simply to have a little fun.
No Humans Needed
I worked at a pet store. We had a guard dog, a mean-looking pit bull.
When customers would show up before the store opened and bang on the door to get in, the owner would say, “Sic ’em Butch,” and the dog would run out of the back barking and snarling and slam into the front door glass until the customer went away and waited for the store to open.
One day, I was in the back of the store, and a customer came rapping on the front glass to get in early. Nobody was in the retail area of the store. The dog was in the back and didn’t hear the rapping. However, the store mascot parrot was on his perch out front. Suddenly, he called out, “Sic, em Butch!”
The dog came running, snarling and chased the customer away.
No humans were involved inside the store. I just sat in amazement as I watched the whole thing.
A Little Help for His Friends
Most of the stalls at our local stable have a slide lock that the horses usually just leave alone. Not my horse, Rex. We had to put a bottom lock on the door that he couldn’t reach.
One day, one of the newer people locked him in his stall but forgot the bottom latch and walked away. Rex unlocked his door and then went to the other stalls and let the other horses out. Then he led them on a charge to grassy freedom.
He Takes Breakfast Seriously
When my big orange tabby cat wanted me awake to feed him breakfast, he got into the habit of coming into the bedroom and meowing loudly around 5 AM. I soon cured him of that by getting up and quietly locking him in the bathroom for an hour or so while I got some more sleep. Sure enough, after a few times, he stopped waking me up with those loud “MEOWS!”
However, I found I still would wake up early for some unknown reason, with the cat on the floor by my bed staring at me expecting breakfast. It wasn’t until one morning when I woke up really early and was just lying in bed thinking of getting up when I heard the smallest meow you could ever hear. It was just a little tiny kitten-like “mew.” He then waited a minute or two and then repeated. He basically did this non-stop at irregular intervals just within hearing range so I wouldn’t know that he had woken me up.
I was once walking from my grandparents’ house to the shop and accidentally went the very long way, which happened to go past a creek and a park where ducks liked to live. I saw two ducks walk towards the road, and at the edge, one duck put its wing in front of the other duck to stop it, looked both ways, waited for a car to pass, walked to the center line of the road with the other duck, and repeated. I have never regretted not bringing my camera more.
An Elaborate Showdown
A few years ago, there were a few slices of bread in the middle of the street for whatever reason. Some crows kept flying down and treating themselves, but whenever they did, one of the neighborhood dogs came and chased them off. One crow tried about three times to eat in peace, but the dog chased it off every time.
So the crow then decided to land a little bit away from the slices of bread and the dog ran towards it. The crow then flew off and landed about a meter away from where it just landed. The dog followed again. The crow repeated this until the dog was on a different street, and then the crow came back and chowed down.
Whatever Gets the Job Done
There was a crow that would drop walnuts on the road waiting for cars to run them over. It would then wait at the crosswalk with people for the light to change. Finally, it would walk over and eat the broken walnut.
When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I was with my family on a beach. There was a seagull there that had stolen a sandwich from our beach blanket. It had grabbed the sandwich, flew away and landed about 100 feet from us.
So I picked up a racquetball and tried to hit the seagull with it. I missed but was close enough to startle the seagull. It flew into the air, swooped back down, picked up the ball, and proceeded to drop it like 200 yards out at sea.
Outsmarted By a Dog
I was eating a bagel on the couch, and my dog was sitting on the floor next to me, just eyeing me down. You could tell he wanted some, but I wasn’t giving in to his charm.
He calmly walked over to the mudroom door and rang his bell that let us know that he had to go to the bathroom. So I got off the couch, put my bagel on the coffee table, and walked into the mudroom. Well within the time I got up and walked to the mudroom door, he ran around back through the kitchen and had snagged my bagel off the table. I didn’t even try to get it back from him. He deserved his prize.
I realized who was the smartest being in the house that day.
A True Hero
I had a cat that was ridiculously smart. He was allowed outdoors but always slept inside at night. Anyway, we had recently found some abandoned kittens, which we fed, and they made a home in our backyard. One night, our indoor cat came up to my room meowing incessantly but then left, so I ignored him. He came back again a couple of minutes later and then left, so again I let him be. The third time he did this, I decided to follow him, and he led me to the sliding glass back door and just stood there. I turned on the light and looked outside, and these poor kittens were cornered by some raccoons. The confrontation had not become physical yet, thankfully, and I managed to scare the raccoons away. I am still amazed to this day by some of the things this cat did.
Pug Turned Architect
My oldest dog (a pug) constructed a staircase from cardboard boxes to get on our pub-height dining room table. The boxes were in the same room but not near each other.
The Strange Inner Workings of a Mama Raccoon
Once when I was working at a summer camp, we were sitting around outside at night while planning out the next few days, eating snacks and chatting. We heard a noise by a tree nearby where a friend had left his backpack. Shining a light on the pack revealed a large mother raccoon and three small babies. The mama, without breaking eye contact with us, used her tiny, creepy, human-like hands to unzip the backpack zipper, remove a bag of Cheetos, pass it back to her babies, and ZIP THE BAG BACK CLOSED. A few moments went by in silence before my friend whispered, “but why did she zip it closed…?”
A Civilized Beast
My ex noticed one day that his cat hadn’t used the litter box at all while he was at work. He thought it was odd, but nothing to be concerned about at first. However, a few more days went by, and he started to get concerned. The cat didn’t seem sick or uncomfortable, but he rushed it to the vet, who found nothing wrong and sent them on their way.
That night, we were watching a movie on his couch and heard the toilet flush. Nobody else was in the apartment, except the cat. We turned to look, and the cat casually strolled out of the bathroom. Apparently, the cat had learned to use and flush the toilet without having been trained to do so.
Just Call Him Iago
I babysat for a woman who had an African grey parrot and two dogs. The parrot would say, “Wanna go out?” — as in, do the dogs want to go outside? Then they’d get all riled up and excited to go out. The bird would “laugh” and say “suckers!” That thing was evil.
What a Dog Will Do for Some Peace and Quiet
I used to live on a farm with a bunch of dogs. The oldest, smartest one, Gabe, could open and close the front door. Sometimes, when the other dogs were annoying him, he would perk up like he had heard something (though he couldn’t hear because he was deaf), and then start barking and head to the door. The other dogs would get excited and bark along with him. He would then open the door and they’d all run out to see what was up. He would then close the door on them, trapping them outside while giving himself peace, quiet and all the best napping spots.
One time, my dog was chasing my cat. The cat would usually just run to the basement, but not this time. Instead, the cat ducked behind the first stair. My dog assumed the cat had just run down the stairs and very nonchalantly turned around. As soon as he did, my cat gave me this look, like he was saying, “Watch this.” He jumped several feet in the air onto my dogs back and scared the daylight out of him. Clawed him pretty good too. Seriously, that was the last time the dog harassed the cat.
Chimps and Their Tools
I worked at a chimp sanctuary, and one chimp tied bamboo sticks together with dishcloths (both provided for enrichment) to pull the fire alarm outside of the enclosure.
A Counting Cat
My husband was playing with our cat one day. At one point, my husband peeked around a corner at the cat, who was hiding behind an object. Once my husband saw the cat was looking, he hid behind the corner again, then stuck his arm out from behind the corner three times so that the cat could see. One, two, three. Then, he peeked back out and saw that the cat was looking at him. The cat gave him a direct look, hid behind the object, and stuck out his paw three times. One, two, three. Then, the cat looked back at my husband.
We used to have birds and a cat, and we would find always find worms on our floor and couldn’t figure out why. One night, we were all sitting around, and we had the front door open because it was a nice night. The cat walked in with a worm in its mouth and went and laid the worm on the carpet in front of the bird cage. The cat then went and hid under the coffee table to wait for his chance to strike.
Generosity in the Wild
I once saw a dominant male kangaroo squeeze under a fence. While halfway under, it stopped, arched its back and then let the other kangaroos in its troop slide under the fence. It waited until roughly 15 other smaller kangaroos made it until it finally went through all the way itself.
Imitation Goes A Long Way
I had pet rats for a while and raised my first two from babies. The two girl rats heard me hiss at the cat when it got too close to their cage, and one day as I was watching the cat creep up to the cage, I got ready to hiss. Then the rats took over. I watched as the girls started puffing air to make hissing noises and lunge at the cage edge to scare off the cat. I never had to hiss at the cat again. They did it for me. I loved my rats. They were so clever.
Humans Aren't the Only Ones Who Know How to Fish
I was in Kinabalu, Malaysia, and we were walking by the edge of a harbor when I saw a bird drop a crust of bread by the edge of the water. It repositioned the bread several times until a fish came along interested in eating the bread. Then the bird caught the fish. I thought it was a crazy intelligent fluke of a bird but have since seen the same thing again happen in Perth, Australia.
I was at a zoo and saw a monkey with its hand on its brow, shielding its eyes from the sun. I came back five minutes later. The monkey now had a trash can lid on its head. Instant shade. Problem solved.
A Great Consolation Prize
When we were younger, my brother and I were fighting over a video game controller. He’d played too much, and I wanted my turn. I lost the fight and was extremely upset.
My St. Bernard noticed and figured, “Hey my chew toy is pretty cool!” He brought it over and sat it in my hands. Clearly, it was better than the controller.
True Love Will Find a Way
I have two black labs that I often take for a walk to the pond where they go for a swim. One day, it was frozen over.
The youngest of my two ran over the ice at first but then fell through, getting stuck under the ice. The other one calculated the shortest distance to jump from the edge of the pond and broke the ice nearest her, allowed her to swim to the edge.
We used a fairly large aquarium tank for my hamster instead of a cage. At first, we didn’t use a lid, but he quickly learned to climb the water bottle to get out, so we got a mesh cover for the tank. That didn’t stop him from climbing the water bottle, then using his nose to lift and move the mesh cover over little by little until there was an opening. So then I started placing some textbooks on the corner to make it heavier. He then learned to push the hamster wheel to the opposite corner, then shove the wood chips under it until it wouldn’t rotate. Then he would climb on top of that wheel so he was up higher and had more leverage, and therefore enough strength to push the mesh off. I actually sat there once watching him shoving the chips under the wheel, then test it, add a little more, test it again until it wouldn’t rotate anymore.
A Serious Aversion to Pills
My labrador had to take a course of antibiotics. He wouldn’t take them wrapped in cheese or any other goodness, so I’d have to put the pill at the back of his mouth and sort of massage his throat so that he’d swallow. We did this every morning until the meds were done.
A few weeks later, I was cleaning. I moved the throw rug where he’d sat for his meds, and I discovered a stash of his pills. The little sneak cheeked his pills then spat them out and hid them when I walked away. He was a great dog.
Patience Is a Virtue to Pigeons, Too
I once watched a group of pigeons forming a line in front of some outside plumbing that was leaking, with droplets of water falling down one by one. The first pigeon was drinking, and the rest were patiently waiting in the line. Once the first pigeon was done, the line shifted, and the new first in line started drinking.
Not a Quirk After All
My old roommate’s dog would dip his whole snout in his water bowl and then hover over his food bowl, letting the water drip off his snout onto his food. We always laughed at it, thinking it was just some quirk he had. Finally, it dawned on me. He was softening his food. Maybe it was just too crunchy for him. We started sprinkling a little water on his food for him and he stopped doing it. Smart little guy.
Teamwork of an Unlikely Pair
My cat (a Maine coon) will jump onto the counter and push the bag of bread off of it and onto the kitchen floor. My dog will then tear open the plastic, and they both chow down. He’s done it three or four times, so now I have a fancy bread box.
Killing Three Birds With One … Cat
I was watching my cat one day. He climbed a tree, grabbed a baby bird out of the nest and brought it down to the ground. He put it underneath him and stood over it. Some time passed with the baby bird chirping, and the parents came to save it. My cat wanted this. When the adult birds swooped down, he killed them both.