The Norbert Experiment, Part 2: cats happen faster than expected

This is a short one, just showing you how messy real life is! I filmed the baseline pretty much right after getting to this AirBnB and seeing the cats. Then I tethered Game to the couch and opened the glass door so there was only the screen door because it was HOT inside! I was still getting set up here myself, but managed to prepare some of what I would need for cat sightings (chop up high value treats) by the time this cat – the next one after the baseline – walked past. Both the longer leash I’d rather use for Game’s tether and the harness I’d prefer to tether her on (as opposed to a collar) are still doG knows where in my luggage or in the car. They’d have been up on top had I known how cat-y this AirBnB was going to be.

So life happens, and we make the best of it!

Below, as I was still digging through my luggage, a cat walks past. I record the cat (rather than attending to Game right away), and then I quickly run down the marker cue staircase.

The good news: it works well and Game is able to respond to the tug cue right away.

The not so great news: by the time I took this video, I had not had time to think through the details. For example the tug play you see in this clip is not what I later decided I wanted, and then described in part 1 (cooperative tug): here, I am reaching for the toy way more often then I’d like. The leash is too short to play on well, and I end up tossing a treat towards (rather than parallel to) where the cat used to be – outside of Game’s leash radius. And for most of this, Game’s not even in the frame of the camera. Oh well!

But after that scatter, the cat was gone, and Game was indeed ready to move on with her life. So while by no means perfect, the basic structure is working – and we’ll be better prepared next time! (With the camera set up in a good spot and ready to record, high value treats and toy ready to go, a longer leash and a harness!)

In the video below, I pick up the toy when moving to “Get it” treats. I might experiment leaving it on the ground next time so Game herself can restart the game if she needs to channel some more cat feelings into it.

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