Mentor: A wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
The University of Southwestern North Dakota recently concluded a $200 million government funded study which proved conclusively that older cats do teach younger kittens how to behave like cats.
Long time fans of this website will recall that when Annabelle and Penelope joined our family in November 2002, there were some training issues. Squeaky and Tigger declined to provide the mentoring that the kittens needed to become well-adjusted cats. The role of kitty mentor was assumed by Bob. The result of this training was beyond the scope of the study mentioned above.
Recall that Bob is a retired computer programmer and is retired military. He sits around the house all day, wasting time and napping. So, what did he teach Annabelle and Penelope to do? ...
How to get a drink of water without having to wash a dirty glass
Recall also that Bob's sense of humor is not exactly mainstream. He is over-educated, which aggravates his flawed sense of humor and his enjoyment of awful puns. He enjoys confusing people (and cats), and has been known to expend much energy to set up a funny situation or joke. His favorite audience is Annabelle and Penelope because they respond so well to his humor.
When Chloe and Phoebe joined the family in November 2003, Annabelle and Penelope followed their feline instincts and began training the kittens in how to behave like a cat. Unfortunately, since Annabelle and Penelope had been trained by Bob, they passed on many misguided methods and bogus behaviors.
Chloe learns how to make confetti
Penelope teaches the kittens how to play "whack-a-mole"
Annabelle teaches bird watching. "The little red ones are penguins."
Penelope explains that the long eared hopping critters that eat Eva's flowers are kangaroos.
Annabelle supervises sleep sessions.
Soon the kittens demonstrate the ability to sleep "anytime, anywhere".
Chloe pretends to laugh at one of Bob's stories.
Annabelle beams with pride after the kittens pass all their cat exams.
One final note about the study at the University of Southeastern West Virginia. - The researchers found that cats were not the only mammals which mentored their young. Pigs, which are known to be highly intelligent, also mentor their young. But, of course, you already have heard of pigmentors.