# Proof time is non-linear: my cat

TonySlim
Very often I'll clap my hands while my cats' back is turned because I hate him. Most of the time he jumps just before my hands actually clap. I sometimes try to "fake" a clap by not actually making contact, but of course this doesn't make him jump, because in the future there was no clap. I expect this will soon be in all the journals. Next for the cat: a box and a Geiger counter.

Homework Helper
Your cat can probably hear the air rushing out between your palms when they get close. It's like hearing the door swing shut before it slams.

photon
I've often thought about this subject as well. I usually think of time as a ring, where no point comes before or after another point, and there is no beginning or end. The time that we experience could just be like straight line, where events are layed out on the "track," and we can only move in one direction. This could be because once the time is observed, events have to choose an order, kind of like a wave function.

I wouldn't try the Schroedinger thing if I were you. Let's just say that I've had bad experiences with it. (just kiddin')

Homework Helper
Originally posted by photon
I wouldn't try the Schroedinger thing if I were you. Let's just say that I've had bad experiences with it. (just
kiddin')

I guess you're just half the man you used to be?

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Welcome to PF.

Originally posted by TonySlim
Very often I'll clap my hands while my cats' back is turned because I hate him.

So, given your typical behavior, the cat has learned to expect you to clap when you try to sneak up behind it...i.e., your cat is jumpy in general.

I sometimes try to "fake" a clap by not actually making contact, but of course this doesn't make him jump, because in the future there was no clap.

Never? Have you tried a statistical comparison? (experimental fun messing with a cat's mind)
Are you holding all other factors constant? (i.e., you don't charge more at the cat when you execute a full clap do you?)

Have fun in the skepticism forum...

TonySlim
I don't approach the cat. I'm usually sitting down and he'll walk by and sit down on the floor in front of me somwhere.

Jonathan
Why would you do that to your poor cat? I've done similar things, but it is because my cat is onery and sneaky and gets into things, and I have never noticed the cat running before I come after her.
EDIT: I mean that if I plan to go get her just a moment before I do (say because she's getting into something), she never tries to get away before I have already started moving toward her. At that point she usually does start running, but that is because she KNOWS that I don't like what she's doing. But she does it anyway, that dumb cat.

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Mumeishi
Just by intending to do it you will have changed your behaviour in ways you are not fully aware of. Some animals are very sensitive.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Pheromones?

photon
Originally posted by NateTG
Your cat can probably hear the air rushing out between your palms when they get close. It's like hearing the door swing shut before it slams.
Originally posted by Mumeishi
Just by intending to do it you will have changed your behaviour in ways you are not fully aware of. Some animals are very sensitive.
NateTG and Mumeishi have a point. Many animals can sense these things better than humans can. Like those stories of all the animals in an area going nuts before an earthquake. But, that doesn't make the subject of non linear time less interesting.

Mumeishi
There was a famous case of a horse which seemed able to perform arithmetical calculations and understand english. Its master would ask a question then say a series of alternatives. It would respond to one of them with two 'hoof-claps' on the ground. It was almost alwayd correct.

It was later discovered that the owner would unconsciously change the tone of his voice when he said the correct option. And the cleverness of the horse was in detecting this change, not in arithmetic.

photon
Darn. So my calculus doing cat isn't really genius after all.