There has been a lot of debate on the matter of which are smarter: cats or dogs. And although I have no, er, horse in this race - seeing that I love both cats and dogs - I must admit that I think I've spotted a point in favor of cats. For, when you put cats and dogs together, isn't it the cats who teach new tricks to the dogs?
For example, my cats taught my parents' dog the trick of jumping up onto the window seat to look out the window, bask in the sun, etc. Prior to their visit, a few years ago during a cross-country trip I took with my cats, Martin the miniature schnauzer didn't realize that he could penetrate the barrier of vertical blinds that separated the window seat from the rest of the room. Nothing, however, could keep my two cats - then Lionel and Tyrone - from checking out the best seats in the house for sunning and keeping up on neighborhood gossip. After he saw them do it, Martin began to do the same. Now the woodwork of the windowseat is well-scratched by his canine claws. If my parents ever sell the place, they'll have to have that area resurfaced.
Martin's an old dog - older than my cats, by a few years. But two enterprising cats taught him a new trick which has, since then, become one of the joys of his doggy life. Now I'm sure some would argue that this shows the dog's ability to learn, while there is no evidence that my cats took anything useful away from their encounter. So, one could argue, dogs have a higher IQ than cats. On the other hand, it was the cats' superior problem-solving skills that enabled them to do, as a matter of routine, something Martin had never imagined attempting till then. Split decision, maybe, but in my opinion the match goes to the cats.
POSTSCRIPT: My stepmom says Martin sometimes finds his way onto the window seat even when the blinds are closed. The only way to know he is there is to spot him poking his head through the blinds, which, she says, makes him look like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Heeeeere's Marty!