A year or two ago I tried playing peekaboo with my cat to some success.
Sometimes she comes up to my bed while I’m lying down and I can see the tips of her ears over the line of the bed. So a few times I pushed my head up to lock eyes and said “Peekaboo,”. Then I pulled my head down so I couldn’t even see the tips of her ears. And then I repeated those actions as the game demanded.
My cat just looked at me but seemed sort of entertained. In my mind back then I had been successful at teaching my cat to play peekaboo. What was my cat going to do to prove she understood the game? Was she going to say “Peekaboo,” back to me?
So the other day the cat came up to my bed so the tips of her ears were showing. I started the game again. I pushed my head up, locked eyes with her, and said “Peekaboo.” Then I pulled my head down for a moment. Then I repeated. The third time I put my head up, I couldn’t lock eyes with her. Doubting her cat’s brain I pushed my head even further up. I saw her butt and tail over the line of the bed.
She hadn’t run away. She had lowered her head so I couldn’t see it to do the “Peekaboo.” So I asked “Where’s my kitty?” I lowered my head and shut up. Then I raised it again and asked, “Where’s my kitty?” as she was still lowered to the ground. I did this a few more times. She wouldn’t raise her head again.
I think that cat brain of hers thinks she has improved the game. “See,” she’s saying, “when I hide I stay hidden. Unlike you foolish human.”
Still I think I can eventually get her to see things my way. And maybe I can even pull off that ultimate success. That’s when she says “Meow,” at just the right time while she’s doing it.