Experiment: When friends gave the Institute a realistic wooden cat, the directors placed the sculpture on top of the new aquarium and waited for the study subjects to discover it. Would they think it was real?
Results: Velvet and Socks noticed it after their mid-day nap and crept across the tile floor toward the aquarium. Both meowed as if they were viewing birds teasing them outside the bedroom window. Velvet finally gathered the courage to hop on a nearby sofa and jump on the top. She nearly turned back but then edged closer to the intruder. When it didn’t move she sniffed it and then walked around the other side of it and assumed a similar position as if to see what the new cat was staring at.
The other cats at the Institute had similar reactions. After a day, the fake cat was totally ignored. However, the directors are occasionally startled by it when entering the room.