For a little over a year, “He” has reluctantly been taking prescription medicines for Hypertension and High Cholesterol. This means twice a day, he has to pop pills. Because they are important medications, and it was hard to remember to take them at approximately the same time everyday, he has programmed a reminder on his cell phone. Twice a day, everyday, the phone plays a lively marching tune, and that is his reminder to take his medication.
This same tune also serves as a reminder every other day that Kosmo needs his medication. Kosmo is pre-diabetic and has to take Potassium supplements. So, for Kosmo to take his medicine, he is given his tablet “sandwiched” between two treats. He then eats his treats and the tablet separately. He’s good at taking medicine. I would not be so easy! Of course, you can imagine in a house of nine cats, you can’t just give treats to one cat. Therefore, we all line up and get treats. Because we have now associated the marching tune of the cell phone with treats, we think every time it goes off, we should be getting goodies. So now, when the alarm plays, we come from all over the house into the kitchen and line up. This is what Pavlov referred to as “conditional reflex”. In other words, this is a reaction without thought. It is automatic and almost involuntary.
You could say it is the same reflex that causes him to give us treats when we are all lined up in the kitchen and yet he forgets to take his own medicine because we are so distracting! So… who is training whom?