How old is Billi?
13 years old.
When did she start using the buttons?
What was her first button?
“Food”! If I did it again I would start with “pets”, and not add a button related to food.
How did you teach her what the buttons mean?
Check out our “Getting Started” page for more information! Specific “how to’s” for words can be found there as well.
Where do you get the buttons?
The small buttons are made by FluentPet, the large by Learning Resources. Links for both can be found in the “Getting Started” page.
Does she really understand what the buttons mean?
We don’t know! I don’t think we can answer the depth of understanding with the current amount of information we have, all we can say is “does she press the button in the correct context the majority of the time?” For the most part the answer to that is yes. Overall, it’s great enrichment, and Billi really enjoys it. So that’s enough for me 😊 Further research updates will be added as we know more!
Is this an experiment?
Not exactly! It started as a fun thing for Billi and I to do together, and we joined an observational research study as a secondary thing. You can learn more about the study here.
How did you and Billi meet?
I found her on the street while I was in undergrad in 2009. She caused a car accident chasing an RUS (Princess Bride reference, not sure if anyone will get that) across the road! Couldn’t find her home, so she became mine 🤗
Why does Billi’s back and tail twitch?
Billi has feline hyperesthesia (FHS), which is a poorly understood disease of cats that causes involuntary muscle spasms. Billi has a mild case. More information can be found here: https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/hyperesthesia-syndrome
What do you do for a living?
I’m a veterinarian who specializes in zoo, aquatic, and wildlife species.
What buttons does she currently have?