I read an article on the internet recently that said that although cats most certainly DO know their names, and also recognize their “owner’s” (yes, those are scare quotes) voice, they just don’t care.
Loki definitely knows his name. And by “his name” I don’t just mean his official name. He also knows “kitty-boy,” “lovey-boo,” and half a dozen other endearments which I will spare recording here on the premise that too much sugar is bad for your diet.
I also know that he DOES care. I am not just a demented cat owner (although I am surely that). When I am hanging out with Loki in the evening and the morning, and he’s close enough for me to hear, if I say his name he immediately starts purring.
Although he’s pretty good about coming in at night between 9 and 10 o’clock, sometimes if he’s late or the weather is spectacularly awful I’ll call for him by name. I always feel a little bit like a chump doing this, because it only occasionally gets an immediate result. But quite reliably he’ll show up a few minutes later. A substantially delayed appearance is rare enough that I tend to get quite worried if he hasn’t returned after 10 or 15 minutes.
Loki is not a dog, but he knows his name and he responds to it of his own free will. He’s never currying approval or following orders, but he will acknowledge my interest with purring and head butts. He knows who he is and he deigns to keep company with me. We make accommodations for one another.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here’s what you need to know: Loki will make me an offer I can’t refuse…