Welcome to Todds Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page!
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To be honest I don’t know what if any breed Todd is. Todd adopted us (yes, really, if anyone wants to hear that story let me know) from a wonderful no-kill shelter called the League for Animal Welfare and was about 3 months old when he came home with us. I was told he came from another shelter that called the League because they had cats whose time was almost up and who were about to be euthanized. Todd was part of the group the league rescued from that shelter. The league didn’t have any more information on Todd.
I have set Todd’s soundboard up with a set structure, the color placement is arbitrary. From left to right, the first Red Tile is social words (ie. greetings and manners), Todd has Yes, No, Love you, What, Hmm?, and Want. The next Red tile is sentence subjects (ie. who) and Todd has Todd and Dad. The orange tile is feelings Happy, Mad, Ouch. The next two tiles are purple with action words (ie. doing), Todd has Brush, Cuddle, Play, Pets, Belly Rubs, Come, Sleep, and Kisses. The next two teal tiles are sentence subjects (ie. what) and Todd has Laser Mouse, Whirly, Milk Ring, Bird Toy, Ambush Toy, Mousey, and String Thing. The two yellow tiles are for place descriptors (ie. adjectives and adverbs) and Todd has Now, Later, All Done, Morning, and Evening.
We have 3 cats, Todd, Glamour, and Paulie. Neither Glamour nor Paulie has shown any interest in learning to use the buttons. Both Glamour and Paulie will recognize when Todd pushes certain buttons for toys and come to join in. Todd is very sweet sometimes and he knows that Glamour wants to play and will go and push the Bird Toy or Laser Mouse button (the two toys Glamour likes) and just sit back and watch her and let her play without joining in.
These are a lot harder words/concepts to teach. When I added the Now button I added it with the Yes and No buttons. When Todd would ask for his Bird Toy I would go to the soundboard and press “Yes” “Todd” “Play” “Bird Toy” “Now” and then play with him. Animals have a very good sense of time, Todd has Soon and Later buttons. Soon means he will get what he asks for in 15 minutes or less, Later means it will be longer than 15 minutes. We also use multiple presses of a button to indicate a strong feeling, need, or length of time. When I have to leave on a business trip and will be gone all week as I am saying goodbye to him I will say “Dad home later, later, later, later.” So he knows what’s going on.
I didn’t have to do a whole lot. This shows just how smart this Boi is. As I was setting up his soundboard and adding his first set of buttons (Todd, Play, and Bird Toy) Todd came over to watch me and see what I was doing. I installed the Bird Toy button, his favorite toy, and pressed it. When it said Bird Toy his eyes lit up and got very excited. So I did it again and he reached over and touched the button. This got me very excited and I praised him for touching it, then I did it hard enough to make it speak and grabbed the toy, and started playing. At that point, he knew what they were for. When he was done playing I went to my computer so I could download the footage of him touching his first button. While I was doing that he went back and did it hard enough to make it talk. I was super excited and played with him for just a minute then went downstairs to tell my wife. While I was down there he went back and started hammering the button “Bird Toy Bird Toy Bird Toy…” The time from installation to the first button push was about 10 minutes (this is NOT typical. After that, until recently he understood most buttons as soon as I add them since most were words he knew. I did have to work with him so he understood the Now, Later, Soon, Ouch, etc. Here is a link to the video of his first button push. https://youtu.be/lg0YLnQ3gkc
That is an excellent question, of course, I don’t do anything intentionally to make him mad but when something happens that I think makes him unhappy or mad I go to his buttons and press “Todd” “Mad” “Now”. For example, when I pull out my suitcase to go on a trip, he asked me not to go by pressing “Love You” “No” “No” “No” “No” “No”. I told him I was sorry and have to go then pressed “Todd” “Mad” “Now”. Then I pick him up and comfort him and tell him it’s okay to be mad and then press “Dad” “Love You” “Todd”.
I do this whenever I think that he is not happy about something and after awhile he undersood and associates Mad with the emotion.
I hear this a lot and I am not sure why this happens. I don’t know what the FB algorithms are to make things you want to see show up in your feed but I know liking and commenting on a post will increase the chances. I post at least 2-4 times a week on FB and I try to post at least one to two videos a week on his YouTube channel. If you are not seeing them all I recommend going directly to his page. His FB page is www.facebook.com/SpiffyKitty and his YouTube Channel is www.youtube.com/@TheChroniclesofToddToddTalks