Recently, I had a mama cat show up with her two tiny babies and they were all living under a building in the back yard. I know she didn't have her babies there....she just brought them there...maybe out of safety concerns. I watched her feed these babies...even watched her bring a squirrel to them as she was trying to wean them.....one of the best mamas I have ever seen. She knew I watched her and I never got close to her....out of respect and fear.........and then, one evening, she came right up to me and kept staring at me and turning her head from side to side.....and I knew what she was trying to tell me......She was hungry. So, I fed her (sardines..all I could think of!) and she then began to allow me to watch her a little closer with her kittens.
Because my major in college was psychology, I decided to test one of my favorite classic conditioning concepts.........Pavlov's Theory. I bought a bag of natural dry cat food (Healthy? I hope so, but I know little about cats) and I would shake the bag for mama cat to see how long it would take to get a response from her. I was shocked that it only took a few days before she would come running to me........well, as close as she would get. She knew she was going to be fed.
I guess we all can get "conditioned" with the right amount of "teaching".