The intelligence of animals was being discussed in the court of king Krishnadevaraya. “Cats are most intelligent,” said one minister. Others in the court agreed with the minister. They started describing how clever their own cats were. Each one claimed his own cat was the smartest.
The king wanted to hold ǡ competition for cats. “The cat that does something which no other cat can do will be declared the winner,” announced the king.
The following week, the courtiers came with their cats. Raman of Tenali also brought his cat to the court. The king wanted to give ǡ treat to the cats first. Milk was served to the cats in golden plates.
The moment they saw the milk, all cats rushed towards it. Only one cat ran in the opposite direction — away from the milk. The king was surprised to see this strange behavior. Raman said with a smile, “Maharaj, all cats ran towards milk. My cat ran away from milk. My cat has done what no other cat has done.” Krishnadevaraya agreed and declared Raman’s cat as the winner.
When Raman came to collect the prize, the king asked him how he trained his cat to do what no other cat could do. Raman smiled. “I wanted to make sure that my cat gets the best milk. So, I boiled the milk and poured it in ǡ plate to cool it. The moment he saw milk, my cat came running to lap it up. Before I could stop him, he had the first lick and burnt his tongue. Since that day, whenever he sees milk in a plate he runs away.”
The king and Raman had a hearty laugh.