Every night (we are definitely creatures of habit) at around ten o'clock, the farmer goes down the yard to shut in the hens. He takes Tess with him and leaves her wandering about in the yard for her last mooch before bedtime.
Every night at about five minutes to ten Tess gets out of her basket, stretches, yawns, shakes and goes and sits by the farmer - and nudges his leg. If she could speak I am sure she would say ' come on it's ten o'clock'.
Exactly the same procedure in the morning when the farmer goes for his morning walk around the farm, starting at eight am. At five to eight Tess gets out of her basket, repeats the procedure and sits by him.
When the farmer opens the back door on both these occasions one of the farm cats (Blackie) is sitting on the doormat waiting for a bowl of milk. The other farm cat (Creamie) is waiting a few yards away, too shy to come nearer.
Thinking back to our days as a Dairy Farm (before we had foot and mouth), it was exactly the same with the cows. They would be waiting in a line at the pasture gate at six in the morning and again at four in the afternoon.
What hidden clock prompts animals to being able to tell the time?