Cat tails

Published May 18, 2013 08:55am

Chit catMewing cat

If you think that cats only talk in cat movies like Milo and Otis, Oliver and Company and The Aristocats, you should get to know your cat better. It is true that most of us can manage our humans in a way that we don’t need to talk. They learn our body language and we learn some tell-tale indicators and there we go, enjoying a fabulous communication. The quiet ones among us are Persians, but some of us are very talkative. The most talkative being Siamese, and some closely related breeds like the Tonkinese, Oriental and Burmese. The Saimese are loud while the Burmese meow rather softly. So if you live with anyone of these breeds, you better be enjoying the decibel level of your life. I, for one, like to hold long-drawn conversations with my human and possibly get in the last word. It is usually about how exactly I like my food to be — how much, how hot, warm or cool it should be — and I keep my ‘paws crossed’ that she has some clue of what I am saying. Sometimes I try and engage her in a regular conversation. It begins with greetings and then I say a meow here and a meow there and she keeps responding. I like that. Sometimes we have had chats in the middle of the night when I wake her up by walking on her pillow or sitting right on top of her to ask for a snack when I feel a little peckish. When we want to say “I love you” and “thanks for the little things you do for me”, we purr — an expression to convey that all is well in cat’s world. It is a vibratory sound that we make with our vocal cords and it is like a continuous hum. Other things that we say through different meows are “feed me”, “play with me”, and “let me in” or “let me out” because we don’t like closed doors. They should be open for us to walk through when we wish to. We also interact with each other through body language, using our eyes, fur, ears and tails. Other than that, we make a variety of sounds to communicate different needs and meanings. Here is some common kitty lingo for you to understand: Chatter: Humans chatter when they are excited about something. But we make a little, low pitched sound from the throat with a quick lower jaw movement when we see something exciting — a bird in the tree, even a toy mouse that we think looks like prey — we chatter just before we attack it. It has an air of impatience and excitement and means, “Hey, Who are you? I want to see you up close?” Chirp: A chirp is often a high-pitched sound which we make to greet somebody. You may see us chirping in reply to a bird chirping to us. It is something between a squeak and a chirp. It means, “Hey there, I’m here, want to play with me?” Growl: This is a low sound and supposed to be a sign of aggression or anger. We growl as a warning, when we are in a very bad mood, so it means, “Go away, before I attack you!” Hiss: A “hiss” is a sharp sound like an “S”. It is used to show disapproval or dissatisfaction with a situation. We hiss at another cat to say “Stop it” or “Go away”. We also hiss when they are frightened. Often a hiss comes before a growl or an attack.

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