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FOR people who are new to cats, have not had a pet cat previously and are learning about their cat’s personality, I have drawn out a list of some very common gestures and body language cues that will help you understand how quirky, yet lovable we are.

After being a day away or longer, we like to greet our humans with a firm, yet gentle, head-butt to the leg, face or whatever other body part happens to be available. Don't be alarmed — this is surely a sign of affection and loyalty. Known as bunting, it is our special way to lay a claim on you.

We purr for a variety of reasons and mostly it means a lot of contentment. All is well in a cat’s world when we are purring. It is a sound that sometimes you can hear very well, sometimes it is felt like a vibration in our body that you can feel if you place a hand on us gently. Mother cats purr for their kittens and it is way to care and bond between their new families.

Nearly all of us cats are insatiably curious. We sneak and pry into things and sometimes it can get us into trouble. Walking on the card paper when the kids are painting and trying to catch paint brushes on paper can get our paws and noses messy. ‘Hey we didn’t know this would happen!’ is our sweetest excuse. The cardboard and paint brushes looked delightfully exciting. And what kitty can resist wrestling with a ball of wool?

Sometimes we like to present our humans with our toys that we discover suddenly after disappearing for a long time. It could be a dusty, dirty toy mouse or even a dead cockroach or a real mouse that we have most joyously killed. You might be shocked but we are only expressing our love. Meow?

We love to scratch and no matter how you try to stop us… we won’t. Just remember, all cats scratch. It is one way for us to sharpen our claws, stretch our backs and explore our world. The problem starts when we your curtains get torn, and sofas get ripped. A variety of scratch posts and weekly claws trimming would help.

There is an important reason why we prefer to drink water from the tap, the garden and the bath tub instead of the water bowl that is specially kept for us. When we lived in the jungle, we drank running water so drinking from the bowl is something we take a long time to learn. And please don’t ask us for an explanation as to why we like to drink from the owner’s glass of water… maybe, we are naughty, curious or just love you too much and want you to share everything with us!

If you see us running around in mad excitement with our tail all fluffed up, arching our backs, turning the body sideways, and bouncing everywhere, we are just being playful and the best thing for you to do is to do the same and play with us. Another sign of pure kitty contentment and affection is touching you or pressing you with our paws. We usually keep our claws drawn in and present a soft paw. Just sit back and take it as a compliment. Among the things we can’t resist are things that hang and dangle like curtains, table cloths and scarves on pegs. Don’t know why but it gives us great joy to pull at them.

Sometimes we like to practise our instinct hunt games on you so we hide in corners and attack your ankles as you walk by. We could even attack you by jumping on your, head, neck and chest while you are asleep. If it alarms you, please keep your door shut or else take it as part of our crazy, playful, happy, healthy behaviour. It is natural!