Thursday, December 18, 2008

Do you understand what your pet is telling you?

According to an AP poll, Sixty-seven percent of pet owners say they understand their animals' barks, purrs and other sounds.

But that is not true of all people. The AP found Jane Starring, 48, of Barrington, R.I., who says she and her family are confounded by their 8-year-old cat, Flannel, who often chases people about the house meowing. "We're not sure we're making much progress understanding him," said Starring. "I don't know what his point is."

Which is the cat's point, I think. I.e., to annoy his servants with meaningless nonsense. Mencken is the same way, and I finally decided Mencken simply wanted someone to annoy. So I brought The Mighty Fang home to annoy him. Didn't work. Mencken mostly just ignores TMF, even when TMF whips out the mighty Pink Tongue of Mass Grooming and starts whipping Mencken's ears into shape, and Mencken still sometimes decides to just follow me around the house and meow at me meaninglessly when he has fresh food, fresh water, fresh kitty litter, and refuses to jump on my lap to be petted when I sit down. (He only jumps on my lap to be petted when I don't want him to).

Cats. Heh.

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin


  1. I think what they are saying is, "I'm a frigging idiot and I have no idea why I'm making this noise other than the fact that I'm frigging bored."

  2. Or maybe "you're a friggin' idiot and I have no idea why I'm making this noise other than the fact that I'm frigging bored", since cats are supreme egoists and believe they are the masters of the universe. Cats were worshiped in ancient Egypt. Mankind has largely forgotten this. Cats have not.

    - Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

  3. Manni is extremely easy to please and really easy to figure out. When he meows, which is not often, it is usually "feed me" or "come sit with me because I want to snuggle."

    Lola, on the other hand, is a talker and very demanding. Sometimes she isn't sure just what she is demanding, but she'll demand it, nonetheless. And she is relentless. Lola is also famous for "joining" conversations between my husband and me, and we are both quite sure that whatever it is she is actually saying in her native Meow, it is very pithy, witty, and wise.

  4. The Cat that has adopted me spent the first three years or so of her life as a feral creature, and it took a lot of effort and patience to convince her that my apt was a good thing(tm). She is not vocal unless something is really bugging her- when she's really happy she'll grunt and sigh. But she's very good at telling me what's going to happen next. Staring fixedly at the door for five minutes indicates to me that the door will soon open...

  5. "I want something. I don't have a clue as to what I want, but dammit, I want!"

    For my younger cats, that persistent fussing can usually be cured by pulling a string or conjuring up the Uncatchable Red Dot (laser pointer). For my old lady cat, I think some of the want is for her arthritis to go away, for the younger cats to go away, for the house to be warmer, for the bed to be softer, for more warm (human) furniture... Getting old sucks, regardless of species.

  6. I understand a lot of my cats' commands. The one I cannot figure out is when they stare at the ceiling and meowrl for minutes on end. What is it about the ceiling?

    Oh, and another thing that gets me. When they go into alert-mode and stare intently into another (always dark) room while you are relaxing on the couch. I call it the "serial killer is in the kitchen" look. Freaks me out every time.


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