Visible Touch

Hello my little whisker twitchers! Today we’re going to discuss my third favourite thing: petting me!

Why is it third, you ask? Well there’s Father at number one, then naps followed by petting, food, sleeping, catnip toys, snoozes, Mother, fur brushings, and a fresh bowl of water.

Miss Sugar looking alert and happy in rumpled bedding.

I just love nesting in the bedding of my humans!

We cats are the original stoics, keeping our feelings to ourselves and unleashing them only when we can no longer take it – whatever “it” is. If you’ve been the recipient of our bed-wetting prowess, you must paws and ask yourself, “Human bean, what have you done?”

For the record, I have never peed on my humans’ sheets. They simply try too hard to please me for me to get that frustrated. But could they do better?Absolutely!

Imagine a bean that’s about fifteen times your size with a meaty paw as big as a pasta bowl. You’re resting comfortably on the arm of a couch, eyes closed, when that bowl/hand suddenly lands on your tender self and begins to move. That’s what it’s like to be a cat that’s petted without warning!! We know you can’t help being giants but you can spare a moment to discover what we like to receive, not just what you like to give.

Every cat is different and yet we all have ways in which we let you know whether we like your touch, according to cat expert Dr. Lauren Finka. She says many human beans misinterpret a cat’s body language and think the kitty loves their attention when what she’s really saying is, buzz off!

Signs to watch for that mean, “I don’t enjoy this”:

Kitty turns their head sharply to look at you or your hands.

Flattened ears.

Slight end-of-tail twitching.

Tail held close to the ground.

(Mother is feeling terrible right now, having misread my head turns and twitches as approval.)

So, what are the good signs?

Purring. (duh!)

Tail twitching back and forth.


A close up of Miss Sugar's face, pursed in the middle, and her front paws crossed like a polite little lady.
My human beans call this my Camel Face. It’s my look of ecstasy while I’m getting a loving touch – from Father, of course.

Dr. Finka suggests waiting for the cat to come to you. Rubbing along your pantleg is a sure sign that kitty is ready for some attention.

She also recommends avoiding the back, legs, base of the tail and tummy – unless offered. She has found that most cats prefer to be stroked on the cheeks and chin, because that’s where we have scent glands and we enjoy spreading that stuff around. Mother is an along-the-spine and base-of-tail scratcher who believed that my arched back was a sign of bliss. In fact, it’s not a pleasant experience at all. Stick with the face, Ma, the face.

Sugar curled up into a ball sleeping on a grey comforter.
Never disturb a cat in this position, please!

And please, don’t ever pick up a cat you don’t know well. I will put a hex on anyone who attempts to grab and/or lift me, except for Father. We have an agreement. Everyone else can go dig in sand! (Mother knows that includes her too.)

No one likes to feel they aren’t in charge of their own body. Except for filthy dogs that have so little self confidence, they will eagerly do whatever you want them to. Amateurs! So please, give a thought or two to how we react when you touch us. If we climb into your lap and settle in, you’ve got cat blanche.

Miss Sugar is no one’s lap cat. So, talk to the tail!

Until next week, my little bug squishers, I remain your friend,

Miss Sugar

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