It’s not just because of all the doorbell ringing on Halloween last night! He is not a fan of the drop-in visit.
When we last visited our house panther on this page, we were considering taking our cool cat on the road for an extended RV tour. That idea has been quashed. We decided Cuddles wouldn’t like it. (And that we probably wouldn’t like it either.) He’s too fond of house-length zoomies and spirited play with his fave toys: hair elastics. We simply couldn’t take that away from him.
Sometimes I wonder whether visitors think I’m so careless that I just let hair ties fall to the floor and stay there! Cuddles has plush toys, squeaky toys, and toys filled with delicious catnip. But he prefers to play with a hair elastic. He entertains us by throwing one into the air and running after it. We find them in his food bowls. Sometimes he will chirp anxiously because a hair tie got pushed under a rug! It’s an urgent problem.
Lately, he’s been a bit stand-offish. Our gas fireplace has been making a loud BANG a few minutes after turning on. It’s unsettling to all of us but mostly to Cuddles. He has been avoiding the living room as much as possible. (Trying to book a gas tech is a whole other story.)
Upstairs, his bed was moved to vacuum under it and – horrors – not moved back. He has also been keeping away from it. It can’t be trusted.
Poor guy. He loves his routines and they’ve been disrupted.
Recently, I went deeper into his history. He was found as a barely-weaned kitten in a factory near the trash compactor. Somehow, the little guy had managed to fend for himself. But it led to a life of skittishness. He’s always on alert for danger. A dropped spoon is enough to send him running.
His confidence has grown since we brought him home last January. But he’ll always be a nervous nelly, although he clearly does know how to relax.
This also got us wondering about his frequent chattering. His trilling noises sound like a perfect imitation of a cooing pigeon.
This isn’t the first time we’ve explored cat communication here. But science is always discovering something new. We know that cats “scent” us and head-bumps are messages of love. So are slow blinks; they stare are those they don’t know or mistrust. But what does it mean when your cat sounds like a bird?!
The chirrup or trill greeting is a melodious sound that cats make when saying hello to preferred individuals. So if your cat sings to you in this way, be assured they are pleased to see you.Want to know if your cat loves you? Look for these signs. CNN World
By this measure, Cuddles must be a truly happy cat who loves us to pieces.
The Trusty Tail and Upfront Belly
The tail tells the tale of what a cat is thinking. A straight-up, flagpole tail is the feline equivalent of a wave. And a tail in a the form of a question mark is also a friendly greeting or a signal that they want to play. Curling the tail around your leg is as obvious as saying, “I love you.”
The most surprising tidbit from animal behavior expert Dr. Emily Blackwell is that rolling over and exposing the belly doesn’t mean rub my belly. It’s a sign of trust but cats would rather we rub their heads or ears than their tummies. I’ve been rubbing the bellies of cats since the dawn of time. Dr. Blackwell thinks the cats have been putting up with, but not enjoying it. Sorry, kitties!
Dr. Blackwell also points out that cats’ reputations for being aloof and disinterested is undeserved. (Anyone who has loved a cat knows this.) They’ve been communicating clearly. We silly humans just haven’t known how to translate from cat to human.
Speaking of which, the MeowTalk app we used so successfully with Miss Sugar and Spice is useless with Cuddles. He clams up when a phone is placed anywhere near him. He would have made a good mobster or gang member, never giving up the names of his accomplices. Go ahead! Rub his belly, copper. He’ll never talk! He’ll just trill like a pigeon.