Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trying to figure out why my cat talks so much...

As I shared in an earlier post, Puckk passed away earlier this year. A couple weeks later, we adopted a beautiful gray, long-haired kitten whom we named Boo. My husband wasn't too thrilled with another cat, but he wanted a little boy to play with (he said he didn't feel right rough-housing with the girl kitties ... *shrugs*). Boo is growing up into a very gorgeous cat.

Anyhoo, my friend who fosters kittens until they're ready for adoption (and who we got Monster and Boo from) came to me a couple weeks later asking if I wanted another kitten. Shortly after she turned Boo over to us, she got five kittens that had been abandoned at the shelter. The person who left them there had piled the five kittens into a box with their mother ... the mother's neck was broken. She referred to the kitten as "dipstick" because it looked as if someone had lifted him up and dipped his rear into a can of black paint just till the tip of his tail. When they shaved him to fix him, there was a perfect line down the middle of his sack, one black, the other white. We chuckled about this for a few days.

Well, I had to work my husband around to accepting another cat. He said he didn't want us to become the "crazy cat couple" because this would bring our tally up to four. Eventually he gave in and we adopted another boy kitty. We struggled with a name and I ended up letting him choose. At first his name was Chauncey (the nickname for a demon in Fool Moon by Jim Butcher, a Dresden Files novel). I tried to work my way around the name, but it wasn't working for me. During this time, the kitten was starting to show us signs of his personality. He had figured out the stairs within hours (took the other kittens a couple days) and was already sleeping with us the first night. Then at like 2am, he woke me up by yowling in my face. I couldn't get him to stop. I finally got fed up, picked him up and took him downstairs. When I placed him on the ground he went straight for the food bowl. I shrugged and went back to bed.

The following day we were downstairs watching TV and he was sitting on my lap purring. He then looked up and started yowling again. Remembering the previous time he did this, I picked him up and put him near the food bowl. He went to the water dish for a drink. He did this to me two more times that afternoon. Finally my husband commented that we should have named him lazy bones... and so he became Bones.

And so now the reason for the lead in ... We've now had him for about 2 or 3 months and he STILL wakes me up by yowling in my face. So this morning I did some googling and came across some interesting things. The first of which was:

Love Songs
Cats are expressing their affection when they use a call that sounds like a high pitched meow mixed with their purring. Queens use it to call their young; males use it when approaching a female in heat; and altered cats will use it to call their masters when the cat is lonely. For humans, use the tip of your tongue to "roll your R´s" combined with a "high, low, high" vocalization with a sing song quality.

I can tell you he's not lonely, there are two other cats piled on me when he's sleeping on me. All I can guess is that he's expressing his love because he is purring at the time he's yowling (and I say yowling instead of meowing because it is a high pitched meow).

I guess we just got a talker. None of our other cats meow that much; although Gwyn's little conversations when she first wakes up are cute. It's like she's telling us about the dream she just had.

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