You know when people refer to cats and dogs and other pet-type things as "Dumb Animals"? That's supposed to mean that they can't communicate by talking to us. I am personally owned by nine cats and if there are any 'dumb animals' here, it's me!

It isn't that they aren't talking to us, WE'RE NOT LISTENING!

You think it's easy to speak cat if you haven't been born one? HA! We may hear noises that sound like 'Meow' or 'Ppprrriiiippp' and assume it means nothing. Guess what? DEAD WRONG! Speaking cat is not like the way we talk. We can talk over a phone and get the message. Cats may start using the phone now that we have those phones that send a picture. If you have a webcam and a cat, there's an excellent chance your cat is using the computer when you aren't around.

Dogs could probably do this too but by nature, they are more subservient to humans.

Lassie had trained her humans to recognize the bark pattern for, "Dumbass Timmy's in the well AGAIN!" but she didn't bother to try to communicate her preference for broiled calves liver because she didn't want the humans to think she was "Uppity".

My cats are very 'verbal'. You have to be paying attention to understand what exactly they are saying. When Rocco comes to me and puts his front paws on my leg and says, "Yyyrrrooooowwww", he is asking to be let out to play in the yard.

When Egil stands in front of me and says, "Rrrooorrrrlllllleeee" he is asking for a back scratch, if it is not delivered promptly he will butt his head on my leg until I respond.

When Halfie says, " Mmmmrrrrooooooaaaaarrr" she is asking for a different type of food to be put out for her dining pleasure. She can give some very meaningful body language is she is ignored and can glare like a dragon!

Schwartzie doesn't have to make a lot of noise to gain what she seeks. "Yyyaaarrroowww" means, "Get off the couch so I can lay where you are sitting."

Wood, so named because she is the progenitor of all but 4 of the cats, "Wood, always screwed and nailed." gets very verbal and has many language skills. Since we had her 'fixed' we let her go out at night and who knows what promises she is making in the cat bars that she probably frequents. She asks for this by going, "Pppprrroooowwwttttt".

Who else?--- named for the fact that when you hear thumps and things falling over and banging to the ground you know who is responsible. He always protests his guilt by going, "Gggoooowwwppppt". Usually as he is the one who is promptly leaving the room where the bumps and smacks have occurred.

Fuzzbucket is mostly Maine Coon Cat and looks like a mobile dust mop. The dust bunnie population is decreased since he arrived here last winter. However the stuff that is mopped off the floors is mostly his discarded fluff. He is very conceited and acts like a movie star so he doesn't have a lot to say. A very quiet "Vvvrrrooorrff" is about all he will say. He will stare at you in such a way that you get the picture by telepathic means.

Pea Pod is a great communicator! She has a lot to say and it is very difficult to ignore her "Yyyaaaawwwwllllrrrrr". She has huge yellow eyes and will try to hypnotize you into giving her an extra bag of that fancy treat stuff. She almost always succeeds.

And then there's Lyly......also known as 'Psycho Kitty". She has appointed herself to my complete attention. I sit at the kitchen table in the morning and have my cup of coffee and my cup of pussycat. She doesn't say a lot. If she is out and we have gone to bed and to sleep while she is still outside, she will speak up. Loudly and Proudly........."Yyyyaaaaaaarrrrrrreeeee" again and again, until someone gets out of bed and comes downstairs and opens the door to let her in.

You see what I mean? It sure isn't that they are 'Dumb'---------We need to learn how to listen. No wonder some people say that cats are standoffish and don't give the unconditional love that a dog or even a Boa Constrictor exhibits. A dog will give you the impression that you are the beginning and the end of everything. They do talk amongst themselves though. Things like, "My human is so dumb, that ------etc, etc" The cat will accept the challenge of trying to make us do what we should be doing without any prompting from them. I hope my cats are saying things like, "In a few more years, she might have a clue."

~ Swampetta ( ~

Photographs by Swampetta (

ŠAugust 2004

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