You know what a chain reaction is ? No ? I’ll explain…
First, television has shown serious signs of weakness. As long as we had to change it, Claire and Momo thought they could take a bigger one. They realized that the current furniture would be too small.
Since the cheap cabinets in Momo’s office had already been patched up many times and they were no longer really closing, our humans thought they could be replaced by the cabinets in the living room. So they made that change. Our living room looked like this :
After a trip to Ikea, a few hours of putting shelves together, and a good series of swearing, our living room was back to normal. You could again pass from the cat tree (right) to the staircase (left). But we could no longer go on our beloved cabinets, as they were now in Momo’s office…
Momo then decided to catify his office ; instead, see what he did so that we could walk around our cabinets again :
Cool, huh ?
Over time, your domesticated became more or less expert in communication with you : you mutually learnt to decode your verbal and nonverbal language, and to interpret several signals given simultaneously.
We address the not domesticated humans, as well as the future domesticated ones. Imagine that you meet a cat on the street, or at somebody’s. This cat looks at you, or not. He emits sounds, or not. He’s standing in some way.
How to understand a cat (beginner level) ?
Listen : if the cat growls or hisses, it’s better not to approach him !
Look : look at the eyes, at the position of the ears, and at the tail of the cat : an expert in feline communication will have very subtle information by combining this three information, but a beginner can already understand roughly the basic message.
By Hannibal Poenaru from near Paris, France (flickr.com) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- half-closed eyelids : comfort
- wide opened eyelids and dilated pupils : aggressiveness or fear
- fixed look : warning !
- raised forwards: interest
- folded back : threat or been afraid (drop ears)
- folded aside, like a plane : anger
- non hérissée, verticale, rectiligne (extrémité recourbée ou non) : accueil amical, contentement
- not bristly, vertical, rectilinear (hooked extremity or not) : friendly welcome, satisfaction
- not bristly, horizontal : interest, curiosity, neutral
- bristly, vertical, rectilinear : aggressiveness
- bristly, low, rectilinear : fear
- pulled down against paws or under the belly : concern, fear
- movement of the extremity : small annoyance
- fast movement : excitement
- jerky movement : big annoyance
Of course, feline communication is much more elaborated : our posture, our mimes, our moving, all these other elements also give information to humans who can understand them. We repeat it, what we presented to you here represents the BASICS of feline communication for novice human. We voluntarily left aside several visual and acoustic signals which the majority of the domesticated know how to recognize.
Between us, between cats, we communicate also a lot by chemical messages : deposits of urine or poop, secretions of our glands put down in the environment, or still secretions and smells which spread directly from us. However, this form of language remains inaccessible to humans : they don’t have the sense of smell developped enough, and their vomero-nasal organ is vestigial for a very long time. In other words, they are underequipped !