Cat Confessions: Body Language Training for Humans!
I have decided I need to do some “body language training” with Human. It isn’t easy communicating my desires to Human, bless her heart. She just doesn’t always seem to understand me.
I realize when one has a mouth and can talk, that communicating with posture,behavior, one’s tail, ears and eyes may be foreign. Body language is a whole language in itself. So I am working hard to train her to understand my efforts to signal to her. Boy, sometimes I wish I could write!
Oh, my name is Norie. I am a black cat with thick luxurious short hair. I have a friend, named “Sister,” who has gray and black stripes and the oddest white legs. She has simpler needs than I do and doesn’t have the complexity of intelligence that I have so she has fewer problems.
Back to the subject: There is a cabinet where Human keeps treats for Sister and I. Human knows that I love these treats. So every time she goes to that area of the kitchen, I come running!
I walk back and forth and rub against her legs and she knows I want a treat.
She says I am like a little shark (whatever that is!). I simply do not understand why she would call me that! After all, who would want to miss a treat?? Right?
Unfortunately she doesn’t give me a treat every time I demonstrate these behaviors. I know she thinks she is trying to keep me from getting fat, but she doesn’t know how I keep slim by chasing Sister around and then of course, there is the red light on the floor to chase after.
So this evening, I was walking back and forth, rubbing against Human’s feet and legs to tell her I wanted her to hold me and love on me some, but only for a brief time. Unlike Sister, I don’t want to be stroked and held for an hour at a time! Human kept ignoring me. (I wonder why she would be confused??) until she finally decided to pick me up. Yea!! A breakthrough! Human sat down with me in her lap and rubbed my chin and stroked my nose and talked lovingly to me. I was so happy, until I wanted down.
That’s when the trouble began. Now I don’t want to interrupt that kind of loving by just getting up suddenly, so I started swishing my tail back and forth, faster and harder, trying to tell her I was bored. She tried stroking my back, thinking that I wanted my back petted. She was wrong. I still love her anyway, but it is frustrating to know what I want, but not be able to get the message across quickly and efficiently.
When I spread my ears apart and flatten them, she has learned this means I am getting impatient or tired of the present situation.
I used to act like I was going to nip at her hand at this point but she seemed upset when I did, so I stopped this. I wouldn’t hurt her on purpose. I do want to continue good will with Human. Human does, after all, love me, feed me, clean my litter box, and shines the red light on the floor so I can chase it and get my exercise.
So I am slowly conditioning her to put me down when I start swishing my tail around, instead of waiting for my ears to flatten out of irritation at her slowness to understand. I have to be patient. Maybe someday she will have my language figured out.
Really I do have it pretty good with her. Human really does try to make me happy. So I shall continue to work with her until she lessens my irritation and frustration.