Oh, I agree that cats can't speak (was using that term in jest), but I have many times carried on "meow conversations" with Cat - she and I "meowing" back and forth in response to each other and even changing her mood by the tone of my meow, especially when I change from high-pitched, friendly tone to low-pitched more aggressive-sounding tone.

Wilton

----- Original Message ----- From: "Dan Penoff via Mercedes" <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
To: "Okie Benz" <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
Cc: "Dan Penoff" <d...@penoff.com>
Sent: Sunday, July 05, 2015 1:04 PM
Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT - English-speaking cat?


Cats don’t “speak” anything, as they don’t have the physical mechanisms to form speech as we know it. What I have always found interesting is that for the most part, cat’s don’t vocalize as a part of their social behavior in the wild a great deal unless threatened or injured. Most of their communication is done through eye contact, believe it or not.

Cats can recognize speech patterns and intonation, and for that matter studies have shown that they have increased physical responses to their owner’s voices, however, they don’t typically respond in kind.

It boils down mostly to behavior patterns that are learned.

Cats can learn tricks, although it takes them longer than a dog. I once taught a cat (who was about as smart as a post) to scratch the “air” on command using the phrase, “Go ahead kitty cat. Scratch me!” (A line from a Warner Brothers Sylvester cartoon.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFM9v4xsDzE <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFM9v4xsDzE>

Dan (King Kitty)


On Jul 5, 2015, at 11:06 AM, WILTON via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

Several years ago, a neighbor moved away taking with 'im a cat that often came over to visit with me whenever I was out in the yard. What Cat really wanted, of course, was the generous amount of head and tummy scratching that I bestowed upon it.

A few months after moving away, the former neighbor came to me and asked if I would adopt the cat, because somebody in the "new" neighborhood did not like having the cat around. Reluctantly, I agreed to the adoption.

Initially, we kept Cat's food and water dishes on the stoop outside the kitchen door, but animals and birds from "miles around" quickly found the steady and abundant food source and overwhelmed me, especially with their generous "deposits" left behind, so I brought Cat's dishes inside to a corner immediately inside the door. Cat and I soon settled into a routine: She seemed to always know when I'd enter the kitchen for meals and/or snacks would "meow" to let her in for a snack with me. She'd always sit beside me and stretch her neck and head up toward my hand for the customary scratches behind the ears. I'd soon tire of that and say, "Go ahead and eat." while motioning toward her dishes near the door.

After several years of this, grandson #2 (about 8 at the time) was at the breakfast table with me one morning when Cat meowed outside the door. I got up and let her in and immediately went back to my seat. Cat walked back to the table with me and took her usual position beside my chair with her head stretched up toward my hand for her usual scratches behind the ears. As I read the paper, my right hand hung down beside the chair to occasionally stroke Cat's head. After a couple of minutes, I said in a low, firm, but not harsh, voice and without any motion and never looking up from the paper, "Go ahead and eat." Cat immediately turned, looked over at her dishes and slowly walked over to them and started eating.

Grandson, watching all of this, was amazed and exclaimed, "Granddaddy, I didn't know that cat could speak English!"

I responded, "Well she doesn't SPEAK English, but she obviously understands it."

So, what about it, does Cat "speak" English?

Wilton

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