We’ve all done it. Whether we’re bored, curious or just exasperated, every cat servant has meowed back to their furry overlord at some point, and the reactions of our feline friends run the gamut from pleasantly surprised to utterly confused.
The latter would be an apt description for Buddy’s reaction the first time I meowed back at him. I do recall a friendlier “conversation” in meow between us when he was a kitten and laying adorably on his back atop my desk, playfully reaching out at my fingers with his tiny paws as I typed.
However, it feels like our first real meowningful exchange came one day during a conflict: I needed to get some articles done on deadline, and Buddy was insistently pointing out it was dinner time.
Like all cats, if he doesn’t see some action starting 15 or 20 minutes before Official Meal Time, he makes sure I know Yum O’Clock is rapidly approaching. That’s exactly what he was doing as I pounded the keyboard, trying to tie up a pair of 750-word stories.
“Mmmmmrrrrrrrowww?” Buddy questioningly meowed, looking up at me. “Mmmmmrrrreeeowww? Mrrrrrrrrroooowww!”
Translation: “Uh, Big Bud? Dude? My yums aren’t here. Where’s my food, dude? Where’s my food? Where’s my FOOD?!?!”
He kept at it, increasing the volume, frequency and urgency of his meows to the point where you’d think he was dying, and I couldn’t ignore him any longer.
“Mrrrrrowww!” I mockingly meowed back to him. “I’m Buddy, and my dinner might be late! Mrrrrowwww! So terrible!”
He sat there dumbfounded, and I used those fleeting seconds as best I could. Then he decided that, yes, I was mocking him, and he made his displeasure known.
“Mrrrrooowww! My dinner isn’t here yet! The world is ending!”
Back and forth it went until he flopped onto my desk, breaking my line of sight with the monitor, and began protesting even more insistently.
This short video from Reddit shows a woman having a meowversation with her cat, who has a decidedly Buddesian look to him:
This kitty’s even got a white bib similar to Buddy’s!
He seems shocked that his human is finally singing The Song of His People, growing more insistent with each exchange.
“So she does speak the sacred tongue of Meow! It is a miracle! Wait, has she been listening to me complain about her all this time and I didn’t know it?!?”
Both reactions are amusing: Human servant laughing uncontrollably, cat having a revelatory moment.
Longtime readers of this blog will remember I once posted an audio clip of Bud and I having a conversation in meow. WARNING: Bud’s roar is extremely tiger-like and may trigger some listeners. If you’re uncomfortable with the sounds of savage and intimidating animals, please consider skipping this recording:
Oh who are we kidding, he sounds like a mix between baby Elmo and an 8-week-old kitten calling to his mommy for milk.
Just, uh, don’t tell him I said that…
How do your cats respond when you meow to them?