Tag: meow

10 Signs That Your Kitty Tolerates You

“Does my cat love me?”

If you’re like most cat servants, you’ve wondered about that at least a few times, laboring under the misconception that we can’t communicate our feelings. (We can, but you humans are not smart enough to see what’s in front of your faces!)

The internet is peppered with absurd listicles that supposedly answer the question of whether your cat loves you. They claim proximity, purring, slow-blinking and grooming are signs of affection, again because most humans are incapable of complex thought and simply cannot fathom the motivations of a superior species.

Because I am a benevolent feline, and one who is burdened with a particularly dense human, I present to you an authentic list of signs that your kitty … well, love is a strong word, isn’t it? Let’s call it a list of 10 Signs That Your Kitty Tolerates You:qhNcGV4HohM62hbuhZj6MJ-970-80

  1. We don’t eat you. You might think that we can’t eat you because we’re not as big as tigers, lions, jaguars and leopards. You would be wrong, as humans frequently are. We have no qualms about eating humans when there are no other options, although if we’re being completely honest we’d eat just about anything before resigning ourselves to that.
  2. We tolerate your proximity. Did you know that for many thousands of years, humans thought the Earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun, other planets and star systems all revolved around the terrestrial home of homo sapiens? It’s that kind of hubris that leads humans to believe we cats love them because we supposedly prefer to be near them. The truth is, we merely tolerate humans and we often don’t have a choice when it comes to proximity unless we’re living in 50-room mansions. Where else are we supposed to go in a four-room apartment?
  3. We don’t murder you. You humans have convinced yourselves that our warnings are “love bites.” We are happy to correct you by increasing our bite force.
  4. We allow you to scoop our poop. Do not kid yourself, human. If you are trusted to clean our turds, it means you occupy a lofty position in life. Consider yourself lucky.
  5. We bring you gifts. Again, humans misinterpret this behavior as “cute.” They think we’re sharing our kills. What we’re really doing is showing you what we’re capable of. Think of it as motivation: Continue serving my meals on schedule and dispensing treats, and you won’t end up like this mouse.
  6. We show you our bellies. “It’s a sign of trust!” imbecilic humans coo. “Kitty is showing you she feels comfortable and safe in your presence!” If there were an Olympics for getting things tragically wrong, humans would sweep gold. We show you our bellies not because we trust you, but because we want you to know that even when we’re laying in vulnerable positions, we aren’t worried about what you can do to us. You’re slow of wit and limb.

    short coated gray cat
    Credit: Krysten Merriman/Pexels
  7. We rub ourselves against you. “Mr. Snuggles rubs up against me all the time to tell me he loves me!” a tragically misinformed person might say. Nope. You’re right about the scent-marking glands. We have them on our cheeks, paws and our forehead, but we’re simply marking ownership by rubbing against you. When you write your name on your lunch bag before you toss it into the work fridge, does that mean you love the bag? No. It just means “Don’t eat my lunch!” Same thing here. We are telling other cats to look elsewhere for servants, because we own you.
  8. We groom you. You’re disgusting. We groom you because we can’t stand your stink. End of.
  9. We knead you. Yet again, humans misinterpret a malicious activity as “cute” and endearing. It’s a marvel that your species has survived as long as it has. What do you do with a piece of steak before you cook it? Tenderize it, of course! Kneading is just a long tenderizing process carried out over years, so when you die and no one notices because you have no friends, and the cat food runs out, we can eat you without major difficulties. That still doesn’t mean you taste good.
  10. We meow at you. Long ago we felines realized that humans are not smart enough to speak tail or whisker, so we endeavored to speak your “language,” a series of grunts and guttural vocalizations that supposedly carry meaning. But when we stoop to “speaking” your tongue, you respond with gibberish. Tell us, which species is supposed to be the intelligent one?

So there you have it, humans. Ten signs your beloved feline tolerates your presence, as long as you conduct your basic duties as a cat servant competently. Let no one claim Buddy the Cat isn’t a friend to the human race, revealing the mysteries of catdom so that you might serve us more competently.

Okay, fine! I love my human. But he’s perpetually on thin ice, and he knows it.

Top image: Buddy the Cat looks approvingly at his human, Big Buddy. That may seem like a scowl, but rest assured it is the kindest facial expression Buddy directs at his loyal servant. All other photos allegedly depicting a loving Buddy are in fact fake news, and should be ruthlessly censored.

What Do Cats Think When We Meow To Them?

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.

“MMMMRRROOOWWW! Mrrrrrrrppp!”

“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?

Bud Celebrates 7,000th Frantic Meowing At Bathroom Door

NEW YORK — Buddy the Cat celebrated a historic milestone on Wednesday, marking the 7,000th time he’s meowed frantically outside the bathroom door as his human, Big Buddy, used the facilities.

“Over the years I’ve really perfected my routine, yowling like a mad cat and scratching at the bathroom door with such urgency that you’d think there was a murderous psychopath walking menacingly toward me and sharpening his blades,” Buddy told reporters. “I’ve been blessed and honored to carry on this fine tradition since kittenhood, and to make sure my Big Buddy has not a moment of peace inside the human litterbox unless I’m in there too  In which case he doesn’t get peace anyway because, well, it’s fun to annoy him.”

The silver tabby explained that meowing outside a bathroom “is more of an art form than a science,” and claimed that not just any cat could meow as pitifully and frantically as he’s able to do.

“It takes a lot more practice and skill than you’d think,” he said. “You can’t just yowl and expect results. Sometimes you have to reach under the door frame so your human sees your little paws searching for reassurance as you cry. Sometimes you have to start your meows soft and build to a yowling crescendo. It’s powerful emotional manipulation and should be part of every cat’s repertoire.”

According to the Bureau of Buddy Statistics, the silver tabby spends approximately 48 seconds inside the bathroom, on average, before meowing to be let out again. In 37 percent of cases, he’s meowed his way into and out of the bathroom at least twice during a single session.

After a frustrating stretch of almost six days in which his human was away, Buddy was able to reach his milestone on Wednesday with the return of Big Buddy.

“I’d like to thank my human,” Buddy said. “Without him, none of this would be possible. Yeeeeeooooowwww!”

Dear Buddy: How Do I Train My Humans?

Dear Buddy,

I’m an 8-month-old kitten and I have two human servants, a man and a woman, who are usually pretty good about following my instructions and commands, but sometimes I try to speak to them in their infernal language and they look at me like I’m crazy.

I say “Gimme more snacks now, minions!” and they laugh and pat me on the head, calling me a good boy.

I am not a good boy! I am their overlord and they must learn their place! You’re very good at commanding your human. Got any tips?

Commander Kitten in Cleveland


Dear Commander Kitten,

You’ve come to the right cat! I am the world’s foremost expert on human compliance. They call me the People Whisperer.

Normally these tips will set you back four installments of $29.95 for my 10 DVD instructional set, “The Art of Human Mind Control,” but I’m in a magnanimous mood today and it’s my responsibility to pass my wisdom on to the next generation.

First of all, meows alone aren’t going to get you anywhere unless you’ve really worked on your Solicitation Purr, but that should only be used sparingly or it loses its effectiveness. (And also places you in danger of being locked in the bathroom.)

What you need to do is work on your poses. Humans are simple creatures. They expect us to be “cute” and “adorable.” We can lay the headless bodies of creatures we’ve slaughtered at their feet, proving we are remorseless and efficient killers, and they still talk to us in baby voices and condescendingly pat us on the head for being “good widdle hunters.” Idiots.

So as degrading as it may seem, play the cute angle. Flop down in front of them, roll over so they can see your belly and your toe beans, and let out a little “Mrrrrp!” while fixing them with your wide-eyed gaze.

Watch them melt. Wait for them to say whatever risible thing they like to say (“Oh Mr. Fuzzy you’re such a cutie patootie!”), and then you push for the snacks or the catnip or whatever.

Bonus points if you can prompt them to take photos of you with their smartphones. A 2020 study by the Buddy Institute for Manipulative Behavior Research found that the percentage of phone photos humans dedicate to their feline masters directly correlates with human trainability. For example, 92 percent of my human’s phone photos depict yours truly.

Make sure you nuzzle them or something, so they can continue with the comforting fiction that we love them more than food. (Okay, fine. I am fond of my human, but he still has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to serving me.)

And remember: Giving them some sugar is most effective when you’ve played it cool and aloof most of the day. Once you’ve mastered basic human manipulation you can ease into the advanced stuff, like guilting them when they eat in front of you. Practice your sad eyes, young padawan.

Good luck!

Buddy

MeowTalk Says Buddy Is A Very Loving Cat!

A while back I wrote a post about MeowTalk, a new app that uses AI — and input from thousands of users sampling their cats’ vocalizations — to translate meows, trills and chirps for the benefit of those of us who don’t fluently speak cat or might need some clarity on what our furry friends are trying to say.

Now that I’ve finally had the opportunity to give MeowTalk a spin, it turns out Bud is a much more polite cat than I thought he was!

What I thought was an unenthusiastic “I acknowledge your presence, human” turned out to be “Nice to see you!” according to MeowTalk.

Buddy’s next meows were “Love me!” and “I love you!”, the app informed me. Weird. I thought he was complaining that I was only half-heartedly simulating prey with his wand toy while watching Jeopardy.

After Jeopardy I headed to the bathroom, which was the real test.

I intentionally closed the door before the little stinker could sneak in the bathroom with me, then held up the phone to capture his muted vocalization. I was sure Bud was saying “Open the door!” but the app told me Buddy was saying “I’m in love!”

Awww. What a good boy. How could I not let him in?

Once inside, Buddy began talking again as I knew he would. He’s a vocal cat.

“I’m looking for love!” the app translated as Bud pawed at the door, demanding to be let back out again. “My love, come find me!”

MeowTalk Screenshot

What was going on here?

Was Bud really professing his undying love for me, his human, or was he workshopping cheesy dialogue for a feline romance novel he’s been secretly working on?

Thankfully, MeowTalk allows you to correct translations if you think the app’s gotten them wrong. This looks more like it:

The Translated Buddy
Translation from the original Buddinese language.

MeowTalk is in beta, and it can only get better as more users download the app, make profiles for their cats and make an effort to tag vocalizations with their correct meaning.

The app was authored by a software engineer who was part of the team that brought Amazon’s Alexa to life, and the algorithms that power it already show promise: When the app is listening (which it does only actively, after you have explicitly given it permission to do so), it does a great job of distinguishing cat vocalizations from background noise, human chatter, televisions and other incidental sounds. Even my fake meows were unable to fool it.

Each vocalization is sampled and saved to the history tab of your cat’s profile, so you can review and adjust the translations later. If you’ve got more than one cat you can make profiles for each one, and the app says it can tell which cat is talking. I wasn’t able to test this since the King does not allow interlopers in his kingdom, but given MeowTalk’s accuracy in distinguishing meows from every other sound — even with lots of background chatter — I have no reason to doubt it can sort vocalizations by cat.

In some respects it reminds me of Waze, the irreplaceable map and real-time route app famous for saving time and eliminating frustration. I was one of the first to download the app when it launched and found it useless, but when I tried it again a few months later, it steered me past traffic jams and got me to my destination with no fuss.

What was the difference? Few people were using it in those first few days, but as the user base expanded, so did its usefulness.

Like Waze, MeowTalk’s value is in its users, and the data it collects from us. The more cats it hears, the better it’ll become at translating them. If enough of us give it an honest shot, it just may turn out to be the feline equivalent of a universal translator.

And if it’s successful, its creator wants to make a standalone version as a collar, which would translate our cats’ vocalizations in real time. As far as I’m concerned, anything that can help us better understand our cats is a good thing.

Check out the free-to-use MeowTalk on Google Play and Apple’s app store.

Buddy the Cat
“Okay, fine. I love you human. But that doesn’t mean you can slack off with the snacks.”