Tag: slow blink

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.

Point/Counterpoint: ‘Ambushing Is Fun And Awesome!’ vs ‘Don’t Ambush, It’s Not Cool!’

‘Ambushing Is Fun and Awesome!’ by Buddy the Cat, guest columnist

Ambushing is not only a super fun activity, it’s a great way for cat and human to bond! When I come screaming out of the shadows at 2 a.m. to startle you during your sleep-fogged walk to the bathroom, it’s an expression of love.

I’m saying: “I love you, human! That’s why I’m playing with you!”

And if you think about it, I’m actually doing you a favor by startling you and making you more alert. You never know when a burglar or a chalupacabra might be in the house, so I’m really providing a valuable service!

Do we ambush people we don’t love? Of course not. Only you get the privilege of being woken up at 5 a.m. by a cat belly flopping onto your chest, ripping you out of your comfortable dreams. I wouldn’t dream of launching myself at someone else’s head while they’re watching TV or tripping a stranger by appearing out of nowhere and weaving between their legs.

It’s an expression of affection! Think of it like a slow eye blink or the equivalent of purring and nuzzling your cheek.

Ambushing is love!

‘Don’t Ambush, It’s NOT Cool!’ by Buddy the Cat, guest columnist

There I was sleeping peacefully on the couch, getting my 12th hour of beauty rest in when you plopped down next to me and scared the hell out of me.

That’s an ambush! That’s not cool!

For all their talk of being the ‘smart’ species, humans are remarkably inconsiderate of others and really think nothing of startling us poor cats.

Like the times you get up suddenly when you know we’re sleeping in your lap. We startle easily. Doing that to us is cruel! Besides, if you’ve managed to hold it in for two hours while we nap, what’s a third hour between friends?

Dropping items on the table without announcing your intentions first, yelling “Boo!”, making sudden noises or sudden movements, moving furniture: That sort of behavior is rude and uncalled for. Is it too much to ask that you announce your intentions beforehand, then move slowly and deliberately?

Just consult with us before you do anything at all. That’s all we’re asking.

Point-Counterpoint presents two essays taking opposing positions on a topic. Join us next week, when Buddy the Cat will debate Buddy the Cat on another important topic.

Study Confirms Cats Are Set At Ease By ‘Slow Blinks’

I’d been in Japan for almost two weeks last year when I dialed back to the States on a Facetime call and my mom — who had been taking care of Buddy in my absence — held Bud up to her iPad.

“Someone wants to say hi to you,” she said.

Buddy looked at me, then tentatively blinked with one eye. When I returned the blink, he meowed excitedly, reaching a paw out to the screen.

Aside from making me feel bad about leaving my cat for so long, the exchange between Bud and I seemed to confirm the importance of the slow eye-blink in feline-human communication. It also confirmed that he missed me.

Now there’s a formal study that, for the first time, shows cats are more relaxed and more likely to approach humans — even strangers — if they’re greeted with a slow blink. Cats also like to reciprocate with a slow blink of their own when greeted that way, the study found.

blinkingcat
Credit: u/sol-aurum/Reddit

“This study is the first to experimentally investigate the role of slow blinking in cat-human communication,” said Karen McComb, a psychologist from the University of Sussex and co-author of the study. “And it is something you can try yourself with your own cat at home, or with cats you meet in the street. It’s a great way of enhancing the bond you have with cats. Try narrowing your eyes at them as you would in a relaxed smile, followed by closing your eyes for a couple of seconds. You’ll find they respond in the same way themselves and you can start a sort of conversation.”

Why does a slow blink put cats at ease?

Tasmin Humphrey, a Ph.D. student and study co-author, said it’s “possible that slow blinking in cats began as a way to interrupt an unbroken stare, which is potentially threatening in social interaction.”

The researchers say their results could help people communicate more clearly with their cats, and could be useful in shelters, where staff and volunteers are often tasked with trying to calm scared cats.