Tag: solicitation purr

New Human Surprisingly Easy To Manipulate, Rescue Cat Says

NEW YORK — It took only six seconds for Jenna, Mikey’s new human, to open the bathroom door when guilted with mournful meows on Wednesday, the newly-homed cat reported.

The 28-year-old human woman entered the bathroom without her recently-adopted feline at approximately 6:22 pm on Wednesday.

“I said to myself, ‘Mikey, we gotta nip this in the bud right away. We can’t have her thinking she can use the bathroom without us, can we?'” the white moggie said.

Mikey launched into a routine that involved scratching the frame, reaching under the door and meowing frantically — “the classics,” he said.

Six seconds later the bathroom door opened, revealing a concerned Jenna.

“Oh my poor baby, are you okay?” she asked, extending a hand as Mikey padded into the bathroom. “I was worried! It sounded like someone was strangling you!”

Mikey said he milked his new human’s sympathy for all he could get.

“I flopped onto my back, gave out a little ‘Muurrrp!’ and looked at her with my big, sad eyes,” he told reporters. “A few minutes later she was in the kitchen, showering me with snacks. Easy peasy!”

catpaw
Paws under the door: A classic feline manipulative strategy that almost always yields results, especially if you can grab something!

Mikey, who spent almost three months in a local shelter as younger cats were adopted during kitten season, said he’s proceeding cautiously in his new home and plans to use his keen feline powers of observation to develop a meticulous catalogue of which buttons to push at specific times “to yield maximum snackage and massages.”

“I haven’t used my solicitation purr yet,” he said. “So far my human’s been pliable and gives me what I want, when I want it. The other night she spent four hours laying in a very uncomfortable-looking position to avoid disturbing me while I napped on her shoulder. I want to see how far I can take it before bringing out the big guns.”

Patience has paid off, Mikey said.

“Her boyfriend came over the other night,” he said. “I could have hissed, peed in his shoes, chased him off. After all, there can only be one man of the house. But he brought a gift for me, one of those track towers with the ball you swat around, you know? I have to admit, I was impressed that he knew enough to pay tribute to me. That guy’s alright.”

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

Have You Decoded Your Cat’s Meows?

We’ve learned a lot about how cats see the world in the past two or three years thanks to some breakthrough research.

We know the meow originates as a way kittens communicate with their mothers, and adults generally don’t meow to each other. In fact, the iconic vocalization — which is the cat’s actual name in some languages — is a feline’s attempt to communicate with us, their human caretakers.

Give the little stinkers the credit they deserve: They know we don’t read tail, whisker, ear or even feline facial expressions very well, and they know we communicate verbally, so they meow to us.

We also know house cats develop exclusive “languages” with their favorite humans, forming personal and proprietary ways of exchanging information.

They’re even capable of meowing at the same frequency as a human baby’s cries by embedding the infant-like call in their purrs: Because we humans are hard-wired by evolution to respond urgently to those frequencies, our feline friends quickly realize their “solicitation purrs” are the most effective way to get our attention.

Clearly they’re manipulating us, not the other way around.

Have you decoded your cat’s repertoire of meows and other vocalizations? In addition to the meow — which comes in several different types and forms — cats can chirp, trill, chatter, growl, chirrup and purr.

Buddy is a very vocal kitty, and he likes to use trills to communicate. Here are Buddy’s favorite “words” and sentiments:

Hrrrruuuhh – “Okay then”/”I have no idea what you’re talking about”/”Sorry, not interested”

Brrrrr! Brrrrt! – “I don’t like this!” or “I don’t know about this!” (Heavy trill sound.)

(The brrrrt sound goes all the way back to Bud’s babyhood, when he wasn’t litter box trained and got nervous every time he had to eliminate. To this day, he makes that sound when he’s nervous and unsure of what to do.)

Brrrrruuuup! – “I’m fast! Watch me run! I’m running!”

(A vocalization that serves as a prelude to an energy-expending burst of activity.)

Rrrrooow! – “No!”/An expression of annoyance. May also mean “Get away from me!” in certain contexts.

Ahhhhmmmm – “Interesting!” High-pitched.

Hurrrrr – Affirmation. “Bud, do you want turkey tonight?” “Hurrrrr!”

Mmmmohhh! – “Oh, but I want to!” (Reserved for when he’s told not to do something, like scratch the couch.)

Excited chatter – About to receive catnip or one of his favorite foods.

Mrrrump! – Straining or jumping down. Often heard as he hits the ground when jumping down from a couch or bed.

Nyeeea – Okay, I’m awake!

Mmmyeoowww! – I WANT FOOD!

Mrrrrrrrooww! – I WANT FOOD!

Mrrooww! Mrrooww! – FOOD NOW!

Bah! Bah! – You jerk!

Mnyakk ak ak! – A chattering sound. “I see birds! I see birds and I can’t attack them!”

Incessant crying – Open the door so I can come in, and after five minutes I’ll cry again until you let me out. Then I’ll do it again until you let me in…

You, dear reader, have your own private language with your cat(s) too, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. If you haven’t given it much thought, pay close attention to the sounds your cat makes and the ways you respond…and don’t get too freaked out when you realize who really runs your home. 🙂

littlebabybuddy
“I’m an OG brrrruppp-er, dude.”