Saturday 28 March 2009

Communicating with Cats

What is the best way of communicating with cats? Love (but it must be unconditional love) is the underlying sentiment that facilitates the connection between animal and human animal, there is no doubt about that.

People who are very close to each other can sense the other's feelings and this answers the question before it has been asked. For example, a person is anxious. This is picked up by the partner. The partner is able to work out what causes the anxiety by what has happened recently. The partner figures out a solution and delivers it!

We use out intuition to aid communication. Intuition is described as "the immediate apprehension of an object by the mind without the intervention of any reasoning process" (Oxford English Dictionary). I believe that intuition works like this. We collect over time and through experience information that is stored in the brain. When we observe generally and in an open way, our database grows faster. Intuition clicks in when we apply this general experience to what is happening before us. We sometimes get a rather vague answer but we get a "feel", an intuitive feel for what is going on. We can firm this up with further work. In respect of communicating with cats intuition naturally plays a major part. The experience we gain in living with a cat or cats gives us this database of information which the brain applies to get a sense of what our cat is communicating to us. Unconditional love of our cat and animals opens the channel for receiving the information upon which intuition can work.

An unconditional love of our cat allows us to be open to a cat's way of communicating. And like people cats communicate in different ways. Examples are, the type of meow, the body language, the routines, the look on her face (yes it does change subtly). I have mentioned this before but we need not and in my opinion should not "train" our cat to do as we please. This is one way communication and will be much less successful for obvious reasons that two way communication (real communication).

Whereas unconditional love of our cat allows us to be sensitive to our cat's needs and emotions and thereby opening the channels of communication, a sound "framework" of routine and a feeling of security allows our cat to feel free to communicate with us. Routine is important for a cat (and of course all animals) and creates as sense of certainty and therefore security, in which, our cat can express herself.

There would seem to be a kind of hierarchy at work here. The starting point is the unconditional love of out cats. This opens channels and allows are intuitive skills to work. At that point we are communicating with our cat and we can firm things up and make communication more precise by testing whether we are right. So for example our cat is meowing at night. The meow is quite demanding in tone. My intuition tells me that she wants to come on the bed with me (she is old and can't jump up). I call out and she calls back and eventually comes over to the bed. She peers up at me and grabs the bedside. I lean over and assist her up. If I am correct she will stay on the bed. My communication is at the intuitive level and tangible level (the act of assisting her on to bed). "Suck and see" has a role in communicating with cats but the more accurate we become in understanding our cat the less we need suck and see.

To return to unconditional love. It is above all a form of love that accepts the other faults, irritating traits and all. It is a love that prevents us imparting our will on the other, which lets the other express themselves freely. If unconditional love is returned, and it always is by cats, we have a nicely balanced relationship and an environment in which harmony grows and communication flows...............

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