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Cats in Charge


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#1 dirac

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 06:31 PM

A study shows that your cat controls your relationship, not you, but of course if you own one you already knew that.

McComb suggests that the purr-cry may subtly take advantage of humans' sensitivity to cries they associate with nurturing offspring. Also, including the cry within the purr could make the sound "less harmonic and thus more difficult to habituate to," she said.

McComb got the idea for the study from her experience with her own cat, who would consistently wake her up in the mornings with a very insistent purr. After speaking with other cat owners, she learned that some of their cats also made the same type of call. As a scientist who studies vocal communication in mammals, she decided to investigate the manipulative meow.


My cats wake me up by yelling in my ear, if you call that manipulative. Hurling them off the bed seems to be no deterrent.

I suppose we have to shift this topic to reading in some way. Do you have a favorite literary cat? I nominate Christopher Smart's Jeoffry.

#2 PeggyR

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 07:51 PM

Do cartoons count as literature? If so, I'd nominate Booth's cats and more cats.

#3 Quiggin

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 09:55 PM

Do you have a favorite literary cat? I nominate Christopher Smart's Jeoffry.


Dirac, your source skipped these interesting lines--of which there seem to be thousands--from Smart's poem:

...the power of some animal is predominate in every language [and] the spirit of a CAT is in the Greek...

For the sound of a cat is in the most useful proposition KAT' EUXHN...

For the pleasantry of a cat at pranks is in the [Greek] language ten thousand times over...

For the Greek is thrown from heaven and falls upon its feet.

For the Greek when distracted from the lines is sooner restored to rank & rallied into some form than any other...

For the Mouse is a creature of great personal valour.

For the Mouse (Mus) prevails in Latin.

For edi-mus, bibi-mus, vivi-mus--ore-mus...

#4 perky

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:53 AM

My male cat wakes me up by latching on to a lank of my hair with his mouth and pulling. He does "call" to me with a rather pitiful meow when he's downstairs and I'm up and he's feeling left out. Our female will jump up on the table in front of the computer and give me a little adorable kittenish meow. Of course I can't resist that, which she knows very well.
In my experience with both cats and dogs, cats are the more emotionally manipulative creatures. Yes I know, this is a really groundbreaking statement isn't it? :)

Not literary cats per se but definitely companions to a literary giant were Hemingway's cats. He had over 20 of them and they had and still do have free run of his estate in Florida. They're also noted for most of them being polydactyl.

#5 dirac

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 10:33 AM

Do you have a favorite literary cat? I nominate Christopher Smart's Jeoffry.


Dirac, your source skipped these interesting lines--of which there seem to be thousands--from Smart's poem:


Jubilate Agno is full of such lines.

"Let Maaseiah bless with the Drone, who with the appearance of a Bee is neither a soldier nor an artist, neither a swordsman nor smith."


Thank you, PeggyR, cartoons certainly do count, at least in my opinion.

True, perky, Hemingway was a big Cat Guy. Raymond Chandler had a black Persian named Taki, who was photographed with him regularly.

In my experience with both cats and dogs, cats are the more emotionally manipulative creatures.


Dogs, at least our dogs, are much more straightforward, I agree.

#6 sunday

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:03 AM

I expect we won't arrive at this

OTH, in another, unrelated forum* this same topic surfaced today, and one of the replies contained some proof that those felines are known users of biological warfare in order to advance their nefarious purposes.

See:

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/11007336
http://natur.cuni.cz/flegr/publ.php
http://en.wikipedia....i/Toxoplasmosis

*But one that uses the same InvisionBoard software. Curious.

#7 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:53 PM

I suppose we have to shift this topic to reading in some way. Do you have a favorite literary cat? I nominate Christopher Smart's Jeoffry.


The Cat in the Hat, of course! When I was six the only way you could have gotten me to relinquish those books would have been to pry them out of my cold, dead hands. I suspect that they gave me unrealistic expectations regarding one's ability to return things to order after a prolonged bout of chaos, however.

#8 papeetepatrick

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:45 PM

Oh, of course, 'Cat' in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', even in the movie, especially because he's really the only thing that works about that messed-up ending--something Hollywood was just not going to do, even though that ruined the film, which is otherwise enchanting.

i alos like, in Mistral's Memoirs, describing one of his Provencal aunts gone a bit mad, who claims to have touched a black cat one time, who said to her 'Vous avez touche ROBERT'. I had a cat for 18 years whose primary name was 'Psyche', but I changed it according to whim, and she had a period in which she was known as 'Robert'. She was DEFINITELY a familiar, so I did not get another one, as is often done, after she died.

#9 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 03:14 PM

This is my choice!

http://www.1st-art-g...ll-1832-9-2.jpg

...a little creepy character, if you ask me. :clapping:

#10 SandyMcKean

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:13 PM

A study shows that your cat controls your relationship, not you, but of course if you own one you already knew that.

dirac, I'm not used to flaws of logic on your part.......is it possible to OWN a cat??

#11 papeetepatrick

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:41 PM

A study shows that your cat controls your relationship, not you, but of course if you own one you already knew that.

dirac, I'm not used to flaws of logic on your part.......is it possible to OWN a cat??


Oh yes, Sandy, very good, no you can't, that's what those of us who love them love most about them: They love themselves. That's one of the reasons why they're so incredibly beautiful. There are a few reptiles that are hard to 'own' as well, but I prefer those outdoors. There's almost nothing more perfect than a cat, and the smaller wildcats, like servals, are the very prettiest of all, but very rare and they can't even be easily kept, much less owned, by any except by a few professionals.

#12 PeggyR

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:58 PM

A study shows that your cat controls your relationship, not you, but of course if you own one you already knew that.

dirac, I'm not used to flaws of logic on your part.......is it possible to OWN a cat??

Which brings to mind my favorite bumper sticker (a kind of literature): "Dogs have owners; cats have staff."

#13 dirac

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:06 PM

She was DEFINITELY a familiar, so I did not get another one, as is often done, after she died.



I felt that way when my elder cat died at the age of twenty, but it seemed no disrespect to her to adopt another, in this instance a stray tomcat who began hanging around and it was either take him to the pound or take him in. He is a large black Persian mix who resembles Chandlerís Taki and he has an obsession with drinking from faucets.

I agree, though, that some animals become true familiars and others one feels less strongly about.

Thanks for that picture, sunday. I always thought it was symbolic that Hitler had a dog. Nobody tyrannizes the tyrant. I certainly canít imagine the Fuehrer turning on the tap for a cat waiting by the sink.

dirac, I'm not used to flaws of logic on your part.......is it possible to OWN a cat??


You know, I had second thoughts about my phrasing, Sandy, but I decided to let it stand. You, Patrick, and Peggy are correct, you can never really own a cat.

I don't know how I could have forgotten The Cat in the Hat, Kathleen. I still have my old copy somewhere.

#14 SandyMcKean

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:55 PM

That's one of the reasons why they're so incredibly beautiful.

Indeed they are. We have 4 of them. If one dies, we always seem to get another to bring us back to that magic number of 4. They are constantly entertaining, aren't they? Quite unpredictable really.....in a predictable sort of way.

House cats always remind me of their bigger cousins: the big cats of Africa such as lions. Lions and other large cats are the undisputed "kings of the jungle". They have that status, it seems to me, because they are the most perfect predator on land. They have every tool possible: their eye sight is acute and sensitive; they have incredible stealth; their weapons are unmatched (the sharpest claws and teeth); their quickness is legendary; their balance exquiste*; their sense of smell excellent; their flexibility hard to believe; their patient stalking positively frighting. Whenever I see one of our cats walking toward me, I see a lion. Pump one of them up a 100 fold, and I'd run like hell in fear.

Magnificent!

*sounding a little like our ballerina friends, doesn't it :o

#15 4mrdncr

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 09:15 PM

he has an obsession with drinking from faucets.
you can never really own a cat.


My latest cat (whom I've had for 10 yrs but actually inherited from my niece as a kitten when she started to treat him as a dog, and he ran away) is obsessed with drinking from the faucet. Since he's lived at my parent's house (no pets allowed in my apt.), she has tried numerous ways of breaking the habit (she thinks "it's unsanitary", of course the cat thinks the opposite in its quest for the freshest water):

Get one of those cat "fountain" water dishes. DIDN'T WORK; HE SNIFFED IT BUT HATED THE SOUND OF THE MOTOR--WRONG PURR FREQUENCY?

Turn on the hot water instead of the tepid/cold. HE FORGETS THAT BAD EXPERIENCE AND SOON AFTER IS BACK UP ON THE SINK.

Lock bathroom door, so he can't push it open to entreat you. OF COURSE, HE'LL BE WAITING OUTSIDE THE DOOR TO TRIP YOU AFTERWARDS.

Turn off the lights, leave the bathroom/kitchen, and try to ignore his malevolent or pleading stares from the countertop. IF YOU ARE OLDER, DEAF OR BLIND YOU ARE BETTER ABLE TO DO THIS.

Stuff ears with cotten and try to ignore the "yowls" in the morning from downstairs, or if desperate, outside the door. UNFORTUNATELY I'M A LIGHT SLEEPER AND HE KNOWS IT. (Why I don't sleep over mom's too often.)

(But unfortunately, I'm a "soft-touch" and will succumb to his entreaties sooner than later. Don't tell my mom.)


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