10 May The Kitten Chronicles: Catspeak
On a dark, icy January evening, our new kitten, Onyx, came into our lives. We heard him being carried up the drive, his meows loud and penetrating.
Over the days that followed, the meowing continued; from the moment he woke to the time he slept. At first, it was all gibberish, similar to how new born babies communicate. It was impossible to distinguish the cries, or meows in this case, from each other.
Yet as the days have turned into weeks, then months, the gibberish has become understandable – not because I have learnt to speak ‘Cat’ any better, but because I’ve learnt to listen, really listen to him.
It turns out that he has quite an extensive vocabulary: there’s the morning mew, accompanied by a feline body landing beside me on the bed; the excited chirrup when I reach for his favourite toy; the long plaintive meow which translates into, “can you play with me?” The purr of happiness in the midst of a cuddle; and last but not least, the air siren of feed me now!
It is so much fun learning this new language through the simple act of listening and my ability to translate ‘Cat’ continues to grow day-by-day.
I have also discovered my favourite word in ‘Cat’ – actually, it is my favourite word in any language, and Onyx and I use it every day – love.