Mau acting lovelorn as I was too busy on a call to give her attention
Parent and Pet behaviour – How to understand what your pet is saying
I talk to Mau’mau as if she can understand me. And she completely does. Not when I get philosophical of course. But then I don’t quite understand those bits myself. That’s a bit much to expect of a young cat. She isn’t Yoda. At least not yet. And no, this is not when I’m drunk, cause I don’t get drunk. Please behave and rein in your jokes.
When I ask Mau to do something, not only does she comprehend, she lets me know that she gets it, responds in her manner and then follows through or lets me know that she thinks nothing of my request and there’s nothing I can do about it. She has developed words which she used to ask for her treats, her kneading time or to even tick off guests who overstay her welcome. The last bit is so distinct that a recent guest told her, goodnight Mau’mau, I’m leaving as you’ve asked me to. The tone and manner left nothing for debate.
It’s the same with Bruno. Though dogs have a muscle above the eye which works like an eyebrow and helps with facial expressions making them more understandable.
How is it that some of us get the pet language and so many just don’t? It is not about our speaking skills. No one I know can replicate the sounds. It is about listening to them. Not just the sound, but the body and spatial movement and to some extent the facial expression. The twitch of the nose, the swing of the tail end, the ear movement and the body stance, are all part of the pet’s language. And to look deep into their eyes and let them tell you what they want to say. If you are still and your mind is open, communication happens.
I kid you not. Whether you buy a dog or adopt a cat, for once put pet training focussed on commands second and put your ability to listen at the forefront. Train yourself to read into your pet’s behaviour and focus on every sound your pet makes. Then coupled with very simple nouns and verbs tell them what you want. Wait for the penny to drop and you’ll have your own composite language where the desired outcome will be achieved.
Never shout at a pet. The prefrontal cortex has a flight or fight instinct. Whichever is triggered will not result in the outcome you want. Talk in a calm manner with few words. Repeat them if needed. Accompany them with actions if possible. And watch the communication flow. Our pets are far more intelligent than we give them credit for.