Familiars

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Cats are said to be Familiars, aloof but linked to their owners, and disdainful of fuss from anyone else. My experience is that I can make friends with most of them, if I can work out what sort of sound they like.

Years of being owned by cats teaches you that they respond to different noises or looks from the person trying to befriend them.

Noises: churring, purring, chuch-chuch sounds seem popular with cats, I’ve practiced making purring noises since we first had a cat. Then miaow, or prrup sounds, with kittens or shy cats I try and sound like a little cat crying, it’s sometimes difficult to get high pitched enough. But hit the right note (quietly) and a shy kitten may become more friendly.

Looks: If the cat stares at you don’t stare back. slow eye blinks are the thing, close your eyes and keep them shut for a second. Cats do the same thing and it makes them feel less threatend.

Gestures: If you want to stroke a cat just offer it the back of your hand or a finger to sniff, dont try and stroke it unless it starts to rub its head against your hand. Don’t lunge at it or try and pick it up. Cats are small animals and can feel intimidated.

Also try not to make loud noises which will startle the cat.

If you see your cats tail wagging/waving it might be getting annoyed or excited and wanting to play, just be careful, a paw may take a swipe at you and cats have sharp claws! Also be wary of the tooth and claw situation…..ow!

Cats like fusses, being stroked, if they are enjoying it they may start kneading you with their front paws, but beware a cat having its stomach stroked or tickled might kick out with its back legs while grabbing you with its front paws and biting ….

I’ve learnt from experience that you have to move your hand away carefully, pull I away and you can end up badly scratched.

Do: treat a cat with respect, try and make friends, enjoy the love a cat can share with you.

Don’t: shout at it, pull its tail, insist on picking it up if it doesn’t want you to.

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