Monday, 11 April 2016

Instinctively Feline

Yes, it's me, Carlton The Special One

For the duration of the A to Z Challenge, Carlton Cat will be taking over this blog. He's a little bit of a maverick moggie with strong views.

Instinctively Feline

READING my posts you may have thought I don't much care for Mr and Mrs. You couldn't be further from the truth. They are my family so I have to tease and torment them; it's compulsory. Deep down, I would throw myself at a rabid Rottweiler to save them. It's instinct.

Instinct explains a lot of  feline behaviour. The whole cat/human thing began thousands of years ago. Humans looked after us in return for us killing the rats and mice that attacked their stores of grain. Gradually, we cats managed to domesticate the human.

Domestication of humans was largely a success but because of the cat's instinct for hunting and killing, our points of view sometimes differ.

Cats need to be on high alert at all times in case some prey comes scuttling into view. We need to be ready for the fray. We need to keep our claws honed. They must be as sharp as a fishmonger's filleting knife, so we sharpen where we can - the furniture, the stairs, doors and on the human head. Not all of these - in fact none of them - seem to be acceptable for some reason. Humans provide us with objects called "scratching posts". These are handy if they are right beside you when you get the urge to hone, but cats are not going to walk any distance to find one, "any distance" being further than six inches.

We also have the instinct to communicate. Humans are not clever enough to learn cat language. Unfortunately, evolution has not arranged it so cats have moveable mouth parts and a suitable larynx to talk to humans so we have found other ways to let humans know what we want. Some of these ways, I concede, humans can find annoying but what's a cat to do? The methods include persistent meowing, weaving in and out of human legs (look, it's not our fault you only have two and are not as stable as we quadrupeds), throwing up and pressing our heads into your faces.

Then there is the language of the eyes. I touched on this in an earlier post here. In our repertoire we have big pleading eyes, narrowed slits of anger, sleepy eyes and "eye" want something and I want it NOW!

It pains me to touch on this next instinct - but it is the instinct to reproduce. Left to our own devices we spray to mark our territory, we fight, we roam for miles and we love a bit of howling, the louder the better. Why does this pain me? BECAUSE I HAVE HAD THE SNIP. Snip sounds such an innocuous word but humans firmly believe it is necessary for their male feline companions in order to stop all of the above.  I can see their point, I suppose. On the face of it lots more little Carltons with their inevitable devastating charm and good looks sounds appealing but too many cats can lead to serious problems. And I don't think I can stand the competition.

Anyway, all that roaming, howling and spraying business sounds too exhausting. I'd much rather be indulging my instinct to sleep.

Night night.

(The Mrs has another blog in the A to Z Challenge. It's here.)

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  1. I like that, The Snip. Do you get to go outside Carlton. Most cats in North America never go outside and have litter boxes in some discrete corner of their home. Of course outside is dangerous for cats. I lived with one in the UK many years ago and she got hit by a car.

    I was wondering what part of Britain Mr. and Mrs. come from.

  2. It is true that most human never learn cat language and I suspect cats prefer it that way!

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

  3. I think if humans spoke fluent cat there would be a lot less anguish and they would probably be easier to control!! Lots of little Carltons sounds like it could get confusing!! MOL

  4. I'm really glad you aren't outside trying to mate and catching disease from fighting. ~nods~ I'm proud of a fellow blogger who endeavors to help cats. You can find her here:
    As for my cats, a favorite communication is a tail tip dragged across my standing leg, especially when I'm wearing short pants. :)
    Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
    Take care!

  5. Thank you Carelton, for the delightful insight in the behaviors of cats. I have long suspected that you are all much more clever than your humans... just look at how adept you are at getting us to respond to your every need and desire. In my next life I'd really like to come back as a pampered cat!
    Josie Two Shoes
    from Josie's Journal

  6. The snip is need Carlton but so are the purrs

  7. I read someplace that cats only meow to communicate with humans.


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