Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cat Talk

While reading about bonobos and parrots communicating is interesting, it's a wonder that scientists haven't tried to analyse cat talk. I'll bet it is among the most developed systems in the world.

Dutch speaking cats say miauw, English speaking cats say meow, Spanish speaking cats say miau, and Scoop says, mrf when he's half asleep, rau or rauf when he's happy, meOW when he's impatient, mauf when he's got his mouth full, mrauf when he's enjoying what he’s eating, and woof or whoof when he's tired or he's being picked up. In addition he hisses, growls, and yowls when the occasion demands it.

Au has a much higher voice, and tends to talk in sentences. He sounds a little Cantonese when he speaks. You know, with a maaaah sound in varying tones that can take on a variety of meanings from I have run out of biscuits (highpitched) to please stop typing and come and play with me (abrupt and usually accompanied by a paw on the foot).

Scoop and Au have quite different communication styles, but we understand them without a problem, and they seem to understand each other perfectly well too. Wonder if this is a worthy PhD project for someone?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are definately better than me in understanding cat talk. I can only recognize my cat's voice so far. As for understanding what they want, still a long way to go for me!

Horatio said...

strange but funny. Having 6 cats and most of the time (99%) when they meow, I would know what they want, a pat (most of the time), food (especially!!), intruders (insects i mean) or even just a saja-saja meow for fun so that I will look at them.

Fuuny but the truth...

p/s: Hey, I m going for the Melaka cat show this weekend ya know. My Speed will b participating. Wish him (n me) good luck, ok!! :-p

Anonymous said...

Wow, i need to learn from the experts. Basically, i only 2 types of meow, when they want something (can't really differentiate what they want yet) and the complaining meow (mostly during bath time). Hehe...

Best of Luck Horatio and Speed!