Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Hear and I Obey, Master(s)

*Edited to add a few extra comments*

We cat owners pretty much knew this one already: Cats Do Control Humans, Study Finds. (And to quote a fellow blogger--"No shit, Sherlock.")

Turtle would have made a good subject for this study, since he was always good at getting me out of bed to do his bidding. Mostly because he'd snuggle up on top of my head and purr in my ear and lick my face. It gave me the warm fuzzies and I'd do anything to make the old fart happy, so I'd get out of bed (most times carrying him) and get him some food. He would just purr away, all smug in his dominance over the stupid human.

Izzy's the same way, but his methods need streamlining--like not using blinding rage to get me out of bed. He meows away as I hurtle out of bed in the mornings to save breakable tchotchkes from hitting the floor and he takes off down the hallway only to skid to a halt in front of his partially empty food bowl. And when I say "partially" I mean you can see a tiny bit of the bottom of the bowl!

My struggles to combat this have so far been useless. Shutting the door on him just results in high-pitched "Mommy I'm dying" meows that drag on forever. At least Jake and Sam are smart enough to stay out of the way in the mornings. But let's face it, Izzy's working in their interests as well.

A few excerpts from the article, with my editorial opinions in parentheses...
Household cats exercise this control with a certain type of urgent-sounding, high-pitched meow, according to the findings. (No use trying to outwait them, it just gets worse, and I you wait long enough, you'll hear a crash coming from another part of the house--guaranteed to get you out of bed to investigate!)

McComb suggests that the purr-cry may subtly take advantage of humans' sensitivity to cries they associate with nurturing offspring. Also, including the cry within the purr could make the sound "less harmonic and thus more difficult to habituate to," she said. (As in ignore. That sound penetrates even the thickest pile of pillows. See the above-mentioned "Mommy I'm dying" meows.)

McComb said she thinks this cry occurs at a low level in cats' normal purring, "but we think that cats learn to dramatically exaggerate it when it proves effective in generating a response from humans." (What?? Cats exaggerate the desperation of their needs??? It all makes sense now!)

You can read the article in it's entirety at the link above.

Oh yeah, I heard a rumor that Sarah Palin hates cats. (Now you can sue me, too, Thomas Van Flein!)

Pictures to come of the furrballs' latest hits. But right now I must play Flying Spaghetti Monster with our system.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you can provide the dumb bitch with your address in case she tries to do a study on rabbit reproduction or something obvious of that sort. Then you can make some money off of the next waste of time.

    I already lay claim to all stupid studies about cats.