Feline Physics Law
Law of Cat Inertia
A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force - such as the opening of cat food.
First thing to understand is that we are solitary animals who each have our own territory that we mark and guard at all times. We can instantly notice if anything new is present or changed in our personal domain.
We have a wonderful nose and sense of smell. We know the smell of everything in our territory and we frequently check for new smells. We cats can smell better than most dogs because we average about 200 million more olfactory receptors than in dogs, though numbers vary by breed. The reason we cats are not often used to detect explosives and dope is that we really don't care who has them. We just keep watch over our own territory and let the dogs do the dirty work.
We also have amazing ears. Our ears can rotate 180 degrees separately so we can determine the precise direction of a noise. Also our ears are super-sensitive like little satellite dishes. Besides being sensitive, we can hear subsonic low frequencies (like earthquakes) and up to about 75,000 cycles. Compare that to the best of humans who can only hear from about 20 to 20,000 cycles and dogs from about 70 to 45,000 cycles. It is easy and natural for us to hear and locate a mouse's tiny and extremely high pitched squeak in the grass on the other side of the yard. Also we can hear a can opener at the other end of the house.
Something humans need to understand is that we cats don't like loud noises and therefore appreciate it when you talk softly to us. We especially don't like vacuum cleaners that make loud high pitched noises you humans can't even hear.
Also astonishing are our eyes. We cats can judge distance accurately and that helps us to pounce on prey most effectively. It is well known that we cats can see well in the dark, thanks to our ancestors. Millions of years ago they figured out where they evolved in the deserts of Africa that it was cooler to hunt in the night and sleep in the day. So we now have these wonderfully evolved night-vision eyes to locate our food bowl in the dark. We don't need to hunt for food at night anymore, thanks to you generous humans; however, we do enjoy chasing a few bugs at night just for fun.
We cats communicate with our eyes more than our voice. We seldom talk to other cats but have found you humans respond to our voice, so we train you to give us treats using our voice.
Mostly we broadcast our intentions with our eyes. A wide open stare means I don't trust or need you right now, go away. A "soft" slow blink means, "I like and accept you and I have some things for you to do for me."
We cats have extraordinary abilities for evaluating people, mainly through their body language. For example, people who dislike cats are instantly identifiable to us because they shy-away and don't look us in the eyes.
Strangers who like cats and want to pick us up look us directly in the eyes, and call us to come to them. This is always suspicious because direct eye contact usually means a conflict in animal body language. So if we have a choice of which lap to sit on, we pick the person not looking us directly in our eyes, and that is usually the person who dislikes cats! This is kind of an inside cat joke!
The type of eye contact we cats like with humans is a "soft eyes" look where the face is relaxed and the eyes very slowly blink a couple times. That look says, "I am calm and won't bother you right now." We cats like that attitude in humans most of the time. At least until we are ready to play or be fed.
A relationship between a cat and a human can be a wonderful experience for both. For example, we cats know how to snuggle up to people and purr so lovingly that it lowers the human's blood pressure and improves the immune system. It's true! It has been scientifically proven that cats really do extend the lives of their human care givers. And for that priceless service we ask very little in the way of food, safety, and comfort. What a deal for you humans!
This "Cat Talk" website is offered in celebration of the rewarding relationship we cats have had with humans for the past approximately 5,000 years. I want to give you humans some more useful insights into how we cats communicate with you. Helping me with this "Cat Talk" project are my two human care givers: Ulla and Larry. Ulla is a gourmet cook and Larry makes websites. I hope you enjoy what we have to share with you.
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