As any cat owner will tell you, talking to your cat is totally normal. And even though feline friends may seem indifferent to the adoring chatter, a new study in “Animal Cognition” suggests they really are listening. Researchers in France subjected house cats to recordings of their owner or a stranger saying various phrases in cat- or human-directed speech. Much like baby talk, cat-directed speech is typically higher pitched and may have short, repetitive phrases. The team found that felines reacted distinctively to their owner speaking in cat-directed speech—but not to their owner speaking in adult tones or to a stranger using either adult- or cat-directed speech. “Although cats have a reputation for ignoring their owners, a growing body of research indicates that cats pay close attention to humans,” says Kristyn Vitale, a cat behavior scientist at Unity College in Maine. “Cats can very much learn that specific vocalizations have certain meanings,” Vitale says. She notes that the study was small and that future work could expand the research to other cat populations. Even if cats understand what we’re saying, the researcher says, “they have a right to choose if they don’t want to interact.”
Rachael Lawrence, from Braintree, Essex, had lost her cat for eight months when she was talking to the vet about her other cat when she heard Barnaby’s distinctive cry in the background. She was told it was a stray, but phoned back later and asked for details of the cat as “it was bugging me,” she said. Barnaby is now back with his family. Rachael said she was so sure she could recognize her cat’s meow that she called the vet again asking if the “stray” she had heard over the phone was black, with a white patch on one of his back feet. The vet confirmed the description she took in photographs of Barnaby to show to staff. She said she “knew it was him” as soon as he was brought into the room. “I cried,” she said. “We hadn’t seen him for eight months.” Her three children had nicknamed Barnaby “Fatman”, but when he was brought in to the vet he had “loads of scabs” and was “all skinny and missing fur.” However, the family’s wayward pet was “more than happy to be picked up and cuddled.” “We just need to fatten him up to get him back to Fatman.”
His master’s voice
I was setting the voice recognition password of my mobile.
A dog barked and ran away.
I am still looking for that dog to unlock my mobile.
Fact: No cat owner talks to their pet in a normal voice.
No they don’t, oh no they don’t…
If anyone ever tells you they’ve lost their voice….
I came home really drunk last night and my wife wasn’t happy at all. “How much have you had to drink?” she asked sternly, staring at me. “Nothing” I slurred. “Look at me!” she shouted. “It’s either me or the pub, which one is it?” I paused for a second while I thought and mumbled…
“It’s you. I can tell by the voice.”
February 2nd Birthdays
1947 – Farah Faucet, 1991 – Julia Fox, 1905 – Ayn Rand, 1980 – Gemma Arterton
1937 – Tommy Smothers 1901 – Jascha Heifetz, 1927 – Stan Getz, 1964 – GI Joe