54 Cat Talk...
Once again Tigger joins Roy at the bathroom sink as Roy shaves and brushes his teeth. It's a daily ritual which Tigger can never figure out. Why do humans shave off such important parts of their personal equipment as whiskers? Cats need theirs and would be lost without them. There was no accounting for many things humans do. How could humans hunt or communicate adequately without whiskers? Come to think of it how do they get along without a tail? Cats would be lost without either.
"You ought to let your whiskers grow and see how much they can do for you. They can keep you from going into places too small for you and can help you tell when there is something near. You can use them to communicate to others... so many things you can do with whiskers. You really should try it some time."
"I have. When I get through shaving and my shower I'll show you a picture of me when I had whiskers. They didn't do anything for me."
"Now that I would like to see!" he said as his whiskers pushed forward to the max.
After Roy had finished scraping and scrubbing' he got out the album and showed Tigger a picture of himself when he had whiskers.
"Of course, this was taken when I was a much younger man but several times through the years I grew a beard but eventually didn't like it and shaved it off. I didn't find it useful for keeping me out of tight spots or communicating with people... or animals for that matter."
"Now that I see it I have to agree with you... it doesn't do anything for you." he said, his whiskers drawn back.
"Tell me something, how do you make your whiskers and stuff do all the things you do with them to communicate? In fact, why? You do speak human very well. I have no problem understanding you at all."
"Well, in the first place, not everyone understands me like you do. Some people and animals need some other way of knowing what I am saying so I use the normal cat method. It doesn't hurt to emphasize what I am saying with the normal methods anyway." his ears were up and pointed forward, focused on me.
"Of course. Now that you mention it, I watch you when you are talking and I see what you mean. I just find it fascinating how you do all those things with your ears, tail, whiskers and eyes. They really do help make what you are saying have meaning. How do you make all those body parts do all that?"
"I have seen you wiggle your ears. I guess it is much the same with me. I just do it. I don't think about it. In fact right now I am thinking about pushing my whiskers forward and while I am thinking about it I can't. I guess it has to be a natural reaction to work. Now you have me thinking about it and I may never be able to communicate again with my body. Thanks a lot!"
"Oh I doubt any lasting damage has been done. In fact, there, I saw you flick your tail, your ears went back and your eyes became little slits. Let me guess, does that mean you are mad?"
"Sort of... it got me a little mad when I thought you made it so that I wouldn't be able to use my body to communicate ever again. Whew... glad it still works properly. I still don't understand why humans don't make use of all the possibilities available. I mean, you really could get stuck in a small place sometime."
"Don't worry about it. We do pretty well at not getting stuck in small places. Besides, since we don't use our bodies as much in communicating we don't let everyone know what we plan to do all the time like cats do."
"What do you mean? I don't tell you what I plan to do all the time.... do I?"
"Of course you do. How do you think I know what you are going to do even before you do it. When you are planning to jump up somewhere I don't want you to get I can always tell what you are going to do."
"I know! How do I tell you? I hate it when you stop me and I haven't even done anything... yet."
"Easy. When you are looking at whatever you plan to jump on and you push your whiskers forward, prick your ears up, flick your tail and waggle your rear end I know what you are about to do. Sometimes I am going to pet you and I can tell you are not in the mood for it right then so I don't."
"Oh? I do all that? I'll have to work on not doing all those things."
I think it's all natural and that you'll do it whether you think about it or not. It's a cat... thing."
"I didn't realize you could understand me that well. I thought you only understood human talk. Wow! I'm impressed...... and busted....."