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Thursday, August 8th, 2013, 10:33 AM | Updated: 08/08/2013, 10:33:55 AM | (Anonymous) [0 Comments]

One of the most gratifying things about spending time with animals is having the opportunity to communicate with them.  I don’t profess to have the talents of Dr. Doolittle, the fictional physician and subject of Hugh Lofting’s children’s books.  However, I manage quite effectively in “talking” with my pet clients.

One of my cat clients, SOCKS, and I spend a significant portion of our time together communicating.  I use my human voice and sense of touch, while SOCKS uses his feline voice and body language.  For example, when I sit next to SOCKS and brush or stroke his handsome coat, he lets me know that he’s thoroughly enjoying himself by purring, lying on his side and stretching out his body in a way that asks for belly rubs.  I comply by gentling rubbing his belly and using a soft, soothing tone of voice to engage him.

In today’s post, I’m going to go out on a Dr. Doolittle limb and detail how a typical conversation would go if SOCKS had the capacity to produce human speech.  

A Conversation with SOCKS:

I turn the key in the lock, push down on the door handle and enter his home.  SOCKS is always upstairs so I let him know that I’m there. 

Me: “Good morning SOCKS, it’s David.”
I immediately proceed upstairs and am overjoyed to find him waiting for me on the top landing.  My experience tells me that when SOCKS greets me at the top of the stairs, he’s going to be in a particularly talkative mood.  
“Hi SOCKS, it’s so good to see you.  How are you doing today?”
SOCKS: He looks up, “Hey David.  Doing quite well.  Been waiting for you.”
Me: “So what have you been up to?”
SOCKS: “Just kicking back this afternoon, taking some cat naps, snacking in between.  Other than that, there’s not much happening.”
Me: “Really? But you’re such an intellectual cat.”
SOCKS: “That’s true.  I do have a rich inner life.  Actually, I was sitting over by the window earlier looking out.  It’s entertaining to watch birds fly by.  They’re always in such a hurry.  Guess they have to look for their three square meals every day.”
Me: “Yes they do SOCKS.  Of course, that’s why I’m here.  I’m going to give you your dinner so you don’t have to expend any energy searching for it.”
SOCKS: “Thank you.  Appreciate your efforts when my Mom is away.” SOCKS rolls over on the floor, stretches out the full length of his body and throws his head back.  “Before you go grab my food, do you mind a little belly rub?”
Me: “Well of course SOCKS.  I don’t mind at all.  My pleasure.”  I sit down on the floor next to him, and start to rub his tummy gently.  SOCKS begins to purr.
SOCKS: “That sure feels good.  Oh yeah.  Work those tummy muscles David!  Mmmm!  Feels good.  A little bit lower.  Oh yeah.  That’s right.  Right there.” SOCKS purrs continuously without interruption.
Me: “Feels good?”
SOCKS: “Just like cat Nirvana dude!”
Me: “Glad I can help.” SOCKS sways ever so gently, relishing all the attention.  
SOCKS: “That’s so good.  But I’m getting hungry.  Do you mind……?”
Me: “Absolutely not.  I’ll be right back with your dinner.”
SOCKS: “Don’t be too long.  I’ll start to miss you and might require another belly rub.”

I hope you get an idea from this brief dialogue how SOCKS and I communicate during my visits.  As a cat care professional, I listen closely and take cues from my kitty clients.   When they’re as expressive as SOCKS, the communication is easy and very straightforward.

Gotta go blog readers!  My cell’s ringing.  Hmmm!  I recognize that number.  It’s SOCKS calling to catch up.  “Hey SOCKS……What’s up?” 

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