When a cat speaks to you

Larenti sitting in the parking lot with sunshine beaming down on her (155_5564)

Larenti was standing outside a few minutes ago when I stepped out.  She sat patiently next to the fence and immediately spoke to me when I exited.  I turned around, went back inside, and retrieved some food for her.

As I stepped back outside, she again spoke to me.  I could tell she was hungry and I was more than happy to oblige her some breakfast.

Even as I knelt to put some food outside the fence for her, she looked directly at me and meowed appreciatively.

Why is this important?  I mean, all this kitty talk is normal, right?

Hardly.  And it speaks to another reason I felt compelled to rescue Vazra.

Cats do not speak to people unless they learned to do so from people.  Like all other animals, the domestic cat is inherently a wild animal that simply has been around people long enough to be malleable insofar as domestication is concerned.  As long as a kitten is exposed to people at a young age, they grow accustomed to human company and learn not to fear us as they would normally (which is the difference between a feral cat and a stray/abandoned cat).

The significance of a cat talking directly to a human is that again it represents a personality trait that is not native to felines.  They do not naturally understand that speaking to a human can elicit a specific response.  In fact, they do not understand natively that speaking is useful at all except in extenuating circumstances (as a warning, for instance, or to communicate with offspring).  A cat who did not grow up with people and did not learn from people that talking to them is useful will only talk to other cats—notwithstanding warnings, of course.  That is the natural order of the world.

Why do I point this out?

If Larenti, like Vazra before her, is willing to talk to me directly, it shows she is not feral but instead has been abandoned to the streets.  She learned at a young age that meowing to a human could produce results.  That is not something they learn quickly except when they are young (as with all animals, the older they get, the more set in their ways they become).

It’s common for domestic cats to talk to people when they live with people.  If one lives outside and without a home to which they can return, talking to people means they did not start out on the streets but instead grew up in a home where they learned to communicate with humans.  That is one of the ways I knew Vazra was neither feral nor a lifelong stray.  He’s quite vocal.  Not only that, but he loves human interaction and attention.  Larenti’s comfort with me proved she was not feral; her willingness to talk to me directly proves she once had a home but was abandoned or rejected.

Larenti sitting in the sunshine (155_5565)

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