In the Blink of an Eye
People who don’t have a cat in the family are missing out on learning how to be simple and direct communicators. I am always amazed at how challenging that can be for humans. For example, those people who smile but…are they really smiling? Cats don’t pretend to be feeling something they are not.
If you use The Google to research “how to figure out if a person is real smiling or fake smiling”, you will find a variety of contradictory feedback (conflicting answers on whether the area around eyes should wrinkle or not, if your eyes should be moving or still, or whether the bottom teeth should show or not). This inconsistency is just as alarming to me as the fact that you even must consult The Google on how to tell when people are truly smiling. As a cat, my first question is, why would anyone want to fake a smile?
It reminds me of your term “passive-aggressive behavior”. How can you be both at the same time? Better yet why? Either be passive or be aggressive and don’t try to confuse me.
And don’t tell me that your cat’s communication style confuses you. Cats are prolific communicators who employ multiple modes of messages to aid you in understanding us. We do this because, and I am going to be very direct here, humans aren’t great at paying attention.
To help you out we use our voices, ears, tails, bodies, and our eyes to communicate with you. Yes, that slow blink that we do is not because we are sleepy or wanting to dismiss you, it is our smile. We use it to signify to others (humans and other furry family members) our trust. It says, “I trust you and you can trust me” (and not in a “passive-aggressive” way).
The cat smile demonstrates contentment, security, and a relaxed state. And when you return a slow blink to your cat, you’re smiling back. It is a simple form of positive communication between cats and humans. And believe me, your cat will never “fake” slow blink at you.
You know that feeling when you smile at someone, and they don’t smile back? Yeah, it feels bad. Blinking back, or even initiating the blinking, will enhance your bond with your feline. It is also a positive way to connect with a cat you are unfamiliar with, and when you adopt me (or to be more direct, please adopt me...) it is a great way to bond when we are first getting to know each other.
I have noticed that when I slow blink at a person, and they are present enough in the moment to notice it, it makes them feel more relaxed, content, and peaceful. I believe that smiles are really a conduit for our hearts to communicate with each other. A good slow blink makes people’s hearts smile (and vice versa).
My name is Mr. Hook (cuz you’ll be hooked as soon as you meet me). I am a really stinking cute 7 week young kitten boy looking for a Home for the Holidays. I will purr, head butt, belly flop, lick, cuddle, play, and give you endless slow blinks to demonstrate all of my love languages. Come meet me today!
Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for 27 years. Call 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, or other services. Submit questions to the Pet Column at: email@example.com. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.