For instance, my oldest cat, an eight and a half year old Ragdoll, is a whiner. I often ask her if she wants whine with dinner. But, apparently, her whining has gotten her what she wants and she's not about to change.
So, when she comes into my bedroom at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning, I first know she wants me to get up. But I've come to understand there is probably a good reason she wants me up. She has become the ‘spokesman' for an empty food dish. But then, she has four other felines depending on her to make sure the food and water fountain are filled and, believe me, she is very good at it because she is persistent.
Then there is Smokey, our seven year old Russian Blue. He is responsible for getting the pet door to their outdoor kennel opened, first thing in the morning. That's why he is uncharacteristically loud early in the morning. He also takes responsibility for reporting back in, to us and his housemates, if the weather is cold or if it is raining. On cold, wet mornings, he wastes no time with his report. I can tell he wants us to do something about it. I just comfort and sympathize with him until he calms down and finds another spot inside to relax.
Our third vocal kitty is Little Bit, a two and a half year old Manx with a stub of a tail. It has fallen to her to scold the others, chasing them while she does it. She's the most mischievous one in the family. It has also befallen her to be the beggar of treats, starting about 5:00 in the afternoon. Since I like to wait until dusk to bring them in, with the shaking of the treat container like the pied piper, she sometimes has to wait but continues to make her impatience known. After all, she has four others depending on her for their daily treats, so, she continues improving her vocal demands and I know exactly what she is saying.
Then, there is Precious, sister to Little Bit. Precious was given her name before we discovered her personality. Now, when I speak of her, I often say "Precious...NOT." Don't get me wrong. She is very lovable. She is also very vocal. She can be loud when she paces the house calling for her sister. She gets cross, like a sleepy baby, when she wants me to take a nap with her and I'm too busy. She will sometimes spend an hour or more following me every step I make, asking me to take a nap(I swear she says mama, over and over), until finally she gives up and finds a place to nap by herself. She also is like a little girl, watching my every move when I'm folding clothes or some other task, as if she's trying to learn how, in order to help me.
Last, but certainly not least, is Squeaky, a three and a half year old gray Tabby . She got her name when she was a ‘stray' living outside and only showing up for meals twice a day. I would call her for her food and not realize she was there until she was right next to me because of her faint meow. She is still quiet and shy with other humans, basically, only trusting me. She has become friends with Precious and they snuggle together at night. Even though she is shy, Squeaky does talk, mostly to tell me when Little Bit or Smokey are bullying her or when she needs a little love from me, often demanding it quietly by jumping into my chair if I'm working at the computer.
So, you see, they all talk, some more than others. Once you understand the personality of each cat and you learn to listen to them, their communication will become much clearer to you.
by Pat Lemmons