Thinking about animal communication yesterday makes it timely to introduce the feline member of my household, Christie. He’s a black short-haired moggy of indeterminate age (around 13) and he has the strangest ‘miaow’ of any cat I’ve ever heard. All I can describe it as is a croak – and as a very vocal ‘familiar’ he had the power to frighten my children’s friends when they were younger, as if they heard him maiow in the night, they did not associate the noise with a cat at all.
Christie came to us from a small local cat rescue over 5 years ago with a cat his total opposite – a long white haired female of similar age called Cotton. Apparently they had lived together all their lives, and when their previous owner emigrated, she wanted them to remain together.
You know how it is. We went to the rescue looking for a single young cat, around 6 months old, but when we saw the pair of them, we were smitten. They were to be ours! Christie was pacing up and down the window, desperate to be out (in fact when he moved in he broached the locked cat flap defences after 5 days, and disappeared across the garden wearing the whole frame like a life-belt. Luckily he was a homebody and came back within 15 minutes!). Cotton was very shy, and remained in her crate, and in fact it took weeks at home before she would timidly venture from the deepest recesses of under the chest of drawers.
Sadly Cotton died last summer, but Christie remains in rude health, and rules his more recent companion, boxer Dylan.