The books I read tell me that cats are more like people than dogs are in the way that their feelings work. A dog is a pack animal that follows a leader and wants to please the leader. The owner becomes the leader for a dog. A cat lives independently they have their own thoughts (whatever it is that they think) and they have their own likes and dislikes.
It has been interesting to observe Muffy over the 10 months that she has lived with us. We don’t talk the same language that she does but it is very easy to tell what she likes and what she doesn’t, just by paying attention and observing.
It occurred to me that it works the same way with people. Our language isn’t always the same either. Different countries and peoples have their own languages and dialects of languages, men and women seem to have different dictionaries a lot of the time and so do people from different backgrounds.
Words just don’t always seem to mean the same thing to everyone—even when they are both using English. Sometimes, the best way to avoid misunderstanding and hurt is to act as if that person is from a different place (even if it seems like outer space!). To be observant and start compiling a dictionary of their “language”—watch them and find out what says “I appreciate you” or “I love you” or “great job” in their language—and what doesn’t say what you want to say.
My kitty lets me know exactly what’s what, if I pay attention—people can, too!
©Micki Parkinson, an editorial from the SPEP church newsletter