My human says I am a “crazy cat,” which is totally unfair because she is the one who is making me crazy! She pets me all wrong. I’ll be stretched out on the floor with my tummy up, rolling around, massaging my back and just feeling good — and then she comes along and spoils it all by rubbing my tummy! I’m actually quite patient with her — I stop moving, give her the flat ears and whap my tail on the floor a few times. You’d think she would get a clue, but she keeps rubbing. So I grab her hand with my claws, bite her (not really that hard — I don’t draw blood or anything) and run away! She does this a lot. It seems like I can’t get in my daily rolls with her disturbing me. Any ideas on how to knock some sense into her? At least without getting too violent?
While most humans get the most rudimentary parts of catspeak — they can tell when we are hungry, that we are saying hello after they have been gone all day, or are excited over a particularly gripping episode of Bird TV — some of our language just completely eludes them. Like the “permission to touch” signals — a lot of humans totally miss them. You’d think it would be obvious when it is not a good time to pet or touch us: our skin is twitching, our pupils are slits, we’re swishing our tail like mad and our ears are back. Does that sound like a kitty that is enjoying human touch? Of course not! But a lot of humans just keep going, and then they cry foul when we get fed up and do the bite-and-run.
In a perfect world, there would be cat linguistics courses for humans starting in Kindergarten, but until then, I have a couple of suggestions. First, since your human seems to have a problem keeping her hands to herself when you are doing your back massage, only do it when she is not around, like if she has taken off in the car, or if she is in the shower. Next, since you only said you didn’t like this sort of petting, I am assuming there are other ways of being touched that you do like. So when your human is in a relaxed mood, such as watching TV or reading a book, go up to her and rub yourself against her in the ways you do like being touched, whether it is skritching your face against her fingers or slinking your spine under her forearm. Purr loudly when you do this, and it often encourages humans to take matters into their own hands, so to speak. This way, you can help train your human to properly pet you and avoid being disturbed when you’d rather do your own thing.
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