I am a Siamese cat and as you know, we are great conversationalists. Unfortunately, I have a human who thinks she is talking to me, but she’s not—she’s just spouting off a bunch of incomprehensible gobblety-gook! I have no idea what she thinks she is doing. All I know is that when she comes home from work and I tell her what an idiot she is for being gone all day and where’s my dinner, etc.—you know, just basic stuff, nothing particularly deep or interesting—she says things like, “Awww, cutie-snookums, wassa matter?” Like it’s not obvious without my even having to say anything! And what’s with the baby talk? I’m a cat, not a baby. In fact, I am 7 so I’m not exactly a kitten either. Do you know what it’s like trying to hold a conversation with someone who talks like that? Forget discussing the finer points of a good interactive cat toy or the subtle flavors of moths versus crickets. She doesn’t even get it when I tell her the litter box is dirty—I might as well just make a mess on the bathroom floor if I want to get my point across. I know it’s probably a lost cause, but is there any way I can make this human start talking some sense?
Dear Mad Meower,
I completely understand your frustration. And to be honest, I doubt I have a solution that will satisfy you. You see, humans are not that bright when it comes to learning other languages. There are hundreds of different human languages in existence and most people only speak one. And from what I gather, even those who speak the same language often have a hard time understanding each other. So you probably can’t expect your human to spend a lot of time and effort trying to learn Cat. The stupid thing is that Cat is fairly easy to speak—one just needs to learn a limited amount of vowels, be observant and use some body language. It’s really much easier to learn than most human languages. Even my human has most of the rudimentary parts down. But I do have to admit, that little bit was a stretch for her. Cat is probably beyond the capabilities of those humans who believe baby talk is a reasonable way to carry on a discussion with their cats.
So I’m afraid that discussions about cat toys and the ever-popular moth-versus-cricket debate are out. But such topics are beyond humans anyway. They don’t appreciate the exhilaration of leaping in the air after prey or the bold crunch of a bug leg in your mouth. Humans live in a colorless world, devoid of such joys. What a pity. Only another cat can understand all that. And, as you know, meows generally aren’t necessary when talking with another cat. Other cats just know what you mean. If you want to talk to your human, as most Siamese like to do, I’m afraid you are stuck with the most banal of subjects. But on the bright side, you can curse at her when you are annoyed and insult her when she’s done something exceptionally stupid, and she will only be vaguely aware of what you are saying. That is always amusing. And if you really can’t stand the baby talk, the best thing to do is ignore her when she starts up with it. Humans hate that! Ignore her for long enough and she will drop the baby talk in favor of something more shrill. True, shrill human voices are annoying, but they can’t keep it up for as long as they can baby talk. And it’s always gratifying to get a reaction out of a human just by doing nothing!