I was actually going to write about something else this morning until my cat started making noise outside on the terrace and continuing as she came inside and circled around my legs. I never know why she makes these noises, nor do I know what she wants. Her name is Squeaky because she makes little squeaks and squeals. She doesn’t meow like regular cats do….she’s still a kitten, so maybe she’ll learn….but, for now, she’s a squeaker.
She is constantly vocalizing. This is the same thing that my other cat, Finnegan, used to do. They are very vocal cats, with a lot to say. It’s just that I never know what they’re saying. Sometimes I would get what Finnegan wanted, not by his sounds, but by his motions….with Squeaky, it’s the same. When Finnegan would meow and then jump on my legs it meant he wanted to be picked up. Squeaky does the same, but she’ll lean on my leg. But the constant squeaking and squealing and meowing can become annoying when you don’t know what they need or why they’re making those noises.
I’ve noticed it’s the same with babies. Spending some time this summer with my brother, sister-in-law and niece, Emma, I noticed that, most of the time, when Emma makes noise, the people around her have no idea what she wants. Sometimes, I do understand, babies make noise just to make noise. I get that, and it’s the way they learn to speak. But, I’m sure, Emma wants certain things when she vocalizes, and it’s difficult to decipher these vocalizations unless movement accompanies them. A few shouts and leaning towards the bottle, okay, she’s hungry. A fake cry and a move towards grandma, ok she wants to go to grandma. A scream and a slapping of her hands together, ok she wants us all to clap for her. The movement leads to understanding the code. The noise, sometimes, is confusing.
It can become very annoying and disheartening when you WANT to fulfill the need of the animal or child, but aren’t able to because you don’t speak their language. This is the subject of my post. I love when animals are vocal (I can’t stand the “scaredy cats” that run away when people visit and never make a sound). I like that all the cats and dogs in my life have been well-socialized and not afraid to speak when they need something (although my parents’ current dog is definitely a barker, and it can grate on the nerves). I also like when babies make noises (not crying….that’s just excessive) to try to communicate with the people around them. It’s intriguing to watch them try to make sense of what others are saying and try to duplicate it when they need something. I just wish I were able to decipher it and give them what they want.