Friday, February 19, 2010

kitty speak

Since I grew up as a dog person, I had a good understanding of dog speak, but since having cats, I have had a lot of learning to do. Kitty speak is quite different than dog speak.

To assist my faithful readers who may not understand kitty speak, I have compiled a brief glossary of the language, as spoken in our house. Please note: some of the specific word meanings may reflect the local dialect and thus may not apply outside the immediate household region.

cannonball kitty - a kitty pose which involves the cat becoming as tight of a ball as possible, generally employed when being held, purr factory will be offline.

cheek scratchies - a form of loves involving scratching only the fur on a cheek, when engaged properly the cat will respond by gently leaning their head into the scratch, exhibiting scrunchy face, and their purr factory will be operating at full capacity.

chin scratchies - a form of loves involving scratching only the fur under the chin, when engaged properly the cat will exhibit scrunchy face and their purr factory will be operating at half to full capacity.

concrete kitty - cat becomes instantly heavy and solid, usually a tactic to resist being moved, purr factory will be offline.

dinners - food, usually consisting of dry nuggets.

getting their crazies on - when the cat enters an altered state, involving quick bursts of running around the house, pouncing all over the furniture as if attacking imaginary prey and a wild mix of loud sounds.

good asking - a statement of praise spoken after the cat clearly and kindly states their desire. (i.e. cat will sit by door or ring bell on door to request porchtime or cat will drag favorite toy over to human to request  making the toy move.)

hairball goop - the nasty goopy paste stuff the cats get to prevent hairballs.

kitty chiropractic - a kitty pose that involves a full stretch of the back, in the ancient day this term referred to a specific set of procedures that were used to realign the cat's back, now the term is used loosely whenever the cat gets a human induced back stretch or odd twist.

kitty putty - when the cat becomes relaxed to the point of becoming a puddle of purring fur, usually as a result of receiving an overload of loves, purr factory will be operating at full capacity.

kitty spot - an intentionally created cozy spot for a cat to enjoy, often made of blankets, pillows, special rug, cat bed, or some combination of these. (i.e. ottoman placed in front of the fire with a cat bed on top.)

litternose - when the cat comes from the litter box and has litter stuck to their nose, the result of getting their moist nose too close to the litter when sniffing.

loves - petting, fondling, kissing, rubbing, chin scratchies, cheek scratchies, tummy rubs, etc.

nuggets - specific type of dinners, the dry kibble food that the cats can't get enough of.

porchtime - time where the cats can freely hangout on the enclosed porches, auxiliary activities include  moth hunting and bird watching.

purr factory - the source of the cat's purr sound, accompanied by a gentle vibration. The traditional usage of the term requires a modifying clause that indicates the level of purr production. (i.e. Willow's purr factory is fully online.)

roasted Willow - a condition that occurs when Willow sleeps too close to the stove and is warm to the touch.

sausage kitty - a kitty pose consisting of a stretched out, elongated cat usually located between two objects.

scrunchy face - a response to certain types of loves, when the cat tightens their cheek muscles, making all the whiskers point forward, usually occurs in response to chin and cheek scratchies.

sheet tunnel - the creation of a temporary kitty fort under the sheets using pillows or other assorted items, blanket tunnel variation also common.

special rugs - small floor rugs placed in various locations that attract lounging cats.

special string - Nahum's favorite boot-lace, which he carries everywhere.

spot stealing - when a cat immediately claims your spot on the couch after you get up for a second, usually involves the cat giving a look of "this spot was available so it's mine now."

tummy rubs - a type of loves that involves the cat requesting for their tummy to be rubbed. Use of specifier is needed if special condition exists: upside-down tummy rubs (cat is fully upside-down and requesting tummy rubs) or stolen tummy rubs (cat is not requesting tummy rubs but tummy rubs are taken anyway).

upside-down kitty - a kitty pose involving a sleeping cat that is completely upside-down with all four paws in the air. The perfected upside-down kitty pose requires having all four paws curled.

Willow-monster -  a specific term used to describe Willow when she has her crazies on, Sweet Willow becomes wild kitty as she runs around and plays hard.

Willow-paw - a form of physical resistance, utilized immediately upon the cat being picked up. The classic form consists of a rigid front leg placed firm against the human's chest in conjunction with a constant pushing-away force.  This form is also usually accompanied by a defiant facial expression and a rigid tail.

yardtime - time for a cat to explore and play in the yard, usually involves eating grass, rolling in gravel, exploration, and lots of sniffing.

yummy flakes - dried bonito fish flakes, a favorite of all the cats.


  1. In my house the "sheet tunnel" is called "blankie time" ;)

  2. When my kitty used to show his tummy, it was considered "a trap" as you would get bit if you dared touch the tummy.


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