Wednesday, October 6, 2010

sound of silence

I am amazed at the immediate difference in how quiet and empty the house feels when the cats are away. It’s kind of spooky quiet. But how can that be? I don’t think of the cats as being loud. Are they really that loud?

As I sit in their absence and reflect on the silence, here are the sounds I realize I am missing:
  •  The sound of play. Willow or Theo batting and chasing a ball or mouse can make some noise. Sometimes Willow gets really into her play and forgets that she rarely speaks and then she lets loose with all sorts of cute murp sounds.
  •  Theo asking for food. His meow is kind of grating. It sounds like he is complaining and it can go on forever. It is as if he is trying to annoy his victim enough that they succumb and hand over the nuggets.
  •  Nahum walking. Nahum has two options for walking; stealth mode, where he makes no sound, and stomp mode, where he stomps each paw with every step.
  •  Scratching around in the litter box, sounds of digging and litter flying around the room! Theo’s approach to life involves either putting everything he’s got into the behavior of the moment or no effort at all. When he decides to cover his waste in the litter box he can be a bit overzealous, resulting in litter flying everywhere as he tries to dig to China.
  •  Tussling. Nahum and Theo enjoy a good tussle. They often wrestle each other to the floor and roll around in a mix of legs, tails and flying fur. Their play is often accompanied by the sound of furniture being moved as they work themselves around the room. Eventually one cries-out as he tries to get away.
  •  Scratching. All of the cats love to scratch. Their preferred scratching surface seems to change with time. Sometimes it is the large scratching post and other times it is the arms of the loveseat. For some odd reason Nahum usually prefers the petite scratching post.
  •  Gobbling of food. When the cats are eating there is the frantic sound of nuggets being crunched, moved around the bowl and onto the floor. About two minutes after giving them their food, comes the sound of me yelling at Theo to stop stealing the other cats’ food.
  •  Occasional meow-like sounds. They all have a very different sound. Max had the most classic meow sound. Nahum loves to talk; he makes all sorts of weird sounds as if he is carrying on a conversation. Willow occasionally lets out a murp. Rose squeaks and squeaks as she tries to meow. Theo makes the same annoying sound over and over and over…
  •  Willow breathing. Sadly, sometimes it takes Willow quite a bit of effort to breathe. Whereas I am thankful she is breathing, however I do wish it wasn’t sometimes as difficult.
  •  Purrs. Willow is the smallest cat but she has the largest purr! Sometimes at night, she can be lying down at the foot of the bed and I hear her purring away. Nahum, the largest cat, has the quietest purr.
  •  Willow hunting bugs is always noisy. She chatters her teeth as if she is warning the bug of its impending death.
  •  Yowling. Theo occasionally yowls when he sees a neighborhood cat visit in the yard. Nahum sometimes goes into an empty room and yowls loudly (he prefers the bathroom) just for fun. Max used to yowl every evening just after we went to bed as he played yarnball.
As I compile this list, I am realizing the cats do make a lot noise! The sounds they make are a lot less stark and more pleasant when compared to a dog’s barking. Interesting how it’s the absence of the kitty sounds is what makes me more aware of them. In the midst of daily life, their sounds are a part of the soundtrack of my life. Many of these delightful kitty sounds bring a smile to my face.

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