Many people I know have very poor communication skills. They are not clear when they want to ask for something. They are blind to other people's cues delivered through body language, moods, emotions and facial expressions. When I see my cat communicating with me and getting all it's needs met, I am convinced that it is much better than the humans I know!
When my cat wants to go to the mud room: It approaches the door to the mud room and sits facing the door. If I don't open the door, it looks at me and the door back and forth, trying to get me to open the door. If I still don't open, it mews. When I don't respond to the mews, it jumps up and acts as if it's trying to open the door ! Sometimes, when it's really impatient that I did not open, it jumps on me and tries to get me to open the doo for it.
When it wants to jump on the bed: It simply jumps or it sits below the bed and looks at me. I look at it's eyes and nod my head and it jumps on the bed. Sometimes I click my fingers and it comes up. Sometimes I stroke it's head and it jumps up after the head stroke.
When it wants me to massage it's head: It sits on my chest or stomach and pushes it's head into my hands. it stops pushing only when I start stroking it. If I stop, it paws me or head butts me until I restart the stroking. Sometimes it licks my hand if I stop and I assume it is licking me to thank me for the massage or to get me to continue the massage. If I am wearing glasses when in bed, it pushes it's head into my face until I take off the glasses! It does not want me to wear glasses when it's kneading it's face into my face or when I am massaging it.
If I am reading a book in bed, it bites the book or tries to push the book out of my hand. It's as if it wants me to be completely focussed while massaging it. It does not want me to multi-task when I am attending to it!
When it wants to be covered by the sheet: On cold nights, it simply puts it's head under the sheet or pulls at the sheet with it's paw. I then pull my bed sheet over it and it lies under the sheet with me.
When it wants me to play with it: It gives me a 'mischievous' look while having it's body braced for running. I look at it and yell "let's catch this cat" and I run after it..it runs away from me! It loves being chased and if I stop, it comes near me again, trying to get me to restart the chase. After I chase it a few times, round the living room, dining room and kitchen, it may run into the basement and hide. It loves to hide and wants me to find it. The moment I say, "I cant find you, I am going up. Bye-bye", it darts out of it's hiding place and I give chase again!
It gives me a 'look' and this look is for getting me to throw cotton q tips at it. It loves to jump,catch & chew these q tips. It's pretty good at catching the q tips with it's forelegs and mouth.
It plays alone at times by rolling a rubber ball (which is a little smaller than a table tennis ball) back and forth on the ground with it's paws and chasing the ball when it rolls down the stairs or elsewhere. I sometimes think it's encouraging me to play with it by starting the game by rolling the ball)
Sometimes it seems to get into a frenzy of energy and it runs berserk around the house, jumping from one sofa to a chair to another room and up the stairs, on a bed and off the bed in a few seconds! If I chase it, it runs with even greater gusto!
Out in the garden: I take it out to the garden daily, at least twice a day (morning and evening) if not more, from May to end of October. (It's too cold to take it out between November and April due to the winter & snow) It loves to be out in the garden and hates to come back in! It enjoys exploring the different smells around the garden, chasing the butterflies, birds & animals. It tries to chase after my neighbour's cat if it ever spots it. It sits under the tree watching the squirrels and refuses to move when I try to go back in as I have to go to work/cook. It starts 'nagging' me to take it out by jumping on my bad at 5 am and pawing me until I wake up. I tell it that I am not waking yet and it stops for a while and then again, starts mewing and pawing me until I wake up! I then walk down the stairs and it walks ahead of me and it stops if I stop walking and looks back at me to make sure I am following it!
I tell it, "I have to make & drink my tea. Please wait.' It looks at me and shakes it's tail and it looks at the door and at me! I tell it in a firmer voice that I have to make tea first and it waits. When I finally finish my tea and ready to open the door, it's too restless for me to put the leash on it. But I am not going out without the leash as I will not be able to catch it if it gives me the slip!
When it's time for me to bring it back, it refuses to come! I pull it and it strains in the opposite direction or rolls on the ground refusing to get up. It also bites my legs or hands until I have to simply grab it and carry it in.
When I come from work in the evening, it starts mewing and looking at the kitchen door. I have to again tell it, I have to make tea and only then can I take it out. It waits impatiently until I am done.
The only thing this cat cannot communicate is when I have forgotten to fill it's bowl with food or water. It is very very very rare that we forget to fill it's bowls with food and water. Yet it has happened. I feel terribly guilty about it. This cat has not yet figured a way to indicate to us that we have forgotten it's food or water. We discover we have not filled it's bowl only when we check the bowl and find it empty.
Either my cat has to figure out a way to tell us we forgot to fill it's bowl; or I have to figure out my cat's communication signs for hunger and thirst.