The other day I came across a book (in a second hand shop, of course) about communicating with your cat. I had to pick it up. My current cat and I have a certain difficulty in communicating; I think it’s because we are both stubborn and prefer not to recognize the other’s wants or needs.

That might be part of the problem, but another is that we are slow to get used to each others ways and habits. That part of our communication keeps improving. However, I also find that she uses different mannerisms, both vocal and body language, than any of my previous cats. Because she was three years old when she came here, we didn’t develop a method of communication together and I find that many of the actions Dizzy, my previous cat, used are alien to her. Also there are actions and postures she uses that I’m not familiar with. Hence the book comes in handy.

For instance, Dizzy always used his tail; you could tell instantly how he felt about any situation by how he carried and moved his tail. This cat, Measha, makes only minimal use of her tail. She also flops down on her back, belly up. You might believe it’s asking for a tummy rub but she doesn’t care enough to purr. Instead, she’ll squirm and move away. If she had all her claws, I wonder if my hand would not be torn to shreds. She’s certainly quick to nip at my hand and dash away!

We are growing closer. She won’t let me pick her up; she prefers to stand on her own four feet. This afternoon we napped together: she settled down draped over my outstretched arm. That wasn’t the most comfortable physically, but was certainly pleasing (for me) psychologically.

And I’ll study her quirks, try to understand them in the light that this book may shed.