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Monday, April 9, 2012

The Noises of the Beest

The last time we had a tortie in the family was about 30 years ago. She was vocal but meowed like normal cats. Hildebeest isn't a normal cat. The only time she meows is when she wants food. The rest of her vocal repertoire is definitely not catlike. Makes me wonder what her life was like and what she lived with before she joined our family. Because...

She goes, "Raun raun raun" in a descending scale when she bites herself.

When she walks up to my side in bed at night she says, "Ngach."

Her growl is very low, a bass-baritone, that then climbs to a tenor and finishes in a hiss. Reminds me of that vocal lesson skit on "Frasier."

When very content, as she is now lying on the desk leaf, she purrs and hums at the same time. Well, not really a hum, a kind of chant, but very nasal. Like a throatsinger.

She'll reach out and lightly touch you when she wants to be petted. This will often be accompanied by a short, high pitched, "Meh."

If you scratch her in just the right spot, she closes her eyes and says, "Ngo, go, go."

I've no idea what language she's speaking. Perhaps it's a lost tongue of an ancient alien species, perhaps it's a dialect of a modern language. But I've never heard it before.

13 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Could be she has a little Siamese in her...they make the most interesting sounds. Our old Nick used to wind around my legs screaming Now!Now! when he smelled tuna. In the morning when he wanted me to get out of bed and feed him he would sound like an old man clearing his throat. It's so much fun listening to them try to communicate with us stupid humans. Must be frustrating for them when we don't clue in.

Geo. said...

I have to admire Beest. If you ever look at my other site,"Invalid's Workshop", you know I'm studying French and sometimes compose in it but danged if I could get anybody to scratch my head in that language. Comments are kindly to the syntax of an old American but I'd be less self-conscious if I spoke cat.

Austan said...

Lawless- I've never had a Siamese. Maybe she does! I thought she was Italian, myself...

Austan said...

Geo! Yes, we must use our languages or we lose them. I think "Me gratter la tete"? Or just a "brrrrrrrp!" would do it. N'est-ca pas?

Geo. said...

I believe that's "l'brrrrrrrp!"

Austan said...

Hahahaha! Or should I say Le Hahahaha!?

klahanie said...

Greetings human,
Yes, tis I, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star! Decided to take over my human's peeboard, sorry, keyboard and leave a comment.
The words being used by said cat are actually a form of subliminal cat speak that will make you end up working as a slave for cats in a gigantic milk factory in Switzerland.
You are welcome.
Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses, Penny xx

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

My beloved cat Martian, who we lost last year, could hardly meow. It was more a very soft "me", and no "ow". As he got older, it became a little louder and more cat like. He had once been an indoor/outdoor cat but after we moved to a more rural area that could be dangerous for him, he mainly had to stay indoors. He would sit by the door and look out longingly and we would say "What's wrong Martian", and he would look up to us and cry, "OUT". I swear, other people heard him, not just me, a crazy cat lady.

Austan said...

Penny! I suspected it was some conspiracy (we're talking about a cat fer cryin out loud). Of course it would take you to puzzle it out! Well, forewarned is forearmed and I'm onto it now. No wonder I've been craving dairy things. Thank you for that intelligence report. I didn't know you worked in counter-cat espionage!
Laura
x

Austan said...

Arleen- I don't doubt it! My dog Shaughnessy said, "Hout! Hout!" in an emphatic whisper when he did his morning dance to the door!

The Elephant's Child said...

They sound absolutely enchanting noises.
We once had a cat who when displeased would mutter mung, mung, mung to herself. A really onomatopoeic phrase. My family and friends all use it now.

Austan said...

EC- Mung mung mung is catchy... I think I'll use it, with your permission!

The Elephant's Child said...

M'lady and I would be pleased for you to use it. Such an expressive phrase.