The other day someone from my facebook cat group started a conversation about whether anyone else sang to their cats. There was a flurry of replies, all to the positive. Of course! We’re cat people. Cat people sing to cats!
But what do we sing? Debussy? Hip Hop? The Meow Mix song? (Sorry, now that descending meow-meow-meow-meow will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.) Apparently there is no right answer, we sing whatever we please. From Gilbert & Sullivan to a tuneless hum, what matters is the action itself. Both cats and people react to the transcendence of music.
Which brings us to the big question: Why? Why is it so natural to look into those big yellow-orange-green-blue eyes and sing?
Maybe because it’s fun, joyful, relaxing. Or maybe because music “soothes the savage beasts” (human and cat). Maybe because cats accept us as we are – I mean, where else could we get head butts in exchange for a silly off-key ditty? Not in the workplace, that’s for sure!
Is song a form of human purring? A wordless communication between species that, by its very action, brings us close?
Sad alert: The following paragraph contains material that may be heartbreaking to those who have lost a beloved pet.
Wrangler’s time had come. His kidneys had failed and there was no going back, no quality of life remaining. At that time, vets didn’t come to the house, so I had taken him to the office and was waiting for Doctor to see us. I held his thin body in my arms, stroked the golden fur and sang. It was a tune I had hummed to him throughout his life. I hoped he remembered it with love, prayed he might find comfort in the familiar melody. He became very calm, there before the end, so maybe he did.
Whether to calm, honor, or entertain your cat, the consensus is Yes! We sing to cats! So next time Fluffy gives you the evil eye because feeding time is a little late, or Tom is nervous about going in the car, voice up and sing! If nothing else, it may be fun.