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Can we appreciate animal "Speak"


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#1    Santy

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:06 AM

At times, you are left with a choice of rating "research", compared to your own experiences. When it comes to sharing your thoughts, your experiences are disadvantaged because almost everybody can invalidate them, or create an equivalent, opposite point of view. So there is a natural disinclination to speculate.

On the other hand, everything must start with a proposition, whether scientific or not. Far more importantly, everybody likes a good story.

I have a background of having pets, dogs, cats, rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, tortoise and an uninvited snail. Some in groups, bred, wild (cat, mice, snail and tortoise) or maybe ferrel, difficult to judge.

Over the years, you pick up snippets about communication between them, in and out of species and with you and other people and so on. Some things are so obvious that they barely deserve mention, but every now and then, you can witness something which amazes you, or you take for granted because of your very humanity. Obviously, being " clever" is something which "you" must teach the animal. In the first place, this is your own assumption, because, often you may despaired about being unable to get something across, which, by the time the nickel drops, the reverse is true and the animal has been attempting to communicate with a "thick human". This partly transpires because of the (sometimes) huge differences in the ranges of ability of different species senses. There will be yet to be discovered senses, as with tortoises.

Being a tortoise herdsman is a time consuming but not so taxing experience. A lot of being a tortoise is hard wired, and it can be difficult for them to make adjustments, but they can, and do communicate with each other. They can find each other over considerable distances. They can tell me when they want a bath, a drink. Whether the food is good enough, whether they intend to "attack" you. Also whether they are interested in what you intend to happen. Pleasure, displeasure and so on, by sign language and behaviour. They can also complain and try and get you to fix something you do not know about. One came moaning about the cat, sliding it up and down the floor while I was out. On on other occasion I was alarmed, uncharacteristically by a banging about. I deduced that I had been alarmed because the frequency of banging was slightly increased from  a "Slightly annoyed" banging. I found it's mate had flipped on it's back, a potentially lethal situation.

Tortoises can mate in seconds. They are not slow when it comes to that. The female is always bullied into submission by shell knocking. Being thoughtful, you have to segregate the females. But to my surprise, when I stopped the bullying, the female became annoyed and put herself in the males way. The compromise was an arrangement where they have access to each other, without mating opportunities. Unfettered sexual access deteriorates the female for lack of egg calcium. However, they are always madly in love and will die without contact. I guess, in the wild, they trip over each other less often. Experts say, or some experts say they must be kept separately, but I think this is a lack of empathy and the tortoise loses out. They both seem more contented if they can nose around each other.

The tortoise is a sitting duck, it has no defence other than its shell. This is a misunderstanding. It is said that it is unchanged over 250,000 years. You do not run up this pedigree on theories. It seems that it's major weapon is persistence and a fair measure of strength to weight ratio. It is like a spider in that it will not give up in the face of extreme difficulty, it returns to the fray, over and over again. It is like a miniature tank. It ploughs towards its source of displeasure , and into it in a brave in determined fashion until the antagonist simply gives up. Of all the animals, I do not know of it being beaten in any battle of the mind. It always ends up the boss, and that includes amongst dogs and cats. I noted, in the garden, they always made for a certain spot, which I later found to be an ancient dog pile. It seemed odd at first, but I found they were pecking the soil. When a carnivore eats an animal, some of the droppings are produced white from the bones. The tortoises were finding and eating these bits. This solved a conundrum, the tortoises are wholly vegetarian, but are highly dependent on high concentrations of calcium for their shell, bones and eggs. The natural habitat needed to have housed carnivores, shellfish etc. for high enough concentrations of calcium. They may, therefore have needed, in their dessert home, to have sought out carnivores to live amongst, creating self danger, but ensuring the calcium supply. An extension to this, although not completely relevant is that they can "suck up" bad water at their rear end. Presumably, the toxins are retained and excreted, whilst pure water is absorbed into their system through the gut wall. Nifty in the dessert wouldn't you think? If only Alexander had thought of this on his return from a India.

I had acquired two female rabbits, or so I thought and I built a three foot high enclosure as a cage. The rabbits had babies, which I did not know about and they very nearly went out on a shovel full of clearance. I didn't know much about rabbits. But the female "taught" me. First of all she appeared on the patio begging at the window. I didn't know how she had escaped, but she persevered with me. First she got me to shift the male, then she demonstrated that she could clear the enclosure with ease. In fact, it wasn't a cage at all, it was a home and the wire was a protection from outside intruders. It had to have the male shifted, otherwise it might kill her kittens. Although I found through enquiry, it would only kills it's male competitors. I was in the habit, later, of giving the male roam in the garden whilst the female and kittens were in the enclosure. One day, the male was out and around, the female was mooching around in the pen and the kittens were up to alsorts, all around the pen. Suddenly, the female sat up, I never heard anything, the kittens, as one, dropped whatever they were doing and lined up in a perfectly straight line in front of the wire with the female behind. The male arrived, and through the wire, proceeded along the line "inspecting" each one in turn, before moving onto the next. After this, the male was Ok to enter the pen. I was completely gobsmacked. It occurred to me later, that yes, we do this. In certain places and circumstances, such as military establishments and parades. Why does the line have to be straight? Is it a subconscious inclusion from way, way back?
My ferrel or cat taught me a few things. I did not get the cat. It turned up in the garden, one week prior to the demise of the last of my rabbits. A weird coincidence. But it started to "herd the tortoises" like a job creation scheme. It was very sick and close to death, I would have thought. It did not seem to be tame, it had to learn direct heat and would not eat unaccompanied. It needed "permission" for almost everything. The only ferrel aspect I could derive was that it was fond of cardboard boxes. I thought it may have been born in one, then kicked out early, being male and less desirable. It was also a wild cat look alike. It had a lot of relapses at first and I got quite a few scratches and bites. One day, I got the shock of my life. I found it in the kitchen with a wildcat. It was about three times the size of a domestic cat and had the look of a Linux, fierce looking as well. But my cat was so relaxed about, whilst it's dinner was being consumed that I took the same attitude. Evidently starving, the cat the dinner and left. I took the view that the wildcat had been invited, possibly an acquaintance from the old days.

Cats make a range of noises. Mee-ow, purr, growl. To name but three of few. But you are possibly familiar with noises you hear , mainly from outside, which cats make, which, at first sound like babies crying. You rapidly become familiar with the mee-ow, which means, "I'm a ***** cat, just a kitten, in need of nurturing. Then there is the growls, which means "I'm a serial killer! I should cocoa! On yer bike!"Next of course, the familiar purr which seems to characteristically cat. The sound is mysterious. It is hard to deduce where it comes from. It seems to me, low in the throat. It comes from a contentment machine, which means"Everything is going well at the moment, we have come to an understanding, you do everything, whilst I look good". That is the urn hanging relationship you will have with it, unless it's a mouser. The main thing to remember is that it is purring for you. Not just in your presence. It is telling you something. It is not just making a noise whilst you happen to be around. "Thank you's from a cat are rewarding, but painfully, it will claw you intermittently with both paws. Cover yourself with something, that is best, but do not stop it.  This they call "treading". In doing this, I have an inkling there is a medical purpose, in that they seem to seak out lumps if you have any. In a cat, maybe, it could move along intestinal blockages in a mate's belly. Possibly more common in carnivores. At times, it seems the pressing is prolonged and deliberate at an exact spot. The same spot is re-examined the next day. The cat goes into an almost trance like state at this time, and does not like to be distracted. As if, expert or concentrating.

The most unusual thing, for me, at least is that this particular cat would sit down and speak to me in "cat". I thought because it was possibly only used to other cats being around. When I say cat, I mean other than the usual cat noises. More like the baby. Noises you hear from afar. I learned however that these different baby noises had slight differences, with different circumstances. I cannot mimics the sounds, but the cat recognised my attempts. I had "I just want to go out" . "I'm not hungry, but I need to hunt" , "Come with me" "Please see to me". There are possibly more , but I cannot recall. In addition, there were quite a few noises I could not fathom. Overall, I deduced that there was a cat language, for cats. Probably hard wired into their heads. In addition, I found there was common vestiges of language, between species, that they all understand. Whilst trickery is a theme different species use in order to catch prey. Trickery is not on issue in this language. It seems animals, in the main, mean what they say. Us being an obvious exception.

The most common inter special saying, it seems to me, is the yawn. With the possible exception of the snail, I'm not sure about that, all my pets yawn, and sometimes they yawn "At" each other. It means I do not intend to harm you. You can drink at the same bowel, for now. Don't run away, I can, but won't bite you and so on. The international peace symbol, is the yawn, not the dove, the dove can yawn. I haven't seen an animal renege on this. I know you might say, the animal is simply tired and cannot be bothered, but if I had not deduced it to be more than this, I would not be mentioning it. In addition, you are more likely to get the yawn, if you have recently been in conflict, or bitten. An animal may also repeat if it thinks you have missed it.

The extended paw, on the ground. This is the international request, and universally respected. It means, "can I". If you agree, don't renege on it. The animal will become confused. If you do it, the animal will behave accordingly, depending on the situation. The mouse, the cat, dog, tortoise, they all do it, and with each other. The snail would do it. It is still trying!!

Obviously, there is more, but enough for now.

Regards.










#2    danielost

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:29 AM

I like your text.

By the way what the cat is doing with his paws is called kneading.  Kittens do this to their moms, so she will give more milk at feedng time.  Adult cats do it when they are happy.  If a cat  is kneading and purring you couldn't a happier cat.

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