Have you ever been curious about how we sound to animals? Sure, we speak in several languages, maybe even they do, but they all sound the same to us. A cat’s meows are never different from another nor is a dogs “woof” any different from others. Except for the tone, decibel and other differences in sound, all cats, dogs, wolves and frogs sound the same. So what do we sound like to them?
In that question is a small lesson that all animals impart to humans – the significance of body language. Sometimes, two people can speak the same language and fail to communicate a message, whereas, two people can speak different languages and still successfully communicate a message. That’s why some lovers are born without communicating in the same language and that is why pet owners are so attuned to their pets’ varying needs. A cat-owner will tell you exactly what his or her cat is thinking, feeling or experiencing at any moment in time because he or she understands the cat’s body language so well. Obviously, if a pet spoke English to an English-speaking owner it would make the process easier, but where’s the fun in that? More importantly, if your pet spoke and you understood, will that make your relationship better or worse? Sometimes, silent meows or a bark can say much more than a word. Sometimes, you don’t want to say anything to your pet, you just want your pet to understand you and you to understand him or her.
Pets teach us that actions, not words, define us and show someone how much we care about them. When you’re down in the dumps and your cuddly fur-ball detects it and comes to you to give you some love, tell me, what can be better than that? You don’t have to tell him or her anything, she just knows and comes to comfort you. Pets teach us we can have an emotionally fulfilling relationship with someone without using pretentious words that encourage false promises. Pets teach us that you don’t need a language to communicate with someone, you just need a generous dose of trust and understanding.
That is why owners take special care when a new pet arrives and make a sincere effort to gain the pet’s trust and understanding. Some may argue that, by giving a pet basic food and water to survive, the pet trusts you, but it won’t love you if you don’t love it back. Reciprocation, actions, understanding and trust make a successful relationship, not empty words, dubious promises and lacklustre shows of affection.
(This post is dedicated to Isis, the cat I never had)