Muriel's New Noise

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the_girls.jpgOur kitten Muriel is getting bigger every day. No longer the little thing she was when we brought her home in October, she is now almost as long as her older sister Callie.

But up to now one thing has stayed the same - Muriel's voice, or lack thereof. She doesn't meow, howl, growl, or cry. She just opens her mouth and this little aspirated noise leaks out. It is best described by having you do a short sample yourself. Say the word "kick", but leave off the "ck" sound at the end. This aspirated "ki.." signals everything from "Hey there!" to "I'm hungry" to challenges to Calllie over food.

Not so loud that it is annoying, the noise can easily be ignored if the situation warrants. This has been a good thing because Muriel loves to talk. Start preparing dinner and she saunters into the kitchen with a stream of "ki..s". Her fixation with the bedroom ceiling fan would be a problem if the stream of utterances that she unleashes while standing on her hind legs had any volume or power, but fifteen "ki..s" in a row just end up sounding silly when you realize that she is trying to threaten an electrical device.

Yesterday she came up with a new sound. Being consistent, this is not a yowl or a mew. It is more like the sound of a door that is just beginnng to need oil on its hinges - a short, soft, plaintive, high pitched, whimper - sort of an "eep" without the "p" on the end. It comes out in twos and threes when she is perturbed or excited. She gives it to Callie when she wants her to play but Callie doesn't want any part of it. She gave it to me today after she was expelled to her time-out room (under the couch) for losing her head and jumping up onto the bookshelf during a particularly enthusiastic chase session with her sister.

I hope that this is the end of her vocabulary development. She's just at the age where she might begin to talk back. I'd hate to have to head into that problem again. Corie spent an awful lot of time under the couch as a teenager and I think that she still resents it.

7 Comments

Actually, I enjoyed the couch, as that's where all of my Cheerios wound up, anyway.

I'd also like to note that there's an extreme cat picture deficiency on your site. I don't get to see my sisters very often-- the least you could do is post a couple headshots every now and then...

I think that the best you'll get with Callie is buttshots, but I'll try to post a bit more about the cats. You could, of course, come and visit them any time you feel the need.

Hmm. I severely restrict my visits to places under 50 degrees these days...

It is 50° on the deck right now and was 72° yesterday. It actually RAINED yesterday !

hmmm. just more pictures, please.

Many moons ago a sweet cat lived with me in Bayside, Lady Jane. An affectionate, low key tabby very much like Muriel in coat and boots.
She loved to fetch wine corks. I did my best to keep her supplied, of course.
One afternoon I spied her lounging on the windowsill, nibbling a Wandering Jew down to stubble. A pidgeon landed on the adjacent ledge.
She crouched, stared and made a noise I can only describe as cat-sized machine gun fire. Aaaakk,
aaaakk, aaaaaakkkk! This continued until the bird became bored and flew away, saved by the windowpane. I never heard another cat make that sound until we welcomed Elliot. He was only a kitten, on a windowsill. There was a sparrow. Aaaakk, aaaakk! This seems to have been a once in a lifetime utterance. Just that one time. Coincidentally, he looks just like Lady Jane, although he is no lady.

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This page contains a single entry by published on March 2, 2004 3:03 AM.

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