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« How now! A rat?* | Main | Through a lens darkly »

June 22, 2006


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There seems to be a protocol to the "rub my tummy" invitation. I've seen it many times when getting acquainted with a new kitty. The invitation is given. When the strange hand descends it is clutched lightly in the paws with just a little bit of claw. Sometimes a knuckle or finger is lightly bitten. While this goes on eye contact is made which seems to be saying, "If I'm going to trust you to rub my vulnerable tummy, you've got to trust me not to hurt you." If you hold the hand absolutely still, it is almost invariably released and tummy rubs ensue.

I have experienced this so many times that I have the protocol down and am thus able to rub some furry tummy's of note. Kitty's are heavily into reciprocal agreements.

Oh, Sissy, you got the best picture! And the best title.

I've often contemplated what happened to Roy, of Siegfried and Roy (whatever it was that happened: the tiger Mantecore's motivation was not clear) and thanked my lucky stars that my cats are not the size of a tiger. They might do me in in a moment of irritability, one that a fellow tiger's hide could withstand but a human's thin skin could not. (Was Mantecore trying to drag Roy away by a nonexistent "scruff"?) As it is, my size acts as an "equalizer" to their undeniable superiority. The other advantage I have in dealing with them is fearlessness. I've been bitten, I've been scratched, I have a high pain threshold, so big deal, bring it on. This means that when a cat has a fit of pique or panic, I can dial it down and get very, very calm, and they usually take a cue from that. If not, I just bite them back. It's very satisfying to de- I mean ascend to their level, even if the price is a mouthful of fur.

Oh, and purring. What a marvelous invention -- the finishing touch of cats' perfection. (My old neighbor, a magnificent artist from Georgia and more than half cat herself, once told me they have only one single flaw: their lives are too short.) I'm sure it stimulates the milk letdown reflex, since it also releases endorphins and oxytocin in humans.

The members of the porcine family are braver than I. A fabulous post.

Love the pictures. *grin*

It's so easy in the lovely enclosed bubble, to have all creatures "just get along". None of them have to fight for It's a lovely fantasy though. food or survival. Too bad there are so many people who can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

Wow - I did something weird to my comment above - I think it's readable... but wow. LOL.

If I have my choice, I'd druther be the tiger, thank you very much.

some photo.
Like Peaceable Kingdom. Images are powerful, aren't they?

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