Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lost In Translation

True inter-species communication is rare at best. Communication between animals that possess different vocal or physical attributes, not to mention motivations or philosophies can be challenging if not impossible. However, scientist thingies often believe that they can "crack the code" or "find the Rosetta Stone".

As usual, they are wrong.

Don't get me wrong, with time and patience, one can often get the general idea of what another species is trying to say, but true, verifiable communication will always elude those who attempt it.

Take dog thingies for example, after much study it has been determined that if you see a dog sitting in the yard, licking itself, in effect it is saying "I am a dog, this is what I do. Perhaps later I will chase my tail or bark at a shadow, but for now I will sit here and lick myself". We can be confident of this translation because we have observed the dog thingy and have reached the conclusion that that is simply what they do. However, what we cannot know is the dog thingy's motivation. Is it a physiological requirement that they sit and lick themselves? Is it some kind of doggy tradition or ritual? Is there something in their microbrains that is constantly receiving a message that its nether regions are perpetually dirty and require frequent cleanings? We will never know. 

Even more study has been dedicated to trying to understand feline communication. It is virtually impossible to surf the internet for more than five minutes without coming across an article or video claiming to have unlocked the secret of "what your cat is trying to tell you". I have even blogged about it (much more accurately than the scientists) several times over the years.

This is all well and good. However, it is also extremely anthropocentric. With all the studies and websites dedicated to discovering what cats are saying two leggers, there is not an iota of information regarding what two leggers are saying to us.

Once again, it is up to me to rectify this oversight.

I have had much time to study the two leggers and I feel that I am imminently qualified to provide such a translation.

Like felines, two leggers use a combination of vocalizations and gestures to communicate with their four legged masters. Though their language is complex, I will now provide a few of their most commonly used messages.

When entering a room, if a two legger stands with legs spread in a wide stance, and point with a single finger, it means that they see you and are very happy to be graced by your presence. If they waggle the finger, it indicates that they wish to give you a scritch under the chin.

Often, upon returning to the house after work, they will scream your name in joy at the sight of a broken glass or lamp. This is a sign that they missed you during their absence and wish to congratulate you on your decorating skills.

Every morning, as they leave for work, they will turn and say "Now you cats be good". This is a running joke and proves that they have a sense of humor.

General communications
 Hopping on one foot while furiously brushing at the other is an indication that they have just found the fresh hairball that you left in a darkened hallway. The Hairball Dance is often accompanied by the traditional Hairball Chant which basically goes "Ohmigod! Ew ew ew, ew-ew ew, ew-ew-ew.........ew". This dance/chant is so common and varies so little that I have reason to suspect that it may have religious undertones.

When a two legger places an object on a shelf or table and then turn and waggle a finger at you, they are telling you that they have placed it there for your amusement and expect you to leave it on the floor when you are finished with it.

Occasionally, the two leggers use a compound gesture that involve taking two fingers, pointing them at their own eyes, and then pointing them at me. Though complex, the meaning of these gestures is obvious. They are saying:
1. "I see what you did there, and I honor you for doing it"
2. "I am eagerly watching to see what wonderful things you may do next".

One of the most common vocalizations that two leggers utilize is the word "NO!". Some believe that this is a negative word thingy, however after much research, I have discovered that the word "NO!" is actually derived from the Latin phrase "Nolo contendere" which translated means "I will not contend". Therefore they are actually condoning your action and telling you that it is perfectly okay to continue with what you were doing.

This is just a small sampling of the much broader translation I have developed. There are many more gestures and vocalizations that I am still working to interpret. Since I am such a generous soul and am dedicated to the education of my minions, I shall continue my work in this field and update you when applicable.

In the meantime just remember......."No" really means "Okie dokie".



  1. "Nolo contendere" sounds about right to me.
    I hope you have a fun-filled Valentine's weekend ComMonster Sir, and that your female 2 legger gets a few flower vases for you to amuse yourself with.

  2. Great translations so all cats can maintain a happy and harmonious household with their human servants.

  3. I just discovered your blog and I love it. You are so spot on in what the 2 leg gears are trying to say. <3.

    1. Thank you Miss Julie! Welcome to my world thingy!