After a few nights away I got home last night to find that during my absence my lovely cat sitter had done a great job of keeping my 2 cats happily fed, watered and cuddled. Last night one of my two cats jumped onto my tummy as I lay in bed reading, making himself a comfy bed he proceeded to purr louder..and LOUDER..AND LOUDER! I put my book down, and stroking him I thought, "Well Bertie there's no mistaking how you feel about me being back home again." Looking across the room I noticed his brother Basil had made himself comfy on the floor, and he appeared to be choosing the moodier, "I'll let her suffer a bit longer for being away" approach. His grumpiness didn't last too long as I woke up in the wee small hours with him curled up at my feet purring contentedly.
Sometimes when we meet up with someone we can miss obvious clues to how they're really feeling, and this can make effective communication a lot less than effective. At the risk of sounding completely nuts, wouldn't it be so much easier if we could hear a muffled purr if the person was in a good mood expressing contentment or a disapproving hiss when their mood was less favourable? Alas, maybe we're just not as evolved as cats!
So until that day comes keep practising listening with your eyes and ears, and notice how you feel as you engage with the other person, because by paying attention to your own feelings you are more likely to be able to pick up on their emotional state.
"If we treated everyone we meet with the same affection we bestow upon our favourite cat, they, too, would purr." - Martin Buxbaum
"There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person." - Dan Greenberg