Monday, April 12, 2021

Speak Up; You're Mumbling

My foster-cat, Neville, is becoming rather a talkative fellow. He didn’t say much when he first arrived. Over time, however, he started talking to his food. He would mumble into his bowl while he was eating. He reminded me of soldiers in movies who grumbled about their food even as they ate it; there was nothing else for them to eat.

As time went on, the Former Thin Man (he must have liked his food because he ate enough to qualify his title) began talking while he was served his meals, eventually reaching the point at which he would give his low grumbling mumble when he saw the full dish advancing on him. I would hold it up - “rhnmgnrmbmng…” - put it down, then hold it up again:  “rhnmgnrmbmng…”

The Nevsky has expanded his conversation, both in its quantity and its subjects. He will see me passing and stretch out on the floor or chair - “nnghdhmgrnnghh” - and roll onto his side or back: it’s time for some petting.

And now, he doesn’t wait until I am in the same room. I was in the kitchen this weekend and heard a murmuring grumble from the higher cat-tree in the sitting room. When I looked to see what the complaint was, Nev, lying on the uppermost platform, quickly rolled onto his side. Was it time for some chin-runs? All right; I had a few minutes.

Neville took a long time to become comfortable in the Cosy Apartment. He is still rather insecure, cringing when it is time for his insulin injections, even though they can’t hurt that much. Of more worry to him is his monthly ‘curves’, day-long ear-pokings to draw blood for testing. But he has also become much more accepting of affection, and often needs me only to repeat his name to start kneading the air and purring. His increased loquaciousness is, I think, a sign of his growing comfort and ease.

I just wish he’d use a few more vowels.



  1. Neville, you have a fan right here, in me. I have been a fan of yours right from the start. SO glad you're talking and 'splainin' things that need 'splainin'. And handsome? Whew. You are very handsome.

  2. He HAS come a long way under your care! I would be concerned if actually started using vowels.... 😁

  3. Neville must truly gain comfort in his home life. Just letting
    you know his likes and dislikes, as long as you can speak cat.
    Maybe the conversations will get more involved, and he can add
    movie night commentary for you.

  4. Are you sure he isn't reciting the chant of Cthulhu?

    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"

  5. Maybe you should learn his version of Catspeak so you can have a quality conversation.

  6. We try to to remind Miss Peach that it is impolite to complain about the food with her mouth full, but it doesn't seem Nev is complaining.

  7. Gee, John - I never realized that you were bi-lingual!! Who knew??

  8. I'm so very glad that Neville is comfortable enough now for chats!

  9. A happy cat talks. To food, to the Bein, to the others.

  10. Bless! I love hearing about Neville...
    He's lovely..that face..!
    Now! He's getting a bit vocal, he
    might help you with the film reviews!
    Well..the animal ones at least, dare
    l say it..'Puss in Boots'..(2011)..! :O).

  11. What a conversationalist. It is great when our furs start acknowledging the goings on and enjoyable things in their (our?) homes.
    Timmy has recently started giving many more "mrowr"s that are quiet and soft, fitting his personality, when he wants attention of some sort. I respond understanding this chat is an experience showing the true bond between us

  12. Glad you have learned the 'words' he mrouws to you...and its nice that he feels so much more comfy to tell you these things.

  13. Excellent job of keeping him guessing, Nevsky! High paw!

  14. The fact you can actually spell what he is saying is pretty darn impressive. It seems Neville has settled in and plans to stay.