How do they do it? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2007, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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How do they do it?

Sully is lacking his left front leg which doesn't slow him down one iota, but he does have some difficulty grooming, particuarly the left side of his face.

Amazingly, the other cats do it for him. I wish I understood how they communicated with each other, because I find it just amazing how the big boys would just KNOW that Sully can't wash that ear.

I know cats mutual groom as a social activity, and my cats have always done that but this is different. Instead of the hap hazard head licking that normally goes on, Sully will go over and lay down next to one of the big boys and start purring, the big guy will then put a paw on Sully's neck and power scrub the left side of his face and neck. This is a deep clean, serious groom job.

Its just so interesting to me. How do the cats process Sully's missing leg? How do they know what he needs? I'm just in awe. Cats are amazing.

Rachael with Thurston, Sully and Ninja.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2007, 11:25 PM
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Awwww, that brought tears to my eyes.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 12:14 AM
 
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Awwwww this is so sweet... and so fascinating. It brought tears to my eyes too. I think cats do communicate pretty well, although I have no idea how - body language, simple observing skills, telepathy?? I would give a lot to know!

Something a little similar is happening in my home: since Obi's death, Wicket has been a lot needier than before - he seems a little under the weather, although much better than he was the first few days, and just begs for love all the time, not only from us but from the girls. He literally will go from Mew to Isis, then back to me, then to Mew, then to Isis... and they know perfectly well after both of them gave him a good grooming that he is clean. But they will lick him all over again, and he will purr and purr his little heart out. I think it's his own way of finding reassurance and solace, and the girls give it to him gladly. They groom and snuggle with Chewie too, but never in the same way - Chewie is strong-willed and happy, she is not affected in the same way Wicket is, and the girls seem to sense it. I will never cease to marvel at animals' natural love for each other
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 12:40 AM
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Awww, that is sooo sweet!

You'll probably think I'm crazy, but I have a theory that cats have evolved a form of empathic or telepathic sense that they use, not only for communication, but to judge the health of their prey. That would be quite a survival advantage for a mid-level predator like our kitties.
It would also explain some of the mystery that is a cat.
It explains some of the ways Arianwen responds to my emotions, too.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 01:10 AM
 
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It's so sweet that they make up for Sully's missing leg! Perhaps they can just tell by scent or something else that that area is not as clean? I know when my kitties get particularly messy, they clean each other in those spots especially. It's cute.

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Originally Posted by gunterkat
You'll probably think I'm crazy, but I have a theory that cats have evolved a form of empathic or telepathic sense that they use, not only for communication, but to judge the health of their prey.
I don't think it's crazy at all. When I'm in a bad mood, or sad, I know my kitties sense it, and they do their best to comfort me.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 07:11 AM
 
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Awwww.... that's a beautiful description of your other cats and Sully... so heart warming!!

To add to that... how to "some" cats feel or know when we humans are upset and crying. Some will come to comfort, and yet, some are puzzled and will only watch from a distance. The "comfort" cats amaze me... I've had a few of those in my life time.....and I always wondered, what they were thinking when they saw me crying... what made them come to comfort me..... Not sure what that is, but I think some cats are more "in tune" to humans than we give them credit for.....
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 08:51 AM
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I would suspect that the other cats know that Sully's ear/face is dirty by the smell. Since cats groom themselves to wipe away any scent that a predator might smell I imagine that cooperative grooming evolved because if a predator smells one, they are all at risk.

But it's really cute the way they take care of each other. With all of her fur, Holly has a tough time keeping herself clean and Kobi is always helping her out.

On comforting humans....many years ago, I was having gall bladder problems. I went from no symptoms to having something like 6 attacks in the 2 weeks it took them to figure out what was going on and get it out of me. The attacks would come on in the middle of the night and the only way I could even remotely get comfortable was to sit in the recliner in the LR. Onyx was not a lap cat by any stretch of the imagination, but when I was having those attacks, she would lay in my lap for hours just purring away. It was just the sweetest thing.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 09:32 AM
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That's a pretty good case for having more than one cat.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlebug
On comforting humans....many years ago, I was having gall bladder problems. I went from no symptoms to having something like 6 attacks in the 2 weeks it took them to figure out what was going on and get it out of me. The attacks would come on in the middle of the night and the only way I could even remotely get comfortable was to sit in the recliner in the LR. Onyx was not a lap cat by any stretch of the imagination, but when I was having those attacks, she would lay in my lap for hours just purring away. It was just the sweetest thing.
Many years ago, my appendix burst, I had peritonitis, and I ended up having the appendix and some other organs and pieces of organs removed. Needless to say, I spent my first week at home basically sitting. The love of my life, Major Thunderpussy, spent that whole week on my lap. He would rise up, gently avoid my belly, put his paws on my shoulders, and ask, "You OW???"

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you criticize him, you're a mile away and you have his shoes.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 10:41 AM
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I just love cats for all the reasons you guys mentioned . They are the sweetest things.


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