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Author: dlbuffy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121976  
Subject: Happy post - yes animals care about you Date: 10/2/2012 11:56 AM
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Ok,
Been meaning to drop some anacdotal evidence here on a topic I've seen/heard debated a few times.

Do animals really care/love you, or are they only responding to a food source?

We have a neighborhood cat that started to show up many months back. She has siamese markings with short fluffy hair. Her eyes are blue, bu they are not crossed...so basically a cat mutt. We call her Siam ('cause we are creative like that). The back ground is that she was abandonded by people who lost house, adopted by some others in neighborhood (I managed to find them), but spend so much of her young life outside she keeps escaping their place. So she is well fed, cared for, and has a home when she wants to go there.

In the time she has been in the neighborhood she has developed a bond with us that is so freaking adorable. She will stop by the house for 5-10 minutes of attention while she is out and about. The timing is when ever she feels like it, but you can see her be-bopping across the lawn, tail up and head high if she spots you. Occasionally we will see her out the sliding glass door too, so she has learned that back door is also a place to find us.

Now, some people would respond that she is only showing up for the reward of getting petted. But the argument I have heard in past is that animals only respond to the person because they provide food. Siam has never been fed by us. Also, the opposite (in a cat's world) of getting petted is pain. I discovered she had been injured (looked like tooth pierce into her chest, big, like dog) and I forced her still while I inspected the damage. Not something a cat likes. Another negative to our house are my two cats, who get along with NO ONE and will chase her away. Lastly, in my normal day to day activities I have not seen her approaching and startled her away with loud noises from garage door, tools, projects.

Despite that, she has still bonded with me. She will actively seek me out for a moment to say hi (very talkative) and to get some attention. Then she is on her way.
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Author: rita205 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 119796 of 121976
Subject: Re: Happy post - yes animals care about you Date: 10/2/2012 4:33 PM
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I once read somewhere (real scientific, I know) that the tail in the air gesture is one that cats only do when around humans. It has no counterpart as cat language among cats. If true, then that's a sign that they are responding to you as a loved one, not just a food or pleasure source.

Whatever, I believe animals do bond with people, and bond with different people differently.

rita

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 119797 of 121976
Subject: Re: Happy post - yes animals care about you Date: 10/2/2012 6:07 PM
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I once read somewhere (real scientific, I know) that the tail in the air gesture is one that cats only do when around humans. It has no counterpart as cat language among cats.



and i saw on the TV that among Leopards it means: "belly's full, babies are safe, my territory secure"

not a communication as much as just an expression .. like a big ol' smile


and that fits better with my Cat's usage: ONLY time her tail is not up:
sleeping, scared (of visitors), & when she was sick.


... they absolutely 'bond' --but whether there's a feeling of affection, vs habit .... dunno

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 119805 of 121976
Subject: Re: Happy post - yes animals care about you Date: 10/3/2012 4:32 PM
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You said it best when you said she was looking for attention.
One of my cats passed away last year and our remaining cat has taken a liking to my husband (all of a sudden). When he sits on the couch, she sits next to him and puts her paw on his lap. This cat is ten years old and was never affectionate with anyone. I wonder if she has become affectionate because the other cat is gone (even though she was not fond of that cat).
I suppose we could spend the rest of our lives trying to figure out our cats!

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Author: Maraith Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 119886 of 121976
Subject: Re: Happy post - yes animals care about you Date: 10/14/2012 11:53 PM
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I remember reading that tail in the air and approaching means recognition. My two do it all the time when I've been away (even for an hour). Plus lots of talking.

There's love in those eyes. No doubt about it. Just like there's love in mine when I look at them or cuddle them.

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