It’s Monday but I thought it would be fun to join in with
Stream Of Consciousness Saturday
today anyway. Last Saturday, Linda’s prompt for us was to write about the sounds that animals make and how we experience them.
Well, quite obviously I think, the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking of the sounds of animals in general, are feline sounds, more exactly the sounds that Misha makes. I find them soooooo soothing and relaxing. It’s pure bliss to me to be very close to Misha so that I can hear all the sounds of his. I generally love to hear cats purring (who doesn’t?), it’s a cute sound, but Misha’s purr is special. Not only because Misha is mine and I love Misha, but also because Misha’s purr is very quiet. An average cat will start purring before you even stroke him, and so loudly that sometimes even people on the other side of the room or even next door can hear it. Cats are very generous in that respect. Well, not Misha. His purrs are for VIP’s only, and even more often, he purrs just for himself. As you probably know if you’ve been around here for a while and read some of my posts about Misha or Misha’s posts, Misha is very fearful, rather solitary and not particularly vocal. It’s not like he’s selfish, like a lot of people think. He does want closeness, and cuddles and all that, but, first, it has to be on his conditions – when and where and how long he wants – and second, he is also afraid of touch and sudden movement and often it is very difficult for him to overcome this fear, though there are better days and worse, I’m not entirely sure what exactly it depends on, but probably just like with us humans – sometimes we’re cheerful, sometimes we’re sad, sometimes we’re anxious, sometimes we want to be alone, and sometimes with others, and sometimes we want to have fun and play. – Anyway, all those traits of Misha probably contribute to the fact that his purrs are usually very, very quiet. Like, most of the time you’d have to literally put your ear very near him to hear it, so usually you are more likely to feel his purr and the vibrations in his throat, rather than hear it. My Mum claims that Misha must have something wrong with his throat or larynx because it is not normal, and I’ve always thought it’s just the way he is and has nothing to do with his larynx. However, recently I’ve been thinking more about it because I’ve noticed that Misha frequently chokes a bit when eating. Not very badly, just a little bit. I suppose it’s not something new but just something that I hadn’t noticed previously. So that could be either through some larynx issues indeed, or perhaps because Misha tends to eat very quickly and a bit as if he supposed that someone is going to take the food away from him any time suddenly or do something scary so that he’ll have to run away immediately. Really sometimes you could think he’s got some bad trauma like a lot of shelter cats do.
We humans often think that when a cat purrs, it must be happy and content. Well, I’m no expert at felines, though I have observed Misha and read a lot about cats and their behaviour, and specifically purring, and it seems to be a myth. I think I’ve written on that previously, but I’ll say that here too. Cats can also purr when feeling anxious, or in pain, to soothe themselves in a variety of situations, and probably in several other instances which I don’t remember. The anxious bit is certainly true for Misha! I’ve often heard, or felt, that he purrs when he’s afraid or just tense and nervous. As I said, he frequently purrs just for himself, for example in his bed, before falling asleep, when no one is petting him or paying particularly much attention to him. I always find it so cute, it’s like a child would sing himself to sleep. I think it soothes him.
Apart from purring, cats of course make a lot of other noises. Misha hasn’t spoilt us with a particularly wide range of them, but he’s definitely capable of it, just chooses not to do it very frequently. He can be just as expressive with all the “hhrrru’s?” and meows he makes as we can be with our languages and tones of voice, which makes him an excellent manipulator! Some of his sounds alone will break your heart and fill you with overwhelming sadness, others will make you annoyed and irritated at him even though he didn’t do anything other than meow or hhrrru? because it sounds like he’s screaming at you, others will make you feel lighter and happier and like it’s going to be a very beautiful day, and some will make you rush for Mish ice-cream and sausages urgently on autopilot. There are also such that will let you know that poo is on its way (when Misha is for example closed somewhere and can’t go to the loo) or that he’s going to vomit (this is probably the only Mish sound I really dislike, or that sun is shining so beautifully that Mishka would like to go out just for a little while, or that the fun has gone one step too far and Misha has transformed into a real predator.
When Misha sleeps in my room and doesn’t feel too anxious, I love to sit or lay very close to him, and listen to his purr, breath, heartbeat and his tummy gurgles. It’s better than any kind of music or relaxing sounds we could ever create! Especially Misha’s breath is something I love, and, again, it’s not always easy to hear well even when you’re relatively close. A lot of the time, especially when he isn’t purring, his breath is very similar to that of a baby.
Another Mish sound I truly love is the sound of little Mish paws on a carpet when he’s running or walking quickly, it’s a very quiet sound but so delightful.
There are sounds that cats make though that I am not a big fan of, especially when it comes to wild cats. When I was a small child and lived in the country, we had lots of wild cats on our backyard. Some got used to people and were very cuddly, others not, but they were both fighting and copulating frequently at nights, and I hated hearing that. It was scary! Especially when I was very small and had no idea what those sounds were! Just imagine it – everyone’s asleep, you’re in bed and suddenly you hear moaning and howling and lots of other creepy sounds, as if some haunted or long condemned individuals were wandering around out there. – 😀 My sensory anxiety always gets way more nasty when I don’t know the source of a sound, which I guess is not particularly strange as we’re always more likely to be scared of unknown stimuli especially when our brains are going to see them as a danger anyway. Now that I know what sounds cats make sometimes, they no longer provoke my sensory anxiety even if they are a little creepy sometimes. Here we also have a lot of wild cats, though Jocky keeps them at a distance most of the time. When we didn’t have Jocky though, there were loads of them and they made lots of noise as well, but that sounded more like extremely distressed babies crying or shrieking. 😀
We also had a fox farm in the neighbourhood for a while which was awful. My Mum has extremely sensitive sense of smell – she says she could work as a police dog 😀 – and it was always particularly unpleasant for her when the stinky smell of foxes would fill the air after the rain for example. What I hated the most though, were the sounds they were making sometimes. Before we moved here, I had no idea what sounds, if any, foxes could make, and the first time I heard that was very unpleasant. Not only because their barking is really unpleasant I think rather objectively, but also because… if any of you had read my short story about sleep paralysis called
, then perhaps you remember the guy called Ian, who was the main character’s sleep abuser. Well, for some reason, my “Ian” sometimes makes eerily similar sounds, and has had since I know him, that is since pretty much forever, dunno, maybe he has some fox relatives or whatever. So you can imagine that it scared me out of my pants.
Which animals sounds do you like or find soothing? Are there any that you particularly dislike? 🙂