You know how some people just have a big, passionate way of doing things? I have a cat with these qualities. My black cat Rama is a big, physical boy, and he does things in a big way.
Some cats are just more passionate than others, but Rama is one of the most passionate cats I’ve known. Sure, Zorro follows me all over the house and sticks close to my side like a Velcro cat. He talks to me all the time, too. But somehow Zorro’s communications and behaviors have a lighter quality than Rama’s. When Rama interacts with me, it feels as if he’s throwing his whole heart into it.
Rama’s a big boy, and he has big body language. He doesn’t do anything half way. When he runs for the bed, he bounds onto the bed. When he talks, it’s throaty and on the verge of crabby sounding. When he first joined our household, I thought he was perpetually crabby. Over time, I came to realize that he just has a throaty, growly, on-the-verge-of whiny voice. But he puts his intention in his vocalizing, and you can tell that he means it.
How does Rama show me that he’s passionate?
If Rama even gets an inkling that I might be heading toward the bed, and if his eyes catch mine at the exact right moment, he bounds onto the bed, happily waiting for petting and snuggling. If I don’t instantly join him, he looks confused. A moment later, if I still don’t join him, he jumps off the bed and bounds out of the room as if embarrassed.
If I get the cues correctly, and give him his snuggling, he’ll do many things that he won’t normally tolerate. More on that in a moment.
Once he’s in one of his passionate “moods,” the talking begins. And like everything else, he puts his heart in it. His vocalizations are low and throaty, and his eyes slit closed in contentment. I’ve never had a cat with such a low, happy, almost-whiny growly voice. Picture a throaty human singer, perhaps singing jazz, and you might come close to what Rama sounds like.
He’s gentle, and he never breaks skin, but it’s apparent that he is very, very happy. Rama will delicately taken the outer side of my hand with his teeth, and holds on. His eyes are on me the whole time. Rama can be an interesting mixture of passionate sultan cat (the real house panther) or shy big boy, but there’s nothing shy in these moments. He is totally connected.
Rama is not normally floppy like my Ragdoll. In fact, he has to be just in the right mood to be handled. But when he’s really really happy, only I can get away with a few things (my husband has tried, but no go). In his extremely happy, passionate mood, Rama will let me gently flop him down on his side. This has to take place on the bed, though. I don’t think he would do it anywhere else. All the while, he seems to be looking at me with adoration.
Again, if this is going to happen, it must be on the bed, Rama’s favorite place to cuddle. Rama must be in just the right happy, passionate mood. And then, barely, just barely, he’ll start to raise his butt if I scratch right behind the tail. This usually happens best if I am also scratching him on the chin, and getting him to “lean in.”
I know this sounds crazy, but I have a cat who lives “big.” He’s physical, and demonstrative. When he demonstrates the behaviors I’ve mentioned, the word that comes to me is “passionate.” Can a cat be passionate? I don’t know, but Rama comes closer than any other cat I’ve known.
Do you have a passionate cat? How does he or she show you? Let us know in the comments!
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About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr (cat fantasy novel out June 1), the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.