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How to Speak Cat: Welcome to the Secret World of Cat Lingo

The back-alley feline slang known as Fanglish is muttered by indoor and outdoor cats alike. Here are some new terms for the feeble human mind.

 |  Mar 28th 2013  |   17 Contributions


Late last year we introduced you to some terms from the Fanglish dictionary of cat lingo. This back-alley feline slang is clandestinely muttered by indoor and outdoor cats alike. In fact, the inside set loves nothing more than to feel even more obscure and cool in front of humans.

We're ready to once again crack open this private pussycat vernacular guide and expose a few more terms. Please read this post behind a closed door, under a blanket with a flashlight. If cats discover we've compromised their code, we'll certainly pay in ways I dare not even speculate. Be careful -- the cats are watching. 

"Avert your eyes. Now." Gray Cat and Book by Shutterstock

1. Instant message

A cat's plea for attention by walking across a human's computer keyboard.

The lady didn't respond to Maurice's mews so he gave her an instant message.

"Can you hear me now?" Cat Sitting on Laptop by Flickr Creative Commons

We like to believe we're in control, but we're dead wrong. We may think we're going to sit at the computer and accomplish a few things, but kitty's running the show. And if we don't listen to his subtle signals, we just may receive an instant message. 

2. Conquistadoor

A cat who tries to conquer a door that stands between him and a human by batting, banging, or sliding his paw under the door.

The lady could never enjoy a quiet moment in the bathroom because Snowball was an unstoppable conquistadoor.

"This door is no match for my strength and cunning!" Cat's Paws Under a Door by Flickr Creative Commons

Cats panic when they feel they cannot physically get to us. They work so hard trying to break down the barriers that separate us from them. Don Quixote battled windmills. The cat battles doors. 

3. Kickboxer

A cat who uses his back legs to fling litter out of the litter box.

The lady didn't like cleaning up after Mittens because he was a total kickboxer.

"Preparing to defend my kickboxing championship title." Cat Digging in Litter Box by Shutterstock

My Cosmo likes to get kicky. He liberally tosses litter from that box like he's throwing beads from a Mardi Gras float. Except no one wants to catch what he's giving. Seriously -- the cat needs to learn how to use a broom and dust pan. 

4. Sunny and Share

Two or more cats lying in the same sun-puddle. 

The beam shining through the kitchen window provided the perfect sunny and share for Maurice and Snowball.

"I got you, babe." Cats in the Sun by Flickr Creative Commons

What's better than stretching out in a splash of sunlight? Not much. Some cats even snuggle together in those sun-puddles. Mine don't share and tend to fight over these prime places. Selfish! And the beat goes on.

5. Paw and order

A cat's method of directing order at humans by pawing at them.

After a bit of paw and order, the lady finally put down her book and allowed Maurice in her lap.

"Justice is served." Woman and Cat on Sofa by Shutterstock

My cats don't like when I read because that means they have to work around the book in my lap. I can usually figure out a way to placate the cat and read a chapter or two; however, if my cat had his way, I'd be completely illiterate. Except for reading cat food labels.

6. Cabinet position

Crouched, hiding in a cabinet.

The lady found Maurice under the sink and removed him from his cabinet position.

"I'd like to appeal!"

This photo is of my Cosmo. He loves to sneak into cabinets and hide for awhile. Sometimes we'll hear a thumping and realize he's gotten himself stuck inside a cupboard. This, of course, is hilarious.

7. Flee control

Preventing feline escape by placing a cat in a closed room while movers or other humans come and go from a building.

In an act of flee control, the lady placed Mittens in the bathroom while the delivery humans carried new furniture into the house.

Ask the cat to move, then wash your hands. Cat in Sink by Flickr Creative Commons

Sometimes kitty has to be locked safely away when the door to the outside is propped open for one reason or another. My cats usually (always) hate it. I think they teeter between feelings of stranger-danger and the distinct certainty they are missing something very cool.

8. Five o'clock shadow

The shadow of a human seen walking to the bathroom at 5 a.m., clearly indicating breakfast time.

Mittens saw the lady's five o'clock shadow and immediately began yowling for food.

"You're up. Feed me." Cat at Night by Flickr Creative Commons

If I'm not really to make the commitment to get up for the day, but need to visit the facilities, I must tiptoe to tinkle or the cats think it's definitely time for breakfast. Not fun. This is the reason why sometimes I lie in bed with a full bladder. Also not fun.

9. Loaf of wry

A sarcastic-looking cat who is tightly tucked into a loaf position.

The lady wanted Mittens to play with the neighbor boy, but he was clearly a loaf of wry.

"You want a slice of this?" Black Cat Loaf by Flickr Creative Commons

Cats look sarcastic much of the time. When they fully contract their limbs and tail and assume the classic loaf position, they appear even more peevishly puckered. 

10. Pawla Deen

A cat who jumps on the counter to lick a stick of butter.

Maurice was glad the lady made pancakes that morning because he was a complete Pawla Deen

"Everything's better with butter."

My Saffy can't get enough butter, y'all. If it's on the counter and we're out of sight, she's all over it like gravy on pot roast. She succeeded in breaking two butter dishes before we got wise and started keeping it in the pantry. 

They teach 'em young! Kitten and Book by Shutterstock

Got anything to add to the Fanglish dictionary? Let us know in the comments below. And for a more extensive look at the dictionary, visit Catladyland, but do it when your cats are sleeping. We don't want trouble!

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