Some people are masters of small talk — I am not one. I try to keep a handful of topics at the ready, and complimenting outfits and food is always a nice go-to starter. I always hope there’s an instant connection and that the awkward small talk turns into more interesting conversation. Small talk with people who I know can be easier, but I’d still rather avoid meaningless chit-chat and go right for the meaty stuff.
If cats engaged in small talk, it seems to me, they’d run into the same challenges. Here are some possible small-talk conversation starters the feline set might employ, along with some classic Alfred Mainzer postcards.
We’ve all been faced with having to make small talk at casual gatherings. This can be especially awkward with strangers. We humans usually ask small-talk questions about the food, the music, or the connection with the host. At a casual cat party, these might be the small talk openers:
“Who brought that seven-layer Fancy Feast dip? It’s to die for!”
“Did we meet at Felix’s pre-neuter party?”
“Did you come from a litter of all silver tabbies? I might know your brother.”
You never know who you’re going to run into at the park. Those with kids sometimes meet up for playdates, but there are always opportunities to meet new friends. Either way, small talk is often a part of a park visit. Common human topics include weather, schools, kids’ extracurricular activities, and even gossip about other parents. Here’s what cats would discuss:
“I heard Marshmallow isn’t able to nurse her own kittens. Patches is taking them on, along with her own litter of five! Can you imagine?”
“I forgot to bring snacks. Does anyone have extra kibble packets? Never mind — I see a couple of grasshoppers.”
“So when did you get spayed? Who’s your vet? Do you like her?”
The salon is a hotbed of gossip and small talk. When we’re in the chair, there’s not much to do but chat with the stylist. If it’s a new one, the small talk is all about “getting to know you” business. A stylist with whom we have a relationship means more substantial chit-chat, but small talk nonetheless. Here’s how things would go down in a feline salon:
“You can tell me … is Miss Boots a natural orange tabby?”
“How often do you bathe? I’m so jealous of your coat!”
“Those nail caps are divine!”
We don’t often engage in small talk while waiting for a medical or dental appointment, but if there’s a super long wait, we just might share complaints about bad scheduling. Chatty humans might offer details about their maladies, but most of us don’t go for the TMI. Cats poop in boxes and cough up hairballs. TMI really doesn’t matter to most felines. Here’s what might happen in their waiting rooms.
“I wouldn’t sit in that chair. The last cat had a serious case of fleas.”
“Who’s had worms? Can you take a look at this?”
“This is my first time here — does this doctor give treats to the kittens after vaccinations?”
Sometimes moms (or dads) with kids get together during the day to pass the time, let the kids play together, and engage in conversation and hobbies. When someone new joins, there’s lots of basic small talk. This is the same for cat get-togethers — like these kitty conversation starters.
“Little Snowball’s under the bed. Maybe Mitzy can roll a jingle ball under there for her.”
“Who knows where I can find a dozen ping-pong balls for a birthday party?”
“These kittens are driving me crazy. Does anyone have catnip in their purse?”
What kind of small talk would your cats engage in? Tell us in the comments!
Read more by Angie Bailey:
About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.