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Does your cat love you?
#53718 03/19/20 02:06 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
grelber Offline OP
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Maybe yes. Maybe no. It's a problem in definition.

What can be said is that, in addition to whatever attention-seeking behavior your cat displays towards you, if he/she spends a lot of time with his/her back towards you — as in every Kliban cartoon — he/she is demonstrating complete trust that you've "got his/her six" and will protect him/her from attack from behind — just like mommy would do.

Rationale:
Felids generally attack prey from behind and therefore consider themselves to be vulnerable in the same way. The domestic cat often demonstrates this hard-wired behavior by hiding/sleeping in enclosures such as grocery bags and boxes with one opening (ie, protected in the back and on the sides) and facing out through the opening.

Similarly, if your cat spends a lot of time on his/her back, displaying his/her underside to you, he/she is certain that you will not attack and eviscerate him/her — as he/she might attempt with adversaries and prey.

So, your cat accepts you as his/her friend and protector, even if love is not in the air. It probably doesn't get much better than that. 😊

(One in a potential series of COVID-19-scare brain farts engendered by self-isolation)

Re: Does your cat love you?
grelber #53719 03/19/20 02:43 PM
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I agree with your take on the subject, although I’d like to quibble a bit about your concluding ‘It probably doesn't get much better than that.’ I suppose this is closely related to how you pick your cat/kitten: if possible I like to go for the lively and interested ones that approach you (a stranger) freely and readily. These tend to be more gregarious and snuggly, which could be (mistaken for) ‘love’. What do you think?

laugh


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Re: Does your cat love you?
alternaut #53724 03/19/20 08:08 PM
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grelber Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: alternaut
I agree with your take on the subject, although I’d like to quibble a bit about your concluding ‘It probably doesn't get much better than that.
I suppose this is closely related to how you pick your cat/kitten: if possible I like to go for the lively and interested ones that approach you (a stranger) freely and readily. These tend to be more gregarious and snuggly, which could be (mistaken for) ‘love’. What do you think? laugh

I think you agree with what I said. And I agree with your take.

Re: Does your cat love you?
grelber #53725 03/19/20 10:19 PM
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I think it all depends on your definition of love. The English language is notorious for its use of the single word love to convey a stunningly wide breadth of complex, multi-dimensional interpersonal relationships. I have known cats to exhibit what I would describe as affection for their owners which is what I think alternaut is referring to. If there is a common thread in all the various permutations of love it might be the level at which the feeling is reciprocated.




Make intentional errors —
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

— Navajo saying
Re: Does your cat love you?
joemikeb #53730 03/20/20 12:06 AM
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grelber Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I think it all depends on your definition of love. The English language is notorious for its use of the single word love to convey a stunningly wide breadth of complex, multi-dimensional interpersonal relationships. I have known cats to exhibit what I would describe as affection for their owners which is what I think alternaut is referring to. If there is a common thread in all the various permutations of love it might be the level at which the feeling is reciprocated.

Indeed. On all counts.


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