Hello everyone, we are getting really close to the end of the month now but I do have another language inspired page to share with you today featuring one of my favourite languages!

As you know, I am Guest Hosting the May challenge over on Art Journal Journey this month and my chosen theme is…

Language!


Well of course I had to do a language of cats page!  Are you really surprised given the name of my site?  LOL.  A while back I remember reading somewhere that cats had over 60 different sounds they make to communicate whereas dogs had about 6.  The 60 and 6 stuck in my head but now I can’t find where I read that as it was a few years ago!  I googled it again for this post and found more info stating that cats have over 100 different sounds that they make to communicate and dogs have about 10, so maybe the cats are getting smarter haha.  I don’t really know much about dogs so I can only go by what google tells me – dog people please feel free to correct anything that google says!

I’ve had this idea for a while but not what it was going to look like, but it was always going to be a funny page, because cats are funny!  I wanted to use some of these gel prints I made back in March during a gel printing challenge.  I made a bunch of them all at this size and I thought they might come in useful for something.  During that challenge I also did some prints with cats on them that reminded me of Andy Warhol’s pop art style, so that was what I wanted to do with this page.

Due to the size of the cat stamp I used, I had to use a bigger sheet of paper for my background, this is A3 size. I stamped a kitty on each of the gel printed panels.  I was going for eight but then I realised that I could fit ten on the page, so I stamped a few more.  But when I cut them out, and placed them on the page, it was too crowded with ten of them on there.


The solution was to rotate the paper and then I could fit nine of them in a 3 x 3 grid with enough space around them so it didn’t look too cramped.


Then I pasted them all onto the page using matte gel medium and smoothed them out.

I thought it looked a little bare, so I decorated around the outside adding black stripes with a thick Pitt pen, which after it was done, I realised matched the stripey cat tails, and then it was time to add the cat language.  As this is supposed to be humorous, the cats are all saying MEOW but of course meow means different things which we are expected to interpret correctly!

Here’s a closer look at each row one by one so it’s easier to read my writing…

Top Row:  sleepy | mouse | dinner?

Middle Row:  play with me | treats? | hugs?

Bottom Row:  no way | nap time | don’t touch me

All cat owners are aware of how their cats communicate with them, and in all so many ways. Not only vocally, but cats also communicate by scent, all that rubbing and head bumping that they do is all to mark you as theirs lol.  They also use tactile communication such as kneading and grooming; they will bond with other cats by grooming and may also decide to groom you too, as a sign of affection.  If you’ve ever watched a cat for any length of time, especially in relation to another cat, you will see that they are very adept at visual communication too, mostly by using their posture, their ears, eyes and tails to indicate how they are feeling in general or towards other cats etc. They also use other behaviour to communicate with us, like bringing us a toy when they want to play or leaving us an “offering” since we are such poor hunters.

Getting back to the sounds that cats make, there are three main classes – sounds with the mouth closed (eg purring), sounds with the mouth first open then slowly closing (eg meowing, howling) and sounds with the mouth held open (eg growling, hissing, spitting etc).  Within these classes lie all the 100+ sounds that they can utter.  Interestingly, cats don’t “meow” at other cats, the meowing tends to be used to communicate with us! You can always try talking to your cat in reassuring chirping cat language – I do this quite often, especially in the morning when they wake up and want to say hi –  or you can teach your cat English (or whatever your own language is).  This little girl is a very clever kitty, she has over 15 words that she knows and understands and she is still learning.  Most of them are beneficial to her, so she picked them up very quickly. She also understands gestures using hands for example a beckoning gesture or stop.  One of the funny ones is if I put my finger to my mouth in a “shushing” way when she is asking for treats, and she knows to be quiet, so I can sneak her treats without alerting her brother lol. (He can’t have too many due to some health issues.)

Some of her words include “toy”, “water” (if I ask her if she wants some, she jumps in the bath and waits for me to turn on the tap), “breakfast”, “dreamies” (her favourite treat brand), “table” (she jumps on the dining table and waits for food), “grass”, “bedtime” and so on. Words of one or two syllables are best.  Sometimes when she is trying to tell me what she wants (kitty communication) it is almost like she is trying to form words rather than just a straight forward “meow” and I’m too dumb to understand lol. So I can use words like “dinner?” “water?” “grass?” “dreamies?” “toy?” to ask her what she wants, she then meows when I get the right one and then I give her what she wants. She is a kitty who wants things and knows how to ask for them lol. I’ve never met a cat like her before, so eager to communicate.  If I’m being extra thick she will go find an empty packet of cat treats and bring that to me to show me what she wants.  She keeps these in a secret stash for emergency communication, when all else fails, use visual communication with the silly human lol.


Her brother on the other hand, understands less words, around 5, but they are also very important to him, and include “yogurt”, “dinner” and “stick” since he likes both yogurt and dinner, and likes to fetch a “stick” which is not really a stick but it’s what he understands to be a stick, so if I ask him where the stick is, he goes and finds one and brings it to me to be thrown so he can “fetch” it (he may think he’s a dog!).  He also likes to communicate telepathically by staring intently at the back of my head.  I am not telepathic so this is not usually very successful though I do know when he’s doing it so maybe I’m more telepathic than I thought haha.  Here’s a recent photo of them both trying the telepathy trick, or practicing mind control…


Here is Miss Lily communicating in another way…  what do you think she’s saying?
A. I mean you no harm
B. Rub my tummy
C. Bring me cat treats human servant
D. Come closer so I can rip your face off muahahaha

Cats are also multi-lingual.  One of my Dutch friends adopted a cat from Spain, so presumably the cat understood Spanish and meowed in Spanish, but now also understands Dutch as he has no problem understanding my friend who speaks Dutch to him.  When I was there I spoke English to him and he understood me just fine!  Maybe when aliens arrive on the planet, cats will be able to communicate just fine with them too!

So there we are, a page about cat language and what it all means or how we can try to interpret what these clever, captivating creatures are trying to say to us as they do seem to want to communicate with us one way or another, even if it’s just to command us to do their bidding!

Only a few more days left to join me at Art Journal Journey this month.  Language is all about communication, and I would love to see you communicate using language on your pages, in whatever form you choose. I have a lot of ideas for language-inspired spreads to share with you over the course of this month, so do keep checking back if you need some inspiration or ideas, or even just to say hi!  I can’t wait to see what you do with this month’s theme and I will be dropping by to see all your lovely creations.

Let me know what you think in the comments.  As always, thanks for reading!

Ingredients

A3 watercolour paper, previously printed gel prints (acrylic mostly), cat stamp, black stazon on ink, tag die, white cardboard, black pitt pens, matte medium,

Challenges

Art Journal Journey – Language – May Challenge For the language theme I chose the language of cats!

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Samm Starrs
Samm Starrs
14 days ago

I Love this SO MUCH! My Bella is such a chatterbox and she has very distinct words she uses with us – hi, hello, love you, I missed you (this one is a really long meandering meow), sorry (for when she knows she has been outside too long, she’ll come in making the sorry meow), now, out, food. She also knows many words, she knows my daughters name and my sons names, she knows I’m mum. She knows numnums, food, good girl… I actually believe her and I are telepathically connected because when she is out too long I can call her in my mind telling her to come home and she is always home within minutes, it’s uncanny and awesome. So very down with cats being a language spread!

Sue Blott
Sue Blott
18 days ago

What a delightful post! I loved your art–the cats saying meow–on instagram and enjoyed reading the process and story behind it and all the other interesting facts about cats. Thank you!

Amy Sorensen
18 days ago

SO cute! and your conversations with your cats are fascinating.

Meggymay
Meggymay
19 days ago

An awesome page for your AJJ theme and I’m sure your cats helped you in its creation. Its years since the family owned a cat, but I still have fond memories , she kept the dog on its toes, wondering where he could safely have a snooze, while she supervised her domain.
Stay safe.
Yvonne xx

Kim
Kim
19 days ago

Wow wow wow! That page full of glorious color and adorable cats is making me swoon! And I’m so thrilled to see pictures of your darlings.

My darlings communicate in very different ways. They both have odd voices and make strange sounds. Gizmo has a cranky sounding voice, so no matter what he says he sounds grumpy. Luna makes an odd “mrrrr” sound that is half squeak and half purr and makes me laugh. They are both very good at getting their points across, though.

pearshapedchris
19 days ago

Cats are so funny but your page is a masterpiece – I love it! Cats certainly have mastered the art of communicating with humans! Hugs, Chrisx

Jean
20 days ago

Elle, this is so interesting about your cat. I had no idea they could learn to communicate like that. I also loved your pictures. I am a cat person too although I don’t have one now.

Have you heard of the books, Chicken Soup for the soul? Your story would fit into one of those cat books they ask stories for. You might want to check out chickensoupforthesoul.com and see if you might like to share your story with them. They pay and you would get a bunch of free copies too. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Denise J Herman
20 days ago

I LOVE your cats! Great printing techniques. I also love cats – have three of them of my own. Super interesting facts about them – thank you!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth

I had a cat and a dog at the same time. I assure you, these two loved each other and didn’t know they weren’t brothers. However, I now have two cats and they STILL hate each other. You would think after nearly five years they would accept each other, but they don’t. Who knew this would happen after I had such good results in the past.

Regardless, I adore your latest entry at Art Journal Journey,.I love how you understand their language so well. I’ve seen and heard all those same sounds.Thank you for this great entry using your theme, dear. I love the repeating cats, too.

Erika N
21 days ago

Although I’ve got 2 dogs now, I have had cats. The funniest communication I think cats do is when they want your attention and and you ignore them. So they go sit with someone else in the room (or someplace else in the room) and stare unblinking at you. Like they are trying to make you so jealous sitting with this other person or in this other place but because they are staring at you, you know they want to sit with you. Anyhow, I love the repeating image Elle. The colors and the kitty image are great. This is a fun take on language. And although dogs do make fewer sounds, I think they have much more facial expressions than many cats. I am sure if it was counted dogs and cats do about equally well communicating with their human family. I am one of the few people who has no preference and would prefer both dogs and cats in my life. Hope you have a great start to your weekend Elle. Hugs-Erika

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