Online newspaper reporters continually state that cats are “aloof”. This is patently incorrect. The reporters don’t have an opinion because they often have no experience of caring for a cat. They unthinkingly recycle what has often been repeated before.
If you like or love a cat and, as a consequence, through constant interaction and high quality caretaking, you understand cats, you’ll soon realize that the adjective “aloof” does not apply to the character of a cat. Please give us a break, guys.
Definition of the word “aloof”: not friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant. (Google search).
For a start, the word aloof has been created to be used to describe a person, a human being. That is the first reason why it is unsuited to describe a cat.
To be aloof you have to have a person’s character. A cat might be quiet and mind his/her own business but that does not mean the cat is aloof. It just means he is being quiet.
“Not forthcoming”. How can that apply to a cat? Not forthcoming is a phrase for people. Even if you accept it can apply to a cat, I would challenge anyone to say my cat is not forthcoming. He shouts at me when he wants food. He stands on his hind legs and shouts. He gives me the beady eye look. Anything to catch my attention and it works. He is more forthcoming than any human I know.
“Cool”. Being sleepy and minding your own business is not being cool. Doing your own thing is not being cool. To be cool refers to the state of mind of a person who wants to be…cool….
“Not friendly”. This is obviously wrong. Cats are very friendly. They come for cuddles. They head butt you. They exchange scent with you. They talk to you. They ask for food or to go out. In short they interact in a friendly way. As far as I am concerned cats are more friendly than people and I am being as objective as I can be in stating that.
If we are strangers to cats they can be frightened of us. Cats are wise to be initially unsure of us. It is about caution because humans are potentially dangerous to all animals. Caution is not being unfriendly or stand-offish or aloof or cool. It is sensible caution in the presence of another animal – the human – that is a giant to a cat.
So, please, reporters and journalists, do your research, don’t repeat the tired old clichés. Think for yourself. Show some enlightenment. Have an opinion. Use your brain. And stop saying cats are aloof for heaven’s sake.