Cats With Human Expressions

Cats With Human Expressions

by Elisa Black-Taylor
(USA)

Gizzy

Gizzy

Gizzy Mandy Miss Kitty Pippa

I've titled this article cats with human expressions, although that's not completely accurate at what I'm getting at. Cats with human faces would be more on the mark.

I hope some of the readers here at pictures-of-cats.org can back me up on this from their own experiences. You see, I have three, now possibly four cats with human-like faces.

I'm not talking about the expression the cat gets when sad, mad or happy. This is something that remains on the cats face day in and day out. A quality built into their genetic makeup, perhaps.

I've rescued and cared for many cats during the past 30+ years. Only one had a human face. Her name was Old Ugly and she had the most unique eyes. Here's a link to her story so you can see what I'm talking about.

I spend a lot of my time looking at cat photographs. I enjoy doing this and every now and then I'll see a pose I want to try with my own cats. I'm the first to admit most of the cats I see in photographs do NOT possess this whatever you want to call it. Don't get me wrong. They're all beautiful. One word to describe what I'm talking about is "memorable." Yet I've seen thousands of memorable cats that are, well, cats.

Old Ugly was memorable. Both in her actions (she was VERY feral) and had eyes that seemed to hold all of the pain she had experienced in life.

I've heard that some cat's have old souls. Young cats who appear experienced far beyond their earthly years. I have several old soul cats in my rescue. That's close to the subject matter I'm trying to explain. Just not quite accurate because a cat can have an old soul and not have a human-like face.

I first noticed this phenomenon again last year with my first rescue Mandy. She was the weirdest little kitten I'd ever seen and her little face was just begging me to rescue her and her brothers. Mandy has very strange eyes. They're set too close together and they're so dark it's difficult to determine their color. Mandy has a LOT of cattitude. Her favorite game is to crawl on my head while I'm TRYING to sleep and waiting for me to slap her. At this time, Mandy will quite simply slap me back. It feels as though we're playing a strange game of patty-cake. The photo above doesn't really capture how strange her eyes are.

Gizzy also has a human-like face. I've said it once and it shocked people, but I have to say it again. Gizzy reminds me of my mother who passed away in 2001. She's always giving me the strangest looks and spends a lot of her time on the back of the couch to the left of my head. Every time I cut my eyes in her direction I find her watching me. She even has mama's personality. Gizzy is ornery, doesn't like to be around other cats and always wants things her way. Yet she's VERY loving towards people. I love to watch Gizzy eating a treat. She'll be eating off of my plate and every once in awhile she will look at me with such a look of gratitude I could just cry. I believe she realizes how close she came to being euthanized.

The next cat I rescued with human expressions was Miss Kitty. Her owner was allergic to her and dumped her off at the shelter. I rescued her the next day. Something about her face just drew me in as soon as I received the email from the shelter showing she was available for rescue. I can't pinpoint what it is that gives her a human-like face. All I know is it's in the eyes, the same as the others.

And last of all there's Pippa. She's a white Turkish Angora mix who was part of the YaYa family. I'm sure everyone who keeps up with my stories remembers Pinky. He was the little white kitty with the horrible pink eye. Pippa is his sister. I think it's taken me a bit longer to notice her human face because she's not a people cat. She's too busy to be held or petted and is always playing or hiding. It was in the picture above that I noticed the human-like quality in her eyes.

So readers, am I crazy or have some of you experienced this with your own cats? I really love some feedback on this subject because there's very little information available on the internet.

Elisa

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Cats With Human Expressions

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Aug 12, 2011
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frog
by: elisa

Don't turn your back on frog or I'll catnap him.


Aug 12, 2011
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Kitty Bedroom Eyes
by: Anna, Foster Mama

My sweet Frog has these qualities you are describing. I could never quite put my finger on it, but I agree with what you are saying. Frog has bedroom eyes!


Aug 12, 2011
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Brat
by: Elisa

Mandy's a BRAT!!!!! But I love her to death. Doesn't change the fact she's a brat!


Aug 12, 2011
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Sorry
by: Michael

Sorry for the long word! I can never get near spelling it correctly.

I don't actually think you are anthropo...etc your cats. I think you are right.

I like the fact that you can read a cat's expressions. How many people can? Although most of PoC's regular visitors and contributors can and do. If you are close to your cat and understand their ways you will see expressions as clearly as you see them on human faces.

Some people think that cats don't even have emotions never mind revealing the emotions throgh expressions on the face.

About 50 years ago a lot of vets didn't think cats felt pain! That is about when declawing started I suspect.


Aug 12, 2011
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A Good Look
by: DD

Very Interesting, I am going to have to take a gook, long look at each of my kitties! I will let you know what, or who I see!


Aug 12, 2011
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Another problem
by: Elisa

Another problem is the photographs don't accurately catch what I see when I'm standing face to face with the cat. And quit using such big words so early in the day. You haven't been up long enough and I've been up too long. LOL.


Aug 12, 2011
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A different twist on this
by: Michael

I agree that cats do have expressions on their faces. The human face shows more expressions and more definite expressions. Is this because we have more emotions or more muscles in the face?!

You could say that there is no such thing as a "human expression". You could say that there are just "expressions" that are conveyed through the face of an animal and humans (homo sapiens) have their version of this physiology and anatomy.

Or some people will say that you are anthropomorphizing (try and spell that without a spell checker) your cats. Anthropomorphizing in this case means "Attribution of human characteristics, or behavior to animals.."

It is a very interesting subject that will elicit different viewpoints I am sure.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.



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