Categories: ailurophile

Feline-Related Terminology: Homage to a Remarkable Species

It’s hardly a secret that there are plenty of people who aren’t feline-enamored. But I must consider the possibility that ailurophiles (cat lovers – how to say ailurophile) may actually outweigh ailurophobes (cat haters) because feline-related terminology has apparently found its way into more of our common expressions and the ordinary terminology we commonly use; words which have absolutely nothing to do with kitties, while at the same time acknowledging them.

Photo Credit: Flickr User: Nicola Romagna

Let me share a few examples upon which my theory about cat haters vs cat lovers is based!

Most cat lovers realize that a group of kittens is often referred to a “kindle”. This gets me to wondering if it’s remotely possible that these delightful and highly active little balls of fur somehow inspired Gregg Zehr, the head of the Amazon Lab126 product development, to create and name his invention a “Kindle”; that ever so popular electronic tablet. Since the dictionary definition of “Kindle” is to “illuminate”, I would like to believe that Mr. Zehr thoroughly enjoyed the company of rowdy, playful kittens since they brightened his day.

Baseball fans are naturally familiar with the word “bunt”. This is one of the primo strategies that a player at bat will probably use as a “Hail Mary”, when he or she is trying to score a run. However since the dictionary definition of the word “bunt” is also “the bagging part of fishing net, this is where this word gets quite interesting.

You may be wondering what does a word connected with baseball strategy have to do with kitties. Apparently the word “bunting” also refers to that very common feline behavior when a cat is rubbing its face against you or your furniture as an affectionate or territory- claiming gesture. Additionally, cats may also “bunt” when just seeking attention. If we follow this word logically, kitty lovers might possibly interpret it as the cat trying to “capture” our hearts; putting a spell on us with their charming “net.”, or maybe even practicing predatory behavior in order to catch a fish!

Let’s not forget one of the most important words in feline terminology; the “Clowder”. By-the-way, this is not a typo-for “Chowder”. A Clowder is a group of cats. Additionally a group of cats is occasionally referred to as a “glaring”. I think this is a perfectly descriptive word for another common feline behavior. After all when we are preparing our cats’ dinner don’t they tend to “glare” up at us, wearing a ravenous expression on their faces?

I have provided several important examples of my theory in this article pertaining to the feline species. However I must issue our readers a cautionary disclaimer targeted at anyone who may be deciding to purchase a Kindle on Because if there’s a packer on duty who has a very strange sense of humor and decides to act on it; don’t be totally shocked if your package is delivered containing several small holes. Your package hasn’t been damaged in shipping; it simply contains a kindle of adorable kittens.

I think this article definitely proves my theory that ailurophiles do outweigh those unfortunate ailurophobes, don’t you? Do share your opinion in a comment.

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Jo Singer

View Comments

  • Very interesting. I had no idea of any of this terminology, but the next time a kitty rubs it's head on me, I will know the meaning.

  • Although a lifetime spent loving and learning from/about cats may qualify me as somewhat knowledgeable, I must admit I'd never heard the term, "glaring" -- and yes, I can see that that term might be appropriate, though around here, it'd be more of a "pleading" ;)

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