“I Don’t Like What He Has to Say.”

black cat sniffing green leaves

Mimi checks this particular message.

We have a huge forsythia. It’s bigger than my car, big enough for lots of little birds to settle in on a winter’s day while awaiting a chance at the feeder, and big enough around that it covers a lot of ground.

Which, in a neighborhood of outdoor cats, means a lot of messaging, in the feline manner. I used to say this forsythia was like a chat room, but now perhaps it’s more like Facebook, or maybe Twitter. How much can you say in a quick little stream of pee? I’d say 140 characters is about right.

And the forsythia is like a public computer, or a series of networked public computers, or perhaps it’s like the WiFi in Starbucks or Panera where everyone gathers and logs on and checks their messages, as Mimi is above, and correspond with others, though hopefully they don’t do it in the feline manner or it would really screw up someone’s laptop.

black cat flehmen

Mimi considers the message.

Mimi takes a moment to think about the message she’s just received. She is exhibiting the “flehmen response” wherein cats get a fuller sense of a scent by allowing it to pass by an organ in the roof of the mouth as well as into their nasal passages. This is common with cats of all species and breeds, but is not limited to cats.  Mimi is understanding what animal it was, how long ago it passed by here, possibly its state of health, and a few other things a spayed cat shouldn’t care about. As for her blank-eyed, open-mouthed expression, I’ve seen people look this way after reading texts and e-mails as well.

black cat peeking from leaves

"I don't like what he has to say."

I’ve also seen this look after humans have read certain messages. Mimi is tiny and delicate, but she makes up for it with her eyes and her postures. I would not want to read her blistering reply, if she indeed deigned to send one.


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