Strange sounds identify household

Local | Georgina Noyce 23 Apr 2019

The strange popping noise coming from the corner of the room wasn't worrying any of the animals, but it was puzzling me. The closest animal to the sound was probably a cat, but as whichever cat was on the chair had burrowed its way under a cushion, I wasn't sure who it was.

Quietly moving toward the sound, I peeped behind the cushion to find Amber the ex-feral cat peering back at me. Caught in the act, she froze with her hind leg raised with her foot in her mouth. The popping sound came from Amber's unique system of cleaning her hind claws.

With a sound like a champagne cork leaving the bottle, Amber ignored me and continued with her pedicure, working her way methodically along one foot before moving to the next.

Thinking about it, I realized that each of the animals in the household has a unique noise usually connected to a particular behavior. Jade cat's purr sounds like a pot of water coming to the boil in a slightly warped pot and she can keep it up for hours, just when we are trying to sleep.

Amber doesn't purr but she does make a bird-like chittering noise when she is watching birds in the garden.

Jack Yorkie, beset by allergies, produces an odd wheezing sound which is close to a purr when he is being fussed over on someone's lap. Aging Sassoon clicks her teeth together repetitively as she nibbles her way along her own fur to groom it.

Bonnie Pomeranian makes repeated, but very lady-like, little sneezes when she plunges her nose into her food and all but inhales it, and nervous Molly can produce a range of almost human muttering noises on just about any occasion, as if she is trying to copy human speech.

Listening to her, I would swear I could make out a word if only I knew which language she was speaking.

Without looking up, I can tell that Molly is coming up behind me, as her slim, elegant-looking feet tap a lighthearted tattoo on the wooden floor, closely followed by the heavier clunk as Sassoon comes up behind me and huffs against my back - dinner time and while there is no big fuss about it, each of the animals has moved enough to let me know I need to stop what I am doing and feed them.

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