Merlin is not allowed to bite us when he's mad or wants something. (When he was little and he bit us, we would say OW! and tell him no.)
Merlin never bites people now except accidentally during play and when someone is deliberately annoying him and ignores his warnings.
But what he DOES is he'll bite *near* our hands and feet. Snap his teeth shut a centimetre from skin. Sometimes you can feel his fur brushing your skin.
'Not touching you, can't get mad!'
He's also not allowed to hit or scratch us because he's impatient to be fed or whatever. (It's all the same training method of telling him NO firmly and then ignoring him/sending him away.)
So instead Merlin started gently tapping us on the arm. After he's tapped my arm A LOT I tell him to go away.
So he'll reach out with a paw so gentle it trembles and slowly slowly reach it out to hover it over my arm.
This is both hilarious and audacious.
Yesterday he was WAILING for an early dinner and I told him 'no yelling' and carried on with my work.
He quickly ran up to me, braced his paws on my arm so that his face was almost level with mine, and started SILENTLY MEOWING, opening and closing his mouth right in front of my face.
... I fed him early. XD
Cats are clever communicators and sociable animals. If they can't get you to do what they want one way, they will learn another way.
Also, they are very, very funny.
@vicorva ladybird also does the gentle taps / hovering !! it is beyond cute. they are SO good at communicating!
@mood What a good kitty! (also I still cannot get over that name :D )
It's genuinely amazing how much they pick up from us and how flexible their behaviours are.
@vicorva Merlin is a REALLY smart cat
@PsyChuan in some (human) ways, yes. In other (cat) ways, less so. He was 5 before he could jump up to the windowsill without hitting his nose. XD
@email@example.com 😄 that's fun and cute!
Growing up we had a dog and sometimes it would look out the window and bark and we would tell it NO. Sometimes we had to approach while looking angry before it stopped, but it would always want the final "word".
"Bark bark bark!"
It would make a low almost not-bark, just to get the last word XD
@nuhn Oh, I love it when dogs have that attitude and need to make a little complain bark when told off. XD
@firstname.lastname@example.org she was so cute. Aw, I miss her. Bozz Lightyear - though she was female XD. Now my mom only has one of a pups, and he is getting very old.
@nuhn That's such a cute name! It's so sad that pets don't live longer. I am trying not to think about how Merlin is already 9. Joh insists Merlin will be the first cat to live to 30, so I guess they're in denial.
@vicorva 💜 that's adorable.
@Nasenspray He's a cat that has basically weaponised cute behaviour. XD
@vicorva That's so clever! And, well, cute 😁 😍
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