Flippy's Title

Flippy's Cat Page - Cat Terms

CAT TERMS

We have several wonderful, lovable, hilarious cats, and over time
we have developed certain terms to describe things that they do.
Here are some of the ones we use most frequently, and I'm sure
that other cat owners have come up with many more!

TERM

DESCRIPTION

14-POUND-TURKEY When my blue point, Angel, sits with her hind legs, front legs & tail tucked up underneath her, from behind she looks like a 14 pound turkey!
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS When Mowgli jumps on top of my dresser in the middle of the night and checks out her abs in my mirror.
ACK-ACK The noise some cats make when they sit on a windowsill and watch the birds.

Also called the "Death Chirp" because that's the sound/jaw motion cats use to sever the spinal cord to kill prey.

Also known as: CHATTERING.

ACROCATICS When Sweet Pea jumps from a high perch-like spot on the too-narrow-for-a-cat mantle to a precision landing on the arm of the couch while avoiding the human's arm and the liquid-filled glass nearby, she's doing "acrocatics".
AIR BISCUIT MASTER That special cat that while nestled in your armpit, will calmly inflict upon you "The Fart of Death"without waking up or feeling the least bit guilty.
AIRING OUT When your cat lays on the floor with his/her legs wide open and their front paws against their chest!
ALARM CAT The cat that knows when you're supposed to get up just a little before you do.
ALLIGATOR POSITION See ROAD KILL POSE
APRON See CAT PADDLE
ASSUME THE POSITION This is when a cat lies spreadeagled on the sofa waiting for his belly to be scratched. My husband calls him a tart (in the nicest possible way) - as he assumes the position for both of us!
ATTITUDE The vet discovered this one! My kitty keeps up a monotonous low growl "in case we forget she's here and to let us know she's not happy".
BACK-SCRATCH FEVER What happens to cats just after a newly-sown sprinkling of catnip on the carpet.
BADNESS Typical feline behaviour of getting into things they shouldn't.
See also: TIME FOR BADNESS
BAG LADY When our female Torbie claims all plastic grocery bags after our return from the store, she wriggles through them until she’s got her head through one of the handles. She then walks all over the house, trailing the bag behind her. We call her our bag lady.
BAKED ALASKA See COMPACT KITTY
BARREL WITH LEGS When Bosley was so fat that he couldn't reach over his belly to clean his butt, I called him "a barrel with legs".
BAT CAT Asleep on side but with head twisted completely upside-down.
BATHTUB HOCKEY Taking a cork or other small solid object into the bathtub and batting it about to make as much noise as possible.
BATTLE CAT Ears go back, teeth come out.
BATTLECRY Nutmeg is my 1-year-old tortie short hair. She occasionally does what I can only describe as "singing" to herself when she is excited or is chasing one of her toys (or a critter). The sound is like a series of rolled R's forced out very quickly, almost yipped. Very different from usual cat meows. She also does this when she has just relieved herself and is distressed because the smell is too strong to be completely buried and hidden. She also used to do this when she'd gotten peeved at us about something just before darting out of the room.

Also known as: SINGING.

BED TYRANT A cat who is convinced that the bed is hers and the humans only sleep on it when she permits them, forcing them to contort their bodies into weird positions to fit.
BEER BELLY See CAT PADDLE
BEING ADORABLE See FETCHING
BEING FLIPPED OFF See FLIPPITY
BELLY BUBBLES What my chunky Himi wants, and gets, when she rolls onto her back and shows her ample tummy. Simply inhale, purse your lips together, plaster them on to said belly, and blow. Gleeful snorts and purrs are a given! At least with this cat!
BELLY JOWLS My black cat, Bruno, has a beautiful saggy tummy, which flaps in the breeze when he runs. These are his belly jowls.
BIG FLOP, THE See THROW DOWN CAT
BIRD POSITION Redunzel sleeps like this! She sits on our old (and sadly not much used) exercise bike and lifts her right leg, sticks her head under it and goes to sleep. She looks like a bird when she does this.
BITTY Short for "itty bitty kitty," a very very small kitten.
BONELESS CHICKEN POSE See COMPACT KITTY
BONKY-HEADS When Callie feels affectionate (which is a lot) she'll jump up on something so when I lean down towards her she can raise up to meet me halfway and our faces go "bonk." (I think she's marking me, but will consider that an affectionate gesture). We call "the bonky-headed cat."
BOO BOO SLOBBERS My 2-year-old old very high-strung black siamese seems only calm when he is "slobbering" on my chest or shoulder while kneading. The kitty saliva slobbers out from his mouth, as if when suckling.
BOOP! Pressing the nosebutton with your index finger.
BRAIN-DEAD KITTY Cat staring into space with vacant expression.

See also: CONTACTING THE MOTHERSHIP.

BREACHING When a kitty rears up (as in DOLPHIN LEAPING) and then kind of flops back down or lands heavily.
BREADLOAF A variant of COMPACT KITTY.

When the cat sits down with all limbs and tail hidden underneath it, so that it's quite round. Usually the chin will be tucked down near the chest, and the cat will look very calm and content.

Term History: This variant of the term was derived from "bread loaf" rather than "meat loaf", as it was used to describe a white/beige/cream spotted-tabby marked cat, who, because of his colors and ticking pattern, looked very like a loaf of bread.

Also known as: LOAF OF BREAD, and LOAFING.

See also: COMPACT KITTY

BREAK ITS NECK When kitty has something in her mouth and violently shakes her head (to break its neck, of course). It is most funny when done to vegetables, fur mousies and dustbunnies.

Even better when done to a trainer/sneaker or, my favourite (and apparently Felix's) the duvet. For pity's sake, Felix is about 2 feet long including tail while the duvet covers a double bed. He tries to break its neck and drag it away - where's he going to go? So far he hasn't managed to shift it an inch but he's growing.

BRISKET See COMPACT KITTY
BUDDAH See CAT PADDLE
BUDDAH BELLY See CAT PADDLE
BUDDHA CAT See COMPACT KITTY
BUFFALOEING See RIPS, THE
BUNNY FEET A cat's hind legs.
BUNNYING See GOPHER, THE
BUTT PRINT This is the "chocolate kisses" that kitties leave for you on the furniture.

Also known as: SPHINCTER MARKS

BUTT-RUMPERS Chiana, a little black female and my youngest and smallest, really gets into having the base of her tail spanked firmly and roughly... she raises her butt into the air to receive as many spankings as possible, and gleefully scratches the rug in front of her in great excitement... we have come up with the term "Butt-Rumpers" to describe it.

Also known as: BUTT-WHAPPIES

BUTT-WHAPPIES See BUTT-RUMPERS
BUTTER BUM A lucky cat. A friend of mine commented on hearing about Sarrasine and Redunzel that they'd "obviously landed with their bums in the butter".
CAMEL CAT See COMPACT KITTY
CAMEL STRETCH See HALLOWEEN CAT
CARBON COPY CAT The term for a cat who insists on being exactly where you are at all times. If you're sitting on the couch, they want to sit on the couch, if you're laying in bed, they want to lay in bed, etc. Also used for cats who lay in bed exactly the same way as you. My cat CryBaby won't get settled down at night until we're spooning, laying on our sides under the covers and her using my upper arm as a pillow.
CARPET SHARK When a feline "swims" along the carpet on its side by pulling itself along with its claws, looking ever so innocent and cute, until it reaches your bare feet/ankles. The cuteness encourages the prey to reach down and pet the "sweet" little bugger, at which point it wraps its front paws with claws unsheathed around said extremities and proceeds to take a bite or more out of you. Also applies to ambushes from under furniture by the same token.
CARTOON CAT When a cat with fur between the toes tries to run on a hardwood floor, and its feet actually do that windmilling-without-getting-anywhere thing that cartoon cats' legs do when they start running.
CAT 500 When they used to chase each other down the hall at 4:00AM.
CAT AGENCY Prospensity of cats or kittens to be mysteriously available when a home springs up. True in my case. We moved to a flat and thought you couldn't keep a cat indoors, but the very same day that a friend persuaded us that you could and we decided to have a cat, an accquaintance who we didn't even know had a cat mentioned that he had two kittens that needed a home, so within 3 hours of our deciding that we would have an indoor cat we had two! (Isis and Fugazi) "We think some agency sends them" said Terry Pratchett in his book "The Unadulterated Cat".
CAT BELLY FLAB See CAT PADDLE
CAT BOA When a cat lays across your shoulder's, like a feather boa.
CAT BUBBLES Feline farts and burps.
CAT CANNON A cat who has been hiding in a paper bag and suddenly explodes from it in a mad run around the house.
CAT CHOKE Those little presents they leave beside the bed in the middle of the night... (just waiting for bare feet in the morning).
CAT DISK See CIRCLE CAT
CAT FISHIN' The act of throwing out a string and reeling in a cat.
CAT FLAP See CAT PADDLE
CAT HOCKEY Ice cubes that fall on the kitchen floor when a cat is in the vicinity are immediately put into vigorous play. The kitchen sink is a smaller but equally satisfactory rink if a human empties the ice from her drink and forgets to wash it down the drain. Game ends when slap shot bounces off human goalie and she ejects the player(s) from the game.
CAT HOLES Slightly bigger and less slimy than worm holes. Inter-dimensional loops that the cat can use to vanish into the "Twilight Zone". Occasionally he might bring back a lost sock, but don't count on it.
CAT LOAF See COMPACT KITTY
CAT PADDLE That part of the tummy that hangs down and sometimes waddles back and forth when they walk.

Also known as: CAT FLAP, APRON, UDDER, CAT BELLY FLAB, SACK OF JELLO, THE BAGS, THE SACKS, POUCH, BUDDAH, BUDDAH BELLY, BEER BELLY, MODESTY FLAP, FAT SACK and FAT POCKET.

CAT PILEUP How to tell it's time to turn up the heat. "Honey, it must be cold today; there's a five cat pileup on the bed."
CAT PUDDLES How to tell when to turn on the air conditioning. "Dear, time to set up the air-conditioning - there are cat puddles all over the floor." Cats napping in the flattest (max surface area) configurations are cat puddles.

It was 34C here a few days ago and the kitties were sprawled out melting from the heat. I call them "cat puddles".

CAT TV The window. Most always tuned to the Bird Channel.
CAT YACK Isn't it obvious?
CAT YOGA The term used for the positions you have to make in bed because your fat cats won't move out of the way, so you have to rearrange your limbs around them, twisting your body all about.
CATACOMB A grooming aid.
CATALANCHE Clovis and Tolly were having one of their rough'n'tumble sessions, with an emphasis on the tumble. They chase each other, grab mouthfuls of fur, bunny-kick each other in the head, roll from one end of the house to another... all good clean fun, even if it is moulting season, so I'm picking up handfuls of fur afterwards. But it struck me that they resembled nothing quite so much as an avalanche of cats, or a catalanche.
CATALOG To claw at a piece of furniture.
CATCAVE The gap behind the sofa. Any place where a cat can get some peace and quiet whilst still having a slave within easy distance. Our catcave has a story attached to it, Isis settled down for her afternoon nap on the 29th of April 2003 and painlessly and peacefully crossed the rainbow bridge in her sleep at the age of 16 and a quarter years. Dave (my partner) was worried that even through he'd been effectively within 18 inches of her that she might have been in pain and no amount of pointing out that if she had cried out he would have heard her made him any happier. Then we got Sarrasine and Redunzel and as if to say "It's alright" on their first night they slept on the spot where Isis died and Dave was convinced that if Isis had been in any distress they would have sensed it and would have avoided the place which made him feel a lot better.
CATFIT When Mina gets it into her head to tear around the house, up the stairs, down the stairs or make a mad dash from one side of the house to another for no apparent reason. Jake did this when he was younger.

Our cat Zippo runs around insanely, which goes along with the term 'catfit'. Only, we call it "Crack Cat". He even has a theme song, sung to the tune of the old Batman cartoon theme:
da da da da da da da da... Crack Cat!!!

Also known as: CRACK CAT

CATFLAKES The grit and hair left on the bed when the cat gets up.
CATGASM When you scratch the top of Maggie T's butt right by her tail. She will get excited and furiously lick whatever is near her head, whether it is a hand, a face or a blanket. The faster you scratch, the faster she licks.
CAT-GOT-YOUR-TONGUE When a cat gets surprised while licking themselves, and closes their mouth while their tongue still hangs out.
CATHUG When I come home from work and Mina pounces on my chest and hugs me, nuzzles me and schlurps me.
CATIFIED See FURRBALL ATTACK
CATLING An adolescent feline.

Also known as: CATTEN

CATROPRACTOR A cat that is better than a chiropractor. Free massage where you hurt without asking, a warm udder after an "adjustment." The purring vibration is free if tuna is supplied!
CATSKIN RUG Fizzgig often lies down on his tummy with his back legs sticking out behind him, and front paws stretched out in front. I call this the "catskin rug" pose.
CATTEN An adolescent feline. Also known as CATLING
CELLO POSITION See CHICKEN LEGS
CHALKLINE POSE When Tigger is really content, he rolls over onto his back, four paws in the air. Sometimes he doesn't quite make it all the way on his back. A friend commented that he looks like a dead body that ought to have a chalkline around it (like at a crime scene). Ever since then, that position has been named his "chalkline" pose.

Lying flat on the back with all the legs splayed out is called the "Dead Woodchuck position".

If Wishus is bad and gets yelled at, she immediately rolls over for a tummy scrunching because she knows darned well she is too cute to refuse - That's the "Cute Defense".

Also known as: DEAD WOODCHUCK POSITION, KITTY ROADKILL, SPLAYED ALIVE, and CUTE DEFENSE.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD When one cat enters the house as we're letting another one out.
CHASING MARTIANS When cats run around the house for no apparent reason at all, it is known as "kitty crackers" or "chasing Martians". (Only cats can see Martians.)

When the cat suddenly comes alert and stares intently at "nothing" on the other side of the room, that's when you know there's one of those invisible Martians around.

Apparently not all cats find it dignified or necessary to chase them. Duke DuFurr must feel that I'm responsible for the indoor ones, though he does occasionally demean himself to chase one out of the yard. Princess, however, who lives with a friend of mine, cannot tolerate a Martian in her presence, and performs wonderful athletic feats - bouncing off walls, skimming the tops of furniture, etc. - in frequent pursuits. (Perhaps the population of Martians is not evenly distributed geographically?)

Also known as: KITTY CRACKERS.

See also: GREEBLINGS

CHATTERING See ACK-ACK
CHERRY BANDIT When we get cherries in the summer, he will carefully extract one from the bowl with his teeth, and then prance around dangling it from his mouth by its stem.
CHICKEN See COMPACT KITTY
CHICKEN LEG POSITION See CHICKEN LEGS
CHICKEN LEGS When the cat is cleaning it's rear end, sitting down and washing with one rear leg sticking straight up in the air.

Also known as: CELLO POSITION, PRACTISING THE CELLO, and CHICKEN LEG POSITION.

See also: SHIFT

CHITTERING See MURR
CHOCOLATE KISSES Quite disgusting - these are when your cat goes for a poop, then immediately sits on the wood floor or windowsill, leaving little brown marks behind. My husband has great fun making kissing noises when Minnie does this.
CINNAMON BUN Where the cat is coiled into a circle - the cat's head is at the center and her body and tail just coil around it.
CIRCLE CAT Kitty sleeping curled up in a circle, or curled in a perfect half-circle and asleep.

Also known as: DONUT POSITION, and RUGCAT or THE RUG.
See also: PRRRRRRAWN.

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE See SLITHERING
CLING-ONS When they leave the litter box with something accidentally "hanging on".
COBRA That cute little "roll-over-and-bare-the-belly-with-the-head-tilted-just-so" manuver that says "I want you to pet me, but I'll take your hand off if you touch my belly." Reminiscent of a cobra coiling to strike...beautiful to watch, but deadly if you succumb to the urge to touch it.
COLLAPSE When a cat is being scratched under the chin, the cat will often lean into the scratching hand, its chin descending slowly toward the floor until the hand is pinned and almost unable to continue scratching. By this point, the front half of the cat's body has begun to follows its head, and the cat will slowly and majestically descend toward the floor like a trail of dominos, beginning with the already firmly-planted chin and traveling in a wave down the cat's body until the hind end lands with a "plop".
COMPACT KITTY When they have all four legs tucked under and their tail wrapped around their body and they look very "compact".

Laying down with the backside rounded, tail tucked under, and front feet turned in and tucked under (you know, the position that looks just like a roasted turkey).

This is also called the "duckitty pose" because they look just like ducks floating on a pond.

This is also called "meatloafing", (or Meatloaf Position) since they resemble a meatloaf in this state and are about as active.

Fatter cats can be referred to as "oven stuffers".

My brother used to call this "making an egg" because not only did our kitty look like he might be sitting on a nest of eggs, he also looked like he was trying to make himself into an egg.

We call this the "sphinx position" as they look much like the sphinxes do in Egypt.

Also known as: BAKED ALASKA, BONELESS CHICKEN POSE, BRISKET, BUDDHA CAT, CAMEL CAT, CATLOAF, CHICKEN, DUCKITTY POSE, FOLDED KITTY, FURRY MEATLOAF, FUR SLUG, FUZZBALL, MAKING AN EGG, MEATLOAF POSITION, OVEN STUFFERS, SLEEPY FEET, SPHINX POSITION, TEA COSY KITTY, TUCKY PAWS, TURKEYING, VOLKSWAGON POSITION.

See also: BREADLOAF

CONTACTING THE MOTHERSHIP If a cat is meowing while staring vacantly.

See also: BRAIN-DEAD KITTY

COW-CAT I call my black and white cat, Minnie, a COW-CAT or MOO-CAT because she has markings like a Freisan cow.
CRACK CAT See CATFIT
CURLY CAT One of the basic cat positions. Skritch her belly and she will curl up into a donut around your hand with her toes in the air.
CUTE DEFENSE See CHALKLINE POSE
CUTEING Rolling on one's back so one's humans will say how cute one is.
DA RUMPA That hind-end wiggle-dance preparatory to the pounce-stalk.
DAGGER FOOT What your cat becomes when he walks on your more tender parts.
DEAD BUG POSE See GLAMOUR PUSS
DEAD CAT POSE See ROAD KILL POSE
DEAD KITTY When a cat sprawls as wide as he/she can possible get in the middle of the kitchen floor, or any other floor with a heavy traffic area.
DEAD WOODCHUCK POSITION See CHALKLINE POSE
DEATH CHIRP See ACK-ACK
DIGNITY LICK The sudden urge to casually clean oneself after doing something really embarrassing and stupid, like missing one's leap the top of the ironing board and flailing off onto the floor.
DISEMBOWELLING See JACK-RABBITTING
DOBBER A dobber is anything that hangs down and fascinates a cat. Dobbers can be fan pulls, baubles on chandeliers, necklaces, dangly earrings or even drawstrings on sweatpants. We can now say “dobber” and both our cats will instinctively look up for the nearest fan pull.
DOGGO Lazy; useless.
DOING A DRACULA This is when a cat lies spreadeagled on the sofa waiting for his belly to be scratched, with his eyes lolling in ecstasy and his fangs sticking out (he doesn't have all his teeth so they look like dracula fangs, highly amusing!)
DOING PRETTY When a cat streeeetches herself out and looks up at you so you can tell her how BEAUUUUTIFUL she is.
DOING THE BALLET Standing up, one front paw up and one out the the side, while doing a little ballet step - Begging for food.
DOING THE DUMBO Like the elephant who flew using his ears. When your cat beats you up with its ears, eg. like when you're sleeping together and a part of your body gets too close to the cats ears, and the ears start beating whatever body part has gotten too close.

Also known as EAR-BOXING, EAR-SAULT AND BATTERY, and EAR-DRUMMED.

DOING THE GLOMCAT When Max would attach himself to me or my husband for hours, either in bed or on our laps. When he was in the glomcat mood, I could do anything with him, as long as I didn't detach him from my body. An evening ritual was to drape him over my shoulders like a scarf while I turned off lights and locked doors. Mini, who looks a lot like Max did, does the glomcat too but doesn't like being used as a scarf.
DOING THE GROUNDHOG Sitting up begging for food.
DOING THE HAKA This is when your cat does the arched back, raised fur and tail, aggressive side-ways walk. (Named after the New Zealand Maori war dance).

Also known as: KITTEN DANCE, GUARD KITTY, and FLUFFY KITTY.

DOING THE PIGEON When they make a noise from the throat (mouth closed) that sounds very much like a pigeon cooing.
DOLPHIN LEAPING See KANGAROOING
DOLPHIN SHOW When we play with feathers or something on a stick (as in EXPLOSION TOY) and meter high jumps with somersaults are performed.
DONUT POSITION See CIRCLE CAT
DOUBLE BEG When they beg at the dinner table, and after receiving the food, go to the other person at the table.
DRIP KITTY Very relaxed kitty slowly oozing upside down out of my arms onto the floor, stretched out to maximum length before finally leaving my grip and preparing for an elegant four-pawed landing.

I also call this "Liquid Kitty" cuz they "pour" out of your arms onto the floor.

Also known as: LIQUID KITTY.

DRIPPING See SLITHERING
DRIVE-BY This is when the humans are sitting (or laying) around, minding thier own business, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere a cat comes running full tilt from somewhere, jumps as hard as she can onto the unsuspecting victim (preferably stomach) spring-boards off just as quickly, and is gone. This is all before the victim, er... human can register what has happened or even say... "Oooph, watch out! Muppy's doing drive-bys again."
DUCKITTY POSE See COMPACT KITTY
EARS-BACK CAT Self-explanatory.
EAR-BOXING See DOING THE DUMBO
EAR-DRUMMED See DOING THE DUMBO
EAR-SAULT AND BATTERY See DOING THE DUMBO
EAR SEMAPHORE See RADAR EARS
ECSTASY RUG The sheepskin rug sprayed with cat nip that Spyder "zing zongs".
EGYPTIAN The "Egyptian" is done laying down with one front paw stretched straight out as far as it will go (I call it this cause it reminds me of the pictures of the ancient Egyptians -- you know the ones with one arm up and one arm down and in the other direction). (Another version of the Egyptian is the SPHINX, done with both front paws extended all the way out.)

I use the term "Super-Kitty" because my cat looks like he's flying off to save the day (a la Superman).

Also known as: SUPER KITTY

ELEPHANT STAMPEDE See HERD, THE
ELEVATOR BUTT When a cat is stroked or the base of its tail is scratched and the entire hind end of the cat begins to rise in the air in enjoyment. Particularly used when the cat in question is seated on the chest of a reclining human with its posterior positioned five inches from the nose of the human.
EUREKA! The discovery of gravity, as evinced by pushing a small noisy object off a high surface, such as a countertop or table, and onto the floor. Unlike Sir Isaac Newton, who only had the gratification of his newfound theory once, the cat can be just as delighted and surprised by this principle many, many, many times, often consecutively and within the space of a single playtime session.
See also: PLINK.
EVIL BEAST MODE When the cat goes all glassy-eyed and starts tearing around the house and attacking anything and everything.
EXHUME Nocturne's favourite retaliation -- relieving frustration by exhuming contents of litterbox onto floor. Excessive digging in litterbox.
EXPLOSION TOY En explosion of white fluffy feathers on a black stick.

Also known as KITTY TICKLER TOY.

FACE HUGGER KITTY When you "snuffle" your kitty, and he/she curls all four legs around your head and holds on.

See also: SNUFFLING.

FALSE STEP This is similar to to the FELINE SPEED BUMP, but done by a solid black cat, at night, at the bottom of outdoor stairs. I've nearly broken my neck on several occsasions.
FANGING The act of stealthily chomping down on any soft, fuzzy fabric (typically your favourite blanket or PJs) and kneading deeply while drooling heavily, usually followed by a nap.
FANGS MCKITTY A huge, tooth-baring yawn.
FAT BELLY Only Asche does that one, it's her sitting on her hind legs, then she puts her front paws beside her hind paws so she's practically sitting upright, sticks out her belly, looks down at it and starts licking it... she looks *SO* ridiculous when she does that.
FAT POCKET See CAT PADDLE
FAT SACK See CAT PADDLE
-FAWCETT A suffix appended to a cat's name when speaking of or to a cat that has natural supermodel tendencies. Especially used when the cat is exerting itself to look particularly lovely.
Usage: Select the -fawcett suffix instead of the -maralyn suffix when trying to annoy the human who considers the so addressed to "belong" to them. This will cause the human to feel "persecuted", as well as to feel that you are "picking on my poor baby!" This will amuse the cat that you are referring to while acknowledging the natural loveliness of the feline.
FEED ME POSITION When a cat sits in front of the fridge door.
FELINE SPEED BUMP When a cat sprawls on it side, fast asleep, on a flooring surface into which it blends almost perfectly, especially when viewed in poor light. This will often cause the human to trip on the cat, which will considerably annoy the cat, but not prevent it from so sleeping again. The flooring surface that this cat blends into best will also be its favorite spot to sleep.

Term History: This term was originally coined with regard to a "Red Classic Tabby" Persian, who blended into wood floors perfectly in any light level. The first form of this term was "orange speed bump" as it described both the color of the cat and the color that speed bumps are often painted.

See also: FALSE STEP

FELINE SPORTS Self-explanatory.
FENCE POSTS What the legs of a cat become the minute they decide to walk across your throat or the other sensitive bits of your pectoral area. A syndrome well known by any women cat owners, most delightfully experienced while reading in bed at night and then the cat suddenly arrives.
FETCHING See GLAMOUR PUSS
FIGURE-8 When a cat is weaving around your legs, in a Figure-8 pattern.
FILET OF KITTY When cats lay down on their backs or sides and go limp!
FISH POSE When Rooni stretches her back, she likes to be picked up, one hand just behind her front legs, the other just in front of her back legs. If you hold her up about shoulder high, keeping her back stretched long, her white tummy sags down and looks like the belly of a big fat trophy fish being held up in an outdoor magazine photo.
FLAT HEAD When one kitty antagonizes another, and his/her ears part down his/her head, almost disapearing, an angry "flat head".
FLEA LOOK Back legs stretched out straight, front paws curled around head.
FLIP-FLOP When he yawns, his ears flip back as his jaw opens, then return to place with an almost audible "click".
FLIPPITY When a cat's tail is agitated and flips all around. Usually when you're doing something to a cat that it doesn't want you to do.

Also known as BEING FLIPPED OFF.

FLIRTING When a cat is flirting and coaxing to have his tummy scratched and he/she doesn't attack...just enjoys!).

Also known as: FLUFFY TUMMIES.

FLOATING LOAF You look, and the cat is sitting in the loaf position; you avert your eyes for just a few seconds, then look quickly back to the cat, and presto! - the cat is in the exact same position, but facing a different direction! It's like he's a hovercraft or something! (Dexter always cracks us up when he does this. We think he is amused by our perplexedness...)
FLODI Stands for: "Feline Loss Of Dignity Incident". Generic term for any embarrassing mishap.
FLOPCAT When a cat just flops for no apparent reason, but looks REALLY tired.
FLUFFERS My often overly affectionate, neutered male Siamese, Amos, gets the case of the "fluffers" when he is overcome with love for us. The fur at the very base of his long whip-like tail fluffs out and he purrs and looks "deep" into your eyes with little squints of love while "making biscuits" up and down your body. Often times he is so overcome that the fur raises up on his back also. He looks as if he has been electrocuted!
FLUFFY FACE That look your kitties get when they are really into playing with something (or each other).

Also known as: KITTEN FACE.

FLUFFY KITTY See DOING THE HAKA
FLUFFY TUMMIES See FLIRTING
FLYING WALINDA Feline acrobatics, ie, leaping from windowsill to bed.
FOG FEET I have a blue-cream Tortie named Sasha whose feet are HUMONGOUS (on an otherwise petite cat) and very furry, with tufts between the toes and so on. My roommate used to call her "Fog Feet."
FOLDED KITTY See COMPACT KITTY
FOOTBALLS When Nickelas and Wiccat were chubbier... they were referred to as the kitty "footballs"... why became apparent when they were viewed from directly above.
FRANKENMOUSEY What my boy's stuffed toy mice look like after they have been sewn back together too many times.
FRAPPING Stands for: Frenetic Random Activity Period. When they are roaring about, but not doing anything specific (like chasing, etc.), and they don't even know what they're doing.
FREAK-OUT TIME When cats run around crazy for no apparent reason.
FUNGUS See LAP FUNGUS
FURRBALL ATTACK The act of all eight cats trying to get on the couch with you for your body heat.

Also known as: CATIFIED.

FURRY MEATLOAF See COMPACT KITTY
FUR SLUG See COMPACT KITTY
FUZZ BUCKETS Refers to cats in general.
FUZZBALL See COMPACT KITTY
FUZZY PUMPKIN When you see a fat cat in dim light. Their round bodies look like pumpkins and the light reflects off their eyes making them glow.
GALLOPING GOURMET The term used for the mad run to the kitchen when a cat hears the can opener.
GALOOPING See KANGAROOING
GALUMPING The sound a kitty makes when skidding on a hard floor whilst chasing a kitty toy.

See also: SCRABBLING.

GANDHI MANEUVER See SLITHERING
GARBAGE DISPOSAL The term for a cat that'll eat anything.
GEARSHIFT See SHIFT
GET "NECK" When my kitty is in my arms like a baby with his face buried in my neck. He doesn't suck just touches his mouth to my neck.
GLAMOUR PUSS When a happy kitty rolls over on its back and purrs. Also, a cat lying on its back with front and rear paws in the air, curled fetchingly, while looking up at the humans cutely.

It is very common to mistake "tummy trap" for "glamour puss" and get our hands shredded for our trouble. But sometimes Glamour Puss really is Glamour Puss, and I get to scritch Shmogg's armpits (I've learnt not to even try *anything* on his tummy) all while he purrs and stretches in sheer delight.

We call it "Kitty Slut" because of the comical way our cat Zippo lays there.

Also known as: DEAD BUG POSE, FETCHING, KITTY SLUT, PRECIOUS POSE, and UPSIDE-DOWN KITTY.

GODZILLA, THE My cat stands up on this hind honches and puts his paws up when playfighting with my mom's cat. He looks like godzilla roaring. He thinks he's so huge and scary, and my mom's cat can't swipe at him.
GO FETCH Going out with me to bring in the morning newspapers. I say, "Come on. Let's go fetch!" and Skeeter comes running, usually with Lindy tagging along. This is the prime opportunity for "cuteing".
GOING FLOPPY When you try to pick her up when she isn't in the mood, she makes her whole body completely limp, and is so floppy you can't get a good grip on her.
GOING WHACKO-CAT See RIPS, THE
GOPHER, THE When a cat sits up on its hind feet and looks around attentively.

Is called "gophering" or "prairie dogging" because that's what the gophers/prairie dogs do when they're checking out the surrounds.

When a cat that is trying to impersonate a human by standing up but only makes it as far as sitting on its butt - see Rufus doing this trick.

Also known as: MEERKATTING, BUNNYING, GROUND SQUIRREL, and PRAIRIE DOG.

GREAT GALLUMPHING CATBUTTS See HOUR OF THE CAT SPAZ, THE
GREEBLING(S) Unseen supernatural entities that cats chase. Greeblings are multi-dimensional beings that only cats see at certain times. To limited human senses this looks like they are just looking off into the distance or running around pell-mell without any reasons at all. Cats, in actuality are protecting the earth from an invasion by these multi-dimensional beings called Greeblings.

My kitty Spock could be just moseying through a room, taking his time - no hurry, going nowhere special - then all of a sudden he leaps straight up, as if jumping a hurdle, then just mosies on through like nothing unusual happened.

We have Greeblings in Cambridge (UK). Apparently the best times to catch them are 7:00PM, 10:30PM, and 4:00AM. Pepper stalks the ones that manifest half way up the wall, while Felix prefers to hare up and down the stairs after them.

See also: CHASING MARTIANS and RIPS, THE.

GREMLIN EARS See RADAR EARS
GROUND SQUIRREL See GOPHER, THE
GROVOVOLLING When Fifi slides to my feet with front legs stretched out in front, chin flat on the floor, rear end highly arched and tail curled up like the handle on a jug. (She usually does this when she knows that I am in the toilet and after "windwalking" her way through the door.)
GUARD CAT The man who lives behind me is a policeman, and when he puts on his downstairs light which you can see out of my window, Otis's ears prick up and his eyes widen, and often he rushes out to the back door to be let out. The only trouble is he can't (or won't) actually climb the fence to get to my neighbor! I call him the guard cat. My husband calls him a wuss!
GUARD KITTY See DOING THE HAKA
HALF MAD See RADAR EARS
HALLOWEEN CAT Arching the back, either when angry or scared or just when stretching.

Also known as: CAMEL STRETCH (because the cat looks like it has a camels hump while they stretch.)

HAND TRAP See TUMMY TRAP
HAVING A HISSY FIT Self-explanatory.
HAVING A JACK NICHOLSON DAY This is when you wake up in the morning and your cat looks like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" when he has just bust through the door with his axe and he says "Here's JOHNNY". Always a definite sign something is going to be destroyed today. Best to hide the breakables and the bread and wait it out.
HEAD BALLET When all feline heads move in complete unison following the hand from which they expect a treat.
HEADBANGER See HEADBUTT
HEADBUTT When the cat "bumps" you with its cheek or head as a sign of affection.

Also known as: HEADBANGER

HEAT HOG A cat who covers the entire heat outlet with his/her body.
HEINZE 57 See MOGGY
HELPING Poking his curious little nose into anything you are trying to do, and getting hopelessly messed up in it, particularly if it involves many small pieces which you have to keep track of, or it requires neatness (e.g. wrapping presents, folding laundry, etc.)
HENNA MOMENT Sunning themselves. Refers to Sarrasine and Redunzel lying in the Sun. They are both black cats under most lights but when they lie in bright sunlight they reveal that they actually have rich dark brown elements in their coats which only show up in bright sunlight.The fisrt tiem we saw this, Dave turned to me and said "Have you been henna'ing the cats?" hence "henna moment".
HERD, THE When one or more cats goes chasing each other or nothing around the dwelling (preferably on stairs and hardwood floors, at times of the night that are inconvenient for sleeping humans or times of the day that are amusing for humans), making much more noise than a similar number of humans performing the same actions could.

Cats running up and down the hardwood stairs or the hallway in the middle of the night, sounding like a herd of elephants.

Also known as: STOMPLE, HERD OF WILD ELEPHANTS, and ELEPHANT STAMPEDE.

HERD OF WILD ELEPHANTS See HERD, THE
HIGH BEAM A cat does the "high-beam" thing when they are paying attention, ie. neck stretched out, ears forward, whiskers forward, big eyes and twitching nose.

This is also called the "radar" look because their whiskers point straight forward like they're scanning something for a radar scope.

Also known as: RADAR.

HIGH MEW When a cat sits way up high (like at the top of the stairs) so they can they can watch everything. This started when my son and his friend went to an art exhibit where there was a painting of a cow at the top of a staircase and it was titled "High Moo". This reminded them of the way our cats love to sit at the top of the stairs going up from our living room.
HIPPY HIPPY SHAKE When your kitty shakes his/her head so fast their ears flap against her head and make a "brrrrrrrrt" sound.
HISS-O-MATIC When cats hiss because they are disturbed by other cats, dogs, ferrets etc.
HOLLOW KITTY Kitty that has the appetite of a medium to large pony but still manages to look thin. Comes from my belief that the only explanation was if you took Isis and sliced her lenghtways, she'd be hollow inside. Sarrasine is just the same.
HORKA, HORKING The noise they make just prior to putting a hairball on your rug: Horka-horka-horka.

Also known as: MEOWING AT THE CARPET.

HOSTILE WATERS Locations of known carpet shark attacks or frenzies. Carpet sharks thrive under furniture, bedcovers and around blind corners.
HOUR OF THE CAT SPAZ, THE This happens more than once a day. Cats go nuts and chase each other (or nothing whatsoever) around the house for several minutes.

Also know as "The Rips."

HUMPHING When a cat is insulted and stomps away with its ears sideways.
HYGIENE INSPECTION What my cats give me in the morning, where they watch very carefully as I brush my teeth, shave, etc.
I MEANT TO DO THAT! When a cat does something totally stupid or out of character, ie: getting caught almost accepting the dog and catching them in the act. Response is smug look and/or hissing at dog.
I'LL HAVE WHAT YOU'RE HAVING Complete disregard of freshly-presented catfood when human food is in evidence.
I'M DYING HERE See THROW DOWN CAT
IN THE SLOT Max used to huddle next to the hot air vent in the hall bathroom next to the counter. When the door is ajar, the space is a small slot where hot air concentrates. Granted, we have a somewhat drafty house, but his reaction to even the slightest chill was comical - we live in coastal California, and it never really gets that cold!
IN THE TOASTER OVEN When my cat gets in the windowsill where the sun shines brightest in the morning, but just laying there long enough to get warm before moving somewhere more comfortable (about as long as it takes me to make toast in the toaster oven).
IN THE ZONE Every night, my siamese kitten has a sudden change of personality. Usually this occurs when we are settling down to go to bed. His eyes dilate and he begins purring and kneading uncontrollably. He develops a fascination with my face and tries to get as near it as possible. Even when we pick him up and place him near our feet in bed, he still squirms free and comes at me. It’s a bit disturbing, seeing this glassy-eyed cat come at me again and again. When he does manage to get near my face, he touches his nose all over it and then lies down right beside it. Unfortunately, this usually hinders my breathing. When his pupils start to widen, we say, “Uh oh…Cesco’s in the zone again.”
INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE Is the look Tipsy Tat gives you after you hear the parakeet flap madly in its cage and you come in the room and a big feather is floating onto Tipsy's back, she turns away from the bird and towards you, then sits, prim, wide-eyed, placid, as if saying, "Who? What?..."
INVERTEBRATE LOOK Lying down with no legs or arms visible.
INVISIBLE MONSTERS They keep us safe from these. Often the subject of fierce battles during the "Hour of the Cat Spaz, The."
I SMELL BROCCOLI COOKING LOOK, THE The look on their face after carefully smelling something with the roof of their mouths -- it's kind of an open-mouthed "I smell broccoli cooking" look.

This look is correctly called the "Flehmen Reaction".

Also known as: KITTY GRIN.

JACK-RABBITTING Kicking with the back feet, usually against another cat or against a human hand or arm (as when the human is "tickling" the cat's belly and annoying the heck out of it).

Also known as: DISEMBOWELLING.

JUGTAIL When the tail is curled forward and the tip almost touches cat's back.
JUMP-UP-BLACK-KITTIES I have two black cats (Chiana and Ivan) both of them have a way of greeting me affectionately, in which if you wiggle your fingers above them, they raise up on their hind feet, to nuzzle the proffered hand. My other cats don't show their affection this way, and since it is just the black cats that are doing this action, I call it "Jump-Up-Black-Kitties".
KAMIKAZE SPIDERMAN JUMP The action taken by a cat when he/she leaps out from an ambush position to attack a passer-by's leg. This is a highly effective procedure especially when the position of ambush is elevated 8 to 12 inches off of the ground.
KANGAROOING When a kitty rears up like an angry horse, or leaps in an arch to attack. This is also called "rampant" as in "lion rampant" in heraldic emblems.

Also known as: WALLABYING, DOLPHIN LEAPING, GALOOPING, and RAMPANT.

KATTEN What Oscar says a grown up cat should be called, after all if a baby cat is a kitten...
KINSHON A name all cats respond to.
KITTEN DANCE See DOING THE HAKA
KITTEN FACE See FLUFFY FACE
KITTEN WRESTLING FEDERATION SANCTIONED MATCH When two or more cats decide to start play-fighting on the floor.
KITTY-ANAPOLIS 500 When Tinsel and Nynex chase each other around the house and up and down the stairs, usually at about 10:00PM.
KITTY CATCH-TOE A game played in bed, usually when the human is just drifting into or out of sleep, and an involuntary movement of a foot under the bedclothes signals the beginning of this game. Often ends with cat being launched involuntarily from the end of the bed.
KITTY CRACKERS See CHASING MARTIANS
KITTY GRIN See I SMELL BROCCOLI COOKING LOOK, THE
KITTY LUMP When the cat jumps up under the comforter on our bed, even if the bed is made, and curls up into a ball to sleep.
KITTY ROADKILL See CHALKLINE POSE
KITTY SKATEBOARD Sliding over the hardwood floor on the small rug.
KITTY SLUT See GLAMOUR PUSS
KITTY SURFBOARD Jumping on one end of the dining room table and sliding off the other end, taking the tablecloth (and anything else on it) with her.
KITTY TAG The game that results in all one's cats sounding like a "herd of elephants" during the middle of the night. This game is preceded by STARE THE CAT DOWN.

See also: HERD OF ELEPHANTS.

KITTY TICKLER TOY See EXPLOSION TOY
KITTY WHOMPUS When a cat gets running and his hind-end starts to get in front of his front-end; mostly noticiable in kittens.
KITTY YODELING When my cats don't think they've been getting enough attention, they'll go into an empty room and cry loudly. The sound echos all throughout my house just like if someone was yodeling in the mountains.
KNEAD, KNEADING See MAKING BREAD
LAP DANCER When a kitty keeps turning around on you before he/she drops down on your lap.
LAP FUNGUS Cat who absolutely has to be where you are at all times, preferably attached to your body.

Also known as: FUNGUS

LAVA LUMP A cat that adores lounging in the warmth of and viewing the bright orange flickers of a fireplace.
LEG UP At times, our kitten will extend his back leg, as if he is preparing to give it a wash, then forgets what he’s doing and leaves it extended.
LESS-LESS This is the name of my cat's favorite toy. I'm not kidding, she loves the thing! It started out with navy blue and black feathers and sparkle tinsel strings on the end of a black stick (See: EXPLOSION TOY). The feathers came out - hence the ex-name featherless. After a while the sparkles came out. Now it's just a black stick. And some people say animals don't feel love!
LIQUID KITTY See DRIP KITTY
LITTLE ME When kitty is raising one front paw in a limp-wristed way, sitting on its haunches and looking up appealingly. It's a sort of "little me" thing, associated with requests for food.

That's the position that all those Japanese cat statues are in.

We call that the "thinking paw" because [our kitty] seems to do it when she's working something out.

Also known as: THINKING PAW.

LITTLE MISS (or MR) UNDERFOOT When no matter where you go, there they are. Underfoot and in the way of your feet.
LITTLE TIGER When kitties do things that they know they are not supposed to do.
LOAF OF BREAD BREADLOAF
LOAFING BREADLOAF
LONGCAT When a cat streeeeeetches to make themselves about twice as long as usual.
LOOK, THE The way a cat stares at you when you've done something hideously wrong, like laughing at him or her, or making that wet stuff fall out of the sky when he or she wants to go outside.
LOVE MACHINE When Monkey Boy meows and gently bites my arm while climbing onto my arm with all four legs. (Strangely enough this happens when I am whistling.)
LOW RIDER A short, petite, cobby-bodied cat, like my Persian. Exuberant splats to the side of the mattress are the norm when they attempt a morning snuggle. Jumping is not their forte! Solution: get a cat helmet or a stepping stool. I suggest the latter!
MAD HOUR, THE RIPS, THE
MAKING AN EGG See COMPACT KITTY
MAKING BISCUITS See MAKING BREAD
MAKING BREAD The way cats "knead".

Kneading action the cat perfomed as a kitty but never outgrew. Originally for finding and priming a nipple to suckle on mommy cat.

When a cat lets you know just how much he loves you by kneading your tummy like dough.

The kneading cats do from time to time, when they get that dreamy expression.

Also known as: KNEAD/KNEADING, MAKING BISCUITS, PATTY-PATS, PANKING, MAKING PASTRY, MILK PAWS, PADDY-PAWING, PUDGIE-PUDGE, PUSSY-FOOTING, SMURGLING, SOFTENING YOU FOR THE KILL, and ZING ZONG.

MAKING PASTRY See MAKING BREAD
MAKING THE BED See MAKING BREAD
MANUAL RETRIEVAL UNIT (MRU) A straightened coat-hanger used to get cat toys out from under the refrigerator, sofa, or other inaccessible areas. Example: "Honey, get the MRU. Simba's mouse is under the fridge again."
-MARALYN A suffix appended to a cat's name when speaking of or to a cat that has natural supermodel tendencies. Especially used when the cat is exerting itself to look particularly lovely.
MARBLING Milo, 4 years old, long haired ginger, steals marbles from our children, hides them, then retrieves them at night. He picks them up in his mouth and drops them down the stairs, then chases them, then starts the game again. I swear the other cats think he's mad! You should hear the noise. We try to hide them but he has much better hiding places than us and can always find a marble if he wants one. I particularly dislike those he finds at midnight when we have a busy day ahead and wake up suddenly to a sinister drumming noise that sounds like there's a bowling game going on downstairs.
MEATLOAF POSITION See COMPACT KITTY
MEERKATTING See GOPHER, THE
MEOWING AT THE CARPET See HORKA
MEYAWN Just as it says; that sound resulting from a meow mixed with a yawn.
MEYUTE A full-on meow when our little cat Dexter forgets to open his mouth...
MILK PAWS See MAKING BREAD
MISS PERFECT When a girl cat is sitting straight up, with her front paws perfectly lined up, and tail wound neatly around her legs.

SISSY BOY - is the "Miss Perfect" version for a male cat.

MODESTY FLAP See CAT PADDLE
MOGGY This term is used to describe a cat of indeterminate breeding.

Any cat of mixed ancestry.

Moggy is plain old mixed breed, peasant cat (King of the World).

"Moggy" is a UK & Australian term for a non-pedigree cat. Can be long-haired or short-haired, but if its not a pedigree, it's a moggy.

Moggy is to cats as Mutt is to dogs.

See also: PATIO-CAT.

Also known as: HEINZE 57.

MOMDAD A male human who hand-raises kittens orphaned at a very young age, so that they grow up thinking he is their biological mother.
MOMMING

When a kitty is sitting by a person and meowing a meow every five seconds for no apparent reason. Kind of like a small child standing there saying "mom. mom. mom. moooom. MOooom. moooOM. MOM. MO-OM..." until the mother gets annoyed and snaps at the child. I've seen this happen, and the gets the same reaction as the child - "WHAT?!"

I laugh when kitty does this to my husband while he is laying on the couch, and her head is right beside his ear.

MONSTER UNDER THE BED My cat GutPack spends a lot of time peeking under the bed ruffle staring at something under the bed. I decided that he thinks he sees something dangerous and he's trying to protect us from the "Monster Under The Bed".
MONSTER UNDER THE BLANKET Anything moving underneath a blanket or afgahn that your cat must attack and kill. Especially goes for feet of sleeping humans.
MOO-CAT See COW-CAT
MOTH OR SERIAL KILLER The habit of a cat who, late at night, walks over to a dark, empty hallway and stares around the corner down the hallway, motionless, as if he is looking at something. (It's Either A Moth Or A Serial Killer.) Quite effective when another cat joins in.
MR. TOENAILS My father's nickname for Jake when he clicks his claws on the floor when he walks.
MUCKY-HAUNCHEY KITTY This is the phrase we use to describe our little cat when she comes in with mud all up the back of her legs (which is usually every day!)
MURR The sound they make when "killing" a favorite toy.

Also known as: CHITTERING.

MYTHIC MONTH Expression coined by me to a friend to describe the lenght of time it takes to accquire new kitties. Both of us when facing the loss of a kitty said "I am going to wait a month, before I get another cat". He lasted 5 days in fact when he went to get Bingo's body from the vet to take him to be buried he came back with Chloe and Tigger. (His flatmate had realised that he couldn't wait a month or he'd go to a rehoming centre and probably bring them all back so he phoned the vet and told them "When he comes in make sure there's a cat waiting for him!") I actually did the mythic month but only because Sarrasine and Redunzel were too young to leave their mum but I actually called and offered them a home after just 48 hours of being cat-less.
MYTHS & LEGENDS See NORMAL BEHAVIOUR
NEEDLE FEET When a heavy cat walks on you and puts all of his weight on one little paw which is placed strategically in a human soft spot, such as the tummy or the side.
NIGHT WATCH When you have a fat kitty sitting on your head whilst you are asleep in bed.
NORMAL BEHAVIOUR See MYTHS & LEGENDS
NOSE KISSES The act of touching noses with another cat or human.
ORCS Stands for "Organic rodent control systems". Our neighbours had mice and when the guy from the council called round and asked if we had any problems I said we hadn't as we had installed "organic rodent control systems". It was only after he left that I realised what the initials spelt. We now joke that the orcs aren't energy efficent as they have to spend 18 hours a day in recharge mode.
OVEN STUFFERS See COMPACT KITTY
PADDY-PAWING See MAKING BREAD
PUDGIE-PUDGE See MAKING BREAD
PANCAKE What most of our eight cats do on the back deck anytime the temperature is over 28 degrees Celsius.
PANKING See MAKING BREAD
PASSIVE RESISTANCE See SLITHERING
PATIO-CAT The American term for a mixed breed cat. It is the American equivalent of the UK and Australian word "Moggy".

See also: MOGGY.

PATTY-PATS See MAKING BREAD
PERFECT TIMING When you’re just out of the shower and/or just sat down at the dinner table and the unmistakable aroma of Litterbox Emergency wafts toward your nose.
PILE-DRIVER PAWS The effect attained when a cat sits on your chest in bed, and all his weight seems to be concentrated in the two front paws on your sternum.
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAT When a cat is laying on its back, head hanging over the edge of something so that the entire cat is upside down, and peering at you quizzically while inverted. (It's a good opportunity for scratching them under the chin though.)
PINK TONGUE OF CONTENT When a cat is content, he/she will stick out his/her tongue just enough for you to see it.
PINK YAWN When a cat begins a yawn with a curled-up tongue that gradually unfurls to stick out of its mouth through the course of the yawn.
PIT PUSSY Lilah, for reasons entirely a mystery to me, likes grooming my armpits when I sprawl in bed. Not my wife's, though. I guess I need more help.
PLAYING HAIRDRESSER When a cat lays behind your head on the back of the couch or recliner, quietly at first, then after a bit decides your hair just "isn't quite right", and decides to "do it for you" by batting, chewing, licking or otherwise messing with it. Attempts to disuade the hairdresser result in either having your hand smacked or bitten in rebuke, or having your stylist storm off in a huff. Tips are appreciated; criticism is not.
PLAYING THE CELLO See CHICKEN LEGS
PLINK A fascinating game, usually played by shorthairs. The object is to push a small object OFF of a high space, such as a counter, and ONTO the floor where, often, it will land with a satisfying "plink". Piles of loose change are ideal for this, as you can have hours of fun pushing over each individual coin. Best done when human is trying to get some sleep, do some work, or hasn't fed the cat in over fifteen minutes.
See also: EUREKA!.
POKE, POKEY, POKING To work very hard at doing nothing. Not to be confused with sleeping, poking occurs when a wide awake cat does not move for hours on end.
POLY Short for "rolypoly," when the cat writhes on her back displaying her belly.
POODIE Only girl cats have one of these... (and boy cats like them)
PORN SHOT When MissKitty rolls onto her back and stares at people over her enormous belly.

Also known as: PORNO-CAT.

PORNO-CAT See PORN SHOT
POUCH See CAT PADDLE
POWER-PURR Self-explanatory.
PRACTISING THE CELLO See CHICKEN LEGS
PRAIRIE DOG, PRAIRIE-DOGGING See GOPHER, THE
PRE-POUNCE BUTT MANEUVER (PPBM) The maneuver cats go through when getting ready to pounce on prey, human feet, or another object that catches their attention.
PRE-RESCUED Kitties who get a good home when there is a definate risk they might not. I coined the phrase to describe Sarrasine and Redunzel's position to my step niece who believes that everyone who has a good home should get their cats from rehoming centres rather than buying them or getting them from a friend . So when she asked me if they were rescue kittens I explained they were "pre-rescued kittens" as they came from a work colleague who was feeding a feral cat and thought she was doing a good job when the cat started to put on weight only to find the reason was the cat was pregnant. She didn't know what to do with the kittens and was going to give them to a pet shop if she couldn't find homes for them so I stepped in and pre-rescued them.
PRECIOUS POSE See GLAMOUR PUSS
PRECIOUS VICIOUS The quick transition from lovable mode to attack mode.
PRRRRRRAWN (You have to really roll the R and it's best said in a Singaporean accent, but can be done by others): That curled up in a little circle position. Best used for striped cats.

See also: CIRCLE CAT.

PRTTT The sound they make when they are calling one of us or each other.
PUPPY-CAT A term my Dad coined to describe Pyewacket, who sat in his lap and rubbed up against him. My Dad was a dog person, but he decided Pye was special.
PURPLE GATOR One of the purple alligator gloves I had when I was little, which is now a hand-sized sparring mate for my cat.
PURR BUTT Any cat, but especially one that is being overly friendly.
PURRGASMS When a kitty makes purring noises both inhaling and exhaling, or when you pet kitty on the back right near the tail (which is always good for a purrgasm!).
PURROW That special meow that is combined with a purr.
PUSHING THE CUTE BUTTON An occurrence that usually takes place when the human is either:
1) busy around the house and ignoring kitty;
2) leaving for work; or
3) on the phone and ignoring kitty.
The kitty 'pushes the cute button' by plopping down on her side and rolling over to expose the irresistible furry tummy all the while keeping two adorable eyes on the human at all times insisting that nothing in the world could be more important at that given moment than rubbing the furry belly.
PUSSIFIED Also called "being with cat" or "being cat furniture." Pinned to the couch by one or more of the girls. Can't get up without disturbing them. A good excuse to have one's mate fetch one a beer. (Sometimes sung to the tune of Tori Amos' "Crucify": "Why do we... pussify ourselves... every day?")
PUSSY FOOTING See MAKING BREAD
PUTHUMPING See SCRABBLING
RADAR See HIGH-BEAM
RADAR EARS This can mean two different things, either moving one or both ears back and forth upon hearing something that catches their attention (like a radar dish scanning back and forth), or having both ears pulled back but not moving (so that the ears look like a radar dish when seen head on).

"HALF MAD" is when the ears are partway lying back, indicating some degree of anger or annoyance.

General craziness - when the ears are flattened and seem to make a completely flat plane going right through the cat's head.

Also known as: EAR SEMAPHORE and GREMLIN EARS.

RAMPANT See KANGAROOING
REAR-ENDING The way a cat backs up to you with the rear end slightly raised so you will scratch the base of the tail.
REVVING Our cat Dillon, a male who was feral for four years, loves to steal weird things. His favourite at the moment is used teabags from our kitchen bin. (Yuk). He holds them in his mouth, with his mouth shut tight around them, trying to be cool and secretive. Doesn't work though, his cheeks are like a little hamster!! When my husband, Stuart, tries to retrieve the hidden item, Dillon growls these guttural stuttered growls - hence "revving" - then shoots off to some secluded spot to hide his catch!! So far we've found teabags behind our sofa, under the bed, behind our toilet and in our cupboard under the stairs!!
RIP SNORTIN' The 9:00PM rumpus that happens every night.
RIPS, THE See ZOOMIES
ROAD KILL POSE When a cat lays on its tummy, front paws forward and hind legs straight behind, as flat to the floor as they can get.

Also known as: DEAD CAT POSE, and ALLIGATOR POSITION.

ROTARY CAT The utter loss of dignity as she spins in a tight circle trying to capture the whirling cat toy on the end of the string.
RUG, THE See CIRCLE CAT
RUGCAT See CIRCLE CAT
RUG SURFING When a cat gets a running start (usually from a room or two away), jumps and lands in the center on an area rug placed on a hardwood, linoleum, or tile floor, then rides the now-sliding rug until rug and cat fetch up against a wall. This is never done at a time when it can be observed by humans, and the children (if there are any) are always blamed for messing up the rugs. If no children are available, it was the husband/boyfriend or whomever is the least neatness-oriented of the dwelling's occupants.
RUMP ROAST A biggie or super-size cat doing the "meatloaf".
RUN DUTY When one or more of the cats is out in the cat run at 2:00AM.
SACK OF JELLO See CAT PADDLE
SACRIFICIAL KITTY I had a little gray cat named Ramesys who would lay down and go totally limp. Then you could pick him up and carry him around and he'd stay totally limp. We called that the "Sacrificial Kitty" because he was like those drugged unconscious sacrificial virgins in all those "B" movies.
SCRABBLING The sound a kitty makes when skidding around carpeting whilst chasing a kitty toy.

Also known as: PUTHUMPING, SKRUNKING, THUNDERING, and VELCRO PAWS.
See also: GALUMPING.

SCREEN TEST When Sylvie throws herself against the window screen and hangs there, splayed out like a splat cat, belly beautiful.
SEEING DEMONS That moment of panic when our kitty Dexter makes us think the ceiling is falling: a sudden, violent jerk of the head, eyes popping, usually from a catnap. Creepy.
SELF-POSITIONING RUG No matter where you walk in this house, Dorrie is always sprawled in the most strategic area so you have to step over her.
SHARKED Term used by survivors of carpet shark attacks. As in "I got sharked yesterday, but manage to escape with only a few scratches."
SHIFT To act upon the "chicken legs" pose. While one leg is up in the air, it much resembles a stickshift on a manual car. Grab hold and change gears!

Also known as: GEARSHIFT

See also: CHICKEN LEGS

SHOEBOX One of our cats, Tigger, is a cobby-body. That means he's normally chunky, and now that we have a kitten (and available kitten food), he's turned into a "wide body" (think airplanes). Shoebox with legs, head, and tail. A bulging shoebox. He's also not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Fat, dumb, and happy. Tigger has also acquired some less-than-flattering nicknames: Rump roast, butterball, wide body, lard belly, etc. Now that we're in a house with stairs, he's getting more exercise and slowly starting to go back to his "pleasantly plump" figure.
SILENT SCREAM When you see kitty's mouth opening wide from the other side of the window. You can't hear it, but you can see it, and he/she is looking right at you.
SISSY BOY See MISS PERFECT
SKID MARKS The lovely brown streaks a cat leaves on your carpet after pinching a generous loaf in the litter pan. Ankles around the ears, you know the drill.
SKITTERCAT Another term for cat's five minutes of madness - usually, I find, after doing a particularly large bowel movement!
SKRUNKING See SCRABBLING
SLAPS A fund game where Gatsby stand up on a kitchen chair and sticks his arm out, and he won't leave until you come over and "slap" his paw. You have to play fair and let him slap you back. It's kind of a game of exchanging "high-fives".
SLEEPY FEET See COMPACT KITTY
SLITHERING When a human attempts to pick up a passively resistive cat, the cat will simultaneously become utterly limp, boneless, and slippery. This usually causes the human to be unable to retain any hold on the cat whatsoever.

Also known as: DRIPPING, CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, PASSIVE RESISTANCE, THOREAU, and GANDHI MANEUVER.

SLURPING See SNARFLING
SMIRKING/font> Sitting just out of range looking very smug after having done something naughty.
SMURGLING See MAKING BREAD
SMUSH The suicidal act of putting the cat down on its back and vigorously rubbing belly and head.
SNARFING The act of gobbling up huge quantities of food in no time at all.
SNARFLING What my cat does in my ear.

Also known as: SLURPING.

SNARKING The act of getting very low and crawling forward ready to pounce.
SNORT Much like a human snort, the cat breathes rapidly out of his or her nose when you have done something so far beneath his or her dignity that it can only be dismissed and forgotten. Often associated with a headshake when the cat is trying to remove the thoughts in its head.
SNUFFLING The act of rubbing your face in your kitty's belly (especially wonderful if you've got a longhair cat - but it doesn't matter as long as it's warm). I routinely perform this ritual on all of our cats. The expression on their face is one of total resignation.

Also known as: ZURBURT.

SNUGGLEPUSS To cuddle a cat.
SOFTENING YOU FOR THE KILL See MAKING BREAD
SPHINCTER MARKS See BUTT PRINT
SPHINX See EGYPTIAN
SPHINX-CAT When a cat sits on its haunches, front feet out in front, looking inscrutable like an Egyptian Sphinx.
SPHINX POSITION See COMPACT KITTY
SPLAYED ALIVE See CHALKLINE POSE
SPRAWL KITTY When kitty sprawls out as flat & big as possible.
SPROINGING Leaping straight up when startled, apparently without moving a muscle. Just "Sproinngg!"
STARE THE CAT DOWN In order to play a game of "Kitty Tag", it is essential to "Stare the cat down" - first to blink is "It" for kitty tag.

See also: KITTY TAG

STATELY CAT The high-class position - all feet together, tail wrapped around, eyes half-closed, seeming very much to say "you aah so beneath me."

See also: STATUE, THE.

STATUE, THE The position for perfect cats, sitting with tail wrapped around the forepaws.
STEALTH CAT When you leave a cat asleep in one part of the house and go to another room (usually the kitchen) to find the cat there before you, often lying in the middle of the floor as though she's been there for ages.
STOMPLE See HERD, THE
STUDYING Staring at something for a *really* long time (I guess to make sure that everything is in order and working properly).
SUBMISSIVE FLOP The action taken by a cat who does not want to be placed in an area of containment such as a carrier. As a person reaches for the cat the cat trots a few feet away then throws his body down on the floor, lying sideways, trying to make himself as flat as possible. Highly ineffective when used by small cats or kittens but extremely useful when used by cats over 17 pounds.
SUDDEN BLADDER COMPRESSION When sixteen pounds of cat lands on your lower abdomen.
SUPER C When Gatsby goes to sleep, he can curl his body around to the point where his head is at his butt, and his front legs are stretched straight out, giving the appearance of a letter "C".
SUPER KITTY See EGYPTIAN
SURROUND SOUND PURR When you have multiple cats all purring at once.
SWORDPAWS A game where people hold a piece of paper out for kitty to hit with their 'swordpaws'. You know the paws are swords if kitty misses paper and hits finger.
TABBY MORPHOSIS In our house, we have two tabbies - Pixel and Sneakers. They are best buddies, and both like to play. Sometimes I will be playing with Pixel with a string, and I'll head down the hall expecting him to follow. But the tabby who catches the string at the end of the hall is...Sneakers. Once in a while the reverse happens (I was playing with Sneakers and suddenly it's Pixel attached to the string).

See also: TORTIE MORPHOSIS

TAIL UP, EARS DOWN Running determinedly with tail straight up and head down and on a dead run toward the feeding area when its time for a meal (or a snack!). Really a cat on a mission!
TAKE OFF YOUR HIGH HEELS When Buddy stands on me it feels like he has spiked high heeled shoes on, so I tell him "Take off your high heels."
TAKING A PICTURE When you scratch the base of the tail and the hind end goes up.
TARTIES This is when a kitty lays on its back and has its back legs and front legs apart. (This only pertains to female cats).
TAUN-TAUN Our cat Henry does the "taun-taun": when he has his teeth in the dinner roast and one of us is trying to pull him off, he chews and growls at the same time, making a noise like the beasts in the film "The Empire Strikes Back". In fact, he will do this any time he has a wonderful treat and we stand too near him while he's eating it.
TEA COSY KITTY See COMPACT KITTY
TEETER-TOTTER BUTT See VERTICAL BUTT SYNDROME
TEN THOUSAND POUND PAW PRINCIPLE That's the pressure exerted by each paw of little eight pound Marble on our bladders at 5:30AM.
THE BAGS See CAT PADDLE
THE SACKS See CAT PADDLE
THINKING PAW See LITTLE ME
THOREAU See SLITHERING
THROW DOWN CAT When they are walking along or standing and all of a sudden just kind of fall down on their side.

They sometimes use this pose to try to convince you that they're starving to death!.

Also known as: I'M DYING HERE, and THE BIG FLOP.

THUNDER PUSSY Two cats on the second floor hear the can opener and come down the stairs like a herd of buffalo. Also applies to one cat if you have a 20-pound Maine Coon, which can sound like the 1812 Overature when there is a cupboard under the stairs.
THUNDERING See SCRABBLING
TICKIE TOES The noise that their toenails make when they walk across the hardwood floor.
TIME FOR BADNESS When all the cats in the house suddenly feel the urge to engage in "badness".

See BADNESS

TOE TUFTY The puffs of fluffy hair that sticks out of a cat’s toes. Persians have lotsa toe tufties.
TORTIE MORPHOSIS This is where there is an unnoticed change of Torties (either Cloudy or Misty) on my chest. This usually occurs when I'm watching television (something engrossing). I'll start out petting one of them, and notice later that I have the other cat on me!

See also: TABBY MORPHOSIS

TREASURES Get buried in the litterbox.
TRILLING That "mrrr" noise that a cat makes when he or she is lonely, hungry, excited, or just wants to get your attention.
TROLLING FOR CATFOOD Any behaviour that registers a request for the "fresh" cat food regardless of how much food is already present. "You put that down there an hour ago, you expect me to eat it now?"
TUBE CAT The opposite of the "Curly Cat." For extended back or belly skritches, she will extend herself as far as possible in both directions. (Paraphrased from a B. Kliban cartoon captioned "Tube, the Cat," showing an impossibly long tabby with its face in the food dish and its hindquarters planted firmly in the litterbox.)
TUCKY PAWS See COMPACT KITTY
TUMMY BAG The empty flap of skin that sways to and fro when the cat runs.
TUMMY OF BIPED DISMEMBERMENT (TBD) See TUMMY TRAP
TUMMY TRAP When a cat rolls over winsomely (usually right in the path of the oncoming human) for a tummy scritching, then attack with all four paws once the hand is in the trap.

It is also called the "Hand Trap", because as soon as you reach for the fat belly, SNAP, all four paws and the teeth close around your hand.

Also known as: TUMMY OF BIPED DISMEMBERMENT (TBD), BELLY BAIT, VENUS FLY-TRAP, and HAND TRAP.
See also: GLAMOUR PUSS.

TURKEYING See COMPACT KITTY
TWILIGHT ZONE, THE Where your cat disappears to on those occasions when, although you live in a studio apartment the size of a postage stamp with very few hidey spaces and no open doors or windows to the outside and you've been searching and calling for what seems like hours, the little bugger is nowhere to be seen.
See also: CAT HOLES.
UDDER See CAT PADDLE
UNCLE GOOPY Often done during a session of "the Zoomies", in ambush: the cat flings itself around a human ankle (if human is walking) or arm (if human it sitting down and has arm extended), wraps all four legs around the appendage, and digs in for all he's worth with sharp little claws and teeth. During an Uncle Goopy, sometimes trying to pry the cat loose can be quite a challenge, much like trying to remove a burr.
UPSIDE-DOWN KITTY See GLAMOUR PUSS
VAMPIRE KITTY Asche will still sometimes start sucking on a patch of fur behind Izzy's ears... purring wildly, and Izzy either tolerates it or gets this really ecstatic look on her face...
VELCRO CAT Velco Cat is when you attempt to lift a cat off a carpet (or bedspread or ANY place he wishes to remain at) and he HANGS ON FOR DEAR LIFE!
VELCRO PAWS See SCRABBLING
VENUS FLY-TRAP See TUMMY TRAP
VERTICAL BUTT SYNDROME As I petted Pandy, she not only did the traditional arch-the-back-against-the-hand thing, but she raised her rear end so high she was practically standing on her head!

Also known as: TEETER-TOTTER BUTT.

VIBRA TAIL When my cats Brisket and Tigger are very happy to see me their tails vibrate.
VIBRATTO HEAD I used to throw a ball (or mouse toy, etc) and my cat would chase it. But before I'd throw it, I'd shake it back and forth in the air, to get her excited. She'd stare at it with big saucer eyes, and her head would tilt side to side really fast so that it looked like her head was vibrating. I think she was just trying to follow the ball with her eyes. It looked really weird!
VOLKSWAGEN POSITION See COMPACT KITTY
WAITING FOR THE CATERER When the food dish is empty, my cat will lay down next to the food dish and rest his head on the food dish. He'll lay like that for hours staring at me until I get up and fill the bowl again.
WALL DEMON Nocturnal version of the carpet shark. These are only active during midnight trips to the bathroom, and nearly always result in pre-cardiac arrest as the victim is usually more than half asleep at time of attack and subject to hallucinations. Wall Demon attacks are usually accompanied by a muffled scream, cursing, and thumping about, ensuring the disturbance of the entire household's rest, thereby earning the Wall Demon a chance to escape while the prey searches for it in order to exact retribution. This is a futile effort, however, as there has never been a confirmed sighting or capture of a Wall Demon.
WALLABYING See KANGAROOING
WATER-WHACKER A cat that likes water (being wet), especially one who bats at moving water running from faucets or draining from the bath.
WELLING My younger sister insisted the cat looked like it had its arms folded and was saying "well, well, well."
WET HEAD We used to have a bathtub with a leaky faucet, and the kitty loved to climb in there and lick the water around the drain, while drops of water would fall on her head from the faucet. Often her head would get soaked. Then she'd come into the bedroom and cuddle up to a sleeping person with "Wet Head".
WILD JUNGLE CAT Stalking some inanimate object such as a pen or wadded up bit of paper, with the intent to kill it.
WINDWALK ("wind" as in wind the clock) eg. " Fifi windwalks through an almost shut door".
WOWLING The sound a discontented cat makes as it wanders its dwelling, looking for whatever it thinks it needs or has lost. This behavior is usually seen in conjunction with an unwillingness to be petted or soothed, and when a human tries to soothe the wowling cat or ask it what is wrong, the cat will stare intently ay the human for a moment while wowling, and then walk away to look some more.
WUDGE THE PUDGE When a kitty is laying splayed out on her/his back and has their belly presented. You put your hand on the fat belly and jiggle it.
YING YANG My two cats are very jealous of me. When I'm laying in bed reading one cat will come up and lay on my shoulder. The other will always come up and lay in the exact same position on the other side and they glare at each other over me. I call it my Cat Ying Yang.
YOGA NAPPING Sleeping in an odd position. Fugazi and Isis were the experts on this and frequently slept upside down or with three legs in the air apparently balancing on the fourth. Dave always said "How can they be comfortable sleeping like that?" To which I'd reply "They're yoga napping they wouldn't do it if it wasn't comfortable".
ZING ZONG See MAKING BREAD
ZOMBIE KITTY The disturbing look of glazed bliss that sometimes films your cat's eyes when he's got his little teeth sunk into a human appendage/living snack toy. Often accompanied by rabbit-kicking and "Uncle Goopy".
ZOOMS, THE See ZOOMIES
ZOOMIES, THE The nightly 10:00PM crazy running around the house for ten minutes before bed time.

When they run pell mell down the upstairs hall and just around the house. It sounds like a herd of buffalo stampeding through the house.

What others have described as chasing greeblings, the rips, the zoomies, etc.

Also known as: MAD HOUR; BUFFALOEING; ZOOMS; RIPS; HOUR OF THE CAT SPAZ; and GOING WHACKO-CAT.

ZURBURT See SNUFFLING

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