Saturday, October 09, 2021

The meaning of rolling


Rolling is what we do when we are happy and relaxed. So humans think. And that's where they are wrong. Rolling has different meanings.

This kind of roll, done by my friend Boomer, is just a happy relaxed roll in front of his human. It means something like "Look at me! I'm your friend."  It does not mean "Tickle my tummy."

If an ignorant human thinks its safe to tickle Boomer's tummy, he will soon be put right. Because rolling then raking with his painful claws is also what Boomer does to toy mice - as a kind of play-with-prey game. Human beware!

Rolling, or rather lying on the side of the body, is also something cats do in a play fight - or in a real fight.  So itl's not straight-forward. 

A roll might also be a roll in the dust to thicken the coat or change our smell. It might be a sort of floppy roll to expose our tummy to the sun.

Humans need to attend very carefully to what we do, how we do it, whether we look relaxed, playful or even fearful. They need to consider the context not just one single action.

So a roll is either relaxation with attention-seeking, a play-with-prey (human fingers too) move, a move in a play fight, a defensive move in a real fight, or just a chance to roll in the dust or in the sunlight.

Humans, don't make assumptions.

 

3 comments:

  1. Wise words to the ignorant. Rolls just arent the sort of thing humans really want to get involved in, especially without armour! :)
    Purrs
    ERin

    ReplyDelete
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Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, www.celiahaddon.com This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online VetTechprogramms.org