Cats Are Bilingual

Cats are nearly universally bilingual. I realize this is not news for many, least of all our friend Beau…

armchair beauphoto by Caleb Olson

Of course Beau’s first language, being from around these parts, is English. Since his ear has been clipped, I can only assume that he was at one time, before making our acquaintance, conversant in the feline lingua franca commonly known as Caterwaul. Since coming to live with us I like to think his skills in that tongue are rather unpolished. He does sneak out on occasion for a night on the town, and a buddy or two have come calling, but his command of English would seem to indicate the kind of no nonsense practicality which makes any Beau-initiated caterwaul seem highly unlikely.

Being so practical, of course, he has little need for more than a few words of English. In extremis those few words may be delivered with an amazing range of emotion and nuance, with each new inflection jam packed with one clear meaning. That word, or rather phrase, would usually be, “Feed me!”

The rest of Beau’s English consists pretty much only of the phrase, “Let me in!” He may well know the phrase, “Let me out!”, but being officially designated an Indoor Cat, even if he knows these words, he is far too cagey to ever use them.

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