Visitors to the Sanctuary are often surprised by how quiet the place is. Other than the occasional plane passing over, and some distant traffic noise, all is very peaceful. Unlike dogs, who are often very vocal, most cat communication lies in body language – both posture and touch. There are, of course, sounds we would prefer not to hear – the hiccuping noise of an incipient hairball, the occasional spat as Treacle warns someone out of her space, the muttering of grey Leland telling us he’s in one of his bad moods.
There are one or two particularly noisy cats, chief among which has to be Booster, who perches in the corner of a cage and yells until someone comes to pay attention to her.
On Sundays the vocals are dialed up as afternoon visitors arrive, and cats swarm the gate, saying “Feed me! I’m starved!” Wayne appears with his chicken offering, and the clamouring gets desperate. The same phenomenon occurs every evening as the feeds begin – there is always a chorus of already-well-fed but hungry cats.
Pictures of cats with open mouths got me thinking about what they might be singing
Photos by (mostly) Michele Wright
with Brigid Coult & Phaedra Hardman