The way I talk while feeding the cats

I live alone, not counting the three felines who prowl the hardwood floors and perch on the chiffarobe. This provides the blessing/curse that I don’t need to filter my thoughts before they’re transferred to my larynx and mouth, and don’t need to worry about getting committed.

This morning my calico Piper leaped into bed with me.

Piper: Meow!
Fiver: Good morning, little girl!
Piper: Meow!
Fiver: I guess you want breakfast.
Piper: Meow!

She followed me as I got up, went to the kitchen and scooped some Cat Chow into the bowls for her and her brothers.

Piper: Meow!
Fiver: Are you hungry? Yes, you’re hungry, aren’t you? You’re very hungry. You’re a hungry, hungry Piper. A hungry, hungry hippo. Yes you are! You’re a hungry, hungry hippo.

Fiver:No, you’re not. You’re not a hippo. Not a hippo at all. I know a hippo. A hippo was a friend of mine. You, madam, are NO hippo.
Piper: Meow!

My mom talks to her plants like that. And she dosnt even get a meow in response…

I just talk to my cat when I get home and carry him around to turn on all the lights. It usually consists of me asking “Were you a good cat, or a bad cat while mommy was gone? I bet you were a bad cat.”

I think I’m now certifiably insane. :slight_smile:

The linguistic term for that is “register,” which is essentially defined as how we speak in a given situation, dependent on the addressee, the person speaking, and the setting. Just so you know. :slight_smile:

Many cultures (but not all) use “baby register” (high pitch, simplified language) to talk to pets. It’s neat stuff.

My entire family does this with their pets - its the baby voice. My sister and I have this thing about saying how bad rotten our cats are to our cats. They even went to school and majored in badness. And now they are working on phd’s in badness
Ok - so our friends look at us like we’re insane… Apparently we’re not the only ones…

What about the register we use when talking to baby animals? Squeaky noises an octave above high C.

I have it even worse - my cats give me what I call ShirleyTempleitis…

To cats
[Shirley Temple voice]You are so cute! Such silly, silly kitty-cats (etc, ad nauseum)[/Shirley Temple voice]

I’m horrible about that sort of thing when I talk to my dog Coco. We’ve had Coco since I was 12 and she still lives at my parents’ house. Whenever I go there to visit, the first thing I do is find Coco (she’s 15 and usually sleeping somewhere. She’s also gone deaf in her old age and doesn’t hear me when I come in). I then drop to my knees, give her a hug and say - in baby-talk, “How’s my little puppy girl? Did you miss me? Did you miss me, little puppy girl?”

Coco, besides being deaf, is of course a dog and therefore wouldn’t understand me if she could hear me, but that has yet to stop me talking to her. It drives my dad crazy when he hears me do that.


I do this all the time. I knew when I was a wee lass I would grow up to be a Cat Lady. I only have two cats, but I still fell like I am a Cat Lady.

To Abby: Where is she? Oh, dere she is! Where is my widdle sweetie? ::kiss, kiss:: Dere’s my girly girl! ::snuggle, snuggle::

Gah. I hate doing this. I can’t stop though, it’s like an instinct.

I’m the worst at this. I talk to my cat normally, without all the “cute” language, as if the cat was one of my brothers.

Hey, what are you doing?
What’s wrong?
Come on, you need to go inside.
Get in there!

He is a bit smarter though

What do you do when you visit the queen?

How was life in the wild west?

What just fell off that tree?
He’s gonna win the Nobel one of these days.


I swore I would never talk baby talk to my pets, but I got a pet, and sure enough, it’s “was Gryffy a good baby today? Are you Ma-Ma’s good kitty-wumpus?”

I justify this by saying that I will never talk baby talk to a baby, because I want any future Del child to speak correct English as soon as possible.* But, I figure, if the cat starts speaking any sort of English at all, baby talk or not, I’m still ahead of the game.

The worst is that I sing to the cat (I can’t sing to anyone else, I’m tone deaf). I put on the oldies station, and sing oldies songs to him, but change the words to make it be about cats. We do an awesome duet to the tune of “I’ve Got You, Babe” (I sing both parts) … “I’ve got you to hold my paw … I’ve got you to trim my claws !!!”

  • Yes, I realize that when I have a baby, I will break this rule too.

Majorly guilty over here. I have two dogs and three cats; it’s a wonder I ever talk in a normal voice. All of our animals already have names, but of course they also have to have numerous cutsie-wootsie nicknames, too:

  1. Tequila (grey tabby & white cat): Tequil, Quilla, Tequilla Bean, Tequilakin, Tequilahead (actually, we use the suffixes “kin” and “head” with all our animals), Fuzzball

  2. Alex (black & white Persian cross): Alexy, Little Alex (he’s 10 1/2 lbs.), Furrhead, Furrball

  3. Fruitcake (brown & black Maine Coon cross): Fruity, Fruitkin, Fruity Wooty, Wootkin, Fluffball, Fluffkin, Big-eyes, Flufftail, Wootiekins (I know, I know, but what can I do?)

  4. Katie (Australian Shepherd/Blue Heeler cross): Katekin, Katiegirl, Specklegirl, Shadowdog (she follows us everywhere), Gremlin-ears (like the movie), Gherkin (this is one of Dr. LindyHopper’s; I think it comes from “girlkin-wurlkin”)

  5. Milo (Golden Retriever cross): Milokin, Dopey-boy, Sleepy-boy, Heat-seeking puppy (always sleeps near the heat vent or in a patch of sunlight), Miloboy, Little Bitty Milo (um…that’s one of mine. He’s 55 lbs.), Golden Boy

What can I say? We’re certifiably insane.

But we love our animals.

Two classics from The Onion on this very phenomen. This and that.


My fiancee and I not only talk to our cat Zen, but for her also. You see, Zen telepathically projects her words onto one of our vocal chords, since her own are only suitable for various meows of complaint. She says “Humph” a lot. Also, “Hold still. You’re not being a proper lap for the Empress.”

"How are my little babies? Oh, are my poor little babies hungry? Yes they are? Do they want the breakfast? Do they want some foods? They are the best babies in the land! The best! (N.B. Sometimes I use the word “worst” in place of “best,” no matter what their actual behavior has been.)

“Now everyone eats from his own dish. No bowl switching! That’s right, isn’t that good? It’s so yummy, yes it is. Them’s the best babies, yes they are.” (And I usually pet them while they are eating - it makes the food taste better.)

Some day, I’m sure, the men in white coats will show up to take me away.

Hurray, I’m not insane! Or at least I’m not the only one!

With my cat, Marlin:

Marlin sits on the floor, looking expectantly at my lap

Me: “Do you want to sit with me? Do you? C’mon… c’mon… c’mon… you can sit with me, my bestest boy.”

After much consideration, Marlin jumps into my lap and curls up against my left arm while looking up into my face

Me: “Are you a good boy? Yes you are (or, no you’re not!). You are the bestest (worstest) boykitty ever, yes you is, yes you is!”

I then proceed to have long, rambling, mostly one-sided conversations with him.

Marlin watches me make an ass out of myself, then falls asleep

Alternately, there’s “Would you like your treatsies? Yes you would!”

The ferrets are generally referred to as “my little girlies” and other sweet talk is limited to snatching them up and giving them “scratchies” and asking them if they are, indeed, “good little girlies.” One is. The other one is hell on little furry feet. All three pets are frequently threatened with immediate shipment to a turnip farm, where they will be forced into hard labor digging turnips with their noses. I have on occasion told Marlin that I’m only watching him until his mother comes to pick him up.

I’ve tried singing to the cat, but he just comes over and claps his little paw over my mouth. (Yes, I’m serious.)

Everyone’s a critic.

Ah, Minty Rae, that’s just the feline showing his appreciation. You see, my own kitty Gryffin usually shows his appreciation for my vocal stylings by crawling under the couch, so I spend most of my singing time sprawled on the floor with the dust bunnies, and my face wedged under the slipcover skirt. It’s appreciation, I tell you. :wink:

Rosebud, I often tell my kits that I’m going to take them back to the pound if they’re not good. Or, I tell them if they’re not good that I will drive them far away and drop them off in some strange neighborhood, where they will have to catch their own meals and will have no warm cuddly bed to snuggle in, no soft fuzzy pillows to curl up on, and no mama to take care of them. This is supposed to scare them into behaving.

(Of course, I would **never in a billion years ** really do this.)