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Cats purr and what is your superpower?
We all know that cats purr and that every day miracle, like the miracle of budding in the spring, ability to see colours, existence of music or just yellow flower- we take for granted. That unique sound/vibration really deserves our special attention. It is not just expression of pleasure from one, allegedly unwilling animal communication wise, as such a cliché is often attributed to cats. That diverse phenomenon is moreover one whole language rather than just satisfactory murmuring.
Kittens begin to purr when they are just a few days old, blind and deaf they communicate with their mom purring to her and saying: “I’m here, I’m fine and my brave little heart is pounding”. She replies by singing them a kittens’ lullaby. In the beginning they feel it as a vibration; the sound follows as the hearing starts to develop. As they grow, they purr the moment their mother enters the room, and when they leave for their new lives they carry along their purring which reminds them of warmth, security and full bellies, all of which mommy brought with her.
During their life, cats truly purr mostly when satisfied and I also understand it as conscious expression of gratitude- because one can be grateful in silence as well. There is “please give me, give me now” purring interrupted by inpatient meowing while their bowls are being filled with food. There is “I want to be with you” purring when cat lies in the lap of her tired or ill owner and enlivens him by purring like a tractor. Then “I love you too” purring when she returns the kind words. Those are the most popular kinds of purring but there are also many others. There is “I am afraid and I am comforting myself” purring when cat suffers physical or mental stress, “it hurts me” purring when she is in pain or during giving birth. Some cats die purring. There must be something special with that phenomenon when the evolution didn’t proclaim it as useless for survival.
Purring surely consumes a certain amount of energy and surely it doesn’t spend it in vain. It is proved that vibrations in range of cats purring (20-150 Hz) help in reducing pain, stimulate growth and bone healing, decrease swelling, sooth heavy breathing, enhance recuperation of fractured tendons or joints. It is possible that this fact is partially responsible for saying that cat has nine lives. There is a story in literature that vets say if you put broken bones in the same room with a purring cat- bones heal spontaneously. Moreover, postoperative complications after elective surgical procedures are less common in cats then in dogs or some other “non-purring” animals. They share that support and healing gladly with their humans like magic dust.
There are many epidemiological researches which came to a conclusion that cat owners as a separate population are healthier, less prone to cardiovascular incidents and have lower blood pressure compared to people who are not sharing their lives with cats.
People who are sharing their lives with cats know that cats also share their lives with them and they actively and gladly communicate. They know that by purring cats say “thank you” , “I like you too”, “I’m here”, “It’s ok”, “I know it hurts”, “I like your presence”, “I don’t like to be alone”, “it hurts me also”, “this surrounding is scaring me” and sometimes they are probably just murmuring an old lullaby. They do that like their own heart is vibrating in their chest as purring is a phenomenon which lasts all through respiratory cycle, with breathing in and out, unlike any other sounds that cat produce. Cat brings many miracles in everyday life; a smile that vibrates at 20-150Hz is just one of them.
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