What is the most effective tool to solve a problem of cohabitation between man and cat? Knowing how to listen.

Apart from the obvious need for knowledge of the characteristics of cats and their natural needs, it is essential to know how to open up to participated listening, to those moments of silent sharing with the animal that allow us to perceive his mood, his thoughts, and his emotions. No, I'm not talking about telepathy or some kind of magic that allows us to "talk" with animals, I'm talking about the simple (however complicated to recognize and, sometimes, to accept) empathic listening skills that we all possess.

Have you ever watched your cat play and suddenly feel happy and relaxed? That's exactly it, in that moment you are open to listening, you have opened the channel to let the emotional transmission happen between you and your animal companion, and it is an incredibly precious and often underestimated moment. When you become aware that there is something wrong with your cat, that his behavior has changed, that your cohabitation is no longer serene, or that you seem to no longer understand his needs, stop for a moment and listen: what is he feeling? What are you feeling? You should never be afraid to let emotions emerge (obviously, always respectful of others), beautiful or ugly that they may be, because they are a part of our Being and allow us to live life in a full way. We live in a world where emotions are lived as signs of weakness, as an impediment to the achievement of success. This makes us lose sight of the reality of being human: we are made of emotions. In every moment of our existence we live a specific emotion, of which we can be more or less aware; we can let emotions flow or block them, in which case they become a real impediment to the flow of life. This dynamic happnes in other animals as well.

So I find myself here, after listening to my beloved cat Oscar in a moment of fear, after having helped him regain his balance (just an everyday occurrance for which there is no need to worry about because it is a demonstration that we are alive!), and I choose to write these words in the hope that they will help others to open to listening, a pure type of listening, without judgment nor reasoning, a shared listening with the other, a soft and fluid listening like the waves of the sea, a listening that, in the end, makes us all feel more alive.


FISAP CAB Roberta Roscini
ICAN Feline Behaviourist (Consultant)

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