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Illuminatus
January 27th, 2003, 07:29 PM
No hard answers in this article, but some very interesting observations.

http://www.sciam.com/askexpert_question.cfm?chanID=sa005&articleID=0005CB0D-82FC-1E31-82FC809EC5880000

In my senior year in college I took a class called Medical Electronics, and we spent a lot of time talking about how low sonic waves could affect the healing process. A big part of the class was learning the math behind two intersecting wave forms.... high frequency 1 could intersect high frequency 2 at an angle, and they would add up to low frequency signal number 3, at one particular injured spot, which was just damn neat. I remember when I injured my back, the trainers I worked with (I was sent to a sports injury outfit, what a mistake) used a vibrating sonic wave generator on me, to stimulate heealing. I kept asking what frequencies and amplitudes they employed, but they told me to shut up and lay still. Jerks!

Anyway, turns out that purring may be linked to those healing frequencies. Who knew?

Danustouch
January 27th, 2003, 09:46 PM
I've heard this theory before, Ill, and find it fascinating. And I do agree that there is something to it. However, I never notice my cat purring when she is taken to the doctor, stressed out, scared, injured, etc. When she was ill with a cold, she purred, but only when sleeping. She also doesn't purr often, when alone. I've listened to her..so I know :) She purrs MAINLY when she is cuddling with me. When she is getting her face rubbed/scratched, etc. Those are the times that I must insist that at least PART of it, is pleasure. I'm sure that alot of it is healing, and nurturing themselves. The article mentioned that cat's/kittens purr when nursing. So...when we adopt a cat, and form a bond with them, we become kind of like their "moms" we feed them, we groom them (petting), etc. So, it would make sense, that at those times when we are showing them affection, they are feeling pleasure just as they did when they are kittens. We all know that being loved, nurtured, and given attention, massages, and physical touch is very important to health (especially to infants) and helps the healing process. So in my opinion, the pleasure, and the healing, is almost entertwined in the case of cats purring :)

I do have a question though. They have noted a link between healthy blood pressure, and people who own pets. People who own pets are supposedly, less likely to have blood pressure problems. Thus, inferring that they have a rather calming effect on us. Is it possible, in the case of cats, that the purring is ALSO healing to humans?

Because I also notice that when I am ill, or feeling down, my cat will be far more physically affectionate, barely leaving my side for a moment, and will sleep as close to me as possible. Wrapped around my head, curled up on my back, etc. And, since when I'm sick, or stressed, I don't get much sleep, i've noticed that her purring lasts long into the night. I often wondered if perhaps she was trying to "heal" me. :)

I also had one more observation. I've always heard the superstition that it is "Bad Luck" to wake a sleeping Cat (although i've also heard the let sleeping dogs lie superstition) I wonder if this is where it came from. If people realized all along, that cat's had tremendous self healing, and healing abilities in general, when they are purring, and thus, it would invite misfortune to awake them in the process.

By the way..another reason I think my cat purrs while feeling pleasure, is that when she is cuddling with me, her purrs are intermingled with "coo" sounds, much like the cooing of pigeons or doves. When my husband cuddles with her, or pets her on the other hand, it is a straight purr. Odd eh?

Blueowl
January 28th, 2003, 10:50 AM
I could not get the link to work to the article...but I would love to read it..something about that paticular server being down...another case of the compter Virus maybe?:huh: (hmmm)
Anyway, I have had my 2 kitties for 6 years now...not once have they ever strayed from me! ISFA when mom(me) is around, I am it, if someone tries to call them away from me it doesn't work lol...I was once gone for a month and half from them when I left my ex hubby and they lost weight, and were miserable without me...As soon as I walked into the door they were around my feet meowing, they were ready to leave with mom for sure! anyway, I have had them since they were 8 weeks old, and I was all they really knew of for 6 months constantly day in and day out...I played with them, let them climb on me, when I would scrub my face they climbed up my leg to see what I was doing....There names are Boo and Woody...Boo is the female of course and Woody there is no need for explanation on that...Boo always wants attention she never gets enough and she is the ALpha out of the 2 of them and the brave one so to speak, WOody on the other hand,no matter what is going on with me he is there. When I broke my foot a few years ago, and I started to play with him with my foot, I used my good one first and of course he bit down hard and was all about playing, when I used my right foot, he was so gentle and just did not play with it much...another time, when I was waiting tables 12-13 hours a day, I came home and layed down on my bed, my back was killing me! I thought to myself man, it would be great to have a back rub right now...Damn if my woody did not get on my back and not only was he purring, but kneading away at the spot that hurt the most...he just knew and went right to it! When I am upset or stressing, he doesn't let me out of his sight...and when something scares me he will run out in front of me ..after Boo is already checking out what is going on...my babies are very healing for my soul...they greet me at the door when I come home (whether mmy hubby is here or not) I even told Woody he had to be sociable the other night at my bday party and he was!!! I feel that all pets are meant to be for humans, they were put here for that very reason I think...and for people to think that there are no healing qualities to have a creature(pet) that not only brings you joy and sadness and frustration at times...but unconditional love is not healing ... they are nuts and have never owned an animal!

Danustouch
January 28th, 2003, 12:54 PM
I agree Blue Owl, I've never understood people who owned cats, and the cat's seem like just an "accessory" in their apartment..instead of family members. You know..the people who work all day, come home, do their thing, and leave the cat's just hanging around as if they were just a piece of art in their home. When I leave my apartment, my little one cries, often until I return. When I come home, the FIRST thing I do, is pick her up, and hug her. She lays her head on my shoulder, and hugs me with her paws. If I somehow forget to greet her this way when I walk in the door, she runs in front of me, blocking my path to wherever I am going. Or sometimes, will run into the bedroom, hop on the bed, and meow until I go in there. The bedroom is "our place". It's where I play with her (I throw those little plastic rings of milk bottles, and she fetches them, or we play get the evil hand which is lurking beneath the blankets), it's where I brush her, it's where she gets the most cuddlings...so...running into the bedroom is her last ditch attempt to say.."mommy..I need some attention!".

I've also received those massages. I'm convinced that my cat reads my mind. If my back aches (especially around my time of month) I'll lay on my stomach in bed, and thing "God..I need a backrub" ..a few minutes later, she hops onto the bed, climbs onto my back, and starts kneading away, and purring. Also, if I'm feeling cold in bed, I'll think to myself "I wish kitten would come up here, and cuddle with me" and she will, almost immediately.

When my husband and I argue, she'll often "insinuate" herself between us, and meow in an "Angry" tone to him, as if to warn him not to bother me. It usually works to deflect his attention, from me, to her. He thinks it's hysterical.

One of our other cat's, Boris, is not exactly my favorite cat. As a matter of fact, I think he's a pain in the arse. He's my husbands cat. And he's highly stressed. He resents all the other cats in the home, and creates problems because of it. He cries at the door incessantly, wanting to either go outside, or to the neighbors. He cant go to the neighbors, because she feeds him human food, which he can't have, because he had bladder blockage in the past. He can't go outside, because it's the middle of winter. So..he cries, and cries, and cries, and it wears on my nerves. He also tears carpets and such. And he tries to eat so fast, to hog all the food, that he winds up puking it all up in the most inconvenient of places, all the time. Not to mention, this summer, he ignored the entire garden..EXCEPT for the plants I planted. Those he used as his toilet. *sigh*. Anyway...believe me, I've tried to make peace with him..but he's elderly, set in his ways, and grumpy (not to mention, spoiled). When we first got my kitten, he was SO mean to her. She couldn't even walk into a room where he was, without him hissing at her, or swatting her. And she tried DESPERATELY to make friends with him. Now that she is almost three years old...and bigger than him, she's turned the tables. If I'm in a room, and he walks in, she will crouch down menacingly, warning him not to come in. If he ignores it, she pounces him. She doesn't hurt him, just startles him so he slinks away defeated. She thinks she's protecting me from him, because she can sense that he annoys me so much.

I also notice that when people walk into my home, if I don't like them..SHE doesn't like them. The other day, we had a model here for a photoshoot, and I can't STAND this model. She's manipulative, greedy, and shows a distinct lack of morals. Anyway...usually, during the photo shoots, my cat is trying to get into the middle of the shot, and hog the camera. Usually, she'll walk up to a model, and sniff their hand, saying hello. This time, she hid under the table at the beginning of the shoot, and then, while the shooting was going on, started racing back and forth throughout the "studio/livingroom" knocking things over, chewing on wires (eek!) taking props, and chewing on them. Pouncing my husbands feet. She even climbed up behind the model, and started attacking her hair. Not to mention, crawling into her garment bag, and shedding all over her clothes. She seemed hell bent on destroying the shoot. And all the while John's going nuts trying to work around her, and I'm snickering in the other room thinking "Good girl! That's my girl!".

When I'm the most depressed, she cuddles up into my arms, and puts her paw on my face, gazing into my eyes..as if to say.."don't worry mommy, I love you". Other times, she'll try to cheer me up, by doing things like "tickling" me, (she'll circle around my ankles, rubbing her face very lightly on them, and nipping them. Sends me into hysterics of laughter).

She is the BEST medicine for all of my ills :)

I believe that cats are healing in a multitude of ways. No wonder they were worshiped in Egypt :) They are the most sensitive, most loving creatures ever. IMO..the people who say that they don't like cats as much as dogs, because "Cats are far more independent, and have an attitude", probably haven't invested the time into getting to know their cats, and showering their cats with love, affection, and nurturing. Or else they would know, that while cats each have unique and differen't personalities (far more like humans, than dogs, imo), they give back the love that they are shown, TEN fold :)

Blueowl
January 28th, 2003, 06:11 PM
Woody for the longest time would not let me see him cuddle RIchard, he would immediately look at him like he was nuts and run over to me! ANd Woody does the hug thing with me too...I know he reads my mind...they are on a level with me that I have never experinced with any other animal before...now he is more comfortable with it and not so skittish about it, just this afternoon he let me know that I had left the french door open a crack, so he sat down in front of it and meowed at me and then when I turned around to look, he looked up at me and walked away from it...cracked me up! We ought to start a thread just for animal stories!

AstraSkye
February 6th, 2003, 09:10 AM
Originally posted by Danustouch
I agree Blue Owl, I've never understood people who owned cats, and the cat's seem like just an "accessory" in their apartment..instead of family members. You know..the people who work all day, come home, do their thing, and leave the cat's just hanging around as if they were just a piece of art in their home. When I leave my apartment, my little one cries, often until I return. When I come home, the FIRST thing I do, is pick her up, and hug her. She lays her head on my shoulder, and hugs me with her paws. If I somehow forget to greet her this way when I walk in the door, she runs in front of me, blocking my path to wherever I am going. Or sometimes, will run into the bedroom, hop on the bed, and meow until I go in there. The bedroom is "our place". It's where I play with her (I throw those little plastic rings of milk bottles, and she fetches them, or we play get the evil hand which is lurking beneath the blankets), it's where I brush her, it's where she gets the most cuddlings...so...running into the bedroom is her last ditch attempt to say.."mommy..I need some attention!".

That sounds SO much like our cat! He, too, cries when we leave, and when we come back, he's über-cuddly! He's the biggest attention seeker... I bet you, lmao! He wants attention *all the time* and loves it when we carry him around where we go. He purrs almost all the time, too - we just have to look at him, and he'll start! :D

Our cat is truly a family member - our little boy, our son. He's cuddled, fed, loved, and respected like a family member. He has even picked up (or tried to pick up) our sounds and behaviours, so it's impossible to see him as "just a cat".

They're adorable, ain't they? :p

~ Monk ~
February 7th, 2003, 03:36 PM
I once read that cats also often purr when they're dying or near death. That made me think that purring must at least partly be a security mechanism of some sort.