Brandon the somali

Can You Hear The Sound When Your Cat Purrs?

jackson the ragdoll close upThere’s this cat in London who purrs as loud as a lawnmower. His name is Smokey. This cat purrs at 73 to 80 decibels. depending on which news report you read. If I had a cat like that, I’d kick him out of bed. Heck, I’d banish him to the garage. Or at the very least, I’d make sure I never petted him unless I wore earplugs.

Like all Sacramento real estate transactions are different, all cats purr differently. My cat who died December of 2010, Brandon, had a very loud purr. He used to sit on the bench near me at the breakfast table, and when we would have overnight company, our guests could not figure out where that sound came from in the morning. Brandon was content to just sit there and purr like a popcorn popper. I didn’t have to pet him to induce a purr. But he was no lawnmower.

Pica, our marbled ocicat — the throwaway nobody wanted because he wasn’t born with spots — he used to purr very softly. You could not hear him unless you glued your ear to the top of his head. His purr was so quiet it was almost a whisper. The sound was soft as his velvety coat, yet steady and long. He could purr for a good 30 minutes, especially while brushed. We had to euthanize Pica several years ago due to diabetes complications, but I still miss him everyday.

Pia, the cinnamon spotted ocicat, she also used to purr quietly but loud enough that I could hear her without smushing my ear into her body. I’d say her purr sounded like an electric razor. Sort of buzzy and raspy. She would purr for as long as she was stroked. Once I stopped petting her, she would stop purring almost immediately. She died from a sudden heart attack years ago. Scared the crap out of us. Who knew cats had heart attacks?

Jackson is a loud purring machine. He sounds like a coffee pot percolates. It’s a steady sound and tends to get louder as he gets closer to stopping. His purring, in fact, woke me up this morning. I must have rolled over or wiggled my toes or done something that made him realize there was life in the bed, and I wasn’t dead, because he was purring away like there is no tomorrow. I think he was just happy to see a live person.

Now Tessa, she is a nonstop. She is a manipulator, like most felines. She knows exactly what to do to get attention, or maybe we are just trained too well by her. If I ignore her while I’m working on my computer, she’ll plop herself in front of my monitor and stare at me. Then the purring starts. It’s like she’s saying, can’t you see how incredibly cute and adorable I am?

Thank goodness none of them purr loud enough to be mistaken for a vacuum cleaner.

While Elizabeth is visiting Pearl Harbor today, this is a reprint from 2011, previously published elsewhere.

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