The Enigmatic Purr
Part One: The Primal Purr
Purrs are complex. Even the most learned scientists and veterinarians can’t agree on the mechanism of The Purr. Cats purr in a variety of circumstances, conveying their emotions and state of mind with each purr. The purr most of us are familiar with is the reassuring purr from a contented, happy cat lounging on her favorite human’s lap. There’s more to the purr story…
Kittens are welcomed into the world with the soft vibration of their mom’s purring. Queens purr when they give birth. Perhaps they are purring because they are in pain, the vibration of the purr may help to release endorphins and might be self-reassuring. Whatever the reason for this purr, it is vital to the newborns survival. This primal purr is a perfect homing device for the kittens, guiding them through purr vibrations to nurse and to the protective warmth of their mother’s body. Since kittens are born blind and deaf, The Primal Purr is Nature’s perfect solution to insuring the first meals.
There’s another evolutionary component to The Primal Purr. Purrs help save newborn litters from the threat of a predator. A predator is more likely to hear a meow then feel the vibration from a primal purr.
When a kitten is 2 days old, she will start to purr. It is impossible for a kitten to meow and nurse simultaneously, so she does something better… she purrs. She purrs reassurances and contentment to her mom. Mom purrs back and all is right with the world.
(Part Two of The Enigmatic Purr will be posted soon)