Monday, April 18, 2016
Have you ever known anyone who wanted to cut off a cat's whiskers to see what effect it would have on them? Some people do that, and it's more cruel than they can imagine. There is no need to do it! If you are actually curious, and not being mean on purpose, here is a better way to learn what a cat's whiskers mean to them.
One thing I did as a kid that instantly gave me a better understanding and appreciation of their "feelers" was to "try them on." Anyone who has cats knows they shed hair, and whiskers are shed, too, as they are a specialized type of hair. When you find one somewhere, save it, and the next one, though this works with only one if you're anxious to start.
Rinse it or them off in water or alcohol if you're concerned about germs or something, then put one lightly into each corner of your mouth, root end first. Now close your eyes and just feel your surroundings. You can feel subtle air currents, anything that comes close to you, and definitely if anything touches one. In fact, just touch one yourself. Try different weights of touch, from just barely to pretty strongly. Imagine if they are attached. You would not enjoy having them pulled on or out.
Look at the whisker, Note that it is tapered. The thicker end is attached by its follicle to the extraordinarily sensitive lip area, and it narrows to almost nothing at the outer end. Feel it. It's fairly thick at the base and very thin at the end. Try bending it. Brush one against your skin, your lips, your face.
Once you see and feel all the things that whiskers do, just imagine how much your cat depends on them.My blind cat kept hers pointed forward anytime she was on the move, as they served her much like a blind person's white cane.
Why would anyone want to take this special, often crucial, sense away from an animal?
For more information, read about Whisker Stress at PerPETuallyspeaking.blogspot.com.