Who needs to spend hours of your life learning Dothraki when you can learn how to speak cat in 60 seconds or less? Thanks to this adorable video by illustrator and graphic designer Cindy Suen, figuring out exactly what your cat is telling you at any given moment has never been easier.
The video breaks down cat behavior based on posture, ear position, and tail action, using the cutest little pictures you ever did see to illustrate what each behavior means. From swishing tales to open mouths, here’s how to decode cat-speak:
Now that we’ve had our lesson, let’s do a little practical application, shall we? As I’ve been writing this, one of my two cats has been poking at me with her paws, tugging at my shirt with her teeth, and nipping at my arms (one of my weird writer habits is that I work best when seated on the floor with my laptop on the coffee table, which means I’m within easy reach for the cat). If I reach out to her, she tackles my arm and starts wrestling with it. She’s doing the ears-back thing, which indicates aggression — but her tail is also swishing, which I’m pretty sure means that she’s playing. Either that or she wants to kill me. I think I’m going to go with the “Play with me, dammit!” interpretation, though — it’s a lot less… um… terrifying.
Oh, and hey, guess what? There are GIFs, too! Awwww!