Monday, March 08, 2021

Silent cat noises

We sat down for dinner this evening, which was very exciting (because it was fast Sunday and eating is simply more exciting when you're hungry) and also rather busy (because the girls had a fireside to be "at" at 6:00 and I had class at 7:00 (I usually don't have class on Sundays but today we did) and we were sitting down at 5:38). Alexander proudly announced, "I can make a cat noise!"

"Let's hear it," I said. 

Alexander clenched his little fists and started shaking with effort.

"Well...?" I prompted him. "Are you going to do it or what?"

He responded by clenching his fists and shaking his little body again.

"Did you hear that?" he asked, relaxing. 

"Hear what?" I asked. "You didn't make any noise."

"Listen!" he demanded...and then he just clenched his fists and shook his body some more. 

We all stared at him in confusion until I realized what was going on.

"Oh!" I gasped. "He's hearing a noise—a purring noise—inside his head! You're making a purring noise like the cat makes when she's happy?"

"Yeah!" Alexander said, clenching his fists and shaking some more. "Like this. Listen!"

He had us all clenching our fists as tightly as possible until we experienced what I think might be described as an isometric tremor, a tremor which "occurs during a voluntary muscle contraction that is not accompanied by any movement..." I'm not sure quite what's making the noise...something vibrating in our ears...or something. Anyway, only the person forcing the tremor can hear the, uh, purring noise.

He didn't really want to repeat his performance for the camera (isn't that always the way), so here's a little half-hearted attempt at it:


(Auntie Josie used to do this at the dinner table all the time when she was very little. We called it her "Hulk impression." She's outgrown it, I think (that seemed like an important thing to note)).

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