“What is it, Bagheera?”
“I have been wondering about something. Why don’t humans have whiskers? I have seen humans with lots more face fur than you have, but I have never seen a human with whiskers like Jacey, Marley, and all felines have.”
“Bagheera, I need to take you to where the hipsters hang out. You’ll see humans with whiskers.”
“There’s a species of humans called hipsters and they have whiskers?”
“No, not really, Bagheera. That was a joke.”
“Well, next time, make your joke funny, human. You should not make a diabetic cat like me angry. Remember, I am already annoyed because you give me insulin shots and ear sticks.”
“Well, with so many uses for whiskers, I just don’t understand why you humans don’t have them.”
There are many areas where we felines have whiskers. You humans instantly think of the area around our nose as where our whiskers are located, and that’s where our big ones are. But we also have whiskers above our eyes, on our chin, and on the back part of our front legs.
Our whiskers are very sensitive. Have you ever wondered why we only like to eat the noms in the center of the bowl and don’t like to eat the food at the edges? It’s because if our whiskers get pushed by the edges of the bowl, it is an unpleasant sensation.
This sensitivity allows us to use our whiskers to sense the motion of the air around us. It’s a very useful way for us to navigate in dark. It’s not just our eyes, but our whiskers that gives us the ability to move around in the dark which we felines are famous for.
We also use our whiskers to express our mood. When you see our whiskers pulled back, we are not happy. But when they are extended, we are relaxed and content. Remember, whiskers pulled back, and you should pull back or you may end up with an angry feline expressing that emotion. The human sometimes sees this when he comes to give me the insulin and ear sticks a diabetic cat needs.
You have also probably heard that whiskers are as wide as our body, and that allows us to determine whether we can fit into an opening. This is true, although since we are so flexible, sometimes we can squeeze into places which are narrower than our whiskers. Interestingly, our whiskers grow as we gain weight, so we always know if we can fit into something.
When I lost weight because I was an untreated diabetic cat, I lost some whiskers. And then when I gained the weight back after I got the treatment needed for diabetic cats, they grew back out.
The most important thing for you to know about whiskers is that you should not trim them or mess with them in any way. They are a critical part of our senses, and losing them can cause confusion and disorientation. Some cats have been known to starve due to an inability to hunt after they lost their whiskers.
Whiskers are very useful tools for us, and they might even be good for you humans. I am not sure I would like them on my human. I do not think I would like how my human looks with them. When he gets a lot of face fur, I make him trim it because it does not look good on him.