As we’ve become more and more familiar with domesticated animals, and they with us, we’ve learned to read them fairly accurately.
We can tell what different kinds of wags mean for a dog, or what different vocalizations mean for cats. We know our own pets even better, and come to recognize and understand their little forms of communication.
But every once in a while, something will happen that is… inexplicable. And when it continues to happen, it can get a little unsettling.
Take staring, for example. Many people read repeated staring from a dog or cat as as mere observation, a challenge, or adoration, depending on the individual animal and the context.
One woman who goes by the handle theacaciasteph on imgur recently adopted an orange and white male cat who will not stop staring at her. Wilbur, as the cat has been named, seems to enjoy his time just looking at her.
It started happening so frequently that his owner documented it and posted it on imgur, where it took off.
“Perhaps he’s jealous when I hang out with the other cat, Chloe,” she suggested. She posted photos of a variety of everyday tasks that elicit wide-eyed stares from the unreadable cat.
“This was when I got home from work, he must’ve learned the sound of my car,” she wrote, captioning a photo of Wilbur peeking at her through the glass pane on the door.
“He also does them when I’m leaving for work, like I’ve betrayed him.”
“He doesn’t want cuddles, he just wants to stare,” she explained. Even when other people are around, Wilbur doesn’t seem to notice them. He only has eyes for his lady.
“I love him regardless of if his creepiness :),” she posted, to reassure people that she wasn’t offended and Wilbur wasn’t in danger of losing his new digs.
Others have chimed in with their explanations. The readings vary wildly, with some assuring the owner that this is just love and others informing her that he’s plotting.
“Maybe he’s afraid to take his eyes off her, out of fear that she’ll disappear, leaving him alone and abandoned again,” suggested one reasonable viewer.
“That would scare me if the cat didn’t at least try to cuddle up to me,” admitted another. “I’d think it’s plotting on me.” Someone else agreed with this assessment: “No no no NO! He planning something huge and it’s not good.”
“You wake up in the middle of the night and this cat is standing there, staring at you and you realise, you don’t have a cat,” suggested another.
One of the creepiest suggestions by far is enough to give you the chills: “What if he’s not looking at you, but behind you?”
“I think he does want cuddles, just doesn’t know how to go about it or is afraid,” another down-to-earth cat guru wrote. “IMO he obviously wants her attention.”
What do you think? Are Wilbur’s stares and avoidance of contact just awkward adoration or is this the face of an adorably devious feline?
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