My cats have a very limited vocabulary. Still, the three creatures manage to convey enough meaning and emotion that they get virtually everything they want from the humans in their household and from one another.
Cats are effective communicators who need no alphabet.
But if cats did have an alphabet, perhaps they would express themselves in print using characters like these:
The beauty of this efficient code is that both alphabet and vocabulary are the same: six simple icons do it all.
I envision scribe cats visiting a writing station where they could dip their various body parts in ink, then “print” these characters on paper (or whatever other surface might suit writing cats) to create messages. To suggest nuances in meaning, the skilled cat communicator could repeat characters and/or vary the weight or size of his or her strokes.
Imagine how this alphabet’s popularity will create jobs. As cats learn and use the code, humans will want to understand the feline messages (interpreters and transcription services), and some will want to learn to speak and write in “cat” (Cat Language Learning, or CLL, classes). Also, struggling cats will need evaluation and instruction (teachers, tutors, and testers, and maybe even cat social workers, psychologists, and occupational therapists). With effective development plans and sound learning strategies, even the most challenged cats will be able to master the alphabet.
What do you think? Shall I begin training my three cats tomorrow?