purring


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purring

a physiologically very complicated, semi-automatic, cyclic, controlled respiration involving alternating activity of the diaphragm and intrinsic laryngeal muscles in cats. The frequency of the alternation is about 25 times per second. Each cycle includes three phases of glottal closing, glottal opening with sound produced, further glottal opening with rapid airflow and low resistance at the glottis.
Purring occurs when cats are contented, sick or sleeping. It also provides the equivalent of complementary breaths during periods of shallow breathing.
References in classic literature ?
A strange purring sound issued from the mouth in the palm of one of his hands, and at the same time he started rapidly toward the bluff, followed by the entire herd.
Then the secret of Thuvia's excitement became apparent as from her lips there issued the purring sound I had heard once before; that time that, within the Golden Cliffs, she called the fierce banths about her and led them as a shepherdess might lead her flock of meek and harmless sheep.
He stroked the kitten, and the little creature woke up to excessive fondness and purring.
I should think none but disagreeable people do," said Celia, in her usual purring way.
Cecco, bravest of the brave, cowered before his captain, crying "No, no"; but Hook was purring to his claw.
I have nine lives," said the kitten, purring softly as it walked around in a circle and then came back to the roof; "but I can't lose even one of them by falling in this country, because I really couldn't manage to fall if I wanted to.
I had romped with her for the last time; and when I stroked her soft bright fur, while she lay purring herself to sleep in my lap, it was with a feeling of sadness I could not easily disguise.
In her absorption she did not note the sudden activity upon the vessel, the purring of the engines, the throbbing of the propeller.
They found themselves in a dim, cool, green place where winds were fond of purring.
Sure enough, at the hour named, the car came purring and crackling from the yard with Lord John at the wheel.
It was a very humble little room, but Polly had done her best to make it pleasant, and it already had a home-like look, with the cheery fire, and the household pets chirping and purring confidingly on the rug.
This singular animal seemed in pantomime to be comforting his master and offering advice, which was finally acted upon, for Mac pulled off his boots, helped the little beast into them, and gave him a bag; then, kissing his paw, with a hopeful gesture, the creature retired, purring so successfully that there was a general cry of "Cat, puss, boots