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Some people describe cats as "aloof," "persnickety," "neurotic," "aristocratic" and "antisocial."

Others call them "loyal," "sensitive," "inquisitive" and "friendly."

Feline specialist Dr. Elizabeth Colleran believes that we just need to read the signs better to know that our cats love us.

Here are some cat behaviors that people may not understand, as reported by Colleran in the peridocial dvm360:

1. Territorial tenderness. Cats can demonstrate their affection to us by walking around their home (now it’s their territory!) with their tail straight up. Additionally, that rub on your ankles — actually he would prefer your face — means "I love you!”

2. Friendly fondness. While it may seem obvious, cats that sleep together are expressing their fondness for each other and for you when they slip onto your lap for a short siesta. Similarly, mutual grooming among cats is a sign of bonding, something you accomplish when you stroke or brush your cat.

3. Sentimental salutations. Have you ever been greeted by your cat and listened for a high-pitched sound that is made when they force air between their lips? Along with purring, these vocalizations are their way of welcoming you home!

Of course, not all cats love humans equally. To increase the chance your kitten will consider you her best friend, make sure she has lots of interaction with multiple people between three and eight weeks of age.

Interestingly, some male cats may prefer your companionship because they were born with something called a  ‘boldness gene.’ This gene is carried only by male cats and makes them more likely to prefer your company.

Your cat won’t send you a card on Valentine’s Day but look for these subtle and not-so-subtle signs that they are in love with you!

Questions? Send them to Dr. Sandeman, Home & Garden, Quad-City Times, 500 E. 3rd St., Davenport, IA 52801. Or, email to papertrained@ Dr. Sandeman cannot answer letters or email personally, but questions of general interest will be answered in this column.