Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr
We have a neighborhood cat around here. When I say hi to her, she always answers back with a meow just like a neighbor would say hi. She doesn't want to be petted. I just see her passing by now and then going from here to there.
I can't think how this is an instinct. Responding to verbal cues from another species when you have no intent to cultivate any line of self-serving. Sounds like a friendly disposition. That's not fear keeping her from coming over for some cuddling. Fear would dictate that she stay quiet and out of sight. She just isn't personally interested in much more than a quick "hi", or has bigger fish to fry.