I can’t even count the number of times that I have said “cute” to a two-legged mammal walking their four-legged dog or sitting on a sofa besides a furry creature. (As I am writing this, I realize that no human thought that I was talking about him or her!! No, that is right. No one assumed that I was giving them a compliment , but then people aren’t accustomed to being called cute by strangers!!)
I always mean it or I wouldn’t say it. However, there have been many times when some proud person said “isn’t it adorable?”. From the tone, it really doesn’t sound like a question. It sounds more like a statement. Now, what if it is not attractive in my eyes? For example, I remember the first time that I saw a hairless cat. It was in a park in the city of Vancouver, Washington. A”You are beautiful”said the woman to the cat. What was I to say? “You are really ugly. You look like something from another planet! ” (I have since grown to appreciate them. It took awhile, I am sorry to admit.) So I smile, and hope/pray that nothing more is said so that I don’t have to invent something or be rude!!
One observation that I have about these praises is that often the “thank you” is rather interesting/curious. Am I being thanked for noticing the animal and giving a compliment? Am I being thanked for complimenting the two-legged one on choosing an attractive animal?
Sometimes the response that men and women have is different. Women are more likely to use the word “cute” or “adorable.” Men often say “He/she is a good dog.” Sometimes I hear “really cute” to describe a puppy or a kitten. And who might you suspect uses the word “darling” to describe a VERY cute animal?
Cute dog? Is it much different from saying “Nice shirt” or “You look good in red.” I am waiting for someone to say “Yeah, I know.” I might be waiting a long time.