Rules for Cats Who Have to Run a House Part 4
Click here to read parts 1-3
7. Scratching Posts
It is advised that cats use any scratching post the humans may provide. They are very protective of what they think is their property and will object strongly if they catch you sharpening your claws on it. Being sneaky and doing it when they aren't around won't help,
as they are very observant. If you are an outdoor kitty, trees are good. Sharpening your claws on a human is a definite no-no! Some humans come equipped with "jeans", which can be scratched without inflicting too much injury. Attempts to climb up them will result in further attention, albeit
perhaps not the kind you wish.
8. The Vacuum Cleaner
This appalling Beast is known by many names, Cat Eater being the most prevalent. Normally pliable, agreeable humans will turn into raging monsters while under Its influence, running around the house sucking up all the carefully shed cat hair and terrorizing the feline
residents with evil glee. Nothing can stop It until the influence is over and the foul device is put back into Its closet. All you can do is run and hide when you hear the engine roar to life and hope that It doesn't find you. On some occasions, however, the humans are forced to open up the
vacuum cleaner and remove a swollen, dusty bag from within. This is Its stomach, and must be destroyed if you can get the chance. Do not worry if the human yells at you, for the yell is really that of the Beast in pain.
To get a door opened, stand on your hind legs and hammer it with your forepaws and/or yowl. Once the door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an "outside" door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is
particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow, or mosquito season. Protest if the human uses a foot to "encourage" you to leave.
If a human goes into a room, especially the bathroom, and closes the door to exclude a cat, meow pathetically and try to stick your paws under the door to open it. If the human relents, lets you in and then closes the door, immediately demand to be let out. If the
human lets you out and closes the door, immediately demand to be let in again. This is especially fun when it's the bathroom and there are guests. This game can be played until the human wises up and hoses you with a squirt gun. Scuttle out of range and wash yourself, to pretend that the
assault on your Dignity didn't happen.
Sometimes doors can be opened by cats without the aid of humans. Such doors must be kept open for the cat(s) to investigate within at any time. Swinging doors are to be avoided at all costs; their nickname "Tail-Biter" tells it all.
If a door that is usually kept closed, such as a closet door, is opened, you must immediately rush in to investigate to see if anything has changed since the last time you were in there. Resist the human's attempts to remove you before you have completed your
investigation. Protest loudly when the human removes you anyways.
Humans have three primary functions: to feed us, to play with and give attention to us, and to clean the litter box. It is important to maintain one's Dignity when around humans so that they will not forget who is the master of the house.
One way to keep your human healthy is through agility training. You can do this by running ahead of your human, maintaining a distance of about one and a half of the human's paces, and suddenly stopping to clean yourself. If the human doesn't trip over or boot you (a
very real hazard, especially from beginner humans), s/he is fit and able to avoid all sorts of danger in his/her world. A bonus from this exercise is that the sight of the human will be very amusing and you can share the experience with your friends on the back fence.
10.1 Waking Them Up
It is not known why humans like to sleep when it gets dark, just when the day is young and the masters of the house are fresh and ready for play. It is known, however, that sleeping humans are boring to be around and that they occasionally must be roused to attend to
our needs, such as to get fresh food or water or to retrieve a toy that was batted under the sofa. Almost all of them strongly dislike being dragged out of bed in their so-called "wee hours". Some will even pretend to be asleep even when we know they're not, hoping we'll give up and go away.
Persistence is the key to success in any case.
One effective method of rejuvenating a dormant human is the "direct approach", namely jumping on the bed and doing one or more of the following: trampling, licking and/or nibbling any exposed parts, purring, meowing, head-butting, light taps on the eyes, or playing
"Catch Mouse" or "King of the Hill". This may only result in your being ejected from the bed, but at least you now have the human's attention.
If the human is being stubborn, you may have to resort to more drastic tactics, such as ripping down posters, rattling blinds, knocking over and looting a wastebasket, knocking items off the dresser, singing at the top of your voice, or even curling up on the human's
head (often the only visible part). As well as being warm, in this way you will be aware of any movement made by the human, probably even before he is aware of it. You will be unlikely to wait for long. Another effective tactic is to jump, walk or knead on the human's abdomen, where the
bladder is located. If the human hasn't been to the Big White Drinking Bowl during the night you can be sure of a rapid response. Eventually the human will get up and do what you want, usually employing some bad language while doing so.
Warning: It is not advised to do this on a regular basis. It will very likely result in your being "banished" from and denied access to the bedroom altogether, in which case it becomes much more difficult to get them to respond to your wishes. Thumping the door or
yowling may be initially effective, but will likely result in being further banished to the basement or even the kitty carrier! Discretion is thus strongly recommended.
Of course, if the human gets up on his own in the wee hours to go to the bathroom, you are free to get him to do your bidding while he is too sleepy to put up much resistance.
In order to provide and care for you, the humans must leave the domain every morning (usually before you take your first cat nap). To help them on their way, either yowl loudly, massage their scalps with your claws, gently bounce on top of them in bed, knead their
chests, purr, and/or drool on them. See also "Waking Them Up". The best time to do this is about 24 minutes before their clock begins to blare or ring. We must protect them from the noise because it could ruin their sense of hearing.
- Quickly determine which guest hates cats the most. Sit on that lap. If you can arrange for particularly bad "tuna breath", so much the better.
- For sitting on laps or rubbing against trouser legs, select fabric which contrasts well with your fur. For example: white-furred cats go to black wool clothing. Note: Velvet takes precedence over all other cloth.
- For the guest who exclaims, "I love kitties!", be ready with aloof disdain, apply claws to stockings or arms, or use a quick nip on the ankle.
- When walking among the dishes on the dinner table, be prepared to look surprised and hurt when scolded. The idea is to force your humans to reveal that they tolerate this behavior when company is not there.
- Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything, just sit and stare.
Undoubtedly the best way to get attention from a human is to jump in his/her lap and purr. Few humans can resist because it makes them think you like them (which may even be true!). Ear scratches, belly rubs, back stroking: all these and more can be yours. Some cats
like this treatment a little TOO much and acquire the silly name "Lap Fungus". Lap sessions also provide golden opportunities for shedding; be sure to take advantage of clothes which contrast with your fur (see also "Guests"). Unfortunately, humans have the annoying tendency to want to get
up to do their mundane activities, like answering the thing that rings or going to the Big White Drinking Bowl. Protest this disturbance with accusing looks and plaintive meows. Some laps may require "softening up" with a little kneading; just be sure not to use the claws or you may have an
unexpected flying lesson!
10.5 Confusing Them
Humans (for the most part) love order and predictability. They especially like their pets to be predictable. So if you are in the mood to indulge in a little low-risk mischief, behaving irrationally is an excellent option. The usual method is to simply tear around the
house at top speed talking to yourself and perhaps launching a frenzied attack on an unsuspecting toy. If there are two or more cats in the household, you can take turns chasing and wrestling with each other. This is usually good for a shake of the head from the human, along with "Crazy
cat(s)" muttered under his/her breath.
Another way to baffle the humans is to interrupt your passage across a carpet (at whatever velocity) with a sudden vertical leap into the air. Then continue on as if nothing had happened. If you're skilled enough, you may be able to convince the human(s) that there
are "rug worms" in the house. A third way, which isn't quite as fun as the others but which tends to get better reactions from the humans, is to stare fixedly at a blank wall, turned-off TV, corner of the room, or whatever, and pretend to carry on a conversation with another cat. The humans,
who may already be convinced that you're from outer space, will think you're talking to your friends, the "Jupiter People". If they start talking about mailing you to Mars, it's a good idea to lay off this prank for a while.
Let's face it, humans are a disorganized lot. They need constant supervision in order to get things done right and on time, such as feeding their masters, retrieving lost toys, etc. Humans also need assistance in keeping their masters' home organized. They have to be
continually reminded that things belong on the floor, not on shelves, bookcases, tables or dressers where accessing them may be inconvenient for their masters. It will be up to you to keep your household properly organized. Feel free to take items such as pens, buttons, waste paper (such as
the stuff they call "tax return"), and unsuitable toys and relocate them to better spots, such as the water bowl, under the stove, or down the hot-air ducts (humans are always grateful if you do this with tax returns). This should be done when the humans aren't around, as they will always
interfere. When the human discovers your handiwork, he will praise you with such sayings as "Stupid cat!" and "You little monster!" At this point, you should say "You're welcome!" with purring and rubbing against his/her legs.
Next edition ... Vets!
Submitted by Jordie, Emmitsubrg, Md.