Continued from page 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. Some Cat circles are of the belief that the weekly ritual is actually a struggle for control, as the Beast attempts to free itself from the human's grasp so it can rampage at will. The back and forth motions of the machine are supposedly indicators of this battle of wills. Regardless of the interpretation, Cats should definitely keep a low profile until the Beast is returned to its lair and the human returns to normal.
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. 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 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.
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.
As with doors, drawers represent Restrictions to Freedom of Access. Although sometimes a clever Cat can figure out how to open a door, opening drawers is almost impossible and must be done by a human. Any drawer that can be opened by a Cat, of course, must be on a regular basis, especially if it's a dresser drawer, since they provide comfy beds for naps. Needless to say, when a drawer is opened, it is imperative that its contents be investigated for items which are potentially edible, toys and/or comfortable resting places. Dresser drawers must also have their contents "pre-haired", i.e. the clean clothes must have Cat hair deposited on them before they are even worn, just in case the humans are able to get out of the house in the morning without the Cat being able to shed on them.
As soon as you hear a drawer open, immediately rush to the scene and jump in. If the human removes you, be persistent, since every time you get picked up, you shed some hair. This is best if it can be done with a partner -- one jumps in as the other is removed. Do your best to rearrange the contents of clothing drawers by playing "Find the Mouse" as far back as you can reach. Scratch yourself vigorously to deposit the required hair. This is an excellent form of early-morning HAMPERING (see above)!
A Hide-and-Seek game can be played if a human is distracted by something and leaves a drawer open. Burrow in as far as you can and make yourself at home. If the human doesn't see you when he comes back and closes the drawer, the game begins. It is especially effective in filing cabinets where there are often large empty spaces behind all the papers where you can't be seen. After a few minutes, start yowling loudly so that the human will want to find you. With the right projections, you can keep the human searching for several minutes before he/she thinks of looking in the dresser or filing cabinet. When revealed, glower at the human reproachfully and jump out with as much Dignity as you can muster. Be sure to leave plenty of hair behind. The first recorded instance in the literature was with a Cat named Pandora who kept her humans looking for her for a couple of days!
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. Another form of exercise can be imposed by sitting just out of reach of the human when he/she wants to pet you, so that he/she has to get up and move over. When you are being brushed, don't sit still for it, but move arould all over the place, forcing the human to follow you around or else pick you up and hold you. And of course there's the Big Chase when you steal something like a chicken leg.
If you are scolded for any reason, however (un)justly, fix upon your human your most forlorn and repentent gaze. This will induce such guilt and remorse in that human that she will immediately scoop you up and cuddle you, apologize profusely and offer you a favorite treat.
Occasionally, human ignorance demands a blunt response. If your humans have the gall to "discipline" you with a squirt bottle, the proper strategy is to abscond with the offending item when no one is looking, and hide it behind the couch or at the back of the most cluttered closet. Many months later the fools will stumble over it, but they will get the message.
11.1 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, pulling hair (or clawing the bald spot), purring, meowing, head-butting, light taps on the eyes, or playing "Catch Mouse" or "King of the Hill". If the human tries to hide under the covers, s/he is now a huge Bed Mouse (see GAMES) and can be treated accordingly. 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 . 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.
On some mornings, usually on the days the humans call Saturday and Sunday, the humans often want to stay in bed longer than usual. They resist attempts to rouse them more than ever. They will reluctantly get up to feed us and then return to bed, hoping that we will leave them alone. This should not be allowed. Sleeping humans are essentially ignoring us, which is a Bad Thing, so once you have eaten your breakfast, continue your campaign to get them out of bed. See WAKING THEM UP.
- Quickly determine which guest hates (or is allergic to) Cats the most. Sit on that lap. If you can arrange for particularly bad "tuna breath" (or extra dander), 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. If you do feel active, try turning off the light switch if it is within reach; this is usually good for some laughs. Some Cats with a more prankish disposition like to hide behind the White Drinking Bowl and reach around to pat the human on the behind as s/he is sitting down just to watch him/her leap up in surprise. This will result in expulsion, but is worth it!
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! Note that the occasional adoring gaze with half-closed eyes directed toward your human, especially when you are curled up in his/her lap purring and being petted, will keep him/her eating out of your paw for weeks. (Do not spoil your human by doing this too often.)
11.5 CONFUSING THEM
Humans (for the most part) love order and predictability. They especially like what they think are 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.
Index Top Back Next
NetPets® Main Page
The Cat Center