Saturday, November 18, 2006

How to Care for Your Human

By Martine Carlsen

For us cats there are several sweet advantages in having a human as a pet. However, remember you are taking on a big responsibility when you adopt one or more humans. Humans are demanding pets that need daily care and attention.

With responsibility come both advantages and disadvantages. If you adopt a human, you must get used to spending time at home. Your human does not deal well with being left alone - they will get into all sorts of mischief. For example, if you are gone just two or three days you run the risk of seeing posters put up all over the neighborhood. Your human will put out an APB on you ! Often with an embarrassing text that reveals all sorts of personal details - and usually accompanied by an unflattering photo of you - with morning fur and crumpled whiskers. Exactly the kind of thing that attracts ridicule from all the neighbor cats. So please consider carefully if you are ready for a life with humans. In addition, remember humans generally grow very old, so there is a big chance that you will spend the rest of your life with your human.

Entertaining your Human The litter box provides a great opportunity for entertaining your human. Naturally there is all the fun your human can have cleaning and scooping out the box. A lot of human time can also be used getting fresh litter - going to the pet store, transporting it home etc. However many humans like new challenges. Utilize your litter box time in the best possible way. Make interesting and artistic renderings of countries or well-known islands. Your human will have lots of fun guessing which one you made. Humans like game shows - so this should be a popular activity. When your human increases in skill, you can also make portraits of family and friends. Start with profile portraits - this will make it easer for your human.

Shedding Make it a priority to shed indoors on appropriate surfaces. Fleece is a particularly suitable material to shred on. All you need to do is pass close by your human when he or she is wearing fleece. All cat hair within a radius of 2 feet from the fabric will immediately be transferred to your human. No brushing necessary for several days ! Another good solution is to get access to a filled clothes hamper. Jump in and give all contents a good work over. An extra bonus with this method is that most cat hairs will survive a trip to the washing machine. Your human will be stylishly accessorized with cat hair on all outfits.

Extra Food All chances for a bit of extra food must and should be taken advantage of. Whenever your human is in the kitchen, you have a prime opportunity of getting an extra snack. When your human is busy at the kitchen counter place yourself in your humans blind angle (just behind the ankle is usually a good spot). And the second your human moves one or both feet you jump back screaming your most heart-wrenching cry. Your human will automatically assume that he/she stepped on you. When your human looks back scared to see what is happening look up at him/her with a painful _expression on your face (practice this before hand in front of a mirror). Your human's bad conscience will often result an edible apology.

Grass Etiquette Before you eat grass, make sure that you are close to a suitable place to throw up. Delicate furniture fabrics, precious carpets, and shoes are all good places. If you choose furniture: aim for the part that has non-removable fabric. When you are getting down to business, make sure you back up a step or two so that you cover the largest area possible. Another technique is to do several items with pauses in-between. Persian carpets will give a good camouflage effect and your little gift will often not be discovered until somebody steps in it.

Preventing your human from wasting valuable time One of the most important tasks we cats have is to prevent humans from wasting their time. Humans love to spend their time on things with no relevance for cats. For example watching TV, reading, talking on the phone - and many other things that have no entertainment value for us cats what so ever. Many methods are available to prevent human time waste - use your imagination. Some especially effective techniques will be mentioned here.

Watching TV make sure that you always position yourself between the TV and your human. On the coffee table for example. You can also lie on the TV and let you tail or paws swing down in front of the screen. This method is most effective with small screens where you can cover a large percentage of the screen. It is a bit trickier with a flat screen - and only recommended for the agile kitty. A variation can be used with a computer screen. Flat screens often leave a lot of empty space on the desk - so just get up in front - remind your human of how wonderful you are. Cleaning; stalk the vacuum cleaner and attack when it passes by. You can also pretend that you want to attack the vacuum cleaner but "accidentally" catch a foot instead. Garden work; jump repeatedly up-and-down and scatter any leaves that your human has raked together. Attack gardening tools - especially while they are in use. Immediately dig up any newly planted seeds, plants and flowers.

Closed Doors Under no circumstances accept closed doors that separate you from your human. At all times you have a right to know what your human is doing. If by accident you have been placed on the wrong side of a door you need to make your human aware of this ASAP so he/she can remedy the situation immediately. Loud meows and scratching on the door should be sufficient to get your humans attention. If this is ignored you need to take more drastic measures: Make a sound as if you are going to throw up. All humans in a 50 feet radius can hear this sound. This sound can also be heard through closed doors. The "puke sound" will always result in your human's immediate presence.

Sleeping Time It is important for us cats to prioritize our sleeping time. The objective is to get as much sleep done as possible while your human is awake. You will then be especially well rested and bushy-tailed at night when it is your job to keep your human awake. There is the classical "play with toes" approach: attack everything that moves under the duvet. You can also reenact highlights from last year's Grand National Steeplechase by repeatedly galloping across the bed. A couple of loud meows will give it an extra exiting dimension for your human

Houseguests Houseguests require special attention and handling. The following procedures should be followed: Houseguests that either do not like us or are allergic to us: As soon as they sit down - jump onto their lap. Noisy children that run after you and/or pull your tail: It is your duty to punish them - it can be necessary to use both claws and teeth. However, be prepared that this can result in noise that is even more annoying and of an even louder decibel level. Guests that try to get in contact with you by ingratiating themselves and speaking in a sweet voice: Should just be ignored. If they try to approach you, back away 5-6 feet - but never further away than they feel encouraged to try again. With a bit of practice this game can he kept going for hours.

Bad Weather Even in bad weather, it can be necessary to go outside. The rain and wet ground will result in an unpleasant layer of dirt and mud on your paws. However, this can easily be dried off on certain appropriate indoor spots. Find a light carpet, a duvet cover or nice piece of furniture and walk over it a couple of times. When your paw tracks are almost invisible, your paws are clean and you are ready to go outside again.

Training your Human Sometimes it can be necessary to discipline even the most well trained human. However, do remember never to hit a human. At the most, mark with a soft paw on the human's arm or hands. Try first to make your human understand what it has done wrong. And most importantly: be patient! The human intellect is relatively limited and it can be difficult for them to understand our wishes and needs. Even after approximately 5000 years of domestication, the human species still has primitive instincts and it does take time to train your human completely.

Door Training One of the first things you need to teach your human is to open the front door, the garden door and backdoor when required. This is done by walking up to a door and making an impatient and very loud meow. Make some tripping steps with your back paws obviously indicating that you need to go to the outdoor litter box. When your human has gotten up from the couch and opened the door you decide that you do not really need to go outside right now. Just for appearances, you can stand in the open door and pretend that you are thinking about the situation for a few seconds before you turn around to go inside again. Repeat this procedure several times a day. This will keep your human in good door opening form.

Inspection of the House A house usually has unlimited possibilities for suitable sleeping spots. Every possibility no matter how theoretical should be investigated and tested. Cardboard boxes, cupboards, drawers, couches and beds are obvious localities, but places such as old slippers (size 11 or higher) open gym bags or kitchen cupboards should not be overlooked. The house should further be investigated for all possible toys. An old sock can represent several hours of entertainment if you get your claw on a loose end and unravel a couple of miles worth of yarn. You human will love to tidy up after your play.


christa said...

Don't forget, humans like it when you bring them gifts like half alive mice and birds.
Don't forget that humans like pulling the vacuum cleaner around so always make sure that there is some of the kitty litter outside the box.
Make sure if there is something you don't like(like canned Turkey cat food cause it's prosessed chucks) let them human know(so they can smuch it for you.)
With houseguests especially kids it's fun to play hide and seek, cats are really good at hiding.

Brandy said...

HAHAHAHAHA!!! OM gosh these are all so cute, yet true, oh so very true. Hey, the author forgot to mention that if you wear black, your cat will be sure to rub all over you!
I love these Bailey!!!

raine said...

Absofreakinglutely precious and right on the mark on every point.

Kate Hardy said...

This is hysterically funny.

(I have a dog. I can be smug. We don't talk about the smell of wet dog, the shoes that disappear because they've been taken down to the bottom of the garden just before it started raining, or the 'woof - burglar alert' noise just when you're in the middle of a chapter...)

Siobhan said...

If your human is a teacher and in the middle of grading papers, make sure you jump up and sit on them. Then you can play with the pen. How dare she do something that doesn't involve you?

Saskia Walker said...

My cat must have read this, she did half of these things starting at 4 am this morning!!

Devon Ellington said...

Obviously, my girls were interviewed for this article!

Susan said...

These all sound too familiar! My two cats could have written this. LOL

Olga said...

That was so funny! And so true! Thanks for sharing this, Bailey!

christa said...

I'm only cat sitting and they have me trained with the door thing. If I let them out back through the sliding doors they don't go all the way out. Their tail will be inside so I can't close the door.

catslady said...

ROFLMAO - all very true! Multiply them by 6 and you know my life lol. (well one I'm just babysitting but next week it will be 7 lol).

Dru said...

This is so funny and true. I remember our cats doing all these things. Now that I've developed an allergy to them, my mother's cat always meet me at the door and hang around me until she sees my eyes tear.

Lis said...

lmao, love these :o)

Meretta said...

Always remember that when renovating, humans hang drywall specifically for you to shred. Aren't they thoughtful? The layers of "mud" they smear on after you've done your work indicate a mark of approval and you are free to move to other areas.

Have fun! See how many mud marks you can earn in a week. If you're quick they may never be able to paint!

Brandy said...

I'm going to let Daughter read these! They are so funny and TRUE! And you know they are true X7 in our house.
Goodnight sweetie!!

Sandy J said...

These are great! I don't have cats right at the moment, but have had them in the past and they definitely ruled our little world.

ruby55 said...

Well, we certainly got a good look at the world from a cat's perspective. And we humans sure are fools for our pets, it seems.

But then, I guess, each should walk in the others, claws once in a while to see how the other half lives. Now cats, it's up to you to see what your humans have to face every day. Bet you don't like it. After all, you get to sleep almost 18 hours a day. Humans are lucky if they get 6 hours of precious oblivion thanks to your steeple-chasing and toe-tickling. See how you would like that for a change.

That aside, it was fun to see the world from your perspective, kitty.