BASIC RULES FOR CATS WHO HAVE A HOUSE TO RUN
DOORS: Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get door opened, stand on
hind legs and hammer with forepaws. Once 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.
Swinging doors are to be avoided at all costs.
CHAIRS and RUGS: If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you
cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug,
shag is good. When throwing up on the carpet, make sure you back up so that
it is as long as the human's bare foot.
BATHROOMS: Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to
do anything -- just sit and stare.
HAMPERING: If one of your humans is engaged in some close activity and the
other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping", otherwise
known as "hampering." Following are the rules for "hampering":
* When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook.
You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped
on and then picked up and comforted.
* For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book,
unless you can lie across the book itself.
* For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most
appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work or at least
the most important part. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out
and slap the pencil or knitting needles. The worker may try to
distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work.
Embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks in spite of
what the humans may tell you.
* For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes
or Christmas cards (annual activity), keep in mind the aim -- to
hamper! First, sit on the paper being worked on. When dislodged, watch
sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll
around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability.
After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils, and
erasers off the table, one at a time.
* When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to
jump on the back of the paper. They love to jump.
WALKING: As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in
front of the human, especially: on stairs, when they have something in
their arms, in the dark, and when they first get up in the morning. This
will help their coordination skills.
BEDTIME: Always sleep on the human at night so s/he cannot move around.
PLAY: This is an important part of your life. Get enough sleep in the
daytime so you are fresh for your nocturnal games. Below are listed several
favorite cat games that you can play. It is important, though, to maintain
one's Dignity at all times. If you should have an accident during play,
such as falling off a chair, immediately wash a part of your body as if to
say "I MEANT to do that!" It fools those humans every time.
* "Catch Mouse": The humans would have you believe that those lumps
under the covers are their feet and hands. They are lying. They are
actually Bed Mice, rumored to be the most delicious of all the mice in
the world, though no cat has ever been able to catch one. Rumor also
has it that only the most ferocious attack can stun them long enough
for you to dive under the covers to get them. Maybe YOU can be the
first to taste the Bed Mouse!
* "King of the Hill": This game must be played with at least one other
cat. The more, the merrier! One or both of the sleeping humans is Hill
303 which must be defended at all costs from the other cat(s).
Anything goes. This game allows for the development of unusual tactics
as one must take the unstable playing theater into account.
WARNING: Playing either of these games to excess will result in expulsion
from the bed and possibly from the bedroom. Should the humans grow
restless, immediately begin purring and cuddle up to them. This should buy
you some time until they fall asleep again. If one happens to be on a human
when this occurs, this cat wins the round of King of the Hill.
TOYS: Any small item is a potential toy. If a human tries to confiscate it,
this means that it is a Good Toy. Run with it under the bed. Look suitably
outraged when the human grabs you and takes it away. Always watch where it
is put so you can steal it later. Two reliable sources of toys are dresser
tops and wastebaskets. There are several types of cat toys.
* Bright shiny things like keys, brooches, or coins should be hidden so
that the other cat(s) or humans can't play with them. They are
generally good for playing hockey with on uncarpeted floors.
* Dangly and/or string-like things such as shoelaces, cords, gold
chains, and dental floss also make excellent toys. They are favorites
of humans who like to drag them across the floor for us to pounce on.
* When a string is dragged under a newspaper or throw rug, it magically
becomes the Paper/Rug Mouse and should be killed at all costs. Take
care, though. Humans are sneaky and will try to make you lose your
PAPER BAGS: Within paper bags dwell the Bag Mice. They are small and
camouflaged to be the same color as the bag, so they are hard to see. But
you can easily hear the crinkling noises they make as they scurry around
the bag. Anything, up to and including shredding the bag, can be done to
kill them. Note: any other cat you may find in a bag hunting for Bag Mice
is fair game for a Sneak Attack, which will usually result in a great Tag
FOOD: In order to get the energy to sleep, play, and hamper, a cat must
eat. Eating, however, is only half the fun. The other half is getting the
food. Cats have two ways to obtain food: convincing a human you are
starving to death and must be fed *NOW*; and hunting for it oneself. The
following are guidelines for getting fed.
* When the humans are eating, make sure you leave the tip of your tail
in their dishes when they are not looking.
* Never eat food from your own bowl if you can steal some from the
* Never drink from your own water bowl if a human's glass is full enough
to drink from.
* Should you catch something of your own outside, it is only polite to
attempt to get to know it. Be insistent -- your food will usually not
be so polite and try to leave.
* Table scraps are delicacies with which the humans are unfortunately
unwilling to readily part. It is beneath the Dignity of a cat to beg
outright for food as lower forms of life such as dogs will, but
several techniques exist for ensuring that the humans don't forget you
exist. These include, but are not limited to: jumping onto the lap of
the "softest" human and purring loudly; lying down in the doorway
between the dining room and the kitchen, the Direct Stare, and twining
around people's legs as they sit and eat while meowing plaintively.
SLEEPING: As mentioned above, in order to have enough energy for playing, a
cat must get plenty of sleep. It is generally not difficult to find a
comfortable place to curl up. Any place a human likes to sit is good,
especially if it contrasts with your fur color. If it's in a sunbeam or
near a heating duct or radiator, so much the better. Of course, good places
also exist outdoors, but have the disadvantages of being seasonal and
dependent on current and previous weather conditions such as rain. Open
windows are a good compromise.
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 not recommended.
HUMANS: 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. Humans need to know basic rules. They can be
taught if you start early and are consistent.