Basic Rules for Cats Who have a House to Run


1. CHAIRS AND RUGS: If you have to throw up, get into a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug, shag is good.

2. DOORS: Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get a door opened, stand on your hind legs and hammer with your fore paws. Once the door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an outside door opened stand halfway in and halfway out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow and the mosquito season.

3. GUESTS: Quickly determine which guest hates cats the most. Sit on that lap. If you can arrange to have Friskies Fish'n Glop on your breath, so much the better. For the guest who claims "I love kitties" be ready with aloof disdain, apply claws to stockings, use a quick nip on the ankle. When walking among dishes on the dinner table, be prepared to look surprised and hurt when scolded. The idea is to convey, "But you allow me on the table when company is not here." Always accompany guest to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything, just sit and stare.

4. WORK: If one of your humans is sewing or writing and another 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 picked up and consoled. For book readers, get in close under the chin, between the eyes and the book unless you can lie across the book itself. For knitting projects, curl quietly into the lap of the knitter and pretend to doze. Occasionally reach out and slap the knitting needles sharply. This can cause dropped stitches or spill the yarn. The knitter may try to distract you with a scrap ball of yarn. Ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work.

5. PLAY: It is important. Get enough sleep in the daytime so that you are fresh for playing catch mouse or king-of-the-hill on your human's bed between 2 and 4 a.m.

Begin people training early. You will have a smooth running household. Humans need to know the basic rules. They can be taught if you start early and are consistent.