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.
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 human's 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.
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.
House-guests require special attention and handling. The following procedures should be followed:
- House-guests 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.
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.
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.
With frequent and diligent application of these tips, your human will be trained in no time at all!
Martine Carlsen is owned by two wonderful silver Abyssinian cats, Sonny and Cher.
Some time after the publishing of this article, Franny Syufy formed a business arrangement with Martine Carlsen.