Useful Advice for Cats: How to Care for your HumanAuthor: Martine Carlsen
For us cats there are several sweet advantages in having a human as a pet. But 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. And 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 making 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.
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 about 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 into it 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.
All chances for a bit of extra food must and should be taken advantage of. Whenever your human is in the kitchen there is a prime opportunity of getting an extra snack. When your human is busy at the kitchen table place yourself in your humans blind angle (just behind the ankle is usually a good spot). And the second your human moves one of 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.
Before you eat grass make sure that you are close to a suitable place to throw up on. 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 in 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. A lot of methods can be used 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 on 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. The new 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're being used. Immediately dig up any newly planted seeds, plants and flowers.
Under no circumstances accept closed doors that separate you from your human. At any and all times you have a right to know what your human is doing. If the situation do arise when you by accident 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. This sound can be heard by all humans in a 50 feet radius. 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. You can for example use the classical "cat-play with toes" and attack everything that moves under the duvet. You can also reenact highlights from last year's Grand National Steeplechase by revealingly galloping across the bed. A couple of loud meows will give it an extra exiting dimension for your human
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 - 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 a 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. But 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 make 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 gymbags 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.
Martine Carlsen is owned by two wonderful silver abyssinian cats, Sonny and Cher. She is also a web designer and the proud owner and creator of http://www.carlsencards.com. And as you can tell from her website, cats play a big part in both her life and her work.
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