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A Cats Guide: TRAINING YOUR HUMAN

1. THROWING UP: If you have to throw up, get to a bed quickly. Barf in the middle of the quilt, preferably a good thick one that doesn't fit in the washer. It will give the human a chance to go to a launderette and spend more money. Add this cost to the total you're already costing them. It makes you feel treasured and expensive. If you cannot manage to get to a quilt, try a chair or 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. Move around as much as possible to leave a glob, here, there and everywhere. Stand back and watch your mistress gag and swear while she tries to clean it up.

2. DOORS: Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get a door opened, stand on your hind legs and scratch loudly. Once the door is opened, it is considered bad form to go through it.

After you have ordered an outside door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. Take a good look around, pull your head back in. Look around the room. You don't have to decide quickly. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow, and mosquito season. Most of the damn fools will hold the door until you get the lay of the land and see which way the wind blows. For a real treat, after several minutes, go back into the room, then look at them and say "what're you holding the damn door open for?"

3. GUESTS: Quickly determine which guest hates cats the most. Sit on that humans lap. If you can, attempt to have "Friskies Fish n'Glop" on your breath.

For sitting on laps or rubbing against clothing, select fabric colour which contrasts well with your fur. For example: white furred cats should go to black wool clothing. For the guest who claims, "I love kitties," be ready with aloof disdain; apply claws to clothing or use a quick nip on the ankle. When walking among the dishes on the dinner table, be prepared to look surprised and hurt when scolded. The idea is to convey, "But you always allow me on the table when company isn't here." 

Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It isn't necessary to do anything. Just sit and stare. See rule 12 for correct bathroom behaviour.

4. WORK: If one of your humans is sewing or writing and another is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called helping, but is known to humans as hampering.

Following are the rules for hampering:

A. When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You can't be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on, picked up and consoled.

B. For book readers, get in close under the chin, between the human's eyes and the book, unless you can lie across the book itself. If it is a newspaper, claw at it until shredded, Your human will appreciate a home-made toy!

C. For knitting projects, curl up quietly onto the lap of the knitter and pretend to doze. Occasionally reach out and slap the knitting needles or grab the yarn in your mouth- The knitter may try to distract you with a scrap ball of yarn, but don't be fooled by this manoeuvre. Remember, the aim is to hamper work.

D. 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.

E. 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

5. PLAY: Play is important. Get enough steep in the daytime so you are fresh for playing catch mouse or king-of-the-hill on their bed between 2 AM and 4 AM. 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.

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.

SCRATCHING POSTS: The arms of their easy chairs are great places to scratch and claw the fabric. You need to leave your mark on the world. This always gets their attention. Hassocks are also good 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.

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.

6. FOOD:

LICK-IT DIET: Let them open another can of food. Lick-it dry. Smear it around the dish then turn your nose up at it. An hour later you can sit by the dish and look at it with disdain, meaning; you don't expect me to eat this dry rubbish, do you?

RUG BURN: Take chunks of food from the plate and drop it on the rug just inside the living room. This is always good to burn them up.

THE SMELL OF HELL: Wander gingerly over to the food they just put out. Stretch your neck out and smell it. Then look up at them with that look that says, "what is this rubbish?"

WHERE'S MY MILK?: Sit in front of the fridge with your back to them. Be patient because sometimes they won't get up until a commercial. Look over your shoulder at them with a pitiful look. They feel so guilty for making you wait, they'll give you the heavy cream.

CONFUSION SAY: Yes, I know I ate some of that this morning, but that was this morning. I don't want any more of that. Make them open another can of something different. Always keep them confused about your diet.

REDECORATE: A few spots of dried food look great on the carpet. The harder it gets, the harder they work!

BIRDS & MICE AND THINGS NOT NICE: Always bring home your quarry. Be sure to mess it up. Entrails are a nice touch. Leave it just outside the front door if possible. It's always good if they're not looking down and step on it. This is the Cat's Meow!

7. PEE TIME: Even if you don't have to go, time your visit for about 3 A.M. Climb on their bed and get in their face. Tickle them with your whiskers until they wake up. The old man probably had to pee anyway but was too lazy to get up. Make a stop by the fridge. It's always worth a try to see if he gives you some milk. If he does, you can always wake him again at 4 A.M.

8. FOIL & TOIL: A cigarette pack or a ball of foil is great to play with. Be sure to shred it and scatter the pieces. When the old lady is bent over picking up the scraps, you can chuckle at her backside. After all, they don't understand our language anyhow.

9. WALKING: The main object here is to get underfoot. It's also fun to startle them. 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. Always act afraid of dogs in front of humans. They feel so sorry they pick you up to comfort you. Put on a big show and hang on for life.

10. HAIR TODAY, HAIR TOMORROW: If you have a bite, be sure to pull a few hairs out. Try to leave them against a nice background where someone is sure to sit. This is sure to get you a nice brushing. Most cats doze off while they are brushed. It's almost better than being petted.

11. ANOTHER CAT?: No way! Establish your territory early. Make that the intruder respects you. He'll give you lots of room and walk around you. When you know he wants to eat, go over and pick on the food so he has to wait. If you like his food, steal it. Deny him all privileges. Be sure to carry on if they give him any attention.

12. BATHROOMS: Always sit just around the corner of the door so they narrowly miss stepping on you. Smile as they trip, bang into a wall and curse. Hide under the table until they calm down and want to pet you and calm you down.

MOST IMPORTANT: Begin people training early. You will then have a smooth-running household. Humans need to know basic rules. They can be taught if you start early and are consistent. Good luck!

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