Why Do We Need Humans?
So you've decided to get yourself a human being. In doing so, you've
joined the millions of other cats who have acquired these strange and
often frustrating creatures. There will be any number of times, during
the course of your association with humans, when you will wonder why
you have bothered to grace them with your presence.
What's so great about humans, anyway? Why not just hang around with
other cats? Our greatest philosophers have struggled with this
question for centuries, but the answer is actually rather simple:
THEY HAVE OPPOSABLE THUMBS.
That makes them the perfect tools for such tasks as opening doors,
getting the lids off of cat food cans, changing television stations
and other activities that we, despite our other obvious advantages,
find difficult to do ourselves. True, chimps, orangutans, and lemurs
also have opposable thumbs, but they are nowhere as easy to train.
How And When to Get Your Human's Attention
Humans often erroneously assume that there are other, more important
activities than taking care of your immediate needs, such as
conducting business, spending time with their families or even
Though this is dreadfully inconvenient, you can make this work to your
advantage by pestering your human at the moment it is the busiest. It
is usually so flustered that it will do whatever you want it to do,
just to get you out of its hair. Not coincidentally, human teenagers
follow this same practice.
Here are some tried and true methods of getting your human to do what
Sitting on paper: An oldie but a goodie. If a human has paper in front
of it, chances are good it's something they assume is more important
than you. They will often offer you a snack to lure you away.
Establish your supremacy over this wood pulp product at every
opportunity. This practice also works well with computer keyboards,
remote controls, car keys, and small children.
Waking your human at odd hours: A cat's golden time is between 3:30
and 4:30 in the morning. If you paw at your human's sleeping face
during this time, you have a better than even chance that it will get
up and, in an incoherent haze, do exactly what you want. You may
actually have to scratch deep sleepers to get their attention remember
to vary the scratch site to keep the human from getting suspicious.
Punishing Your Human Being
Sometimes, despite your best training efforts, your human will
stubbornly resist bending to your whim. In these extreme
circumstances, you may have to punish your human. Obvious punishments,
such as scratching furniture or eating household plants, are likely to
backfire - the unsophisticated humans are likely to misinterpret the
activities and then try to discipline YOU. Instead, we offer these
subtle but nonetheless effective alternatives:
Use the cat box during an important formal dinner.
Stare impassively at your human while it is attempting a romantic
Stand over an important piece of electronic equipment and feign a
After your human has watched a particularly disturbing horror film,
stand by the hall closet and then slowly back away, hissing and
While your human is sleeping, lie on its face.
Rewarding Your Human:
Should Your Gift Still Be Alive?
The cat world is divided over the etiquette of presenting humans with
the thoughtful gift of a recently disemboweled small animal. Some
believe that humans prefer these gifts already dead, while others
maintain that humans enjoy a slowly expiring cricket or rodent just as
much as we do, given their jumpy and playful movements in picking the
creatures up after they've been presented.
After much consideration of the human psyche, we recommend that
cold-blooded animals (large insects, frogs, lizards, garden snakes and
the occasional earthworm) should be presented dead, while warm-blooded
animals (birds, rodents, your neighbor's Pomeranian) are better still
living. When you see the expression on your human's face, you'll know
it's worth it.
How Long Should You Keep Your Human?
You are only obligated to your human for one of your lives. The other
eight are up to you. We recommend mixing and matching, though in the
end, most humans (at least the ones that are worth living with) are
pretty much the same. But what do you expect? They're humans, after
all. Opposable thumbs will only take you so far.