Things with Cats

Part 1: Nicknames

Cats aren’t very bright. There is no shame in admitting this quietly to yourself; however, when friends arrive cat owners must devise a number of clever ways of disguising the fact that they live with a lint-brained sack of fur. One of these methods involves nicknames. It’s vital to call your cat by a different name every time you address her. The longer the better. “Snoojee woojee boogumsis”, “sweet fluffity muffity”, and “kitty witty sooper mooper furfity girl” are all good examples of long names that will confuse your cat. Not that it matters. Cats do not come when called. They do not understand that they have been given a name for this purpose. When called, they may stare at the sound of your voice, but little else is likely. Therefore it’s important that you use alternate names in front of your friends to construct an excuse. Of course Kitty doesn’t come when I call her. I’ve been a bad trainer. I never use her name.

Part 2: Discipline at a Distance

You, the cat owner, are comfortably entrenched in your favorite position on the couch. She, the cat, is getting up on the counter like a Bad, Bad Kitty. There are several actions you can take:

  • Keep small projectiles handy. Throw them in the general direction of your cat. Do not throw food, as this will only encourage your cat.
  • Hiss. Hissing is the sound mother cats make when they’re having a bad day and kitten has asked for a cookie twelve times.
  • Act like you’re getting up. You should only have to get up about halfway (though this is admittedly inconvenient) before your cat responds.

The least effective method is yelling. Your cat, while dumb as a box of doorknobs, still realizes that words cannot hurt her. She wonders why you think they do. Of course, none of these methods work while you are out of the area. While you are gone, your cat will do whatever she damned well pleases. If you don’t want her getting into something, store it off-site in a safe-deposit box.

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