October 29th 2006 12:13 pm
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_~_~_~_~Guidelines for where to sit or lie down. _~_~_~_~
It is considered bad form to lie on the bare floor, couch, or bed. An exception is made for the human's favourite chair, which you are allowed to sit on no matter what (or who) is there.
On a bed, there will often be laundry or clothes lying there. It is your duty to lie on them to get your beautiful fur on them. If there is a choice, choose either the cleanest item or the item which contrasts most strongly with your fur. If your human protests, act cute.
It is also your duty to lie in an area that makes your human contort to the greatest extent if s/he wishes to share the bed/couch with you.
Even resting on a book or a newspaper on the floor is preferable to just lying on the floor. Newspapers are particularly important to sleep on if your human has them on the floor for his/her reading convenience.
Select a chair to sleep on that hampers your human the most. For example, if your human is doing a craft on the kitchen table to prevent your interference, it is your duty to take a nap on the chair your human would like to be sitting in. No other chair at the kitchen table will do.
If kicked off any preferred seating, it is of critical importance that you not immediately go about your business. You must either sit still for a time, washing yourself to save face, or lie on the floor to make your human feel guilty. If the human cheats by moving your resting chair and/or sitting in a different one (in a situation such as the kitchen table example above), you may be able to continue hampering by jumping into the human's lap. If the human has to get up to get something and dumps you off, immediately occupy the chair and look smug. Of course, the human will just switch chairs again. This game can be played for hours.
~_~_~_~_Guidelines for when humans are trying to use the computer:_~_~_~_~
Always remember that *you* are more important than some warm, humming set of boxes.
If your human wants to look at the picture, make sure that you're lying on the picture box (shedding hairs inside the slits on the top, of course). Drop your tail, your paw, or your entire head in front of the picture box at randomly chosen intervals. Look lonely.
The clackety thing that your human taps its fingers on offers may opportunities for fun. When you're new in the house, you can get away with blatantly walking all over it for a while as your human patiently tries to manoeuver your paws awijdfl.dnfldfnv m,nv,.vdn l.dn ... ahem ... tries to move your paws off the small clicky bits. Pretend to learn that this is a Bad Thing To Do. Now roll onto your back beside the clackety thing and you're sure to press something important as you're getting your belly rubbed.
Advanced users may choose to wrestle with the small rolly thing with the very long tail. This is sure to increase your knowledge of things humans usually either mutter or say *very* loudly. Warning: you may find this is the point where you get picked up and dropped off the desk. Don't give up hope at this point: stay very close to the chair and there's a good chance that your human will accidentally roll the chair's wheels onto your paws. Cry out piteously when this happens and agree to be picked up and cuddled in apology by your human (see 4a for a corollary to this rule).
If you're very lucky, your human will have another box that periodically starts humming very loudly and spitting out paper. This is a good time to challenge it to a duel. Hiss, fluff out your tail, and make your eyes go absolutely black. You can jump on top of this box and poke your paws into its mouth or its butt and try to either fish out the plain paper or kill and eat the decorated paper -- this is your choice. *Warning*: this game is for advanced users only. You may not just get yelled at and dumped on the floor, but may be removed to another room entirely while the door is shut to keep you away. Those who have experienced the pleasures of this variation usually agree that it's worth it.
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.
One way to keep your human healthy is through agility training. You can do this by running ahead of your human, maintaining a distance of about one and a half of the human's paces, and suddenly stopping to clean yourself. If the human doesn't trip over or boot you (a very real hazard, especially from beginner humans), s/he is fit and able to avoid all sorts of danger in his/her world. A bonus from this exercise is that the sight of the human will be very amusing and you can share the experience with your friends on the back fence.
********Waking Them Up
It is not known why humans like to sleep when it gets dark, just when the day is young and the masters of the house are fresh and ready for play. It is known, however, that sleeping humans are boring to be around and that they occasionally must be roused to attend to our needs, such as to get fresh food or water or to retrieve a toy that was batted under the sofa. Almost all of them strongly dislike being dragged out of bed in their so-called "wee hours". Some will even pretend to be asleep even when we know they're not, hoping we'll give up and go away. Persistence is the key to success in any case.
One effective method of rejuvenating a dormant human is the "direct approach", namely jumping on the bed and doing one or more of the following: trampling, licking and/or nibbling any exposed parts, purring, meowing, head-butting, light taps on the eyes, or playing "Catch Mouse" or "King of the Hill". This may only result in your being ejected from the bed, but at least you now have the human's attention.
If the human is being stubborn, you may have to resort to more drastic tactics, such as ripping down posters, rattling blinds, knocking over and looting a wastebasket, knocking items off the dresser, singing at the top of your voice, or even curling up on the human's head (often the only visible part). As well as being warm, in this way you will be aware of any movement made by the human, probably even before he is aware of it. You will be unlikely to wait for long. Another effective tactic is to jump, walk or knead on the human's abdomen, where the bladder is located. If the human hasn't been to the Big White Drinking Bowl during the night you can be sure of a rapid response. Eventually, the human will get up and do what you want, usually employing some bad language while doing so.
Warning: It is not advised to do this on a regular basis. It will very likely result in your being "banished" from and denied access to the bedroom altogether, in which case it becomes much more difficult to get them to respond to your wishes. Thumping the door or yowling may be initially effective, but will likely result in being further banished to the basement or even the kitty carrier! Discretion is thus strongly recommended.
Of course, if the human gets up on his own in the wee hours to go to the bathroom, you are free to get him to do your bidding while he is too sleepy to put up much resistance.
In order to provide and care for you, the humans must leave the domain every morning (usually before you take your first cat nap). To help them on their way, either yowl loudly, massage their scalps with your claws, gently bounce on top of them in bed, knead their chests, purr, and/or drool on them. See also WAKING THEM UP. The best time to do this is about 24 minutes before their clock begins to blare or ring. We must protect them from the noise because it could ruin their sense of hearing.
Quickly determine which guest hates cats the most. Sit on that lap. If you can arrange for particularly bad "tuna breath", so much the better.
For sitting on laps or rubbing against trouser legs, select fabric which contrasts well with your fur. For example: white-furred cats go to black wool clothing. NOTE: Velvet takes precedence over all other cloth.
For the guest who exclaims, "I love kitties!", be ready with aloof disdain, apply claws to stockings or arms, 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 force your humans to reveal that they tolerate this behavior when company is not there.
Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything, just sit and stare.
Undoubtedly THE best way to get attention from a human is to jump in his/her lap and purr. Few humans can resist because it makes them think you like them (which may even be true!). Ear scratches, belly rubs, back stroking: all these and more can be yours. Some cats like this treatment a little TOO much and acquire the silly name "Lap Fungus". Lap sessions also provide golden opportunities for shedding; be sure to take advantage of clothes which contrast with your fur (see also GUESTS). Unfortunately, humans have the annoying tendency to want to get up to do their mundane activities, like answering the thing that rings or going to the Big White Drinking Bowl. Protest this disturbance with accusing looks and plaintive meows. Some laps may require "softening up" with a little kneading; just be sure not to use the claws or you may have an unexpected flying lesson!
Humans (for the most part) love order and predictability. They especially like their pets to be predictable. So if you are in the mood to indulge in a little low-risk mischief, behaving irrationally is an excellent option. The usual method is to simply tear around the house at top speed talking to yourself and perhaps launching a frenzied attack on an unsuspecting toy. If there are two or more cats in the household, you can take turns chasing and wrestling with each other. This is usually good for a shake of the head from the human, along with "Crazy cat(s)" muttered under his/her breath.
Another way to baffle the humans is to interrupt your passage across a carpet (at whatever velocity) with a sudden vertical leap into the air. Then continue on as if nothing had happened. If you're skilled enough, you may be able to convince the human(s) that there are "rug worms" in the house. A third way, which isn't quite as fun as the others but which tends to get better reactions from the humans, is to stare fixedly at a blank wall, turned-off TV, corner of the room, or whatever, and pretend to carry on a conversation with another cat. The humans, who may already be convinced that you're from outer space, will think you're talking to your friends, the "Jupiter People". If they start talking about mailing you to Mars, it's a good idea to lay off this prank for a while.
Let's face it, humans are a disorganized lot. They need constant supervision in order to get things done right and on time, such as feeding their masters, retrieving lost toys, etc. Humans also need assistance in keeping their masters' home organized. They have to be continually reminded that things belong on the floor, not on shelves, bookcases, tables or dressers where accessing them may be inconvenient for their masters. It will be up to you to keep your household properly organized. Feel free to take items such as pens, buttons, waste paper (such as the stuff they call "tax return"), and unsuitable toys and relocate them to better spots, such as the water bowl, under the stove, or down the hot-air ducts (humans are always grateful if you do this with tax returns). This should be done when the humans aren't around, as they will always interfere. When the human discovers your handiwork, he will praise you with such sayings as "Damned cat!" and "You little monster!" At this point, you should say "You're welcome!" with purring and rubbing against his/her legs.
********Vets And Medicine
The vet is the person to whom your human will take you when you are sick. The place smells funny, there are usually other cats and dogs in the waiting room, and awful things like needles and pill prescriptions will happen there. The usual result is that you will get better, which is good, but you just can't let those humans cathandle you. The following are some tips for dealing with vets and medicine.
Unless you are really sick, when you see the carrier come out, run and hide somewhere inaccessible, such as under the bed or behind a couch. Once the human finally grabs you, struggle gamely. Splay your legs out so that it is difficult to cram you into the carrier. If the human is trying to put you in with another pet, try to allow the other pet to bolt out the door. In the car, meow plaintively all the way down to the vet's. If possible, reach through the bars of the portable prison and try to claw the human as s/he drives. At the vet's, splay your legs and brace yourself against the carrier's walls if you can so that they can't dump you out easily.
If you are well enough, you must resist attempts to feed you pills or any liquid medicine. As soon as you hear the pill bottle rattle, hide as in part a). Resist attempts to open your mouth. Squirming is good. Once the medicine is in, try to spit it out, preferably by shaking your head vigorously. If the humans manage to get the pill into to your mouth and are still holding you waiting for you to spit it out, swallow, but keep the pill in your mouth. Then after being let go, find a suitable hiding place and spit it out. Make sure that the humans do not find the hiding place, so they think that you took the pill. Don't use the same hiding place twice. Refuse any food that looks or smells like it may have had medicine sprinkled on it. Unfortunately, humans can be REALLY unfair and put it in tuna. In this case, accept grudgingly. Look aggrieved after the medicine session is over.
If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to 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.
When you get sick in the house, you should hover around the general area until a human spots the mess. You should act as if you are guarding the stuff for the human and then quickly vacate the room.
If taken outside, you should take every opportunity to scarf down as much grass as possible (while not being spotted). After ingesting a "critical mass" amount, whine and scratch at the door to be let back in the house. After entering the house head for the traditional illness locations and let it rip.
If the urge strikes at night when your human is asleep, you can retch as loudly as possible so that the human will wake up. That failing, choose a location where the human's bare foot is likely to find it. They don't see very well in the morning and need assistance in locating the mess. If the human has neglected you by leaving (see MORNINGS), cover the fruits of your labours with whatever is handy, such as papers from the desk. That way you can soil another object besides the carpet.
Occasionally your humans will want to go away on a "Vacation", "Holiday" or "Trip". Knowing that you hate travelling, they will want to leave you behind. The choice of boarding at the cattery or "Kitty Camp" is to be avoided at all costs. This means you have to find another human in the neighborhood who will be willing to look after you while your regular humans are away. This is not hard to do when you're able to patrol the neighborhood and locate suitable holiday accommodation. If you're a house cat, you'll be stuck with whatever human your regular humans can find.
In most respect, the substitute human performs the same functions as the regular humans i.e. feeding, changing the litter box and perhaps even playing with you. Since most substitutes don't know your feeding habits, try extra hard to get more food. A few minutes after you've cleaned out your dish, go into "feed me" mode again. Be cunning. Use big soulful eyes, low moans, extra head-butting and rubbing. Meaningful stares at the empty dish will convince them they have under-fed you. Use all other tricks that used to work on your more hard-hearted regular humans. The substitute humans have not had an opportunity to develop an immunity to these ploys.
If you are confined to the house while your regular people are away, try to escape as the substitute human arrives to look after you. Hang around the door as they arrive and try to sneak out as they open the door. They will be forced to spend many hours looking for you. This is most effective if they leave the door open and you are found sleeping on the sofa as if nothing had happened. Remember: once out, you may miss your dinner so do not try this too often.
If the substitute human performs poorly, like showing up late for your feeding times or failing to clean the litter-box often enough, let your regular humans know your displeasure with the usual punishment, like wetting the bath mat, clawing furniture and generally messing up the place.
When your humans return, there are several different ways you can treat them:
-Behave as if they have never been away. If you are normally aloof, remain aloof - but make sure the substitute human tells your people how affectionate you were, following them everywhere and demanding affection at every opportunity.
-If you are the cuddly type, your regular humans will be so pathetically grateful that you still love them you will be amply rewarded for doing what comes naturally anyway.
-Act as though you preferred the substitute human. Wait at the door at the times the substitute human arrived for feed you. Run to the door whenever someone calls at the house. Your regular humans will begin to feel inadequate and try to bribe you. After all, you have just spent several days training the substitute human to do things exactly the way you like.
They had deserted you so make them feel guilty.
-Ignore them completely - they have betrayed your trust. Do not even stay in the room with them (that'll teach them to go away and leave you!). They will be so desperate to regain your trust that you will be allowed to get away with usually forbidden activities. If you play the part well enough, you will never be shut out of the bedroom again.
-Act as if you are overjoyed to see them. After all, how were you to know that they would return? Behaving like an absolute lunatic, running about the house, getting all your toys out and generally being a nuisance (see hampering). They will be so pleased that you actually remember them that you will get your own way, for a while at least.
October 29th 2006 12:04 pm
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The humans would have you believe that those lumps under the covers are their feet and hands. They are lying. They are actually Bed Mice, rumoured to be the most delicious of all the mice in the world, though no cat has ever been able to catch one. Rumour also has it that only the most ferocious attack can stun them long enough for you to dive under the covers to get them. Maybe YOU can be the first to taste the Bed Mouse!
"King of the Hill":
This game must be played with at least one other cat. The more, the merrier! One or both of the sleeping humans is Hill which must be defended at all costs from the other cat(s). Anything goes. This game allows for the development of unusual tactics as one must take the unstable playing theatre into account.
Warning: Playing "Catch Mouse" and "King of the Hill" to excess will result in expulsion from the bed and possibly from the bedroom. Should the humans grow restless, immediately begin purring and cuddle up to them. This should buy you some time until they fall asleep again. If one happens to be on a human when this occurs, this cat wins the round of King of the Hill.
"Tag" (Also known by humans as "Charge of the Light Brigade"):
Obviously this game also requires two or more cats, and may include a dog as well. One cat is "it". The other(s) chase him around the apartment until they catch up to him. Then follows the "Scrum", after which the cat who caught the other becomes "it" and is chased around. Great fun, but has the greatest potential for loss of Dignity from maneuvers such as the Throw Rug Wipeout and the Non-Carpeted Floor Skid. Whenever such a situation occurs, all feline participants must immediately wash themselves. Dogs are generally too stupid to do this and may continue to play. In this case, the dog automatically becomes "it" and should be subjected to the Pileup.
This is a game played in the bathroom. Next to the Big White Drinking Bowl is a roll of soft white paper which is artfully attached to the wall so that it can spin. Inside this roll is the Tube Mouse. When you grab the paper, the Tube Mouse will spin frantically as it tries to escape from you. When the Mouse is exposed, it dies of fright and stops spinning. But that's OK because you now have a great new toy to pounce on, play with, and shred! Part two of the game is to make the angry human believe that the other cat did it. This is related to another fun game, "Snowstorm", in which you try to make it look like a blizzard has occurred in the room. You can track shreds all over the house for greater enjoyment. Be warned that this variant often results in the coming of the Vacuum Monster.
Only dogs will run after a ball or stick that humans throw, take it back to them, and continue doing this until they drop. As established earlier, dogs are not bright. A dignified cat MAY fetch a ball for its human, but if the human persists in continually throwing the ball away, assume that the human truly does not want it, and leave it.
Any number of cats can play. The game begins when the referees go to bed. The player runs to the bowl where the dry cat food is kept, and executes a "place-kick." The player does this by attempting to kick one kibble from the bowl with a paw. Using the nose and tongue ("heading") is allowed, but this is considered bad form. Often the bowl must be tipped, rocked or rattled. Once the kibble is out of the bowl and in play, the player proceeds to bat it around the room as quickly as possible. This is accomplished with short alternating swipes with the front paws, running behind it as it moves (this is also known as the "kibble dribble").
If the kibble gets stuck at the intersection of two walls, the player must attempt to put it back into play with a "corner kick." If the kibble is still on the playing field after 30 seconds, the player is awarded a point. She is then allowed to eat the kibble, after which she returns to the bowl to put the next one into play. No points are awarded for kibbles that are kicked out of the playing area (under the stove, behind the refrigerator, etc.). These are left for the cockroaches, and other spectators. The player must put a new kibble into play.
For equipment, any dry kibble will work, although Science Diet round kibbles roll particularly well. The referees control the pace of the game by waking up (usually after the first few points have been scored) and imposing obstacles between the player and the kibbles. The referees do this by placing covers on top of the bowl, placing the bowl on a counter top or shelf, or otherwise hiding it. An advanced player is measured by the degree of ingenuity displayed in overcoming the obstacles between herself and the kibbles and resuming the game. The game ends when all the kibbles are eaten or out of the playing field, or when a referee puts the player in the penalty box.
Step 1: Warm up by tearing through the hallways and over furniture at high speeds. Be sure to drag your claws and make zzzzzrt noises on the rugs. Furniture that is off limits during the daytime makes great springboards. (Even more fun with two or more participants.) Important style points are gained during this step. 2 extra points if you get a yell from a judge
Step 2: Find objects that make noise and activate them. Door stoppers that go SPROOOOOOOONGONGONGONG when you run by them, wind chimes and blinds that rattle when disturbed, and loose objects that go thud when they hit the carpet are best. Technical points are awarded in this step. The more complex the device the better. 5 points for knocking over the phone so it goes BEEP BEEP BEEP *Please hang up* BEEP BEEP
Step 3: Make the loudest possible noise. Glassware and remote controls are useful here. It might be beneficial to slightly open the judges' door before this step. Final creativity points are awarded now.
Step 4: Look innocently at the dog and fish when the judges storm into room and turn on the lights. Pretending to be asleep is good form. 5 bonus points if another pet gets blamed, and 7 points for style if the judges stub, trip or completely fall over the objects knocked over!
This game is played when your human has the newspaper lying on the floor for reading. Run down a hallway toward the newspapers at full speed, leap onto the paper and see how far you can slide. The slippery advertisements are best for this. This game is even more fun if your human is unaware that you are going to play. It can be followed by a good round of "Catch Mouse" (newspaper variant). It can also be played on throw rugs. If you are a real daredevil cat, jump onto a newspaper on a polished table and try to ski the full length of the table before high-diving off the far end (any recognised high dive may be used so long as you land on your feet; score bonus points for a triple somersault).