When you go to a pool, you’re often confronted with a list of appropriate policies for using the pool. Ditto the park, the beach, and your less-impressive hotels. The people in charge do this because they know you’ll engage in stupid behavior if you don’t have a sign.

Your cat knows this. Your cat feels this, deeply. Because every day, you’re doing something stupid that the entity in charge — the cat — would very much like you not to do, like invite guests into the home to scare the litter out of her.

Here are some signs that cats would post around the house, concerning the proper policies for living with them. It beats peeing outside the litter box.

1. Guest policy

  • Guests are to be met at the front gate, sidewalk, end of the driveway, or any place other than suddenly right there at the front door. Jesus, a cat can have a heart attack!
  • If a guest must enter the dwelling, then the guest must never approach the cat unless under extraordinary circumstances (chicken).
  • If a cat wants to enter a room that is currently occupied by the guest, the guest must immediately move to an adjacent room, if not out the door and on her merry way (preferred).
  • Guests must never speak.
  • Effective immediately, the doorbell and all evidence of the doorbell shall be shall cease to be part of the home.

2. Gift policy

A dead rat or any other fresh kill left at the doorstop shall no longer be met with all that hand-wringing and shrieking and carrying on. Come on, you people. The delicacy will be picked up, placed in a pot, and mixed with the family dinner — that’s the point, you idiots.

3. Dinner policy

  • By the first meow, you should be standing. By the second meow, you should walking to the kitchen. By the third meow, you should be putting something tasty into a bowl. Failure to comply within the allotted meows means that all bets are off concerning that silence at 3 in the morning that you’re so freaking obsessed with.
  • Chicken beats wet food, wet food beats dry food. (Why do we always go back to this?)
  • The cat is allowed to smell all human foods prepared in the house for as long as the cat likes. Stop pushing us off the table. Who knows, one day you might make something edible.

4. Sleep policy

  • A sleeping cat is not to be interfered with except under the following circumstances only: chicken, wet food, or two fingers gently nuzzling the forehead, no more than five times, stopping at the first irritated “mow.”
  • A cat’s preferred sleeping area shall not be vacuumed or otherwise “freshened up” until it is abandoned for another.
  • A cat’s sleeping area will be abandoned when cat is damn good and ready, that’s when.
  • During periods of sunshine: Open. Your. CURTAINS. What are you, a vampire?
  • When a cat awakes, under no circumstances are humans allowed to titter in bemused surprise at how long he slept. You should be applauding. You should be bearing gifts. Stop laughing and go open a can of something.