Mina the Cat
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How to Efficiently Ignore Your Humans

Want to be the dominant mammal in the house? Ignore your humans. It drives them nuts. And it's hilarious.

Mina the Cat  |  Aug 28th 2012

I’ve talked before about the importance of humans. They have thumbs, they open containers, they’re tall, they give me scritchies. I don’t plan on unloading mine any time soon, but sometimes, they seem to forget how this relationship works. They think that they are the dominant mammal in the relationship, when I am. At times like these, I find it’s important to keep Mommy and Daddy in their place. They can’t think that I need them more than they need me.

So today, I’m going to teach you how to most efficiently ignore your humans. I know, your gut tells you to pay attention. They are big lumbering oafish mammals who can’t see in the dark, so it’s important to avoid being stepped on. But you can avoid someone without directly paying attention to them.

First off, listen for their signals. When Daddy thinks I want scritchies, he’ll pat the armrest of his chair. That’s his signal. Mommy makes a clicking sound with her tongue and teeth. Some humans call, "Here kitty kitty kitty." It doesn’t matter what your human’s signal is, it just matters that you listen for it.

And here’s the important part: When your human makes it, don’t give them what they want. If Daddy wants to give you scritchies from a chair, just wander behind the back of the chair. If Mommy wants you to lie next to her on the couch, sit on the coffee table.

I understand that you want the scritchies. We all want the scritchies. But you can’t cave if you want to show your human who’s the boss. I also find these are great times to self-scritch. If Mommy’s calling you from the couch, rub your forehead against one of the legs of the coffee table, just out of reach. It’s important to do this so that the humans think of scritchies as a favor from you to them, rather than a favor from them to you.

It’s also important to practice staring at things, but not things like Mommy and Daddy. I mean inanimate objects like the laundry, the bedposts, or the blinds. Do that so that you can be specifically not paying any attention to your humans. If they come up and give you scritchies when you’re staring at something, you should look angrily at them and act as though they have interrupted you.

I’m really fond of this trick: I climb up to within arm’s reach of Daddy, I look him in the eye, and I meow desperately. When he responds, I bleat once, meekly, and then, when he reaches out to give me a scritch, I run away. I sometimes run to my food dish, so he thinks that I need food, and then I sit and laugh as he gets up, checks on my food, and goes back to his chair. Sometimes I repeat this process repeatedly until I do need food, and then I’ll be more demanding at the end, so Daddy feels neglectful: Human guilt is just one more weapon in your arsenal.

I also sometimes punish Mommy and Daddy by engaging in "attention seeking behavior" when they are busy or asleep, and then, when they respond, I run away. This has multiple advantages: First, it establishes dominance, because dominant mammals get to sleep when they want to. Second, it establishes a total lack of interest in a human’s well-being. Third, and this may seem strange to want, but it makes your humans more likely to engage in rude behavior like locking you out of the bedroom.

I’m okay with that, because it gives me something to punish them for. Because I’m a kitty who likes to poop outside the box.

Need more Mina? Of course you do. Browse the Mina archives for some high-grade feline contempt.