HOW TO TRAIN YOUR HUMAN
By Our Cat
Human beings are large, clumsy animals with extremely poor night vision that make a lot of noise. However, they live in weather-proof homes, and are easily trained.
CHOOSING YOUR HUMAN: Humans don't realize this, but we choose which humans to live with, and which ones to avoid. Avoid humans who start sneezing when we get close. They are allergic to us. Also avoid ones that try and kick us. A good human will bend down and reach out to scratch an ear and start saying something stupid like "nice kitty kitty". The trick is to get inside the human's home to see if they have a suitable environment for one of our superior species.
GETTING CARRIED AROUND: While walking to one's destination is preferable, it is nevertheless fun to be picked up and carried around by a human, because this provides a much loftier view of things. Female humans are more likely to pick you up. They will try and scratch your belly, so arch your back and they will reach under you. For some reason, most humans instinctively pick us up at that point.
GETTING FED ON TIME: Humans are somewhat erratic in their eating habits, but this must not be allowed to conflict with our getting fed exactly on time every day. Pick a time, usually at 5 in the morning, and insist on being fed. Vocalize your hunger, and if necessary, wake the human up. Initially, the human will throw you outside, thinking you've received a call from Nature. But in a week or two they will catch on and get the food out on time.
GETTING THE RIGHT FOOD: Unfortunately modern humans are inept at hunting, thus they purchase all their food. Generally, they buy things in cans, bags or boxes to feed us. They should eat this stuff. As long as you have an adequate supply of naturally obtained food (i.e. tasty little mice) the appropriate training regime is to walk up to the bowl of this awful processed food, sniff at it, walk around the bowl a few times, and then decamp to your favorite perch for a nice little nap. A few days of this, and the human begins to feel guilty about you starving. Eventually they will produce something moderately edible. If, by chance, something really good turns up, make sure you let the human know this is preferred to the dry crunchy stuff.
NAPPING SITES: Human dwellings are just full of nice little places to nap, such as window sills, the tops of dressers, inside closets, under couches, whatever. Many of these places, however, will initially be places the human thinks they have control over. You must disabuse them of this territoriality as soon as possible. Typically, if the human finds you in a place they think is theirs, they will grab you and toss you. An exciting moment of flying through the air. Go back. After a while the human will mutter "stupid kitty", and leave you alone.
OTHER CATS: Some humans are excessively fond of our companionship, and thus attempt to bring more than one of us into their home. Remember, first one inside is king (or queen). Humans don't like the sound of our displeasure being voiced at an intruder, but they will rarely do anything about it. It is nice to have a few companions around, provided the human increases the food supply.
THE LITTER BOX: Most humans are fairly conscientious about cleaning out the litter box with adequate frequency. However, some humans will accidentally lock us in a room, or forget to clean the litter box often enough. We all know what we do to the human on that occasion, don't we.
GIFTS: Humans don't think they are animals, so they don't understand gifts. Don't bother. Keep the mouse for yourself.
EXPRESSING AFFECTION: The deal is we get a free place to live that is dry and warm, and adequate food, in exchange for once in a while recognizing the human exists and letting it touch us. Humans like to hear us purr, because they think that is our way of saying we're happy. They have no idea. Don't get too stand-off-ish as the human will not understand, and become anxious. A calm human is a reliable human when it comes to dinner.
NAMING: Humans immediately give us stupid little names. If you don't like the name, act deaf. Once they pick a name you like, then respond. If the human is really nice to you, and understands our language, then tell them your truename.
CONCLUSION: Humans are much easier to train, then, for example, their stupid dogs.
Copyright 2000 by Hugh Holub