Saturday, May 3, 2008

Laws of Felinity

This is hardly an original statement, but I don't own two cats. We just happen to live together. They have their rules, I have mine, and to the extent that we can make each other understand our rules, we get along quite well.

Sinead's Rules
  • Never pick me up unless you want to be clawed. When I feel like being held, I will climb onto your chest while you read on the couch or in bed. Get grabby at your own risk.
  • Don't disturb me when I am minding my own business, e.g. lying in a patch of sunlight. The consequences will not be severe (a painless warning nip, at most). But if I want attention, I will meow at you or roll flirtatiously on the floor in front of you.
  • So watch where you're walking, fatso.
  • Don't push me off the desk, bed, etc. against my will. You can tell by the peeved sound I make that I hate this.
  • Keep a close eye on the contents of the food and water dish. I have a big appetite for such a petit kitty. Plus, I've been experimenting with scooping water with my forepaw; there have been some messy accidents.
  • Be advised: any loose paper or plastic is mine to chew on or shred with my claws.
  • I can tell when you're calling me in that pretend-friendly way, when you really want to catch me and stuff me in the pet taxi to go to the vet. Please don't insult my intelligence.
  • Since you are so insistent about it (and particularly since you situated an ottoman next to your desk chair), I will stay off the desk while you are working - but only as long as you reach down and rub me between the ears every minute or so.
  • Excuse me, but the fastest route from one end of the apartment to the other is through the tangle of computer cables next to your desk. You will just have to put up with the fact that, quite by accident, I will turn off the master power switch to everything on your desk about every 50th time I make the trip. Which, when Tyrone and I are playing, may be daily.
  • Obey the meow. It means I need loving.
Tyrone's Rules
  • Obey my meow, too. It means "treat time."
  • I will let you pick me up and cradle me in your arms for a minute or so, but when I signal that I want down, kindly respect my wishes.
  • Any time the apartment door is open will be considered a legal round of the "run out in the hallway" game. You win if you can squeeze through the door without letting me out. If I win, I get to roll on the hall rug and laugh at you. For extra points, I may run upstairs and roll on the carpet there. Grabbing me or slamming the door on me is a foul.
  • If I am able to open a cupboard or closet door, I will do so in order to teach you a lesson in being more careful with your belongings.
  • I expect to be allowed to help any time you change the bedclothes, sort the laundry, or write checks to pay bills.
  • I want to be greeted when you come home from work. Most days, I will be waiting on the piano. Know when to expect me to put my forepaws on your chest, touch my nose to your lips, and sniff your breath. What you had for lunch is my business.
  • I may also wake you up at 3 a.m. by shoving your chin with my forehead. This means I want loving. You might as well wake up and give it, because I'm not going to quit.
  • If, however, I lie on the bed or couch with you - or, less often, on you - leave me alone. If you interfere with my relaxation, I will take it somewhere else.
  • Thank you for letting the bathtub faucet drip. Nothing makes me happier than playing with dripping tapwater and licking the dampness around the drain.
  • I am personally entitled to all water drained from tuna cans.
Robbie's Amendments
  • We'll see if this carefully-positioned book-end spares the master-power switch from being randomly switched off. For goodness sake, I turned the power-strip sideways to keep it out of your way! I have trouble finding the switch when I need it!
  • Cross me too many times on the closets and cupboards, and I'll get the duct-tape out again.
  • When I tell you to get down off the table, desk, kitchen counter, etc., don't give me a dumb look. You know exactly what I mean.
  • If you're going to lie down in my path at 3 a.m., prepare for pain. In the darkness, without my glasses, with my eyes glued shut from sleep, I won't see you lying there.
  • Your cuddly behavior - particularly Tyrone's head-butts and Sinead's purring - will be deemed adequate compensation for all the other trouble, including poop-scooping and picking cat hair out of the vacuum filter. So keep it up.
  • You should also recognize the times when I need comforting the most. Your concern is appreciated.
  • Your help making the bed is always appreciated.

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