Life with the Cat (Initial Lessons)

Six months of living with a cat has taught me a number of things. Here’s a partial list from my notebook.

Lesson 1: You are never a cat “owner”.  Your cat’s relationship with you is a feudalistic one—you have the honor of feeding him, bathing him, amusing him, and cleaning up his poop and pee. In return, he will acknowledge your existence and allow you to bask in his furry glory. Oh and your house? That’s actually his territory. He just lets you live there.

Lesson 2: Dangling ribbons, curtains, fringed bags, and bootlaces all exist for his entertainment. All will be torn to shreds in five minutes flat.

Lesson 3: Any newly-purchased pieces of furniture (especially those covered in vinyl) will be used to sharpen his claws.

Lesson 4: You will wake up at exactly 6:15 am to feed your cat (or when he starts meowing, whichever comes first.) Failure to do so will mean that at exactly 6:16, a three-kilogram mass of fur and claws will catapult (pun intended) itself onto your bed and start pawing at your face to remind you.

Lesson 5: Leave your cat alone when he wants to have a moment to himself. Do not expect the same courtesy from the cat.

Lesson 6: Laser pointer = endless hours of fun.

Lesson 7: Long, intelligent, one-sided conversations with your cat are generally acceptable. As long as he doesn’t answer back. If he does, please see a psychiatrist.