Pottersville's Tutorial of Cat Ownership
Ha ha. As if we really own these perpetually bemused, semi-benevolent parasites instead of the other way around.
Anyway, to those of you who still identify yourselves as "dog people" and may've just inherited a feline and may have no insight as how to properly care for your cat, here are some handy-dandy tips that ought to improve your relationship with your furry friend, some basic, commonsense wisdom that I've picked up since having been kidnapped by my own cat Popeye a year and a half ago.
Cats are notoriously finicky. Some cats prefer certain brands, other cats other brands. Some prefer dry food, others moist, canned food. Finding the right brand to keep your cat happy and healthy is all-important. My own cat Popeye is surprisingly open to suggestion. These days, he's restricted himself to yak burger specially flown in from the Himalayas and gently grilled by Japanese ventriloquists over rocks brought back from Mars. I consider myself luckier than most.
As with dogs and cellophane, every time you open a can, it's intended for your cat regardless of the fact that s/he already has 7 or 8 bowls of various cat food on the floor. It doesn't matter if it's tuna fish or chili. Show him/her the can to discourage it from pestering you further.
Unlike most dogs, cats are low maintenance pets in this important area. Since they constantly groom themselves, maintenance is a snap once you forget about the constant vacuuming in the summer, scooping up hairball vomit, and the flea and tick baths that may or not require one or more post-ablution tourniquets.
During the 10 or 15 minutes a day they're actually awake, cats can endlessly amuse themselves but that's not to say they do not deeply appreciate it when their bipedaled pets share some fun time with them. Buy a wide variety of cat toys from your local pet store or super market so your cat can then ignore them and bat them under the bed as they prefer to play with your feet, valuable and fragile mantle knick-knacks, Christmas ornaments or your scrotum.
Cats are notorious hedonists and are not above using your sitting or supine form as organic, semi-ergonomic furniture. It's useless trying to keep off your bed a cat that insists on its personal comfort so don't be surprised if you have an awesome dream about cunnilingus only to wake up with your cat's rectum on your face.
1) Cats detest us for various reasons and show it by introducing us to their genitalia and rectums at least 10 times a day. But they have their moments and are just as capable as dogs of displaying love and affection. Therefore, it would behoove you to accept in the spirit in which it was given for all the thousands of bucks you spent on uneaten cat food when your cat leaves on your stoop a chipmunk with its head chewed off. Remember, it's the thought that counts.
2) Don't bother naming your cat, for obvious reasons. When was the last time you ever saw a cat respond to its name? Just name it "Cat", "Hey, You" or "Hey, Asshole, Not On the Rug!"
3) When a dog puts its ears back: Good. When a cat puts its ears back, be in another county.
4) Do not ever try to pick up your cat when it's involved in serious business such as ignoring its scratching post and mice. Cats need love and affection but on their terms and on their own time. Hopefully, it won't be during an important business call or during sexual intercourse. But it will be, so be prepared.
5) Do not ever try the Alpha Dog routine on them. You can say to your feline in a low, deep voice, "I am the Alpha Dog" and, if you're lucky, it'll earn you a sleepy blink, a twitch of its tail and an 11th reintroduction to its rectum.
6) Disabuse yourself of the notion that you are in charge. You are the hired help and your cat lets you go food shopping, pay bills and do housecleaning (see #4 above).
Keeping your cat's litter box clean is of paramount importance and your cat will let you know if your job performance is not up to par. S/he will let you know its litter box needs freshening or changing by doing any of the following:
Bathing cats is discouraged if you're a hemophiliac or do not have an adequate stockpile of bandages and tourniquets but sometimes during flea and tick season, it's unavoidable. To bathe your kitty safely, go to a Ren Fair, buy a suit of armor and then bathe your cat. If you're lucky, it may not scratch you more than once or twice.
If you follow these simple steps, you, too, will enjoy a better relationship with your cat until it finds another human it feels it can more easily manipulate and boss around.