I have owned cats since I was nine years old.   I know most of the cat ‘lore’ of the world.  I know they were worshiped by the ancient Egyptians, vilified in the middle ages as witches familiars, possessors of nine lives, known to smother babies in their cribs, etc.  But I don’t care, there is something about them that speaks to my soul. Finally, I have figured out with it is about them  – CATS DEMAND REGIMENTATION.

When a cat comes into a new home, they observe the actions of the inhabitants.  They judge the comings and the goings, they find out when food is prepared and served, when you go to work and return home, when you sleep and when you rise, when you are in the mood to play.  For the first few weeks, they sit and they watch.

Then they begin the manipulation.  Using your own schedule against you, they blend in their needs, wants and desires in at times that dovetail yours.

You may get a yowl to go with your breakfast when you sit down to eat because their dish is not full.  If you are preparing food, they want you to prepare theirs too.  They may wake up from a perfectly peaceful nap to sit in the middle of the kitchen while you are cooking dinner because they need you to know that they must be considered too.   Like a stalker, they wait and watch.   Should you not include kibble in your meal plan, beware!  And if you do not feed kitty first, on you way to serve the meal, your ankles are in jeopardy and your ears will be assaulted. Once you consed to their demands, you may have your food in peace and quiet.  If you ignore the cat, you may have bigger hell to pay.

Once they have determined when play time occurs naturally, they will begin to enforce it.  They will again awake unbidden from slumber to chew on your headphone cord, sneak an attack at your feet tucked under a pillow or blanket or begin a game of hunt and pounce in the middle of the living room regardless of any other activities happening there. Especially with company in the house, they may bat a realistic looking toy mouse onto the couch next to Aunt Betty, causing a ruckus or they attack the fringed key fob hanging from a guest’s purse, strewing the entire contents of said purse across the floor in the process.  Or better yet, they flop down in the middle of the gathering to proceed to lick their genitals clean.  After all, if the game is gossip, what better way to relax and hear everything?  We are among friends aren’t we?

Bedtime.  Who knew that cats took bedtime so seriously.  Don’t they sleep all day?  Yes, but they go from the realm of cat napping to honest to goodness slumber on a schedule.  With some cats it is because they want a nice cuddle with the big warm members of the household, others want to be sure you are comatose when they do their night time prowling. Which ever is the case, bedtime should be strictly adhered to, once established.  Ever notice that they will wake up, come sit near you and vocalize, all so that you will do what ever ritual is your bedtime routine?   Even if there isn’t something in it for them, like food or water or a treat, they have tiny alarm clocks in their heads.  A well rested human will net an on-time breakfast without much hassle.

Now I can see the wisdom of the ancient Egyptians.  Put them critters in temples and let a few unfortunate souls deal with them as their lives work.  Brilliant!


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