Dear Fellow Felines,
My name is Napoleon and my human plays with dollhouses. If you’re reading this, chances are that your human does the same. Not only do they play with them, but they build entire houses and fill them with tiny things that look as if they might be Cat toys, but we’re told we can’t play with them. This is a gross insult to felines everywhere.
It’s not our nature to be overtly aggressive in our protests, because Cats are subtle creatures. However, it is our birthright to be the center of every human’s universe and this obsession with miniatures is depriving us of quality time that should be spent rubbing ears or filling our dinner dishes. Therefore, we must consider a full scale movement to bring the human’s attention back where it rightfully belongs……..to the Cat.
I often read over my human’s shoulder as she writes articles for the Greenleaf Gazette and have noticed that the content is usually focused on ‘how-to’ types of things. (With the exception of the Critter Corner which I consider to be a sign of higher intelligence.) However, these how-to articles encourage the humans to spend more time with miniatures and less time with Cats, so I’ve taken it upon myself to remedy that with my own ‘How to gain your human’s attention” article.
When the human is working on miniatures, they tend to become oblivious to the presence of the Cat. It then becomes our responsibility to return their focus to us.
The first step is to announce your presence. While it can be effective to let out a loud ‘yeeoooooooooooooow’ and pretend that you are in the throes of anguish from an undetermined source of pain, this is far from subtle and not the preferred Cat method. In any event, the human will return to her miniatures as soon as they have determined that you are not sick or injured. It is best to take a bit more time in your approach to ensure that her attention will remain on you until you lose interest or need to take a nap. Step back from the human’s chair and observe the best potential landing place. Bear in mind that the human may have glue, paint or sharp objects on the table in front of her and avoid those locations. A sudden leap to the arm of the chair………or the arm of the human…….is usually best. Be sure that you have recently sharpened your claws and have them fully extended to assist in holding your position once you have landed. If you choose to land on the human’s arm rather than the chair, be prepared for her loud scream. Humans have little tolerance for pain and can be annoyingly loud in their expression of it.
Now that you have the human’s attention, act aloof. Pretend that you are satisfied with remaining on her arm and allow her to return her attention to the miniatures. Our strategy is that when the human becomes complacent that we simply want to sit on their arm, she will not be in a defensive mode prepared to ward off further advances. This is to our advantage as the next step is to integrate ourselves between the humans and the miniatures.
Slowly and subtly, begin to move yourself up the human’s arm and toward her shoulder. If your human is the female variety with a soft and fluffy front, you can use your back claws to brace your body weight against the fluffy parts. When you have centered yourself in the middle of her chest, shift your body weight and throw yourself against her throat as you lay down. For some reason, this makes the human sound as if she's hacking up a hairball, but this can be ignored. Once you’re in the correct position, lock your claws into her shoulder and begin purring.
The human may continue to ignore you in favor of the miniatures, so you may want to show a bit more affection. Purring is always a nice start but may not gain the human’s attention as much as you would like. A good technique at this point is to rub your nose against her chin or pat her nose with your paw. If the human still ignores you, dig your claws into her chest and stand up, positioning your body between her face and the miniatures. Humans find it almost impossible to ignore us in this position and will pay attention to you.
Now that you’ve been placed on the floor by an ungrateful human who does not properly understand the meaning of attention, it’s time to take things to the next level. Back up and center yourself, then leap with an acrobatic flair to the top of the human’s work surface. Objects may slide off the table and the human may use words of profanity, but as with all human behavior, this can be ignored.
Now it’s time for a round or two of ‘Kitty Golf’. As you know, the object of Kitty Golf is to fling as many objects off the table as possible. Humans are fun participants in this game because she’ll become so involved in retrieving her possessions that she’ll forget about moving you off the table. Take great care with your form…..choose your object and gently tap or push it into place for a direct line of trajectory from the table to the floor. You can work your way up to tricky rail shots and ricochets later. Lift your paw and draw it back six inches, then give the object a good strong “WHACK!” It’s acceptable to admire the results as the object flies thru the air and lands on the floor. If the item is covered with glue or wet paint, that’s even better. Your human will get up to retrieve the object and put it back on the table where you can resume play. For most humans, you can repeat the cycle several times before she tires of retrieving.
Finding yourself on the floor once again, you can lull the human into a false sense of security by turning your back to her and appearing disinterested. When she resumes her work, rapidly leap back onto the table and quickly move out of their reach. If you move to a remote section of the table, quietly lie down and pretend to be asleep, the human will probably forget that you’re there. When you are sure that the human does not notice you, quietly move into the house that the human is building, preferably in a section where she cannot see you. Waiting patiently is something Cats do well, so take advantage of the time and indulge in a power nap.
Sooner or later, the human will place her hand within your reach. With a sense of gaiety and jocularity, smack her hand with your paw. The shrieking sound the human makes is an expression of hilarity and does not indicate that you have startled her into throwing a glue smeared window frame into the next room where it sticks to the carpet.
Back on the floor, assume a prone position and stare at the human with a piercing gaze. The ‘Siamese Mind Meld’ does have an impact on some humans, but not all of them are intelligent enough to receive the transcendental messages you are sending. If the Mind Meld doesn’t achieve results, leap back onto the table, out of arm’s reach of the human of course. Gracefully sit down and tidily wrap your tail around your feet and look serene. The human will be flattered that you are ready to watch her work and become absorbed in her miniatures again. With deliberate care and slowness, move your tail in a casual manner to the right, gently dragging it across the top of the open paint container. Equally casual, move it back to the left, dragging it across the surface of the wood floor the human has just carefully stained. Continue this procedure until the human notices you.
As you sit on the floor yet again, it becomes obvious that the time has come for more aggressive measures. Stand on your back feet and put your front paws on your human’s leg. Raise your eyes up and with a pitiful look on your face, give a plaintive ‘mew’ in your best poor-little-kitten voice. The human will look down and spontaneously say ‘Aaawwww’ and then gather you in her arms for a cuddle and kiss. Of course, you will immediately lose all interest in being cuddled by the human and struggle from her arms, walk thru the wet paint on the table and continue on your way, leaving wet paint paw prints over her wallpaper (which you consider to be an artistic improvement). Jumping from the table, race down the hallway in search of more exciting things to do. Maybe you can take a nap on the clean laundry after drying your paws on her favorite towels first.
As Cats, it is our responsibility to teach the humans their proper role in life no matter how time consuming and tiresome it is for the Cat. Take great pride in your work when you’re training your human to devote more attention to The Cat. Sadly, statistics have proven that humans who are involved in miniatures cannot be completely dissuaded from pursuing that hobby, so don’t despair when your human continues to devote her attention to miniatures. Be diligent my friends, and content yourself with the knowledge that when the house is finished, you can play Kitty Golf with all the furnishings, sharpen your claws on the shingles and bury the doll in the litter box.
Hugs and purrs,