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Rules of Etiquette for Inexperienced Cats

  1. If you have to throw up, get into a chair quickly. If you cannot manage this in time, get to an Oriental rug. Shag is good.
  2. For sitting on laps or rubbing against trouser legs, select colors which contrast with your own.
  3. Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything. Just sit and stare.
  4. Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get one open, stand on hind legs and hammer with forepaws. Once the door is opened for you, it is not necessary to use it. You can change your mind. When you have ordered an outside door opened, stand half in and half out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather or mosquito season.
  5. If one person is busy and the other is idle, sit with the busy one. For book readers, get in close under the chin, unless you can lie across the book itself. For ladies knitting, curl quietly into lap and pretend to doze. Then reach out and slap knitting needles sharply. This is what she calls a dropped stitch. She will try to distract you. Ignore it. For people doing homework, sit on the paper being worked on.
  6. After being removed for the second time, push anything movable off the table -- pens, pencils, stamps -- one at a time.
  7. When it becomes time to dislodge a fur ball, choose the dining room at dinner time.
  8. When your owner returns home laden with packages, fall down in front of them -- this works best on steps, all the better if the individual is proceeding downward. There is always the chance you may get stepped on, but this usually guarantees a fall and if you milk the guilt that follows it is usually worth it.
  9. Should you run into a closed sliding glass door or do anything stupid, never let on as much and go about your business as if "I meant to do that."
  10. If you allow a dog to share your domain you are in luck. Should you tatter the drapes or destroy anything for which you fear retribution, wait until your owner (misnomer if there ever was one) is nearby, slap the dog and run for it. Dogs are stupid and will accept blame for anything. If this ruse should fail simply run and hide. No one really expects to catch a cat.
  11. Chase, frolic, and run from invisible entities. The why doesn't matter, it is just expected.
  12. Get enough sleep during the daytime so that you are fresh for playing at night between 2 and 4 a.m.
  13. Final Note: ALWAYS walk ON the keyboard!



Hampering

If one of your humans is engaged in some close activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping," otherwise known as "hampering." Following are the rules for "hampering":

  1. When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted. It's even funnier when they try to avoid stepping on you and fall into a counter or table.
  2. For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.
  3. For paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work or at least the most important part. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or pen. The worker may try to distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work.
  4. When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to jump on the back of the paper.