I may be but small cat with tail on the wrong way round, and not at all Thinker of Great Thorts like Bird, but even I know there are two things every cat must establish soon as they get a Hoomann to look after. Number 1 is Ground Rules, and Number 2 is Routine. And these are speshally important now everything in Hooman world Outside has gone a bit squiggly, with Bloody Carniverus rampaging about out there. Therefore, Bird says, we should share our tips as being of great value to cats and Hoomans alike, so here goes.
First of all, Bed. It is most important to teach Hooman proper etiket of Bed from Day One. Bed is ours, and that is that, so take no notice of Hooman Moaning where Bed is concerned. Our Hooman, for example, says being in bed with us is like playing world’s worst game of Norts and Crosses (sorry, Hooman thing, no idea), because whichever corner she tries to put herself in, one of us is there first. Now this is just Hooman Nonsense as we don’t sleep on the corners (perish the thort!); I sleep draped nicely over Hooman hip and Bird sleeps on her head. We recommend this arrangement. First of all, it is handy for URKS, should such be needed (see below), but with Things As They Are it also means it is easy for you to check your Hooman is safe and well at regular intervals throughout night. You can do this simply by stretching out paw till it is in Hooman’s eye. If Hooman gives mighty jump and goes eeeuargh!, all is well.
Then you want nice early start. We start our Hooman at 5am. Hooman’s come in two sorts, Bird tells me, the Morning sort and the Not Morning sort, and ours is the Not Morning sort, so often requires a bit of Dancing On and Squeaking At to wake her up properly, and sometimes Bird even has to resort to what Hooman calls the Yeti Noise, which is Bird going URK into Hooman’s ear in her deepest voice, as loud as she can. Then Bird and me have our breakfast crunchies, and then we do Mad Cats, up and down the hall. We usually let Hooman go back to bed while we do Mad Cats, until it is time for even Not Morning Hoomans to get up, except for the odd occasion when I get so excited I barf up breakfast on the rug. Hooman is very good at getting up then, and this, says Bird, is important trick to pass on – if you need your Hooman up in a hurry, make barf noise. We have taught ours this, and it’s never failed yet.
Once Hooman is up, you must take them to pee. For some reason this is first thing Hoomans have to do, soon as they are up on back paws. This is another Ground Rule: while it is unfurgivable error for Hooman to enter bathroom when one of us is in the litter tray, it is vital that all Hooman pees are closely supervised. This is my job, and with Things As They Are, I always check Hooman’s right knee with nose while I do it, to be sure Carniverus did not make off with knee overnight. Then it is time for 2nd breakfast, and another Rule, because again it is unfurgivable Hooman error to allow bottom of kitty-dish to be visible, EVER. Inadvertent glance into bottom of kitty-dish is worst thing that can happen to a cat, punishable by not just barf, but by pee on rug, as well.
Time was, our Hooman would then head off to Libree, and Bird and me would have Kitty Qwiet Time, but now we all have our Hoomans home ALL DAY, there are xtra duties of regular checking up on them to be done. Our Hooman now spends day tappytapping away at desk, so we have to go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth… I always make sure Carniverus has not snuck onto Hooman lap without her noticing when it is my turn to check on her, even though Hooman moans that with me on lap she can barely reach keyboard (so?????), while Bird does Desk Patrol, and checks pencils still obeying gravity. If Hooman gets up, we escort her safely into kitchen, which is also chance to check on kitty-dish/crunchies situation, and Take Akshun, if needed.
End of Day sees Hooman on the sofa, writing to Monster in Merica. Soon as lap is free of annoying small tappytappy thing (kitten – we think – of big tappytappy thing on desk), it is ours, and sometimes we make it ours even if Hooman is still doing tappytappy on it, because it is also important Hooman understands Who Is Boss, which is me ow ow OW no OK Bird it is you.
And then we come to Most Important Part of Day, which is Kitty Play Time.
As every cat knows, best and faverit Kitty Play Time is when Hooman has brushed teeth and is just getting into bed, which is when you should charge into bedroom and leap onto bed to show her you are now ready for Play. Our faverit game is String, and way to play String is this: we hide under bed, behind quilt Monster bought, and Hooman trails String along carpet, making exciting chase noises as she does so, and then we Ambush. This always makes Hooman laugh, no matter how much moaning and complaining she may have done about wanting to put light off and go to sleep before. ‘You have entire Toy-Box of goodies,’ Hooman says, ‘and all you want to play with is a piece of string. You’re cheap dates, you two.’
And that, of course, is whole point of Kitty Play Time, and why no matter how much your Hooman may moan on about being tired, Play Time is Most Important Part of Day. Because when you do Play Time with a Hooman, you are showing them that no matter how squiggly it may get out there, some things will never change, and one is that when Hoomans do String, cats will always make them laugh. And that when they sleep, we will be there too – me draped over Hooman’s hip, and Bird on her head.