I know I’ve been talking cats quite a bit lately, but what can you do? They’re such great subjects. Recently, I found that someone, who shall remain nameless, is failing at their job as servant to the almighty feline overlords. It’s me. That someone is me. I’m someone. Take note of the accompanying picture. This is Shaylee, one of my personal feline overlords, and she will remain locked in this very position, oozing contempt and staring at her water fountain until someone, like me, a trusty servant, turns it on. Even though she has a bowl of non-moving water right next to her heaping full bowl of food. But does that matter to her? Nope. I’ve heard some people say that it’s not good to leave big bowls of food out for your fur babies, but in the case of Shaylee, if it’s not full, she will annoy you until it is. Trust me on this.
Don’t even get me started on cat litter brands. A friend of mine was telling me that he tried a few times to switch cat litter brands, but his cat, Archie, wasn’t very keen on the idea. This orange bundle of joy decided that pooping in the bathtub would work much better than the new litter. While some people might think this cat was just being a dumb animal, perhaps his actions were far more genius than given credit for. Hear me out. Archie found a litter that he was very content doing his business in, it felt good on his paws, and didn’t have that overly perfume-y scent… but due to the lack of that product’s availability at the local store, his owner opted for a similar brand. Similar is not the same. Similar is different. Similar will not do. Archie checked it out, scratched it up a little, and then left. It wasn’t until the next morning that his owner was greeted by a fresh pile of cat poop while stepping into the shower. Well, at least it was in the shower, his owner thought, easy cleanup. Until it happened again that evening to his wife. That didn’t go over nearly as well. So, where’s the genius in this? Well, would you rather step in cat crap (or worse, be on the receiving end of your spouse’s rant about stepping in cat crap) or just drive the extra 20 minutes to get the litter your cat likes? That’s exactly what happened in this case, and needless to say, Archie got what Archie wanted. Dumb animal indeed.
Of course, I could have saved my friend a lot of grief if he had just reached out prior to making such an ill-conceived decision. I must say though, I’m impressed with his brave, albeit failed, attempt at asserting his … dare I say… ownership. Shaylee trained that out of me long ago.
Sometimes I think it may have been easier to raise kids than it is to keep these furry little hellspawns happy. For instance, Shaylee’s favorite place to be in the entire house is the bedroom. Unless the door is shut. Then, in that case, she wants to be in the living room. If nobody is present to act upon the ruling command of her highness, she will constantly rub up her paws against the door. Which is better than scratching it I guess, but it still produces a rather horrendously annoying sound. Think nails on a chalkboard but squeaky. Sometimes I just sit there and attempt to wait it out. However, my patience proves to be no match for Shaylee’s unrivaled determination. And I start thinking, “Hey, she won’t keep it up for long,” but time and time again, she proves me wrong. That god-awful noise will continue to resonate through the house until I answer the beck and call to let her out or in. And don’t even dare close the door after she leaves… or enters, depending on how this whole game started. Because the entire process will just start all over again. There are times when I sit down and think, she hasn’t noticed that the door is shut, maybe she’s occupying herself with other things or perhaps she’s conked out taking a cat nap, and I’m rewarded with a moment of precious quiet. No sooner do I start a project or, God forbid, put my feet up, then BAM! The infernal sound of Shaylee’s paws against the door pierces my ears once again.
Okay, so have you heard about the snack zone? Let me tell you about the snack zone. Cat treats are kept in a pantry aka closet. The cats know this. But then again, MY food is kept in the pantry as well. As are my towels (hey, it’s a small condo, mind your business). If you open the door to the pantry, a treat is required every time. Every. Time. I feel like I have to pay a toll just to get into the closet. It has crossed my mind to try and break the habit and just not give her a treat whenever I’m getting stuff out of the closet but then I get to thinking. As intuitive and intelligent as cats can be, it may not be in my best interest to mess with her demands. It’s maybe a vicious and unforgiving cycle, but I feel it keeps me in her good graces.
You know, people have been training animals for years but with cats, I sometimes wonder if they’re actually training us. Who am I kidding, they are definitely training us. And, if that is the case, I don’t want to do anything that puts me on Shaylee’s shit list.