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Life & How To Cat

In which the Little Furry Muse explains how we should all be more cat.

Layla has made her mark on this blog more than once, and she’s insisting that she be given her chance to shine again. Having ladled out life advice for cats and humans alike, she has some observations on human behaviour that she’d like to share with us.

I say humans, but really, it’s just me. She’s judging me. Which is what cats do, but she could be at least a little subtle about it.

Over to the little furry muse.

Are you listening, humans? I have prepared a presentation.

Greetings, inferior beings. I’m going to take this chance to enlighten you on a few things, in the hope that my human will also learn. I don’t hold out much hope, though. She’s terribly slow. (K: HEY!)

It seems to me that you two-leggers do dance around things an awful lot. You call it politeness and courtesy. I call it unnecessary. So let’s get a few things straight.

1. Hiding is okay.

No self-respecting cat feels social all the time, and if people are going to be pushy, you should feel free to hide under the couch. Or wherever it is you fit, since you’re all a bit over-sized. You get all wound up about being social, but do you do anything about it? No. I went and sat on the roof for half the night when more than the two permitted humans were in the house the other day. The Significant Human kept trying to get me back in, but I wasn’t having any of it. And did she join me when she got tired? Ha! Silly creature.

The roof is a viable option.

2. Respect your boundaries, and make sure others do, too.

I am a cat of advanced years, and before adopting the SH life was a bit rough. This means that I have no patience for fussing. I will allow the SH to pick me up once a day for a brief cuddle, and for the rest she knows to limit things to some petting and head rubs, strictly on my terms, of course. I am not comfortable with more than that, and I make this clear with a some assertive tail sweeps and, if pushed, an admonitory bite. If you don’t listen, on your own head be it. The SH tries to explain this to guests, so it’s really their own fault if they push things.

(K: The conversation tends to go like this:
“Best stop now, she’s had enough.”
“Oh, she’s just playing.”
“No, she’s not. You really need to leave her alone.”
“But she’s sweet really, you’re just – OW!”)

Observe as I discipline the human for failing to display correct petting etiquette.

3. Express your displeasure.

The SH, for reasons known only to herself (K: it’s called politeness, Layla), rarely makes a fuss when things don’t go her way. She sighs a bit, but then continues as if nothing is wrong, although I hear her muttering sometimes. She never seems to actually say, “I don’t like that,” even when, for example, there are people being loud outside her window when she’s trying to sleep. This is, of course, entirely her own fault as she sleeps at ridiculous hours, and always at night. Humans. Anyhow, if I were her size, I’d throw cans at them from the window. Or potatoes. I’m not sure what else potatoes are good for.

To demonstrate how you can be more proactive in expressing your displeasure, here are some real-life examples:

If I am bored with my food, I will stop eating until the SH provides a decent alternative.

If she insists on putting that stinking poison (K: flea treatment, Layla. Flea treatment. You don’t want fleas, do you? L: Don’t be vulgar, I never get fleas. K:…) on the back of my neck, I will retire to a high shelf and glare at her for at least two days.

If she buys the wrong sort of sand stuff for my indoor toilet, I will use the bathmat.

And if she will insist on sleeping past 5am and not responding to the gentle touch (K: ha!) of my paws on her face, I will fart on her pillow and leave.

Make your feelings clear, people. How else will you be relaxed enough to sleep all day?

You will not touch me with your poison drops.

4. Bring gifts to those you love.

The SH does her best, as does the Other Human. They can’t help that they will never be as beautiful, gifted and intelligent as cats (K: can I insert a face palm here?). I do love their big clumsy selves, and to show my appreciation I will on occasion bring them a nice mouse, or a lizard. These critters take some catching, and there is usually some bloodshed involved, but I persist and try to always bring them in alive, so my humans can learn a little about hunting. They normally jump around and shout a lot while they try to catch the gifts, so I feel they do understand how special these little gestures are.

However, they’re not very good at reciprocating. They keep bringing me fluffy mice and fake birds, stuffed with herbs. I know the real ones are tricky to catch, but they could at least try. It’s very lazy.

Eh. I suppose if they insist on buying toys, I can use them as pillows.

5. Look after yourselves.

You don’t sleep enough, particularly during the day. My humans spend all their time out, or rushing around, or tapping on the internet machine, then expect they’ll get enough sleep by lying down in one special room for about seven hours. That is not enough, and besides which everyone knows that night is the time for adventures and playing, not for sleeping. And what’s with the one room? How can you have slept properly if you don’t sleep in every room, every day?

Then there’s the matter of grooming – I never see the humans grooming themselves. They splash water all over the place instead, which I have to supervise closely in case they need rescuing. Worse than kittens.

They also never chuck up hairballs. I know they eat some odd varieties of grass, but it doesn’t seem to work very well. I hate to think of the amount of hair they must have in their tummies.

So, there we go, humans. Please try and emulate cats a little, and your lives will only be the better for it. You can contact me through my human with any questions, or to express adoration and send treats. You’re welcome.

Are we done here?

There you have it. Layla speaks, and I’m not sure all of it was entirely rubbish. What do you think? Kitty behaviours we should embrace or resist?

cats, Layla, life, life advice, the little furry muse

  1. A.S. Akkalon says:

    Layla is the wisest of the wise. I plan to spend the next half hour trying to cough up a furball.

    1. kimwatt says:

      She accepts your compliment graciously and reminds you that eating a little grass will help speed things along.

  2. Debbie Jinks says:

    Oh Layla have you been giving my cat lessons in how to drive us humans mad? You have, I know it. Doodie, our cat loves to sit on my chest and bat me round the chin to get me up….and yep at about 5am, if that doesn’t work the claws come out, that does work! She doesn’t fart thank goodness. The live little presents for us humans arn’t well received I’m a afraid, even though it’s very generous of you. It sounds like you keep K in order, poor girl!

    1. kimwatt says:

      Layla says that all cats have a duty to keep their humans well-trained, and if we learn a little along the way then that’s just to our advantage. She also says that you should be much more grateful to Doodie for providing you with exercise and entertainment while chasing her gifts…

      1. Debbie Jinks says:

        Layla, Doodie says thank you for sticking up for him. He also wants to know if you’re spoken for….cheeky bugger!

        1. kimwatt says:

          Layla is proud to be the champion of all little furry muses, when she’s not sleeping or eating. But she regrets to inform Doodie that she has kind of a thing with a certain black cat on twitter, although it’s all very long distance and she hasn’t heard from him in a while, so…

          1. Debbie Jinks says:

            Doodie said what catastrophe ?

  3. Anna Kaling says:

    Layla, so wise! Now I know why my Significant Cat watches me in the bath. I thought he was just a pervert.

    Now I’m going to have my worming tablet and rub my cheeks on the furniture.

    1. kimwatt says:

      Such aspersions to cast on Charlie when he’s only looking out for your safety!

      Don’t forget to groom yourself aggressively while making eye contact with a human.

  4. Lynda Dietz says:

    I missed my calling in life. I should have been a cat.

    1. kimwatt says:

      If we’re very, very good, maybe in our next lives…

  5. Heidi says:

    I love the photo with #3. It has me chuckling! Thanks Layla.

    1. kimwatt says:

      She nods gracefully, indicating acknowledgement of your gratitude…

      And yes, that’s her go-to spot when the flea treatment comes out!

  6. Cynthia says:

    Tell Layla that I aspire to sleep as much as a cat. But I do still stick to the one room. I have not yet mastered upchucking hairballs. Sigh. Such a poorly skilled human.

    1. kimwatt says:

      She shakes her little head in disappointment at the failings of humans. I think she’s working on the hairball one with me, considering how much hair she leaves on my pillow every night.

  7. Glen says:

    SH? Silly human? Byc agrees with pets when he approves only, which means he does NOT want to see fingers. I think he may have been attacked by an octopus in the past. Tho he is fond of laps, and pets are fine IF the approach from the back of his head. Otherwise there is always the SLASH,

    1. Kim says:

      Ha, quite possibly Silly Human, but I used to imagine it meant Significant Human, as in the One Who Provides Food … I do love how cats have such clear boundaries. Pets are by approval only, and we could all learn from them

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