Seven Habits of Highly Effective Cats
(by Messybeast)


While normal Cat Logic dictates that sitting on a sleeping human should actually get them up, it all-too-often gives them an added excuse to lie in bed a little longer - on the pretext of "not disturbing the cat". On the other hand, dancing, treading, kneading and generally fidgeting on your human's early morning full bladder, will invariably get him or her out of bed. All you then have to do is to ensure they stay out of bed!


Once your human is up and about, attach yourself to his or her ankles as they go about their tasks. Your side or tail must remain in contact with his or her ankle at all times. This has the following effects:

a) Wherever they go, you go - thus ensuring nothing is hidden from you.
b) You are demonstrating your devotion and attachment
c) If he or she treads on you, you can exploit their guilt
d) It says, loud and clear, "I need something!" - it's then up to you to identify what exactly it is that you need.

Take care that you don't trip your human - it is a wise precaution to temporarily detach yourself from ankles while he or she negotiates stairs.


While this may sound like teaching your grandmother to catch mice, it is a fact that contented throaty purring is irresistible to most humans. Make it evident that your human is the source of your contentment and the reason for your ecstatic purring. Purring while snuggling is one of the most powerful combinations known to cats. However, if you also knead while purring, keep those claws sheathed - a few painful punctures can undo several hours' worth of purring in all but the best-trained human.


Never underestimate the power of looking cute! Wide eyes and pricked ears and whiskers with your head cocked slightly to one side is almost guaranteed to provoke the "oooh" reaction, especially from younger members of the household. Learn from kittens - they frequently get away with all manner of misdeeds on the strength of being unspeakably cute. Mature cats should, of course, avoid misdeeds (as far as is felinely possible), but accidents can and do happen. Many a canny cat has avoided chastisement by simply being "too cute to be cross with".


Another often overlooked tactic is mewing. It's not just for youngsters! Properly employed, it can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal. The key is proper intonation. Loud, raucous or demanding mews will get you nowhere except in an emergency. Soft, medium pitched and polite, combined with the wide eyes and cocked head of "Looking Cute" is far more effective. Many cats develop a complete vocabulary of mews which range from plaintive through to cheerful greeting. Then of course there is the famous "silent meow". Pitched too high for human hearing, it gives the impression that you simply can't find words to express your emotion or need. Humans find that practically irresistible.


Most humans have an innate love of neatness and order which a cat can quickly learn to exploit. Even when they themselves are untidy in their household habits, they are quick to admire neatness in others. Exploit this by sitting pretty. Sit to attention, that is sit up straight with all four paws in a line and close together (as far as is possible according to your body shape) and curl your tail around to lie over your front paws. Whether you are simply dozing or are concentrating, this posture is greatly admired by neat-minded humans. Combined with "Looking Cute" it is a powerful weapon.


In this respect, tailless or bobtailed cats will be at a disadvantage while those gifted with long fur will have an added advantage. It is well known by cats that humans are not too good at reading our more subtle tail signals. However, most of them can recognise the upright, slightly a-quiver tail of greeting. Take care that it cannot be mistaken for spraying - a trait they dislike greatly, being cursed with a poor sense of smell unable to appreciate scent messages. Practice tail fluttering when greeting your human, when being fed and when ankle surfing. If possible, practice walking, trotting and bounding (to greet your human) with tail aloft.

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