#1 Stop waking mom at 5AM.
Once, just once, I needed to be up that early. But the memory of that morning is engraved in their minds and now 5 is the new 7. Rise and shine mom, it’s time to eat!
#2 Eat at their own food bowls.
Why is this so hard? Why must I stand there every morning like a policeman on patrol? Don’t’ they understand every moment is precious when I’m trying to get out the door?
#3 Stop fighting!
For Chrissakes, you’ve all lived here for years and years. Work it out.
#4 Stop peeing in the plants.
The Ficus doesn’t like it and neither do I.
#5 Vomit on the tile floor, not the carpet.
I have one carpet in the house. One. And they’re drawn to it like white on rice.
#6 Keep off the dining room table when guests come to dinner.
Not everyone thinks it’s adorable when Atticus licks the butter.
#7 Stay off the roof of the car.
Oyster shell encrusted paw prints are not attractive on a blue car. Or a silver one, or a green one, or… You get the idea.
#8 Eat the same food two days in a row.
Just when I think I’ve found the magic formula, they turn their noses up at it. How many half-eaten cans of food can one refrigerator hold?
#9 Stop sleeping on mom’s face.
Remember that old wives’ tale about cats smothering babies? I think Atticus is trying to kill me.
#10 Stop staying out all night.
Only I’m allowed to do that.
TEN REASONS WHY THESE RESOLUTIONS ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP
#1 Cats are crepuscular. That means they hunt in the early morning and late evening. It’s their natural circadian rhythm. So it’s ingrained in them to eat early.
#2 The grass is always greener. It is for us, and it’s true for them. We covet what we don’t have. And, cats spend a lot of time hunting. The “prey” in one area may be different from the “prey” in another, and they have to check it out.
#3 There will always be a pecking order. Youngsters strive to assert their dominance and pariahs exist in the pack. I have 3 cats and my young Turk is trying to edge out the old guy. The peevish female always gets chased. It’s how it is in the jungle and it’s how it is in Worton.
#4 Cats have substrate preferences when it comes to their elimination habits. My cats prefer to urinate and defecate outside in loose soil. If there’s snow, or if they can’t get out, they seek alternatives. Though I do have litterboxes, clay is not their first choice of substrate. It doesn’t feel right under their toes. Also, occasionally, the pariah’s path is blocked by the bully, so she can’t always get to the box.
#5 Did you hear what I just said about substrate preferences? Same at both ends.
#6 Gotta be consistent. Can’t say it’s ok one day and not ok the next. Plus, cats can be trained to stay off tables and counters, by using double-sided sticky tape, repellants like citrus room air fresheners which are noxious to them, or ssscat compressed air devices.
#7 Cats like heights. They need to survey their territories. Vertical spaces like perches and kitty condos should always be provided to indoor cats as they give them a sense of control over their environment.
#8 Cats like variety in their diets just like we do. Canned food is infinitely more preferable than dry (fewer calories, fewer carbs) so always keep a selection of canned food available.
#9 Cats rub up against us to mark us as friends. By rubbing people with their scent glands, they’re labeling us as preferred associates.
#10 All kidding aside, keep your cats in at night. We’re in a Rabies epidemic, and there are beasties out there who could eat them up.
Celeste Conn, VMD
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