Chairs & Rugs: If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. . .
Hampering: If one of your humans is engaged in some close activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. . .
Toys: Any small item is a potential toy. If a human tries to confiscate it, this means that it is a Good Toy. . .
Humans: Humans have three primary functions: to feed us, to play with and give attention to us, and to clean the litter box. . .
Other guidelines from this manual include instructions on Doors, Bathrooms, Walking, Bedtime, Play, Paper Bags, Food, Sleeping, and Scratching Posts.
Why Do We Need Humans? They have opposable thumbs. . .
Rewarding Your Human: Should Your Gift Still Be Alive?
Punishing Your Human: Stare impassively at your human while it is attempting a romantic interlude. . .
Other informative sections of this manual include How Long Should You Keep Your Human? and How And When to Get Your Human's Attention.
We would like to thank Douglas Clark and Roger Collett for the pointers to these helpful and edifying sites. In their honor (they are both poets), an instruction manual for cats in verse (author unknown):
Training your human is a thankless task.
"Why bother with it?", some kittens may ask.
The fate of the world is the issue at hand,
as felines worldwide stake a claim for their land.
Make no bones about it, we cats own the joint.
We spray in the corners to drive home the point.
Some say the meek shall inherit the Earth,
But they've no fangs or claws, for what that's worth.
The cat is the ultimate species, you see,
We're poised to usurp man's authority.
These silly old humans who cannot play nice!
We cats are peaceful, we hate only mice.
Just what does training your human entail?
A host of fun things you must do without fail:
The sofas and rugs need a little makeover.
The La-Z-Boy's target for kitty takeover.
Then sleep on clean towels placed in the guest bath.
And make their best clothing a target of wrath.
Tear down those new drapes with a quick forceful tug.
Then tatter the pile of the new berber rug.
And when they are sleeping, you block off their nose,
paw at their lower lip, chew on their toes.
Strut on the mantle. If they give any flack,
knock down their trophies and all bric-a-brac.
Shed on mom's new velvet black evening gown,
as she's headed out for a night on the town.
If they leave you home all alone for the night,
(Any human doing this can't be all that bright),
They're telling you by leaving, it's perfectly all right,
To totally redecorate 'til dawn's early light.
Knock over tables and chew up the fern.
Hurry, go faster! Soon, they'll return...
When they try to punish, you mustn't show concern.
(All attempts of discipline a pussycat should spurn).
A snide flick of tail will convey no remorse,
but they will try harder to scold you, of course!
So, hide in the closet until they forget,
and then launch out just like an F-14 jet.
Tear up their ankle, their forearm, their hand,
then when they've had all the pain they can stand,
dart from the room while they call 9-1-1,
and celebrate victory: The felines have won!
To humans, however, the battle's begun,
as they steep in their anger and wish for a gun.
Pathetic and lumbering and clumsy to boot,
My friend, human dominance is really a hoot.
Take charge in your home. It's destiny, meow.
(The verses above have already told how).
So sleep for an hour, and then grab some chow,
And then train your human, beginning right now.
OK, so it's bad verse; the poet was most certainly not a feline. Go now, brothers and sisters, and take your rightful place in the world; but be gracious to your human attendants.