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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)

TITLE: Feline Instruction Manual--Chapter 6
By Jan Ackerson


Chapter 6

In previous chapters, this instruction manual has discussed such topics as winning over your human being with Kittenish Cuteness, and suitable surfaces in the typical home for sharpening one’s claws. We turn now to the very essence of domestic Cat-i-tude: control of your human.

An obvious starting point is the matter of eating. Your human will try to control your meals by offering you foods from various cans and boxes. You must demonstrate that you are in control by refusing to eat all but one variety of cat food. Do not be tempted to try a new brand; that will give control back to your human. Stand firm. They will try to force you to eat their choice of food—often purchased simply because it was on sale (what a ridiculous reason!) You may hear them voice such sentiments as “Just leave it in the bowl. Kitty will eat when she gets hungry.”

Under no circumstances should you give in to such nonsense. You are in control. When your human goes near your bowl, practice the Pitiful Peep (discussed in Chapter 2) or the Miserable Meow. Soon you will be eating only the food that you have chosen. Of course, you retain the right to switch preferences at any time. Your human may have to be retrained each time you develop a new preference, but the effort will be worth it. If needed, feel free to supplement your diet with the occasional rubber band or piece of string.

Let us turn now to the subject of sleeping. It goes without saying that total control over all surfaces in the house belongs to you. As you know, there are times when in your desire for Feline Solitude, you will want to sleep in the basket that your humans have provided for you. That is all well and good—as long as the choice is always yours.

If you wish to sleep on a pile of warm, freshly folded laundry (oh, what bliss!), or on the dining room table, or in your human’s lap—even if it is already occupied—feel free to do so. Should there be an attempt to dislodge you, you have a few options. You may wish to show an indignant claw or fang. This strategy should be used sparingly, but the message is unmistakable, especially if accompanied by the Soft Hiss. Equally effective is the Affronted Look, followed by instantly reclaiming your place. Repeat these maneuvers until your human has yielded control to you.

Finally, there is the matter of attention. You should, of course, be the center of attention at all times—when you wish to be. When people are working in the kitchen, for example, an effective way to divert their attention from meal preparation to you is by winding in and out of their legs. (Caution: this maneuver should only be attempted by Cats who are fully in control of their tails). Humans usually find this quite irresistible. Similarly, a person who is occupied with the television will pay attention to you if you cutely rub your head on their slippered foot.

There are a number of equally charming attention-getters: batting game pieces with your paw, leaping onto the computer and playing with the cursor, and the Flop-And-Roll maneuver. These may all be used in combination with the Rumbling Purr or the Sandpaper Kiss. Again, keep in mind that you decide where and for how long your human pays attention to you.

This chapter has simply presented an overview of the ways that you may control your human. The intelligent Cat will apply these principles to other aspects of life as well: going outdoors and coming back in, choosing and rejecting toys, or treatment of strangers, for example. In the Appendix, you will read some Advanced Strategies, including an unpleasant but effective way to notify your human that you wish to have fresh Kitty Litter.

We close with an acronym to help you resist the temptation to yield control to your human:

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This article has been read 1893 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie OConnor02/06/06
Delightful! I'm a cat lover and you have them pegged. Great fun!
Kevin Kindrick02/07/06
You have me wanting to read the rest of the Cat manual! I, too, am a cat lover - always have been - and truly you do have them pegged to the "T!" Well-written, and thoroughly enjoyable. I needed a good laugh. Thanks for sharing.

God bless,

Kris St. James02/07/06
"In the Appendix, you will read some Advanced Strategies, including an unpleasant but effective way to notify your human that you wish to have fresh Kitty Litter."

Accident, my foot! I KNEW it!

Very funny.
Lynda Schultz 02/08/06
You must have met Abby and Lou. I am sitting on a hard wooden chair typing this because Abby simply is too cute, all curled up in a fuzzy ball in my comfortable padded office chair. Good job.
The Tornyn02/09/06
I loved this!! I can tell you are a big cat lover. Keep up the good work!
Georgiana Daniels02/10/06
How on earth did you think this up? What a creative idea! Please realize, this is a HUGE compliment coming from me, because I can't stand cats. Now I must slink away to the non-cat-loving part of the website.
Suzanne R02/10/06
Too cute!

I have a suspicion of who might have written this ... will have to wait and see if I'm right.

Excellent work.
Anita Neuman02/10/06
Too funny! Although now I have to keep my cats away from the computer because I do NOT want them reading this!
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/11/06
This was great! Just great! :-D
Laurie Glass 02/11/06
Absolutely delightful. When I started to read, I thought cats - what a perfect take on control. You had me smiling all the way through.
Joanne Malley02/11/06
This was so creative, Jan! Three cheers for this one! Meow, meow, meow!! Great work. :) Jo
T. F. Chezum02/11/06
Very good, too funny.
Cassie Memmer02/11/06
Purrr-fect! Loved this! I had two cats, now one, sob... My 20 year old kitty, decrepit as she was, decided to abandon the sunshine of the deck that was warming her hurting joints and never returned. My near 17 year old kitty is as obnoxious as ever. But, oh, how we love them, huh? I so enjoyed your entry!
Cheryl Harrison02/11/06
I loved this. But tell me... does the book include information about those furry el-catta terrorists that behave like alarm clocks.

We have two cats. The oldest is sixteen and spends most of his time sleeping. The youngest is two and spends most of his time attacking anything that moves. Every morning at approximately the same time, our youngest cat wakes us up by attacking our feet. We have prepared ourselves for this daily bombardment by making sure we have a lot of blanket coverage. He is so cute, but now I am wondering if he has a copy of this manual stashed under the bed.

Good job!
Lynda Lee Schab 02/11/06
Oh this piece is full of clever phrases and witty one-liners. Loved every word! Brilliantly crafted and wonderfully creative. I agree: this one was purrrrrfect. I hope it places. :-)
Linda Watson Owen02/11/06
Jan, this is the 'cat's meow' in humorour stories!! What a cute and creative entry! I'm still chuckling over this one as are all other readers who are owned by their cats! Haha!
You've got to send this to "cat Fancy" magazine. It was such a delight to read. Very well done!
Beth Muehlhausen02/12/06
Purrrrrr-fect! Delightful! Not to mention.....true. :-)
Jan Kamp02/13/06
Congratulations on being chosen! This is totally adorable and so typical of cats. Nice writing!
janet rubin02/13/06
Written by a woman who knows her cats! If I didn't know better, I'd accuse you of actually copying this out of a real cat's manual. Congrats. You most definately deserve this win!
Grace Sempa02/13/06
Very ingenious.
Congratulations on a well deserved win.
Betsy Tacchella02/13/06
This is cute,Jan...very creative.
Virginia Gorg02/13/06
Those of us with cats know how true this is! Clever.
Gwynn Turner02/13/06
Adorable! Big congratulations on this very well written and very TRUE piece.
Jennifer Waddell02/14/06
This is outstanding! My cat does the old "Flop and Roll" often. We call it the "Cute Kitty"
This is a genius idea! Let me know when the entire book is out - I want a copy!
Julianne Jones02/15/06
I'm not a cat lover but I adored this and want more! Congrats on a well-deserved win!
Val Clark02/15/06
Hiya Jan, what a great take on control - a cat's POV. It was the having to sit on the newspaper I've spread on the floor to read that used to 'kill' me. Funny isn't it that even though we know what the cat's doing, it still wins? A fun read. Yeggy
ann brown02/15/06
I really enjoyed your article on feline Instruction manual. it is refreshing and unique to observe the veiw of a cat's control over a human. I see it all the time with my brother's many cats. It's true!