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Training Days: On the Tactics and Strategy of Cats by ghostsniper

Subtlety is their weapon.

At first, you never see ’em, they prefer to be hidden in obscure places, watching. Observing. Recon.

Then once they have memorized your routines they start moving in. Very slowly. Hit and miss. They are still learning you but have moved everything up a notch.

Now a big step forward, the cat will jump up next to you and stand there. Waiting for you to recognize it. Will you shoo it away? Or will you welcome it with some baby talk, and maybe a soft touch? If the latter its job will be easy. If the former it has some more steps to take.

Once the cat has you trained to allow it inside your personal sphere it’s next step is to reduce the diameter of that sphere and inject itself fully inside it. This will start when it puts its hand on your leg. If you brush it away it has more work to do. If you don’t brush it away, shortly the other hand will follow. Then a foot. And another. Yes, a full-sized cat can balance on your one leg. But it won’t stay that way for long cause it’s wobbly. Cats require stability.

So while wobbling on your leg it turns the motor on and the purring sound starts working on your subconscience. As you go about your work on that keyboard you are only slightly aware of the additional weight on your leg. And that won’t do. No sirree. Cat’s don’t like to be ignored against their will.

It will raise, from it’s sitting position on your leg, up into the void between your belly and the edge of the desk. It will look at what has captured your attention. Becoming instantly bored with the nonsense on the monitor and not understanding how it can capture you so, it moves to save you from yourself.

The cat stands all the way up, between you and the desk, and with its hands on the desk and it’s motor running full speed, it will lean down and mock sniff your keyboard, intercepting your typing hands in the process, then stand tall again and turn and look at your face. Looking for a signal through squinty eyes.

No signal is a good signal and the cat starts rubbing the sides of its face on your shirt. You must smell like the cat no matter what. Always. And show physical evidence as proof. You keep typing around the cat the best you can even though you are misspelling and backspacing and correcting you continue on with your task. And that’s unacceptable to the cat.

The cat realizes that that keyboard is preventing its takeover and this means war, of the psychological kind. Suddenly your keyboard gets crowded, what with 2 more hands on it. Small furry hands. That don’t know how to type, but try none the less. More backspacing and correcting happens.

The cats shifts into high gear and it’s entire everything is now up and on the desk. Yes, that small strip of real estate in front of your keyboard had a “For Rent” sign on it that was only visible to cats, and now a “No Occupancy” sign has replaced it. That. Motor. Running. brrrddd…brrrddd….brrrr…ddd

So you resolve to just use the mouse to move around on websites until such time that the cat leaves. Silly fool. The cat is only just starting your take over. It sees that that, well, that “mouse” (blech) has captured some of your attention and well, guess what? What do cats do with mouses? Right. They subdue them.

You now have 2 hands on your mouse. Yours and a small furry one. And the furry one is insistent. It doesn’t like being a backseat driver. Then a 2nd furry hand is on that mouse, you are outnumbered. Now the padding starts. The cat thought the musculature of the back of your hand was tense so a massage was in order. Cats are excellent massagers, just ask em. This is a case of the massager getting more out of the massage than the massagee. If the cat has claws there may be blood. Get over yourself. If you don’t have hundreds of long linear healed cat scars on your arms, hands, and legs you must be a noob. In time my pretty, in time.

All of this activity, the planning, the slow advancement and takeover, and realizing your submission, has worn the poor little keekee out and nobody does nappy time like el Gato. Cats don’t put much effort in preparing a sleeping place, anywhere will do. And since it is right where it is, that is where the nappy happens. You look at the monitor and see that the right-click menu is open and the letter m goes across the screen line after line after line. Oh dear.

So you get up from your chair and put the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher then go start a load of laundry and make the bed and a whole bunch of other things that you’ve been neglecting and not once do you realize you have been owned and fully submitted to the very socialist nature of the invader of your heart. Now go dump, rinse, and refill its water bowl.

COMMENT ON: They said, “If you get a cat you’ll become obsessed.” I said, “Nonsense.” – American Digest

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sam L. February 17, 2019, 12:44 PM

    Now, THIS is funny! Not to mention, OH SO TRUE.

  • Marica February 17, 2019, 1:47 PM

    I so enjoyed this first time around. The photo of Olive is wonderful.

  • Foo Dawg February 17, 2019, 3:02 PM

    Who is training whom?

  • Gordon Scott February 17, 2019, 7:08 PM
  • Lance de Boyle February 17, 2019, 9:00 PM

    Cat as food critic.
    Sees curious mug of coffee. “Hmmm.”
    Dips tip of paw, sopping up an ounce or two. Smells paw.
    Makes disgusted face. Shakes paw at lightning speed.
    Spray in your face.
    Leaps off table, muttering foul oaths.
    “Cheap bastard. Not even CLOSE to cream. Wheh wheh errr WHEH!”

  • Jewel February 18, 2019, 5:07 AM

    I would love to be able to teach my cats how to use a nail file like that.

  • BarbaCat February 18, 2019, 7:48 AM

    This is so good!

  • H February 18, 2019, 9:55 AM

    One of the absolute best books to come out of Viet Nam is The Cat From Hue by correspondent John Laurence. He writes about other things in the book of course, but his relationship with the kitten he picked up during the battle for Hue in 1968 threads its way thru the book and is beyond superb; it is a story for the ages.

  • Anonymous February 18, 2019, 11:40 AM

    My daughter has a cat named Kitty. Neither she nor her husband nor her two little boys can let it without getting clawed. Their purpose it to provide food and shelter, not companionship, which Kitty seeks only from me… Grandpa. When Kitty’s family goes away, Kitty stays at our house, under the bed, coming out only to eat and terrorize our own pets. Kitty has one amazing talent. She uses the toilet, including flushing afterward! Once I left the toiled in her preferred bathroom “unflushed” after use. Kitty flushed if before using it, and then left it unflushed… I learned my lesson!
    Kitty has the habit of jumping up on my lap as I use the computer, placing one paw on each of my shoulders and putting her face directly in front of mine.

    Out of all the people in the two households, I am the only one who hates cats!

  • ghostsniper February 18, 2019, 1:39 PM

    Cats ain’t dogs.
    If you think they are you will be disappointed, that’s YOUR fault.
    Try to force food on a dog, you can’t, it will eat everything you try.
    Try to force food on a cat, you can’t, it will refuse everything you force on it.
    Food, water, luh.
    Unless it does.
    It’s mostly a one sided affair, in the beginning.
    With patience, a LOT of patience, you can flip the tables.
    Only after you have demonstrated how ever much patience is required, and it varies with every cat, will you have won.
    Give a dog a single biscuit and it will be your friend for life.
    Sit a bowl of the best cat food money can buy down there and the new cat still won’t give you the time of day.
    They ain’t dogs.
    Make cheap food and water and a litter box available to the cat everyday and in time it may want to become your friend. But don’t push it. The cat must make all the decisions.
    The dog will give a hundred second chances but the cat doesn’t need you like you think it should. It’s ready to light out on it’s own right now and it won’t look back.
    Let it find you, cause you will never force it.
    A loving cat is a reward that is bought with patience.

  • Haxo Angmark February 18, 2019, 3:34 PM

    2 cats are better than one…

    if only because both will spend some time in territorial and other disputes,

    instead of interfering with the human roommate’s life. As is,

    the 12 lb. orange tiger continually drapes itself over my shoulders when I’m at the computer.

  • David John Wendt February 18, 2019, 5:37 PM

    Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

  • ghostsniper February 18, 2019, 6:37 PM

    Did you know that all orange cats are males?
    Not the dreamsicles, orange (Garfield types).
    All Torties are females.
    There’s your Cats 101 lesson for the day.
    Don’t mention it.

  • jwm February 18, 2019, 7:00 PM

    What is it with cats and computers? I am not kidding. The Skinamalink just jumped up and trashed this post as soon as I started typing. He had three lines of brackets done before he jumped off the desk and split. You swear they know…


  • PA Cat February 18, 2019, 8:26 PM

    What is it with cats and computers? I am not kidding.

    My Casey comes running as soon as he hears the audio of a baseball video on MLB.com. He doesn’t go for the keyboard, though, just for my lap. I guess that’s what happens when you name a cat after the “Ol’ Perfessor.”