Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Kitty Contract

Dear Kitty Cats,

This is your mother speaking. Your human mother. You may have noticed lately that I’ve been speaking in loud, angry tones whenever you enter a room. You may have seen me making violent gestures toward you with a squirt bottle full of water. You may have even noticed that you’ve been spending more and more time locked in the bedroom in a kitty time-out than you’d probably like to. This is not the kind of relationship I had hoped that we would have. The relationship I had envisioned involved a whole lot more submission and cuddly cuteness on your part and a whole lot less frustration and cleaning up kitty messes on my part.

I am willing to admit, however, that perhaps I wasn’t clear enough explaining the house rules to you when I so lovingly and selflessly rescued you from certain death at the shelter. So, in the interest of fairness, I will again, tell you the conditions to which you must adhere to if you are to continue to remain a cherished and loved member of our family.

You may not become obnoxious and loud in the morning before the family wakes up. You may not howl your death meow, scratch the door, repeatedly run over the top of the bed as fast as you can or tickle my face with your whiskers while you purr loudly and stare at my face before my alarm goes off. You may quietly sleep on the end of the bed in such a manner that will not hinder any movement of my legs during the night. And this coming under the covers halfway through the night, lodging yourself between the husband and me and then stretching out as far as you can must stop immediately. At night, when the family goes to bed, you must also be silent. You may not, under any circumstances, use this time to work out your little kitty squabbles. Now is not the time to screech or growl at each other, nor is it time to pull out each other’s fur and leave it all over the floor for me to pick up in the morning.

You may only eat your own food. You may not wolf down your food and then attempt to steal another cat’s food. Likewise you may not eat my food. You may not steal my food from the pan in which it is cooking, the counter that I have temporarily left it on or the plate that I put it on. And most importantly, you may not eat my food from my fork as I attempt to put it in my mouth. And as a side note, you may not lick my mouth after I have eaten my food. Yes, even if I have just eaten salmon or chicken or popcorn. You may help yourself to any food or crumbs dropped on the floor. In fact, if you could make a twice daily clean up trip around the kitchen baseboards and underneath the boy’s chair that would be most helpful.

You may not climb inside of any appliances. The dryer, washer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher are all off limits to kitties. You might also want to stay off of the top of the stove too. As you well know, it takes a long time for burn blisters to heal. Also, you may not stick your paws inside the toaster. Chasing the toast as it pops out of the toaster is also forbidden. You may not remove the crock pot lid when I’m not in the room and you should not put your paw in the hole in the lid of the running blender. You should only climb in the kitchen cabinets if you are sure you can open the door again to get out. If you find yourself stuck for some length of time in a cabinet, do not think you can take a nap inside the mixing bowls. And I would stay out of the drawers altogether. Having to flatten yourself up against those knives last time looked a bit uncomfortable.

The only place you may claw and scratch is on your scratching post. The carpet, furniture, screen doors and fireplace screen are not approved for scratching. You must also retract your claws when sliding down the stairway banister, chasing the cursor on the computer monitor or climbing out of the bathtub after you’ve fallen in. Please remember that if you attempt to help me tie my shoes your paw will sometimes get tied up as well. I would also appreciate it if you would stop moving the wireless antenna on the back of the computer, stop lying on my magazine when I am trying to read it, and stop sticking your head between my legs when I am on the toilet. Also, your help is no longer needed painting the bedroom. I’m sure have enough to do cleaning the paint off your paws, your tail and your newly highlighted whiskers. I’ll be busy scraping a painted kitty paw print trail off of the dresser, nightstand and headboard.

Finally, I wanted to remind you that your kitty litter should, at all times, remain inside the litter box. All deposits you make should be covered up immediately. And never, ever think that you may make any deposits outside of your litter box. I don’t know what your fascination is with peeing in the sink and pooping in the bathtub but you are ordered to stop those behaviors immediately.

I would like to end our conversation by thanking you for some of the good things you have done. Every time you knock a picture frame over it shakes off a little dust, making it just a little longer before I need to dust them again. I want to thank you for howling to me every time that neighbor cat invades our yard and tries to poop in my flowers. I almost chased her off last time. Thank you for hunting, killing and eating all of the bugs that somehow make it in the house. It's so much handier and more pleasant than doing it myself. And of course, I want to thank you for climbing on my chest last night and licking the tears off my face. It was a sad time and you, somehow, made everything just a little bit better.

Love, Mom


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1 comment:

tom_chillin_in_cali said...

another fun wake up call: massage to the armpit with claws extended, loud purring, smacking of chops, and staring