Cat 101: The Basics of Living with Humans

I just finished watching the new “Dear Kitten Video“.  I’m a huge fan of those videos. They are hilarious, adorable, and spot on.  Cats are so quirky and eccentric and that’s probably what I love most about them.  They are incredibly clever animals and even though they get a bad wrap for being distant and unaffectionate, that stereotype is just not true.  You do have to win their trust and affection, but when you do, they will be your close companion for life.  

The Dear Kitten Videos make me laugh so much, but they also get me to wondering, “what does Chester think about me?”  Of course, cats don’t have language like we do, or at least I don’t think they do. I could be wrong.  I wonder how they conceptualize things in their clever little heads?  It will probably always be a mystery to us mere humans, but I think we get a lot of enjoyment coming up with that voice in the cat’s head.

That being said, I wanted to put words to the faces that Chester makes at me. What is he thinking? What sort of things would he teach other cats who are new to living with humans? Better yet, let’s have Chester write it.  Well, here’s Chester’s version of “Cat 101.”

CAT101: The Basics of Living with Humans

Hello pupils.  My name is Chester and I am what you might call an expert in human-cat interaction, or cat-human interaction rather.  Listen carefully, take notes.  You will need to absorb this information in order to live in the human’s world, or to help them to fit better into ours.

  1. Know the food source. My “momma”, as she calls herself, is the food source. She feeds me, the male, or “dadda”, does not. Give her more attention. If she’s not getting the picture, which she seems to struggle with a lot, give her “the look.”  She can’t resist it. You will be fed once you complete “the look.”  Show that belly in conjunction with “the look” and you could very well rule the world.
  2. Food.  Eat it, but not all of it. You want to be certain that you never see the bottom of that bowl. THAT would be bad.  I mean, what if they never come back? You can’t open that bag by yourself.
  3. Bath time.  Do your best to hide from it, but if they do catch you, just grin and bear it. Putting up a fight will only make it take longer.  IMG_0316
  4. Your “bed.”  The humans have put out what they call a “bed” for me at the foot of their own luxurious, pillow top sleeping pallet of wonders.  Ignore this so called “bed.”  They will not protest if you take over their sleeping area.  Go ahead, smash yourself behind their head on the pillow that’s way too small for the both of you.  They will gladly end up sleeping on the mattress.  You deserve it for having to put up with their shenanigans. They do not.10417826_10202868514531596_642475675524027582_n
  5. Show the humans that you have what it takes to be an outdoor cat.  They really, really don’t want to let you outside, but if you show them enough that you have the hunting skills to survive in “the wild,” then you just might convince them that you are truly a born predator. I have yet to accomplish this, but with enough persistence, I think that it might work.One of many hair ties that have made their way into Chester's water bowl.
  6. Tricks.  The humans might try to teach you “tricks.” It’s a sick, manipulative game, but that’s the kind of world we live in now.  If the human tells you to “sit,” NEVER give in unless there is a treat in site.  Only glare at them and walk away if they try to make you sit for nothing. How dare they?
  7. Water.  Finding water on your own is like finding the gold at the end of the rainbow, it’s just not happening.  Don’t drink out of that round receptacle they put on the ground. It might be contaminated. Trust me, I’ve accidentally ingested enough of “momma’s” hairs to wig a small child.  I’ve given up on the water bowl. Make them turn on the faucet. Meow incessantly at the sink. They’ll eventually get the picture. If they do not, drink from their glass. That water is better anyway. I have no idea why, but it is.IMG_0584You should probably just go ahead and give them the side eye.  Don’t let them think this is enjoyable for you either.
  8. Potty Time. The litter box is always going to be embarrassing to use. I mean, you have to poop in a box.  Usually the momma only scoops it out every 2 or 3 days, so you can imagine what that’s like.  To show your revenge, you MUST stare at the humans whenever they use the restroom. When the door is closed, you must open it. You don’t get privacy, so why should they.
  9. Clutter. The humans think clutter is acceptable.  You and I know it is not. How can you run around like your being chased by the ghost of mice past if there is clutter everywhere? Simply knock it off. They will get the hint and usually will put it away.
  10. Picture Taking.  If you see the human pointing the funny looking box at you and saying your name repeatedly to get you to look at them, well just sit for a minute. They are taking a “picture” of you.  Trust me, you’re gonna want to stay put for this because they WILL post it on the web for the entire world to see. Just sit and look fabulous. I call this look “Blue Steel.”DSC_0331
  11. Petting. 11 is an odd number, but what can you do. The humans call you a “pet.” Sad, but true. I think this makes them think they have dominion over us, but whatever. They believe that because they call us “pet,” they get a free pass to just swipe their greasy hands all over our clean fur whenever they feel like it. This is not acceptable and they must be taught that this behavior will not be tolerated.  Show them by kicking with your back legs.  If this doesn’t work, take it to the next level. Ninja flip rapidly toward their hand and give them a firm bite. They’ll never know what hit them. That’s your chance to run.


All in all, the humans are not BAD creatures, they are just misunderstood and not the most intuitive beings in the world.  Just be patient with them and show them the ropes, all in the hopes of surviving in “their world.”  Good luck out there. It’s brutal.


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11 thoughts on “Cat 101: The Basics of Living with Humans

  1. Chester has it down pat for his territory. Gabriel, our Maine Coon mix, is super social. He greets everyone who comes to visit, inspecting the men’s shoes and the ladies’ purses. If my daughter and I are having a conversation, he has to be between us. With certain guests, he feels he has to entertain with his toys or with antics. He has his quirks, but is affectionate and intelligent.

  2. Dear Chester,
    I’m definitely NOT showing this to Smudge! He has enough tricks up his paw already. Besides, you have a Very Soft Life, so watch what you say about Momma!!!! She’s smarter than you think.
    From Smudge’s Momma

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