By Aviana PK guest writer Timian
There has been some discussions in cat circles lately on the benefits of keeping human beings as pets. Some cats have argued that to much work is involved, and that humans impede their freedom. Others say that human beings are useful because they work hard and are in general easy to train and keep clean.
I definitely belong to the latter group. And speak out of experience, having kept two human beings as pets since the fall of last year.
Per and Susanne are friendly creatures, they show strong affection towards me and my sister Basilikum and are in general good at performing the tasks required of them (the provision of food, litter box cleaning etc.).
If I have any complaint it must be that it is hard to get them to understand the concept of quality food. I am sure the dry pellets are good for my fur, but they taste like cardboard!
Anyway, I believe it would benefit some of my fellow cats if a shared my man keeping rules with them.
1. Be strict and consistent
Human beings are simple creatures and their instincts may drive them towards trying to restrict you freedom of movement. They may, for instance, try to stop you from walking on tables, scratching furniture and eating plants.
In my experience the proper response is be gentle, but strict. Make it totally clear that this is your preserve and that you decide. If you are persistent long enough, the human beings will give in.
Give them a hug when they give in. You can get a long way with some positive conditioning!
2. Communicate in a transparent manner
My human pets have clearly been around cats before, as they do — for instance — understand that narrow eyes signify a sense of satisfaction.
In other ways, however, they are totally inept at normal communication, which proves, in my opinion, that the human intelligence is not well developed. They are brighter than dogs, but then again, what animal isn’t?
They do, for instance, not understand that it is impolite not to sniff a behind when presented to them. On the other hand, I accept the explanation given by my sister Basilikum for the fact that they do not raise their own tails: The poor creatures do not have tails, and their unfortunate lack of fur forces them to cover their behinds in artificial skins.
Some philosophers have argued that human beings have a underdeveloped body language and a weak sense of smell because they are using sound for communication instead — very much in the same way as birds.
However, recent research goes against this theory. Hence Felix the Magnificent believes that their chattering is just a form of auditory grooming. He correctly points out that not one of the intelligent species we know of (cats, lions, leopards, pumas, lynx and tigers) make active use of noise for advanced communication, except for reining in kittens, warning enemies or attracting mates.
Hence restrict your communication to bodily contact.