As a cat, the author of this book has much advice and wisdom to share with felines and humans, alike. Humans do, after all, have a purpose in this world: providing high-quality cat food, both wet and dry, as well as the Minimum Daily Cat Requirement of petting (no less than two hours), and a good Sleep Environment including comfortable chairs, couches, beds, countertops, and a variety of floor surfaces. Carpeting is required not only as an Essential Sleep Option, but also for puking on.
This wise and wide-ranging book contains detailed tips from Cleopatra J. Cat to her fellow felines, including such useful chapters as “Basic Sleeping,” “Intermediate Sleeping,” “Dogs: Why?” and “Humans: Smarter than Birds, Not as Smart as Dolphins.”
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
In this introductory chapter we will only be discussing the most elementary techniques. You must walk, my kittens, before you can fly.
In your Intense Regular Nap you may opt for a Favorite Nap Location, but then you're limited by it. Suppose some careless human has put something down in your Favorite Nap Location? Then what? My advice is: Be flexible. This cat has clearly flopped down on a Location of Opportunity, and is enjoying an Intense Regular.
Our next cat is demonstrating the Plain, or Uncomplicated Nap.
Here is another Basic Napping Position:
We call this the Relaxed Afternoon. It appears that this cat is not alert, but she is quite capable of quickly and suddenly ripping her claw across the face of an intruder, any species at all. So be warned. Any cat should be able to throw a Relaxed Afternoon at any time of the day or night.
Hazards in the Way of Your Peaceful Naptime
A few unpleasant things to watch out for — not major threats, just nuisances to be aware of:
1. Vacuums — This horrible human invention does nothing special except make a lot of noise. Obsessive humans don't realize that any time you clean the floor, it just gets dirty again, so they spend a huge portion of their lives trying to present an ideal perfect floor with no natural elements. And because they are too lazy to clean anything themselves, they invent loud, obnoxious machines to do it for them. If you come across one of these beastly things (and you will), just try not to completely freak out. Get as far away from it as possible, but it won't do you any harm. Trust me, I have seen them all: the big bulky ones, the little dust busters, these new ones that drive themselves around the floor — I've been to battle with each and every one, and in the end, all that happens is I lose sleep. So, lose sleep you will, but that's about all.
2. Toddler humans — These are nasty creatures, apt to pull and yank at any part of your body they can get a hold of. The babies are alright — they can't do much harm — but the toddlers are really sociopathic. They get pleasure in their size advantage and will make tormenting you as you nap one of their top priorities. The good thing is, they don't really know their own strength and are really just big scared oafs. Give 'em just a quick little warning bite, and they will go running to mommy. "OOOOOO, I'm so scared, the cat bit me!!! Mommy!!!" It's pathetic.
3. Slightly older children — The problem here is that they can and will pick you up. Observe:
This insolence will not be forgotten. You will pay for it someday, human, when you least expect it.
4. Lists — Lists are things that humans make, not cats, so in honor of this, I will not continue to work on this list anymore, and will instead take just a lil nap.
Okay, I'm back, did you miss me? That was refreshing — now, where were we? Right — nuisances. Let's talk about something related but slightly different — places we can get stuck! Yes, you will want to be very vigilant about climbing into, or attempting to nap in certain places in the house because, all of a sudden, these places can get closed off, and you can be there for a long time.
1. Closets — Yes, they are full of lots of strange things that are fun to explore. They are dark, mysterious, and downright irresistible. But, keep your ears alert, if a human comes near a closet and you are too deep in there to react, the door might get shut, and it can be a real waste of a day!
2. Garages — Again, full of fun things, maybe even mice and bugs to chase around, but if that garage door starts to close, you better be running because garages are not fun places to spend a week — trust me, I know.
3. Drawers — Great place to curl up for a nap. Oftentimes you can find a snuggly sweater or pajamas, which are great nap discoveries. But if you get yourself too buried in there, and a careless human closes the drawer, it can be a real hassle. Once again, speaking as one who has been there and back.
4. Lists — Did I mention that we don't do lists? Right, so don't get stuck in one. As soon as you feel you are done with this list, go take a nap, as I will do myself at this time.
That was refreshing. Back to illustrative photos. This next picture illustrates a typical situation: a dog is sleeping where a cat needs to sleep.
Our next cat has taken charge of a human bed, and must not be disturbed. If humans want to sleep in the bed, they can do that only if they find a way to arrange themselves elsewhere in the bed so the cat doesn't have to move.
And what do you think this cat is thinking?
We will now take a short break for an impartial review of this book so far.
So far, this book is a big snooze! There's certainly nothing here that would interest a cat. A dog, maybe. A human? Who knows what interests a human? A telephone directory could interest a human.
Some Questions and Answers
Q: What's the best thing to sharpen claws on?
A: Furniture is the best. A case can also be made for curtains. A lace curtain, in particular. It's possible to jump fairly high up on a lace curtain, then ride it down with all four claws extended into the fabric. There isn't much actual sharpening going on here, but the overall experience is thrilling.
Q: Is there another photograph of a cat and some curtains?
Q: What about those claw-sharpening posts they have at pet stores?
A: Those are no good. For one thing, half the fun of claw sharpening is that you're doing it on something you're not supposed to be doing it on. To sharpen on a post specifically designed for this purpose is undignified.
Q: Are there any cat toys available in pet stores that are fun to play with?
Q: What about the cloth mice with the little bells on them?
Q: Even the ones with catnip in them?
A: Those are better, but catnip shouldn't really be inside anything where you can't get to it. You should be able to roll around in it freely.
Q: How about the fishing-rod things with a feather suspended from it?
A: Better than the make-believe mice, but not as good as a string, and nowhere near as good as a ball of yarn that a human is trying to knit with. You can not only get the yarn, but also unravel the knitting. This is what play is all about. Play is spontaneous, it is not planned, and has nothing whatsoever to do with things humans buy in pet stores.
Oh, and by the way, human: thinking of buying me the $249 litter box shaped like a toilet? Don't do that. I won't use it. Instead, I will piss and crap on your kitchen floor until you get rid of it.
Q: Specifically what kind of furniture is best for claw sharpening?
A: Anything that shreds is good. Sometimes a wood chair is acceptable, particularly if it's a very valuable antique because you can scratch right into the wood. But a rule-of-claw is that there should be some kind of upholstery going on so you can rip it up, which is satisfying all by itself, but also really helps with the sharpening.
Q: What about clothes?
A: Clothes can be satisfying as well, especially the more expensive kind. Dresses are among my favorites, also scarves. There's a gratifying ripping sound that the clothes make as you rip them.
Q: Won't the humans be angry?
A: Yes, and that's why it's a good idea to arrange to be someplace else when they discover the shredded clothes. If they can't find you, the anger dissipates, and there's time for them to adjust, and also wonder if maybe it was the dog that did it. Probably the dog did do it. Definitely.
Q: About the humans: sometimes there are humans who don't like cats. What can we do about them?
A: Many things. For example, if you have identified a human cat hater, find her bed, go there, and puke on her pillow.
Q: Is there anything else you can do?
A: Yes. Gradually work your way back into their good graces. Eventually, you will find your way into their lap. Crawl up into it, purr enchantingly, and when their defenses are down, pee. Maybe not quite as satisfying as puking on their pillow, but close. Very close.CHAPTER 2
Bring it on, Fido.
Bring. It. On.
If it is your misfortune to have to share a home with a dog, there are a few consolations. The main one is that a dog does have a limited amount of entertainment value, but only if you can watch it from someplace a dog can't get to, like a shelf.
Simply knock whatever's on the shelf off it to create the necessary space for you to position yourself there. The dog won't like the fact that you're up where he can't get to you, so he'll bark or whimper and jump around, which will make it easier for you to blame the dog for all the broken ceramics or whatever you had to sweep off the shelf to make the space available. A blank stare is all that's required while you watch the pathetic dog spectacle below. Maybe throw in a yawn and stretch. Drives them crazy.
Certainly life would be simpler and more peaceful if dogs did not exist. They serve no useful purpose. But humans want them around for unknown reasons. Maybe it's because dogs are so brilliant they worship humans. Seriously, they think their humans are gods.
It's too bad that we require humans to provide our food and Nap Locations. But you don't want to make an emotional connection with a human, or really any other animal, or even any other cat. A détente is possible, kind of like a treaty, but you can break it when you feel like breaking it.
It would be better if we got to select our humans rather than the other way around. But maybe "There aren't many differences between them." so really it makes little difference. The best you can hope for is a human who doesn't already have or will not ever get a dog. And a human who keeps your litter clean. If your litter is not kept clean, a little present left near but not inside the litter box will serve as a reminder.
A Review of The Dogma of Rufus
Speaking of dogs, a "colleague" of mine has written a guide to life for dogs. The Dogma of Rufus, by Rufus, an Old Dog. This book is almost unreadable and wrong in so many ways. Apart from the profoundly unsophisticated understanding of cats displayed in the book, the basic premise seems to be that that the central goal of life should be to obtain human food. As far as I can tell, this rambling, two-hundred-some page book is basically just a step-by-step guide to how to obtain their gastroobsession.
I think where Rufus and I can agree is that the human food is interesting. At times, it can be different, tasty, and exciting. But it is hardly something to spend your life pursuing. I believe a far more meaningful life should be based around sleep. Rufus does touch on the subject of sleep, but his overwhelming distraction by human food makes it impossible for him to develop the theme completely.
In conclusion, this is a very terrible, not good at all book, which no species should read. But, what really could you expect from a dog?
More Thoughts about Dogs
It is quite likely that Rufus's misreading of a meaningful life goes beyond Rufus himself as a thinker, and extends to the entire dog population. I fear that a vast majority of dogs are under the veil of this very same human food mania, to the extent that they can barely see the good things life offers.
Dogs are very pathetic creatures. They have no pride or self-respect. Think about it — all the whimpering and begging that dogs do for human food, it's truly shameful. Cats do not beg. We are given food at the appropriate times, no questions asked. All the time dogs waste moaning and groaning, staring, and whimpering — if you have ever witnessed this display, it is really embarrassing. Of course while they waste away the afternoon obsessed with human food, we are enjoying a relaxing nap, or doing a little stretching, maybe mixing in a yawn or rolling and scratching our backs against a rough surface. By the end of the day, maybe the dog has achieved one or two brief moments of human food pleasure, but at what cost? We cats have spent an entire day living, being, enjoying.
The following cat is illustrating the concept of surprise mixed with disbelief:
Of all the stupid dogs on the planet, how did they find the stupidest dog in the universe? It is hard to fathom how this dog thinks I am going to allow it to put its ugly snout on my back and then go to sleep. I guarantee you that is not what is about to happen here.
Speaking of dogs, our next photograph illustrates "sleeping" and "cat," but it isn't the cat who is doing the sleeping. Once again, it is clearly an idiot dog who is sleeping and a cat who is looking extremely annoyed.
More Pathetic, Embarrassing Things About Dogs
You know what else is pathetic about dogs? How dependent they are on humans. Think of those dogs waiting sadly by the door when the humans leave to go out to dinner. Have you seen these dogs? Some of them just sit there for hours, waiting, praying that the door will open again and the humans will come back into the room. It is really painful to watch. Humans can be helpful at times sure, but to waste an entire evening, unable to exist without humans, is deplorable. And the way they totally freak out when humans walk into the room! Whimpering and running around in circles ... it's just ... I mean, I am running out of adjectives here.
What can you do to help the dogs with these problems? You guessed it! This is Not Our Concern (NOC). While it is embarrassing to witness, the fact that dogs are wasting their lives in this way is not something you should worry about. You need to focus on your own napping, stretching, and yawning. Do not get distracted!CHAPTER 3
A PERSONAL CONFESSION
Okay. There was a certain period in my life when I was under a lot of stress. I'm not going to make excuses, but part of it involved a dog who was temporarily living in my house, doing what dogs do: disrupting, waking me from naps, eating my food, wanting to play. So, during this stressful period, I became addicted to catnip.
I'm not blaming anyone but myself, but I was hanging around with the wrong crowd of cats. Among them were strays, some ferals. I don't know where or how they got the stuff, but they just seemed to always have some around. I'd trade food for it. I'd trade anything for it. It made me forget, for a while, my own life. Catnip took me to a place that was always fun, always felt good.
Of course, when I'd used up what I had, I came crashing down. It was beginning to have bad consequences in my life. I stopped grooming myself, I wasn't getting in my sixteen hours of sleep. All I cared about was the next fix. Where, when, how?
If it weren't for the Intervention, I don't know what would have become of me. But there were cats I knew who cared deeply for me and saw what was happening. I was lured into a garage with the promise of catnip. Then the garage door closed, and I was surrounded by my friends, and they told me what was happening to me. At first, I tried to deny it, but they were relentless. I was overwhelmed.
I kicked the habit with their help, and the help of Catnippers Anonymous. They have a 12-Step Program, and it works. I'm just here to witness for you young kittens that while it's okay to indulge in a little social catnipping now and then, you have to do it responsibly. You must never let catnip become the focus of your life.
A Few Additional Questions
Q: Is a Siamese cat really a cat?
A: Yes. A cat with a lot of attitude. Not that there's anything wrong with attitude, it's what cats are about, but Siamese cats have even more attitude than regular cats.
Q: What is a Siamese cat thinking?(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Cleopatra's Confessions"
Copyright © 2014 Larry Arnstein, Zack Arnstein, and Joey Arnstein.
Excerpted by permission of Skyhorse Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1 BASIC SLEEPING,
CHAPTER 2 DOGS: WHY?,
CHAPTER 3 A PERSONAL CONFESSION,
CHAPTER 4 INDOOR OR OUTDOOR CAT? (HOW DARE YOU?),
CHAPTER 5 SETTING MINIMUM ALLOWABLE PETTING TIME FOR YOUR HUMANS: ALWAYS ERR ON THE HIGH SIDE,
CHAPTER 6 MAINTAINING MAXIMUM PAW SHARPNESS: SORRY ABOUT THE LACE CURTAINS, BUT THIS IS A SURVIVAL ISSUE,
CHAPTER 7 GIRL TALK: TEN TIPS TO TANTALIZE A TOMCAT,
CHAPTER 8 USEFUL LIES: YOU CAN'T TRAIN A CAT,
CHAPTER 9 OUR AFRICAN COUSINS: CHEETAHS, LEOPARDS, LIONS, TIGERS: WE ARE ALL CATS, WE HAVE THE SAME INSTINCTS, TURN YOUR BACK ON US AT YOUR OWN RISK, FRIEND,
CHAPTER 10 GROOMING: NOT AS IMPORTANT AS SLEEPING, BUT THEN, NOTHING IS AS IMPORTANT AS SLEEPING,
CHAPTER 11 HOLIDAYS,
CHAPTER 12 CAT MUMMIES OF ANCIENT EGYPT: IT WAS THE LEAST THEY COULD DO,
CHAPTER 13 CAT GODS: FABULOUS FELINE FOTOS YOU CAN WORSHIP TODAY!,
CHAPTER 14 HUMANS: SMARTER THAN BIRDS, NOT AS SMART AS DOLPHINS,
CHAPTER 14A MORE THOUGHTS ON HOW GRACEFUL WE ARE AND HOW BUNGLING THE HUMANS ARE,
CHAPTER 14B COMMUNICATING WITH HUMANS,
CHAPTER 15 INTERMEDIATE SLEEPING,
CHAPTER 16 PUKING: WHERE, WHY, WHEN, AND HOW,
CHAPTER 17 NAP TIME,
CHAPTER 18 EXPOSING THE INTERNATIONAL DOG CONSPIRACY,
CHAPTER 19 CATS IN THE MEDIA,
CHAPTER 20 MORE CATS IN THE NEWS,
CHAPTER 20A THE ILLUSTRATIVE CASES OF BLACKIE AND TINKER,
CHAPTER 20B CATS SAVING HUMANS,
CHAPTER 21A TROUBLESHOOTING CAT DOWNERS,
CHAPTER 22 CAT PARENTING: DOâ&8364;(tm)S AND DONâ&8364;(tm)TS,
CHAPTER 23 CAT ALTRUISM,
CHAPTER 24 INSTINCT: HUNTING, KILLING, AND OTHER FUN STUFF,
CHAPTER 25 THE CONSCIENCE OF A CAT,
CHAPTER 26 THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CATS,
CHAPTER 26A THE INTERNATIONAL CAT UNION,
CHAPTER 27 CAT SPORTS,
CHAPTER 28 CAT THERAPY,
CHAPTER 29 CAT RELIGION,
CHAPTER 30 CAT ART,
CHAPTER 31 ANGER MANAGEMENT FOR CATS,
CHAPTER 32 CAT MUSIC,
CHAPTER 33 A TRIBUTE TO MICE,
CHAPTER 34 THE CAT DEFENSE LAWYER,
CHAPTER 35 BUSHES AND TREES: EXCELLENT FOR LURKING,
CHAPTER 36 THE RULES FOR CATS,
CHAPTER 37 CAT INTELLIGENCE,
CHAPTER 38 CUTE CAT VIDEOS WE WONâ&8364;(tm)T BE MENTIONING IN THIS BOOK,
CHAPTER 39 A WHOLE CHAPTER ON WATER (AS OPPOSED TO THE NOTE),
CHAPTER 39A HELPING OUT AROUND THE HOUSE,
CHAPTER 40 CAT PHILOSOPHY,
CHAPTER 41 FACECAT,
CHAPTER 42 BONDING WITH YOUR HUMANS,
CHAPTER 43 BEST SUPPORTING CAT OSCAR,
CHAPTER 44 RUBBING UP AGAINST THINGSS,
CHAPTER 45 CAT MYTHS,
CHAPTER 46 CAT DANCING,
CHAPTER 47 THE CAT BILL OF RIGHTS,
CHAPTER 48 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF SEKHMET,
CHAPTER 49 GOOD REASONS TO GET UP REAL EARLY, DRINK A BUNCH OF COFFEE, AND STAY ALERT AND PRODUCTIVE ALL DAY,
CHAPTER 50 THE PROS AND CONS OF LAP NAPPING,
CHAPTER 51 PUTTING CATS ON AIRPLANES VERSUS GENOCIDE — WHICH IS THE WORST OF THE HUMAN IDEAS?,
CHAPTER 52 CAT YOGA CLASS,
CHAPTER 53 IF CATS DROVE CARS,
CHAPTER 54 THE SOCATIC METHOD,
CHAPTER 55 IF I WERE A CAT DOCTOR,
CHAPTER 56 CAT DIGNITY,
CHAPTER 57 CAT ETIQUETTE,
CHAPTER 58 THE VACUUM CLEANER PROBLEM,
CHAPTER 59 COEXISTING WITH DOGS,
CHAPTER 60 CAT CRITICS,
CHAPTER 61 A PLEA FOR TOLERANCE,
CHAPTER 62 CAT ANTHROPOLOGY,
CHAPTER 63 ACCEPTABLE ATTITUDES,
CHAPTER 64 UNPLEASANT TRUTHS,
CHAPTER 65 MY SCHOOL FOR DOGS,
CHAPTER 66 CAT SECRETS,
CHAPTER 67 BEDTIME STORIES: GOODNIGHT, CAT,
SATISFACTION GUARANTEED OR YOUR MONEY BACK,
A NOTE ON THE TITLE OF THIS BOOK,
CRITICAL PRAISE FOR CLEOPATRA'S CONFESSIONS FROM OTHER CATS,
CRITICAL PRAISE FOR THE DOGMA OF RUFUS, BY RUFUS DOG, TYPED BY THE SAME,
HUMANS WHO TYPED MY BOOK,