We were already acquainted, Medium-sized Human, but it seems from the number of objects in the house that carry your scent that you are here to stay now. First of all, respect to you. We are impressed. You have managed what we have consistently failed to achieve over the past ten months and turfed Tiny Human out of our favourite room and claimed it for your own. How did you do that? Was it a particular pitch of meow? Did you rub yourself against Human 1 and 2′s legs a lot? Or did you just poo in the corner of the room? We must swap tips some time.
So, it occurs to us that this is our opportunity to start afresh with a new, unspoiled human. Human 1 and Human 2 are beyond hope and have gone completely off the rails (is there a Supernanny for training your humans?), but for you there is still hope. These are your instructions, please follow them closely.
We will let you know when it is meal time. Our meal time, that is. Don’t worry, we realise you’re only a beginner, so we will make it very clear: when we want food, we’ll bite your hand. This is your sign to put food in the bowl. And please go and find us those cat biscuits in the yellow bag. The food in the purple bag is disgusting. It is also perfectly acceptable to leave out a saucer of milk – where ever you like really, we don’t mind jumping up on the table.
You humans go on and on about being kind and sharing, but you cook meat in the garden and when we gratefully come to sit up at the table you chase us off, like we’re doing something wrong? Seriously, what do we keep you for? Also, Human 1 completely overcooks the meat. Just warm it through and serve it up, thanks.
2. Inside and outside
This situation where we have to get you Humans to open doors for us all the time is utterly ridiculous. You never respond in a timely fashion to our demands and sometimes the door seems to be stuck or something and we end up outside for hours on end, especially around meal times. This has to change. Medium-sized Human, your first mission will be to get rid of all doors. Yes, all of them. The door to Front Land and the door to Back Land, and all those doors inside the house that stop us getting into rooms where we want to snooze, and especially the door to the study because Thin Cat keeps getting trapped inside.
You seem to think you have claimed that room Tiny Human used to sleep in, but of course, you are wrong. A casual sniff around the place will confirm that we have actually left our scent everywhere and, rightfully, we are allowed to sleep there. But we’re nothing if not considerate: you can curl up on one corner of the futon and we’ll have the rest. We can do sharing, even if you can’t.
You must give us love. When Fat Cat appears on the sofa next to you, this is your cue to start stroking his fur until he decides he has had enough. This is very important. You should always let the cat signal when enough love has been given. You are to continue stroking our fur until that time. Also, all this moaning and whining about our claws in your leg and how it hurts and so on – come on. Pull yourself together. You should feel privileged to have such beautiful creatures choose to jump up onto your lap.
Great. Now that we have got all of this straight, I think we can say: Welcome to your New Home.
NB: Please note that you are here on probation and on sufferance and if at any time we find you are not adhering to these stringent rules-slash-guidelines we reserve the right to evict you by use of claws. Your possessions will be retained for sleeping on.