Advice – November 2012

Dear Sparkle,
I like to be where the action is, so naturally my favorite place to hang out is the kitchen counter. The only problem is I get yelled at whenever I am up there! You have no idea how annoying this is. If I am not up there, how am I going to find out important things, like what my human has brought home from the grocery store, or what’s for dinner, or if there are any used dishes with food still on them? As the de facto head of the household, it is necessary for me to know all these things, so I do not appreciate these interruptions. How do I make them stop?
Aggravated Aby

Dear Aggravated,
What was your human thinking, bringing home an Abyssinian kitty like you and then getting upset that you are all up in her kitchen stuff? Abys are the micromanagers of the cat world. I know because being a Somali, we share this trait. I’m not sure, however, if there is a way to get your human to stop the vocalizing whenever you get up on the kitchen counter. Some humans just have issues with it, while others actually feed their cats up there, and unfortunately you wound up with the former. But, I am glad to say, there are workarounds. In fact, you might even be able to make it work to your advantage. But the workarounds first. The most logical one is to do your counter surfing, exploration and quality control when she is either not around, or at least far enough away from the kitchen so that she won’t hear you up there. That way you can at least keep an eye on things without being disturbed. You can also use your feline talent for persistence. If you think you can actually wear you human down, and that she will give up and just let you be if you keep jumping on the counter, go for it. It is true that humans have far less staying power than we kitties.

But this is my favorite way of dealing with a human who constantly disrupts kitty business — turn it around and use it as a training tool! Is there something you want out of your human, such as more playtime, or you want dinner at an earlier hour? Jump on the counter! When you have her full (loud) attention, jump down and run to your favorite interactive toy, or to where the food cupboard is and paw at it. At first she probably won’t know what you are getting at, but after a few tries she will start to figure it out. And once she does, she may even think you are smart for asking for what you want (which is pretty funny, because it is really the same thing as admitting that she is not as smart as you). Then every time you jump on the counter, she will be ready to do your bidding. The side benefit is that she will probably stop yelling at you for being up there, and just do whatever it is you have trained her to do — a double win!

* * *
Having problems with your human or the other cats in your house? As the internet’s “Dear Abby With Claws,” I have answers to many annoying problems in my two award-winning books! Visit my author’s page on Amazon to buy one or both of my awesome Dear Sparkle books!
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