Advice – October 2012

Dear Sparkle,
You and I both know that humans are generally clueless, but why is it that male humans are even more clueless than females? Seriously, all I have to do is give my human a look and she gets my dinner in a flash, but if it were up to the guy she refers to as “Sweetie,” I’d probably starve to death! Last time she came home late and asked him to feed me, I climbed the curtains, whapped the remote under the couch (boy, did he hate that!) and screamed in his ear — he thought I was “annoying” him for no reason. Hello, I was hungry! My human walked in the door and could tell just by looking at me I needed food! Plus this Sweetie guy does not know how to pet me — I just get these ham-handed pats, no skritching, no butt tapping. And his wrist action with Da Bird? Forget about it! It’s more like getting divebombed by an angry magpie than chasing a tasty sparrow. So tell me, do you think male humans can be trained at all? Or is it just a waste of time?
Miffed About Men

Dear Miffed,
Although there are some exceptions to the rule (and they know who they are), the majority of male humans are just not as tuned into the feline mind as female humans are. There’s some sort of inner instinct female humans have that makes most of them fairly simple for us kitties to train. They understand what goes into proper care and feeding of themselves, and they readily apply that to the living beings around them. This means they are hard-wired to cater to a kitty’s needs. Male humans, on the other hand, tend to get lost in some faraway mental space and next thing you know, they’ve forgotten about dinner (his and yours), personal hygiene and possibly, what day it is. This is one of the main reasons male humans are so hard to train — it is hard for them to retain the lessons you teach, or they take it the wrong way. For example, the moment that remote went under the couch, your female human would have known you were hungry, while I bet the male human just thought you were being spiteful.

The good news is that Mr. Sweetie guy sounds like he is at least trying — he is petting you, however gauchely, and he does pull out the interactive cat toys, even though he can’t use them properly. That shows he has potential. He just needs a little more direction from… guess who? That’s right, your female human! Since she already speaks cat with some proficiency, have her tell him the right techniques and proper feline etiquette. To have her act as translator is easy — the moment the male human does something the wrong way, go fetch the female human. She will suss out what is going on and give the male human instruction on proper petting or playing. Keep in mind that Sweetie won’t become an expert cat servant overnight. It will take time and a bit of effort, and he may never be perfect. But any attempts to do things the right way should always be encouraged.

* * *
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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