Apparently, I am something that humans call a “stray.” At least that’s what the ones I live with called me when I showed up on their doorstep asking for dinner. So I guess “stray” means “hungry, homeless kitty.” The thing is that once I got the food, I decided to stick around and have all my meals there… and sleep there, and use the other’s cats’ toys (the other cats were not too thrilled, but never mind that). So I’ve pretty much moved in and it’s been weeks now, but for some reason I am still being called “stray.” The deal seems to be that all the humans think I should stay except for one guy called the “Dad.” The dad guy keeps saying that four cats are enough and they don’t need another one. (The other cats agree with him, but luckily they have no say in the matter.) He never says I have to leave, but he keeps saying that I can’t stay. So how do I convince this human that I am a “stay” cat, not a “stray” cat?
NOT a Stray!
Dear Not Stray,
Humans are really an odd bunch. They don’t know when they’ve been licked (I suppose that’s why we’ve been given such rough tongues—to make the licking extra obvious). You are definitely in. How do I know? Easy. The dad guy hasn’t said you have to leave and it’s been weeks. Trust me, you are in. That said, I suppose you want to do something to help make it official. That is simple enough. Being a cat, you have an unlimited repertoire of cute poses and behavior. Whenever the dad guy is around, make sure you pull out all the stops. Roll around on the floor whenever he’s in the room. Chirp at him and gaze at him with adoring, half-closed eyes. When he’s sitting around watching television, sit next to him and purr at your loudest volume. If he reaches over to pet you, purr even louder! If you really want to lay it on thick, start following him around from room to room. For some reason, most guy humans especially like cats who behave like dogs. You will know you’re successful when he starts calling you something else besides “that cat” or “that stray”—like, say, a name! When you’ve been given a name and everyone in the house is using it—dad guy included—there is no way you are going anywhere. The other cats will have to learn to live with you… but of course, that is a different problem for another column.