At the respectable age of 17, I should not be pushed into learning new tricks or languages and I hope you’ll agree with me. I think I deserve all the respect on earth as I deserve complete obedience from everyone. The reason I’m telling you this is that I need your help. My problems started after my human pets took off to have fun in Italy and left me with a couple of cat-sitters that don’t speak either Italian or English. I mean….they speak both languages but broken. Now, George you tell me “how can I convey my message to them”? Sign language? Meow
language? I tried it all with no success. They stare at me in amazement and all I’m trying to tell them is “I want to go out on the front lawn. I want to take a nap on my chair on the porch”! Damn it! They just don’t get it!
In a way I pity them since they try to make up for the language barrier with extra food and rubbing, brushing and petting. Between them, they speak a strange language I never heard. But, the other day I caught them reading my “Cat Ten Commandments” that I hung on my bedroom door. They seemed rather amused and this was very up-setting.
I’m not sure if they’re just pretending to not understand my commands. They spend lots of time with me in the backyard (as you can see in the photos) but I’m confined to scratch the trees in the backyard and not the trees I like on the front lawn.
What do you think? What should I do besides punishing my human pets once they come back?
Yours and very up-set
As you say, you will be punishing your humans when they return. It's routine, really. Just giving them the silent treatment, the looks of lofty disdain, the back turned towards them, the refusal to notice them, and so forth. We all do it. But, as you say, is it enough for this particular situation?
Here you have two humans who cannot communicate. But they do give you extra food, and brushing and petting. If you think of them as silent slaves, rather than sentient servants, you may feel a kind of pity for them. Besides, if you do punish them too much you might not get the extra rations. So I would treat them with the kindness that should be shown by an aristocat to the inferior and dumb humans. Noblesse oblige, Graf.
If your pets are going to come back while the two dumb substitutes are still in the house, you can hurt them further by sucking up to the dumb ones. Ignore the returning humans. Wind round the other humans' legs, lie on their laps, lick them, purr loudly and totally ignore your usual pets. This clear message - that you prefer the new staff to the old servants -- will make subsequent punishment routines all the more hurtful.
It will also keep them on their toes. I have added the cat ten commandments below my signature. In my opinion, they don't go far enough.
1. Acknowledge that I am Cat - no other is above Me. Not even you.
2. Anyone who says I am "just a cat" is not worthy of your time and attention.
3. My affection is mine to dole out, it cannot be forced. Don't try.
4. When people visit, remember I have teeth and will defend myself if necessary. If I flee, do not reveal my choice hiding spots.
5. The fur I shed is my gift to you, so I am with you wherever you go. It is not my fault when you choose garments that do not match my fur color.
6. Did you know my sense of smell is 12 times better than yours? So as much as you hate a smelly litter box, it bothers me 12 times as much! Please help keep it clean, and we'll both be happier.
7. I have a mind of my own. Please do not be upset if I like the packaging better than the expensive toy you just bought me, or the bag your brought it home in. Just be grateful I like something.
8. Pay attention. I am not going to be able to tell you if I am not feeling well, and besides, I don't like showing weakness. I am a cat, the top of the food chain and social order. But if you notice a big change in my behavior, that may mean a trip to the vets is in order.
9. If you leave it on a counter, it's fair game. Ditto that small trash can. If you treasure that pen, or piece of paper or or knicknack - hide it away. After all, I keep my best toys hidden, you should, too. But the spot under the refrigerator is mine, find your own spot.
10. Please have me spayed or neutered. Remember how hard it was being a hormonal teenager? How'd you like to have to live through that several times a year? I don't want to, and believe me, I will let you know!