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Don’t Train Us . . . We’ll Train You! June 19, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Joke.
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Christine is trying to teach an “old dog” new tricks ~ Training Arthur.  Her post got me thinking about Obedience Schools for Dogs . . . and Cats.

Why do we take dogs to Obedience School, but not cats?


Oh, right.

* Dogs enjoy the social setting and party-like atmosphere of Obedience School.  Cats prefer one-on-one interaction with their instructors.

* Cats subscribe to the “don’t train us, we’ll train you” school of thought.

* Cats believe “Everything I Need to Know I’ll Learn in Kitty Garden.”


That’s not to say that cats can’t be trained.  Of course they can.

But not like dogs.

Dogs give to give.  Cats give to get.  Or, to take it one step further:  Dogs live to give.  Cats live to get.


Cats are not inclined to perform circus tricks for our amusement UNLESS there’s an immediate payback for them.

They are unwilling / unable to remember all our self-less acts of benevolence toward them.  Instead, the constant refrain running around their heads goes something like this:  “what have you done for me lately?”

Now, let’s do some Myth-Busting!

Myth #1 ~ Cats can NOT be trained to walk on a leash.

We trained our first two cats, Jazz and Cayenne, to go out on a leash because we lived on a busy road and did NOT want to come home to squashed kitty.

They learned that, if they wanted to go out, they had to wear a leash.


A few tips:

1. Train them when they are young. You might be able to teach old dogs new tricks but old cats are far to smart to fall for any new-fangled invention that involves wearing a tangled noose around their necks.

We trained our first two cats at 6 months of age.  Same with Tigger.

2.  Cats decide whether and when to go out.

Tigger is the feistiest cat we know.  The vet has to have a tech (or two) hold him with leather gloves in order to complete a routine exam, but we trained him on a leash at a very young age.  So it’s never a struggle.  BFF just shakes the leash and Tigger comes running.

Unless he’s busy.  He operates on HIS timetable, not ours.


3. Don’t expect walking a cat to be anything like walking a dog. Cats do not walk for aerobic exercise. They walk to stalk prey.

When they want aerobic exercise, they bounce off the walls inside . . . onto unsuspecting heads . . . preferably while you are busy doing something important . . . like sleeping.

4.  Walking a cat is akin to playing “Follow the Leader” with two basic rules.  (1) They are IT.  (2) Follow them.

Tigger enjoys taking BFF out on a leash.  Having BFF follow him around (like a well-trained puppy) gives him a sense of unbridled power (despite the bridle he’s wearing).

5.  Pay attention.  When cats reach the end of their rope, they refuse to listen to reason or take “no” for an answer.  They will keep pulling, tugging, and struggling for more leash length . . . no matter what!  Even if they are choking.

6. Tigger loves meeting (most) dogs while out and about, and (most) dogs are too confounded by the sight of a cat on a leash to do much more than stare.

Just remember:  once startled, a cat becomes a WILD thing . . . with claws that scratch and teeth that bite.  Keep leather gloves (or a suit of armor) handy.

As Clan McIntosh has been known to intone:  “Touch not a cat bod a glove.”

7. Be prepared to hear your Indonesian neighbor sing out in broken English, “Cat on leash! Ha.  Ha.  Ha.  Very funny.”

By the time we trained Tigger, we had grown accustomed to the stares, snickers, and pointed fingers.  Let them think what they will.

If Tigger’s happy, all is well with the world.  We know that because he told us.

Myth #2 ~ Cats can NOT be herded.

Cats can be herded.  It’s hard work . . . but very rewarding.

Myth #3 ~ Cats rule.


This is NOT a myth.

Cats are deities with a lineage dating back more than 5,000 years.

The Ancient Egyptians worshiped cats long before Christ appeared on the scene.

Killing one, even accidentally, resulted in imposition of the death penalty.

Due to the sacred status and standing of cats, ancient Egyptians mummified their remains at death.

Cats have never forgotten that they are direct descendants of the gods.

Neither should you.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Walking the Cat (Kate Shrewsday) * Make ‘Em Laugh (WP Daily Post)

So . . . do your pets rule the roost?  Or are you pet-free at the moment?

Vote For Kate! June 19, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Writing & Writers.
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Huey,-Dewey-And-LouieIf you’re a fan of Kate Shrewsday’s writing (and who isn’t?), you can help her make her dreams come true.

Penguin Books wants a Penguin Wayfarer ~ someone to walk Britain during the Summer, chronicling the journey, talking about paths old and new, exploring the stories and myths that surround them. The Wayfarer will share in writing, in film, and in tweets.

And no one in all of Britain would be a better Wayfarer than Kate.

To vote for Kate:  CLICK HERE!

Her entry is “A Walk Around Caesar’s Camp, Bracknell” (by Kate Pitt):

Best of luck, Kate!

Related posts:  I’ve Got A Golden Ticket! (Kate Shrewsday) * Vote Kate to the Top! (Andra Watkins)

Kate’s writing reminds me of this quote:  The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it. ~ Benjamin Disraeli