Cats do not like change – which explains why they do not like being relocated to new houses and why they rejected Kerry’s message, overwhelmingly voting for Bush in the recent election.
With their preference for routine, it’s quite understandable that many cats are troubled by the appearance of new humans in the household. When presented with such dramatic change they react in one of two ways:
1. They hide under the bed or behind furniture.
2. They eat the dramatic change.
To determine the course of action your feline acquaintance has chosen is easy: look under the bed and behind the sofa. If your cat is not found there, odds are he’s considering the consumption track.
Furthermore, if your cat is seated three feet from the new human and looks pensive, he’s more than likely abandoned a defensive posture and is instead developing a plan that may contain a tragic eat-your-child scenario.
If your cat has reached this state, you’ll need to sit down with him and have a chat – which is French for “cat”, ironically enough.
Reassurance is key here. If you can ease a cat’s fears that he’s being moved to the side, he is more likely to accept the new addition and adapt to it – rather than devour it during naptime. Even though all your actions speak to the fact that he is indeed being put to the side, it should be easy to convince him otherwise – he has a brain the size of a fig. He lacks fully developed logic and reasoning, like a press release from Barbra Streisand.
Use a soothing voice, reassuringly put your hand on one of the cat’s thighs and explain to him why he should not eat your child.
Try reason: I put a lot of work into this child, and I would appreciate you not eating him. He is very nice.
If reason fails, try bargaining: If you do not eat the child, who is very nice, I will give you extra tartar-control snacklets.
When all else fails, you may have to threaten: If you eat this nice child you will get a serious misting from the spray bottle, and you hate that.
It is important to remember that all you are doing is buying time. At some point, hopefully, the child will develop defensive and offensive capabilities. He will also be too big to eat.
After the umpteenth time your cat’s tail has been treated like the starter-cord from a lawnmower, he will realize – too late – that he should have acted on his initial impulse. The ability to see long-term is what separates us from animals that chase light from laser pens.