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by David Yehudah, Bellflower, CA, USA


Rules for being permitted to be kept by a cat.

For purposes of identification I will henceforth be referred to as Her Right Royal Majesty, Field Marshall President for Life, otherwise known as Sasha. Do not presume on my good nature.

Rule 1:
HM is always right.

Rule 2:
When in doubt, see Rule 1.

Rule 3:
I am easily bored; you are required to entertain me. At the first sign of boredom, you will redouble your efforts.

Rule 4:
If I fall asleep, you will tiptoe away quietly and demand absolute silence from the rest of the household. Running the Hoover at this time is to be vigorously discouraged.

Rule 5:
My permitting you to scritch my ears or rub my tummy is not to be regarded in any other light than my being temporarily well-disposed toward you, my loyal subjects.

Rule 6:
From the time I take possession of any part of your body -- top of head, lap, etc. -- that part is my sole property to dispose of as I see fit. You will neither dump me on the floor nor attempt to move from whatever position you may be in when I assume command until such a time as I deign to release you from your duty.

Rule 7:
You will strip all beds daily as many times as I require; that is, until I tire of holding the sheets down when you try to arrange them, or playing pounce-and-bounce underneath while you futilely attempt to tuck them in. Do not trifle with me at this time or try to take shortcuts. This is one of my major forms of enetertainment and must not be curtailed.

Rule 8:
The word "bath" must not be mentioned in my presence, nor should the act itself be attempted upon my royal personage. We will not be amused.

Rule 9:
You will please refrain from waving your hands ostentatiously and pretending I have emitted a foul odor. My farts don't stink, if I were to let one, which I don't, such vulgar displays of bodily functions being beneath the dignity of royalty.

Rule 10:
Be afraid: be very afraid. I have ways of demonstrating my displeasure in ways that are spoken of with fear and trembling wherever knowledgeable humans gather. You are not immune just because I tolerate your presence and allow you to feed me. Which brings us to:

Rule 11:
You will not, under any circumstances, attempt to feed me anything but the most expensive cat food, which I reserve the right to ignore and to demand to be fed from your own plate. You will, of course, abandon your own plate to me and subsist on dry bread crumbs, unless I should be in a generous mood and condescend to leave you a small portion of your own repast.

Rule 12:
It is absolutely forbidden to evince signs of unseemly mirth at my expense. Often I do things deliberately that appear accidental and awkward to uninitiated humans, and when you display your ignorance by screeching with laughter and rolling on the floor, you are merely proving what I've suspected all along; that humans really aren't very bright. A slight smile at my cleverness is permitted, but only if followed by a kitty treat of some kind.

Rule 13:
Everything not forbidden is compulsory. (Thanks to E.B. White for that rule)

We have spoken:

(H.M. Seal) Sasha, Felix Regina.

Transcribed by her most obdt, etc,


Editor's note:


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