How to Impress a Cat

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1. Don’t even try.

The more you try to impress your cat, the more it will remain adamantly unimpressed. Get straight right now, nothing you do as a mere human will ever impress the cat. Don’t even try. Puh-lease . . . !

2. Get someone else to try.

This one works every time. Get someone else to run the old impress-the-cat routine. Every self-respecting cat will inevitably remain unimpressed by the other mere human and select you for its favors due the fact that you are obviously a mere human with less initiative and therefore more easily manipulated. This includes food, toys and anything else you can think of. Get the other mere human to do it and you’ll soon have a purring ball of fluff in your lap.

3. Ignore the dog.

In fact, ignore all other pets, people and things. Act deaf and mute around family members. Never watch television. Don’t use the phone. Above all, don’t show any interest whatsoever in any other human or animal sharing your space. Cats simply cannot understand how you can out-cat them in your absolute indifference to the existence of others. Eventually, they’ll cave into their curiosity and come check you out. If you then show just a twinge of interest in their presence they are yours for life. That’s respect.

4. Never fail to do your best.

This one is like the private digging a foxhole, then covering it up, then digging it out all over again . . . It’s all about the mere human’s willingness to jump through hoops without ceasing. Aww, don’t like the food, the same food you’ve begged for a thousand times in the last week alone? Here’s some fresh food! And more waiting after that when that doesn’t come up to standard too! Damn the expense. Damn the inconvenience! Damn the accusing glares! Wait, let me run to the store in a panic to find other food you won’t like. Let me put up with your silent accusations of trying to poison you, you little twit. Let me wonder how a mere human can satisfy you. After all, I’m only doing my best.

5. Pay more attention to the cat than to your girlfriend.

Oh, the drama. Oh, the tears. Oh, how impressive that a mere human would stake his reputation as a man and his future chances at romantic engagement in paying more attention to a pet rather than a significant other. What a dude! What a loser! Cats love the ambiguity that such multiple loyalties engender.

6. Keep the litter box tidy.

Well, this one doesn’t actually impress but it does limit negative reactions, which is the best you can usually hope for.

7. Mimic a hairball.

Cats are truly amazed when they see a mere human throw anything up. Any mere human that can do that with facility and the appropriate sound effects deserves to be included in the Honorary Club of Fellow (Though Lesser) Felines. Practice hurling until it becomes second nature to you. You’ll never reach exalted status with this method but you experience a shift away from utter disdain to grudging respect.

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