Cat Training…

When the Barnies finally came inside, for good, we set about teaching them their home manners.

After all, in the barn they climbed over tools, explored the shelves, scaled walls, prowled on roofs, perched on four wheelers, hid between walls, and tramped all over cars and bikes leaving their little paw prints as calling cards.

Outside the barn they relieved themselves wherever, ate whatever and climbed trees after birds whenever.

But shhh, don’t tell the bird trainers, founders of Window to the Wild.

They helped with car repairs, rode in the trailer, basked on the truck hood, checked the mail box, lounged on the patio furniture and peered in windows.

They were free to come and go…

They were adorable,

They were kittens.


Shads and Maj

Inside the house lurked all kinds of rules and regulations!

For Hubs and me there are distinct difference between Humans and Cats.

However, for Shads and Maj, these differences were more than a little blurry around the edges.

They exploded on the scene with hob nailed boots and all of a sudden we had Imagination Station going on in our practically perfect abode.

“Cats everywhere…” complained Hubs.

Our floorspace became an obstacle course,

‘Keep off the tile’ was the name of the game.

No surface was sacred.  We literally had cats bouncing off the walls as they raced down hallways from one room to another.

Out came the squirt bottles that we’d trained our lovely Calico with.

But they thought it was just another game especially designed to test agility and persistence, build character and develop valuable motor skills that would stay with them for life.

They’d jump down to avoid the stream of water (always landing right side up), regain their balance, crouch and  jump back up again to prowl the edges of the stove, lap water in the sink, step gingerly along the toilet bowl, stretch across the table, rummage in the shelves and walk across my keyboard until the next well aimed squirt caught them sharply on the rump or between the eyes and they’d tumble to the floor ready to start the game all over again.

According to Cat Lore we needed their help with,

writing, lighting candles, peeling potatoes, stirring oatmeal, washing dishes, watching Netflix, playing in the shower, brushing hair, reading magazines, filing fingernails, wearing lipstick, sitting at the table at dinner, falling asleep at bed time…

the list goes on…

Callie began to lose weight from the extra exercise chasing her kittens down for a neck wash, a cuff around the ear,


a disciplinary hiss.

She was also losing weight from lack of food.

They would bully their way into her bowl after they’d inhaled their meals.

She started to look dull and scrawny while their coats shone on well rounded bodies.

I looked at Hubs one morning while wading through meowing cats,

“Something has to be done before one of us breaks an ankle.  They need to be brought under control and show improvement by the end of today, otherwise they’re going on Craig’s List.”

A tall order but I think they got the gist of what I was saying.

We separated them at mealtimes.

Callie to my closet.

Shads and Maj to the laundry room.

The kittens insisted on helping me divvy out the kibble flinging themselves on top of the dryer, scrabbling to get a grip, spilling food everywhere,

clambering up the cabinets, trilling to me, growling at one another in their frenzy for Friskies.

It took a few weeks to patiently train them to

‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ while I did the honors.


Today, when I look down at their expectant faces at my feet, I can’t help thinking,

“Such good dogs…”

But Shhh, don’t tell them that.

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