The top 5 things no one tells you about cat ownership

I love my cats dearly, but there are some things about them that make me want to pull out my hair and leave it all over THEIR bedding! As anyone who has ever lived with cats can tell you, when they move in they do some major remodeling to your house, your relationships, and your life.

#1: Ownership rights

You do not own your cats. Your cats own you. They are also the rightful owners of your house and all its contents, including and especially the beds, pillows, chairs, and couch. You are their most loyal and loving servant, and must answer their every whim. Any attempt on your part to make it seem otherwise will be met with a solid stare, a hairball in an inconvenient place such as your shoe, or claws.

An important extra note on this one: The contents of your dresser drawers, cupboards, and bathroom are also the cats' personal property. They reserve the right to parade their property for all to see anytime there is company. This means your underwear, toothbrush, and personal hygiene items may become topics of conversation at your next dinner party if not carefully contained behind childproof locks.

#2: The law of fur

Cat fur will grace itself everywhere in the house, including closed cupboards. I have opened a door that I know none of the cats can reach to get a bowl out, and there sits a cat hair. When this happens, you have three options. If you don't care that much, pour in your cereal and eat it anyway. If you don't want to eat the hair but don't mind if the bowl had the hair in it, you flick it out (or rinse the bowl) and pour in your cereal. If you are a neat freak, you put the bowl in the dirty dishes and take down another one, which may or may not have a cat hair in it as well.

#3: Doors

Ogden Nash once said, "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of." The same is true about cats. If they are inside-only, they will try to escape outside. They will also probably succeed at least a few times. If they are outside-only, they will always want in. Inside-only cats can be trained to live happily indoors and not rush outside, but it takes patience (and a squirt bottle). It also helps if they have a window with a wide sill so they can birdwatch from a safe place.

#4: Laps

As soon as a human sits down, the lap immediately becomes the cat's property. Even if it isn't used right away, the cat still reserves the right to displace anything else and take up its rightful spot at any time. This includes when you are reading the newspaper, using a laptop, or balancing a plate of food. Anything that is on your lap at the time the cat decides to reclaim it immediately becomes part of the lap and is therefore the property of the cat as well. This includes said food on plate.

#5: Bedtime

Bedtime isn't just when you want to sleep. It's anytime the bed is being used, according to the cat. If you watch tv in bed, that is bedtime to the cat, and means you are available as a personal lounger. If you are folding clothes on the bed, this is also bedtime and the cat will "help" you by laying down on your laundry. If you are having sex, according to the cat you are still their personal recliner and will be used as such.

I could never live without cats, especially since I am so accustomed to them making themselves at home with me. Even though these traits can be annoying sometimes, my life would be so much emptier without my furry housemates.

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