Posted in 1 Point Perspective, Humor

The Rule of Cats

It took me months to get this photo - he wouldn't come out from under the ottoman for my first few visits. Image from laughingsquid dot com.
It took me months to get this photo – he wouldn’t even come out from under the ottoman for my first few visits. Image from laughingsquid dot com.

[I apologize to those of you who are reading this post because you mistakenly assumed that the title was some sort of reference to how cats rule.  They don’t rule over much more than small, suburban rodents maybe a pug]

After years of working in homecare, I’ve learned a few things about people.  For the uninitiated among you, homecare involves going into the homes of folks who need healthcare, in my case physical therapy, and providing the service in the home. Anyway, you learn things about folks after going into their abodes.

From a functional mobility standpoint, there are many clues to look for.  Odd wear patterns on the finishes of tables may indicate the presence of a chronic furniture ambulator.  A major butt-divot in an upholstered seat may well be a sign of a chair dweller.  Furniture ambulators are often so comfortable leaning on tray tables and the backs of swivel rockers to steady themselves that they resist using a cane or walker for support, whereas chair dwellers tend to only leave their recliners for trips to the bathroom (hopefully).

“The Rule of Cats” took me years to create and refine, but is actually quite simple.  I’ve been in homes of folks who had ferrets, turtles, rabbits and in one case even a poisonous lionfish.  For the most part though, if people have pets, it’s usually a dog or a cat.  I’ll skip the Rule of Dogs for now, as it is considered inflammatory to the Dachshund Owners of America, and you don’t want to see those people when they get mad.

If the cat gets access to the aquarium, things could get ugly. Image from rollingharbour dot com.
If Mittens gets access to the aquarium, you might have one less puss around the house. Image from rollingharbour dot com.

Anyone can own a cat without the risk of being categorized.  In fact, owning two cats is also permitted without risk of any sort of judging.  The Rule of Cats states that owning three cats is a red flag.  It signifies a touch of what mental health professionals will categorize as “cuckoo.”  Every additional cat owned correlates with another degree of nutty.  By this logic, we can deduce that a person owning 4 cats is a little cray-cray, but one owning 17 cats is certifiably bat-poop loopy.  The tendency of cats to hide under beds or behind sofas during therapy visits may temporarily mask the mental illness, but eventually the crazy and tabbies come out for all to see.

Many readers may find this rule to be biased against cat owners.  If this rule has offended you, there’s a possibility that you have been overcome by fumes; I suggest you clean out the litter box and crack a few windows.






I used to write a fair amount here on my blog, but then I got lazier and now I only manage to write over at The Nudge Wink Report once every month or so.  I only write there because of assigned deadlines and my unflagging allegiance to a woman I've never met but love anyway, the lovely Blogdramedy herself.  My current profile there is a 30,000 word run-on-sentence and ends up keeping people from scrolling all the way to the comments section.  As any blogger will tell you, posting without getting comments is like kissing your first cousin - and not in a hot, West Virginia sort of way.  I'm hoping this little blurb can take the place of the other profile and allow people to actually reach the comments section.

22 thoughts on “The Rule of Cats

  1. Darling, son-in-law refuses to let me add the third to my little fur-pack…although he and daughter have three. Hmmmmmm……I’m going to judge that harshly….only because I can.
    Did you find the poem I wrote for you?


      1. jotsfromasmallapt on 03/03/2016 at 6:00 pm said:

        Darling, I’ve lost your last post somewhere here…in the deep recesses of my computer.

        Try as I may, Try as I might, I can’t seem to find it and make it all right.
        Know I’m still loyal. Know I still follow. Won’t make excuses for behavior that seems shallow.
        Keep on writing. Keep on posting. I’ll just finish our chores both yours and mine.
        In keen anticipation of our future…next sighting!
        (Here’s the poem I wrote in honour of the post (your last one) that I lost (actually….I have a sieve, too…and promptly forgot about you AND the post. Putting on my sad, sad face.)


  2. I did a Community Health rotation in nursing school, and was fascinated when going into the houses to visit the family. Are there really furniture ambulators? It’s funny how each specialty has signs that they look for. For me, working Ear Nose and Throat (Pediatrics – can’t stand the sight of adult mucous) the crease across the nose is a dead give away of a person with chronic allergies, who constantly does the allergic salute. I do like the Rule of Cats – that is brilliant. Is there a rule of turtles? I am sure there is a rule of reptiles, definitely snakes.


    1. I haven’t come across too many turtles. I’m pretty sure it’s actually illegal to have them as pets in this state. My rule of cats has proven to be quite useful, as crazy people don’t often come right out and tell you as much. I’d write more, but I have so many homecare stories, I’m sure there’s a book in there somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. And if somebody owns a cat, a dog, a turtle, a snake, a parrot, a weasel, a hamster, and a lizard, they’re obviously not crazy, but probably a former financial advisor trying to diversify their pet holdings portfolio.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. *puts down her car keys, takes off her coat, gives the bag of cat litter to her neighbor, picks up the phone to call the SPCA and asks about puppy adoption*

    *breaths sigh of relief she read Dave’s post before leaving the house*


  5. I’m allergic to cats so can be very self righteous when it comes to crazy cat people. My sister has two cats and I’m going to insist she read this post to raise awareness of where she could be headed. Thank you for this post!


  6. This is something I’ve long suspected, but now that it’s been verified by an actual healthcare professional, I know it’s true.

    I think the symptoms develop gradually along with the cat acquisitions, so that sufferers don’t realize they’ve gone bonkers.

    I have a friend who had 3 cats. They were indoor/outdoor, didn’t get along, and one or more of them used to spray everywhere. She had cardboard taped up on the lower 2 feet all around her dining room to protect her nice china cupboards from cat pee! This is a very intelligent teacher with a very nice home, and she doesn’t seem to realize that taped cardboard as a design feature is not normal.

    She’s down to just one cat now and it has cancer and won’t last long. She’s very upset about it, but I think the end will be a blessed release for both her and the cat.


  7. I have two cats – one is just an eating machine – he is always hungry (or so he would have you believe), and despite being a ‘young buck’, has a pathetic meow. He will eat absolutely ANYTHING, including – coconut cake, biscuits, chips, and well… just about anything!

    He’s actually by and large a good cat, though he likes to take swipes at the old girl as she comes out the kitchen. He hasn’t yet managed to impose any sort of authority upon her though (maybe because we kick him out the door when he goes for her).


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