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.