Hampering... or Helping?

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If one of your humans is engaged in some close activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one.

This is called "helping" by a cat... or "hampering" by its owner.

Most cats have an inborn talent to "Hamper".

But if your cat needs some help with its hampering technique, here are some suggestions from a brown tabby who shall remain anonymous, but who is an accomplished expert at the hampering of his beloved humans . . .

  • When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted.
  • If your person is a book reader, get in close under their chin, between their eyes and the book. It's even better if you can lie across the book itself.
  • My "mom" likes to knit... so for knitting projects, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner to obscure the maximum amount at one time. Pretend to doze but every so often reach out and slap the knitting needles.
  • When your person is doing paperwork, sit or lie on whatever they are working on. Roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils and erasers off the table, one at a time.
  • Always remember that embroidery and needlepoint make great hammocks.
  • When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him or her, be sure to jump at the back of the paper. People love surprises.
  • Always dart out quickly and as close as possible in front of the human, especially: on stairs; when they have something in their arms; in the dark; and when they first get up in the morning. This will help their coordination skills.
  • When a human is attempting to "make the bed," hop on it and curl up in the center, or pounce on the sheet the human is trying to rearrange. If the human tries to ignore you by covering you with the sheets, move around and try to mess things up. Protest loudly when you're evicted.
  • Laundry presents many opportunities to hamper. Laundry fresh from the dryer is a perfect bed, since it is warm and soft. As soon as it is put down for sorting, arrange yourself on top of it for a nap. If the human removes you, keep returning until the laundry isn't warm anymore. Now it's playtime. Pounce on anything the human tries to move around for folding, especially socks and nylons. For added fun, grab a sock and hide under the bed with it.

Of course, there are many other examples of how you can "help" your human in the course of the average day... just use your kitty imagination :-)!

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