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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Brilliant at Breakfast's Tutorial of Cat Ownership

Ha ha. As if we really own these perpetually bemused, semi-benevolent parasites instead of the other way around.

Anyway, to those of you who still identify yourselves as "dog people" and may've just inherited a feline and may have no insight as how to properly care for your cat, here are some handy-dandy tips that ought to improve your relationship with your furry friend, some basic, commonsense wisdom that I've picked up since having been kidnapped by my own cat Popeye a year and a half ago.


Cats are notoriously finicky. Some cats prefer certain brands, other cats other brands. Some prefer dry food, others moist, canned food. Finding the right brand to keep your cat happy and healthy is all-important. My own cat Popeye is surprisingly open to suggestion. These days, he's restricted himself to yak burger specially flown in from the Himalayas and gently grilled by Japanese ventriloquists over rocks brought back from Mars. I consider myself luckier than most.

As with dogs and cellophane, every time you open a can, it's intended for your cat regardless of the fact that s/he already has 7 or 8 bowls of various cat food on the floor. It doesn't matter if it's tuna fish or chili. Show him/her the can to discourage it from pestering you further.


Unlike most dogs, cats are low maintenance pets in this important area. Since they constantly groom themselves, maintenance is a snap once you forget about the constant vacuuming in the summer, scooping up hairball vomit, and the flea and tick baths that may or not require one or more post-ablution tourniquets.

Playing With Your Cat

During the 10 or 15 minutes a day they're actually awake, cats can endlessly amuse themselves but that's not to say they do not deeply appreciate it when their bipedaled pets share some fun time with them. Buy a wide variety of cat toys from your local pet store or super market so your cat can then ignore them and bat them under the bed as they prefer to play with your feet, valuable and fragile mantle knick-knacks, Christmas ornaments or your scrotum.

Sleeping Arrangements

Cats are notorious hedonists and are not above using your sitting or supine form as organic, semi-ergonomic furniture. It's useless trying to keep off your bed a cat that insists on its personal comfort so don't be surprised if you have an awesome dream about cunnilingus only to wake up with your cat's rectum on your face.

Do's and Don'ts

1) Cats detest us for various reasons and show it by introducing us to their genitalia and rectums at least 10 times a day. But they have their moments and are just as capable as dogs of displaying love and affection. Therefore, it would behoove you to accept in the spirit in which it was given for all the thousands of bucks you spent on uneaten cat food when your cat leaves on your stoop a chipmunk with its head chewed off. Remember, it's the thought that counts.

2) Don't bother naming your cat, for obvious reasons. When was the last time you ever saw a cat respond to its name? Just name it "Cat", "Hey, You" or "Hey, Asshole, Not On the Rug!"

3) When a dog puts its ears back: Good. When a cat puts its ears back, be in another county.

4) Do not ever try to pick up your cat when it's involved in serious business such as ignoring its scratching post and mice. Cats need love and affection but on their terms and on their own time. Hopefully, it won't be during an important business call or during sexual intercourse. But it will be, so be prepared.

5) Do not ever try the Alpha Dog routine on them. You can say to your feline in a low, deep voice, "I am the Alpha Dog" and, if you're lucky, it'll earn you a sleepy blink, a twitch of its tail and an 11th reintroduction to its rectum.

6) Disabuse yourself of the notion that you are in charge. You are the hired help and your cat lets you go food shopping, pay bills and do housecleaning (see #4 above).

Basic Hygiene

Keeping your cat's litter box clean is of paramount importance and your cat will let you know if your job performance is not up to par. S/he will let you know its litter box needs freshening or changing by doing any of the following:

  • Shitting in your best pair of Italian loafers.

  • Pissing in your best pair of Italian loafers.

  • Voiding themselves on your pillow while you're sleeping (this has actually happened to me).

  • They will never urinate on the floor. This is what carpets and expensive Oriental rugs are for.

  • Bathing cats is discouraged if you're a hemophiliac or do not have an adequate stockpile of bandages and tourniquets but sometimes during flea and tick season, it's unavoidable. To bathe your kitty safely, go to a Ren Fair, buy a suit of armor and then bathe your cat. If you're lucky, it may not scratch you more than once or twice.

    If you follow these simple steps, you, too, will enjoy a better relationship with your cat until it finds another human it feels it can more easily manipulate and boss around.
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    Anonymous Anonymous said...
    When it comes to cats, there is but one thing to remember:
    6000 years ago humans considered them Gods --- we venerated them, honored them, built giant statues of them, buried them in golden coffins --- and they want us never to forget it!

    Blogger dianedp said...
    Unsafe while eating oatmeal.
    How doing you get it off lap top keys?
    Just asking...

    Blogger Abu Scooter said...
    Cats don't answer to names, but some of them do answer to melodies. Sing your cat's name often enough at him or her, and s/he eventually recognizes it as a summons. This trick works with Scooter, my current cat, and it worked with her sister and their two predecessors when they were still alive.

    The rest of it is spot-on though. Thanks!

    Blogger Bustednuckles said...
    Let me give you a fucking clue on how to deal with cats.
    That baseball cap that you wear?
    invaluable training aid.

    The little sonofabitch shitting where it ain't supposed to be? throw the hat. there is something about that little beanie on top they really
    hate.one thing tip for ya,grab the hat by the bill and swing it like a frisbee, they naturally curve when ya throw 'em.
    I have hit a cat that was on a dead run , sitting in a chair, from across the room and tumbled it like an antelope with a 30-30.
    They tend to remember that.After ya get good at it, all ya gotta do is raise your hand like you are going to grab the hat and the little fucker bails the hell out.
    Tell me ya can't train a fucking cat.

    Blogger jurassicpork said...
    BK: Been there, done that. It makes him skedaddle when he decides to upset his heavy, porcelain water bowl for no apparent reason.