So, you think you're ready to own a cat?
Try this easy 20-step process to find out.
1. Set your favourite three sweaters on your bed, and then use a small knife to shred them.
1b. Scold yourself. Shred the couch in revenge for being scolded.
2. Put a bowling ball in the exact center of the bed (and/or directly in your pillow). Try to get comfortable.
3. Take a nap. Get a friend to smack you in the face with a feather duster every time it looks like you're starting to fall asleep.
4. Get a recording of a cat meowing incessantly. Set it as your alarm. Set the alarm for 3am.
5. Buy a bag of tinsel, feathers, or anything that will act similarly to hair. Spread it over every surface you own.
6. Have a friend or loved one sink needles into your flesh at random intervals. Once you are used to this, have them do it while hugging and cuddling. Make sure they know to do this while you are on the phone.
7. Ask a neighbor to knock on your door randomly at all hours of the day and night. When you answer the door, have the neighbor think for several minutes about which side of the door he wants to be on. Have the neighbor repeat this process with every door in the house in a random sequence.
8. Buy a cat-sized stuffed animal and fill it with lead pellets. Now learn to read ten-point type through it.
9. Have a friend come in and vomit randomly on the carpet about once a week. If your floors are hardwood, have him vomit on the furniture or on any available papers or books.
9b. If there are no papers or books on the floor, have the roommate pull some down. If the roommate lacks vomit, any bodily substance will do. The more unidentifiable, the better.
10. When you can deal with #9, acquire a roommate who will only use the toilet if it is perfectly clean. Clean the toilet. Then try to teach the roommate that sitting on the toilet with your butt hanging off the edge is not sufficient, without also teaching the roommate that the toilet is to be feared.
10b. If 10 is not challenging enough, acquire a roommate who decides that the proper place for the toilet is located in randomly-generated locations throughout the house. Become just psychic enough to move the toilet BEFORE the roommate decides to demonstrate this. This takes practice.
11. If you can manage it, get a friend who tries to steal food from you at every opportunity, who will dig through cinderblock to lick a greasy plate, and who also preferentially drinks out of the toilet and clean teacups, in that order. Have this friend refuse to eat or drink anything from a container designated for his use without first splashing it out of the cup or picking up the food and moving it onto the floor.
12. Learn to wheedle. You will need this to get the
cat to come inside, go outside, pee in the box, eat, drink, sit in your lap, and stop attacking your feet. Practice this skill on very small, angry children who do not speak your language. Better yet, become telepathic.
13. A friend who hunts is an invaluable asset. Have him occasionally and without warning present you with various forms of wildlife, both live and dead, whole and half-devoured. Practice thanking the friend for his gifts wholeheartedly until the sight of viscera is genuinely endearing.
14. Take a small and muscular monkey, tie sharp objects to its extremeties, and then take it in to have its shots. When you can do this with only two assistants, you are ready to have a kitten.
15. Learn to "see" objects in a pitch-black room by finding them with your bare feet. Use an assortment of wadded-up, wet tissues, and old tee shirts sprinkled with thumbtacks. This is useful for avoiding hairballs and other biological deposits, and also for avoiding stepping on the cats themselves.
16. The value of a voyeuristic roommate who enjoys staring at you while you are having sex with yourself or anyone else is not to be underestimated. Bonus points if the roommate seems horrified and/or repulsed by what is going on, yet will cry if you force him out of the room.
16b. A roommate who is sneakier than an invisible ninja is ideal for those who have mastered the basics of 16. If you can somehow wrangle a real pervert, get one who enjoys attacking feet, or unexpectedly jabbing whoever is on top in the bum with a fondue fork.
17. Also, the value of a roommate who cannot stand the sight of a closed door of any kind is not to be denied. Have him stand on the other side and meow repeatedly. When this does not work, allow him to drag his fondue forks over the door while screaming pitifully. Once inside, make sure he engages in several of the other fine activities on this list. Four or more is ideal. Put roommate out. Begin again.
18. Knocking things over by yourself is pointless and dull. Pay someone to do this for you. Preferably someone with experience assessing the value of bric-a-brac. Have them do this at 3 a.m., preferably in such a way as to make it very difficult to tell what the sound actually was.
19. Throw your kitchen garbage directly onto the floor. Learn to like it that way. Once you've done this, start with the bathroom garbage. A cat will eventually decide that your embarrassing toilet trash needs to be displayed to the world. If you are a woman, you can be certain this will happen during Shark Week. Probably in front of your date.
20. Ask the person you love most to utterly ignore your existence for a week. If you can do this, while simultaneously managing items 1-19, you will then be ready for a cat.