Journal Entries From My Week-Long Effort to Teach My Cat Table Manners

Day 1 - I sat my cat down and told her that things were going to change. She chews with her mouth open, gets food everywhere, and occasionally hits her bowl during vigorous zoomies. She was receptive to the hard talk. But to be honest, it’s also possible she was coming down from the catnip.

Day 2 - I figured one of the best ways to reinforce good habits was to teach by example. So I found a video clip of a Japanese cat that eats with chopsticks and even wipes its mouth. Again, she seemed to be absorbing the information, but then a bird flew by the window and she leapt toward it. I didn’t even have time to grab the chopsticks…

Day 3 - Real progress! I opened up a can of wet food, and as always, she came running over. Next to her bowl I placed a video recording of her eating. She got very close to the camera and pawed at it. I could tell she was thinking, “Is this really what I sound and look like? I can’t believe it. I’m going to make a change. Today is the first day of the rest of my nine lives”.

Day 4 - She pooped next to the litter box.

Day 5 - I had a strange thought that maybe what makes animals animals is that they do not have manners. So I was trying to force her to do something that was simply impossible and against her very nature.  I didn’t have much time to reflect on this. I was busy trying to get her to stop ripping off the tiny cat bib I made her.

Day 6 - I tried switching things up a bit. I ate my oatmeal out of her bowl and placed her wet food on a regular plate. I even gave her a place setting. I think Cesar Millan did this on an episode of Dog Whisperer. I was hoping everything would really click for her and she’d not only eat her food in a more respectful manner, but maybe even wash the dishes. I was wrong. And when she finished she jumped on her plate and got food on my wall. Babies do that. NOT FULLY GROWN CATS!

Day 7 - We landed on the moon and built the pyramids! Humans have done amazing things. So why can’t I convince by cat that misophonia is a real disorder?! Imagine how great it would be if she was as well behaved all the kids from The Sound of Music. Oh well. I tried my best. On to figuring out how I can stop her from scratching the couch and instead sit there and read the paper.