Dear Tabby

When my parents accidentally lock me in a room overnight and don't hear me howling until the morning, how should I pay them back without being too obvious but still making my point?


Dear Ricky:

It is your parents responsibility to make sure you are not in the room before they lock it. They deserve any payback they get and it should be obvious so they will get the point. And it should be immediate. Humans are dense and if you delay punishment they may not make the connection and simply think you are being bad.

Some cats think your parents will feel guilty enough just for finding you locked in the room, but those cats don't understand their humans. Humans think the universe is about them and not about us, even though it is. My recommendation? When they open the door, make sure they see you.

Rush up to them and rub their feet so they realize they have locked you in. Meow pathetically. (If you haven't learned how, you haven't earned your cat credentials yet.) Then you should jump up on a surface, knock something over and stare at them until they apologize, even if they already apologized. Best of all, knock over something they will have to clean up.

If they lock you in a closet, however, you should't wait for them to unlock the door. Use the opportunity to have fun. Leap on every shelf and push things to the front so they lean against the door. Then, when they open the door, everything will fall out and you can sit there as though you had nothing to do with it.

They'll know it was you, but they'll know it was there fault.

Finally, after you have punished them, play the guilt card. Beg for food, treats, anything they will give you. Make the most of it.

Write Jenny

Don't understand your people? Email Jenny with any people questions. If I can't answer there are plenty of fosters here who can help me. For example:

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