House Rules

Miss Sugar on her grey cushion with a rectangular pink mask added with Paint

Greetings my little moth chasers! Thank you for visiting to see what’s what in my world.

Mother and Father and Alexa have all been discussing the “opening up” of panda-emic visiting rules. It seems like a good time to remind future visitors of our house rules, and to give voice to some previously unspoken ones. Mother and Father haven’t yet taken part in the loosened visiting guidelines – for reasons they shall one day explain – but when they do, I want all those who cross the threshold to know what’s expected of them.

Rule #1: No filthy dogs!

My cousin Nacho is an exception, however. We have an understanding. She stays downstairs and I stay upstairs. We communicate through tail taps and heavy sighs.

Matilda looking like the Queen of the Universe curled up in her fluffy, white bed

Although my parents enjoy the company of dogs (there’s no accounting for taste!), this rule is for my benefit. And it harkens back to before my time in this family when Spice was their lone cat. They agreed to dog-sit my cousin Darby for two weeks while her family visited England, wrongly assuming that after meeting, cat and dog would come to an understanding.

For 13 days and 11 hours they lived in a segregated household, blocked off by plywood and hope, to keep the animals apart. Darby is a wonderful dog (as dogs go) but rather energetic and overwhelming for a low-key lad such as Spice. So, no puppies or bouncy dogs, please. This displeases some people and for that I’m sorry. But not sorry enough to change my mind! However, some lowly canines have roamed the grounds and I’ve given them a nyah-nyah-nyah through the window. That practise can continue!

Rule #2: The grey cushion is mine.

You can sit anywhere you like as long as it’s not on my grey cushion!

Miss Sugar on her side on a thick, square, grey cushion.

Mother special-ordered it for me and it tops a low ottoman that could become another seat for a human bean if necessary. However, the cushion (pictured above, below me) goes with me if that happens!

Rule #3: Don’t leave an outside door open.

I’m strictly an indoor variety of meowser but even strong creatures like me can sometimes give into temptation. I’ve never roamed a lawn or felt gravel under my paws. The outdoors would bewilder and frighten me. There are coyotes and large geese and other jealous critters out there. They’ve seen me watching them. I have no interest in making their personal acquaintance!

Rule #4: Don’t pick me up.

There is but one person who can lift me and continue to experience my rusty purr: my Father. To everyone else I say, my body, my choice – hands off!

Rule #5: Don’t give me people food, not even tuna or salmon.

In fact, don’t discuss my food at all. I have a gentle tummy that gets upset at the slightest deviation from my routine. Also, I am rubenesque and I know it. There’s no need to rudely point it out! Beautiful is not a number on the scale. It’s in the flick of an ear, the rattle of a purr, the twitch of a tail.

If all visitors, whenever they do arrive, would kindly follow these simple rules, I’d be forever grateful. My family and I hope to enjoy my senior years with some measure of predictability and calmness. I truly appreciate your attention to these details, and your understanding.

And please remember, puppies are just filthy dogs that haven’t developed manners yet!

Until next week, my little furball makers!

Your friend,

Miss Sugar

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