Thursday, October 24, 2013

Midterm Grades are in for Kitty

Not all cats are equally skilled in all areas of the feline arts. If you share your home with multiple cats, you've probably noticed one cat might be a superior hider, while another is perhaps an expert in the realm of "helping" you with various projects around the house. Kitty may be naturally gifted in auditory talents. Out of a dead sleep, she'll hear the click of the dryer door closing, indicating the possibility of warm laundry on which to nap. Fluffy, on the other hand, sleeps like a rock, and only the sound of impending food is strong enough to rouse her from snoozeville. 
What if cats went to school to hone their skills in some of the more compulsory kitty crafts? What would a cat's report card look like? I have some ideas, along with possible teacher comments.

Kitty needs a hiding tutor.

1. Introduction to Obstruction

Teacher's comments: Pancake shows consistent effort in demonstrating the skills necessary to prevent humans from completing day-to-day tasks. He excels in extended lap-lounging and shows promise in the area of chair-jacking. I would, however, like to see a bit more practice in the area of computer keyboard obstruction. I am available after class if he'd like additional help. 

2. Alarm Clockery

Teacher's comments: Pancake excels at the skill of knowing exactly when to wake humans and the proper timing for pre-waking whining. On the final exam, I was impressed with his precision in walking across a human's full bladder exactly 30 minutes prior to feeding time. If he is interested, I would like to offer him a T.A. position next term.

3. Boxing Lab

Teacher's comments: Pancake scored well in all the practical exercises, but I'd like to have seen him really push himself into trying boxes of all sizes, including ones he thought were way to small for his frame. He seemed self-conscious of his size and did not venture beyond the safety of a shoebox. I would like to see him work on this issue at home. Please let me know if you need assistance locating small boxes -- we have a lending program at school.

4. Gift Wrapping 101

Teacher's comments: Pancake seemed to enjoy this class. During bow-stealing demonstrations, he often volunteered to assist. He worked well in his small group, which went on to score well in the final project: "5 Steps for Preventing a Human from Wrapping a Holiday Gift." I believe his high score in "Introduction to Obstruction" helped his efforts and interest in this course. I'd like to see him develop a greater comfort with gift boxes of all sizes (see Boxing Lab comments).

5. Bathe Your Neighbor

Teacher's comments: Pancake learned new bathing methods quite easily and worked well with his project partners. He showed particular talent in cleaning the inside of his partners' ears. His grasp was gentle, yet firm, and his work was thorough. He was also a patient recipient, even when his partner's technique was less than polished. I would recommend he register for the follow-up class, "Fight-Stop-Bathe-Stop-Fight," designed to help students with the constant back-and-forth cats often experience when play-fighting with another cat. The curriculum is intense, but I believe he can handle it. Let me know if you need a written recommendation.

6. Intermediate Hiding Techniques

Teacher's comments: Pancake consistently showed below-average effort and skills and this class. I offered to connect him with a tutor, but he refused. During classwork and tests, he demonstrated difficulty completely hiding his body; usually, a tail, ear, or paw was visible. During one pop quiz, the back half of his loafed form protruded from behind the file cabinet. I recommend he register for a summer course and practice with a tutor.

What grades would your cat receive on his report card? Tell us about it in the comments!

***See entire article here.

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