I needed to show my parents I was prepared, not only for the cat itself, but also prepared for compromise. My parents don’t like the idea of fur all around, the cat in bedrooms, etc., so I made a list of house rules to suit their needs and preferences, but also my own and the cat’s. I did this by slowly poking around, asking what rules their old cats had, and asking my friends with cats what rules they had for their cats.
- The cat is my responsibility, which means I will do whatever necessary to take care of him/her.
- If the cat damages or breaks anything, I will pay for it.
- The cat can’t be alone in the living room. If we’re out, he/she has to be in a hallway or closed space with acces to food, water and the litterbox.
- The cat isn’t allowed in the kitchen.
- The cat is not allowed on the windowsill in the living room.
- The cat isn’t allowed on beds, unless it is covered by a blanket.
- The cat is only allowed in my bedroom when I’m present. (possibly also during the night, depends on the cat’s behaviour)
- The cat isn’t allowed to scratch doors or furniture of any sorts.
- The cat isn’t allowed on tables of any kind other than my desk.
- The cat isn’t allowed in the bathroom unless he/she is there to be bathed.
- The cat is only allowed outside on a leash.
- The cat is only allowed on the couch when there’s a blanket, or he/she is on a lap.
- The cat isn’t allowed to ‘eat with’, a.k.a., eat human food.
- The cat isn’t allowed to be punished; distraction and reward work better with cats.
When I figured my parents were ready to talk about actually owning a cat, and how that’d be, I brought up these rules. My mom has accepted them, but my dad has yet to comment. Showing your parents you’re willing to compromise is key; it shows you’re mature enough to know you can’t always get exactly what you want.