Emotional blackmail is a vital skill in my feline armoury. Thanks to my ability to look cute, sad, angry or disappointed on demand, I can pretty much get my own way about everything. Here is a little lesson for other cats who haven't yet quite mastered the art.
Some vital tips:
One: You may fancy a brief tickling of the tummy but the hooman is very busy, dashing about doing what hoomans do (lots of dashing, not much achieved). You must throw yourselves in front of their feet - not too close, you don't want them to step on you - and roll quickly onto your back. Above we have a picture of the supine position. Cats who adopt this pose look vulnerable and appealing. What the human reads from the pose is, "Look at me, I trust you so much that I am baring my stomach to you. Is it too much to ask for a rub in exchange for my undying love?" Of course, rub me for a nano second too long and I will sink my teeth into your hand and my claws into your arm.
Two: Then there is the big-eyed "I'm so sad you're not paying me any attention" look. The hoomans may be very busy. They could be running about trying to remedy that "house hit by an earthquake" appearance before the in-laws visit or they may be hard at work trying to complete some report as a deadline rushes to meet them. Whatever is going on in their lives, all you have to do is reach out a paw to give them a stroke, tilt head slightly sideways and look at them with a pair of giant pleading eyes, and they will immediately stop what they're doing and give you whatever you want.
Four: Finally, sometimes despite all your best efforts your hooman will behave badly. They may have had a bad day at work and will pay you very little attention or, conversely, they may be in a very jolly mood, laughing at your antics rather than responding to them. Now is the time to be strict. I advise getting onto their level and fixing them with your most accusing stare to show how disappointed you are with their behaviour. I call it the "this hurts me more than it hurts you" look.
So, my feline friends, that's how it's done. You're welcome.
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