Backyard Cat Rules


The other night I was sitting outside reading a book.  The evening air was cool and comfortable, the grass freshly mowed, the sun peaking out behind a cloud.  I put my book down, took off my reading glasses and rubbed my eyes.  Times like these I like to watch the teeming wild life in our spacious and freakishly overgrown backyard.  My lovely wife wanders around doing whatever she does that encourages her plants to grow.  Periodically I hear give one of our cats a good talking to.  One of them must have broken a garden rule.   

Yes, she attempts to enforce cat rules in our backyard.  The rules are not written down; however they seem to be well established in the cats little brains.   They actually seem to react when caught doing something naughty.

From what I can gather here are my wife’s backyard cat rules:

  1. Crapping in the flower beds is strictly forbidden.
  2. Peeing in the flower beds is frowned upon, but tolerated (better there than in the garage)
  3. Pretty insects should not be caught.  Chasing is ok, but not killing.
  4. Birds are to be treated with respect and not eaten.
  5. Stay inside the fence.
  6. No climbing in trees higher than my husbands reach.
  7. No fishing.
  8. Stay off of the roof.


As you can see this list is quite hard to enforce, however, she does remarkably well.  She just calls their name in a disapproving voice and they seem to react.  Sometimes they even stop what they are doing.  When I try this they give me cat butt.  

My list is much shorter but apparently impossible to enforce. 

My backyard cat rule:

  1. Don’t bring things from the back yard into the house.


That’s it, one rule. 

I believe that it is a cat’s duty to be a hunter and killer, poop outside, and climb.  That’s what they do, they hunt in the back yard and kill and eat things. It’s what I would do it my wife would let me.  I am sure she knows that backyard cat rules are unenforceable, but it is cute to watch her try.  It is also cute to watch the cats react when she tries to enforce them.

So why is it so cute to watch one of our cats chasing a moth through the back yard but not so cute in our bedroom?

Why do I admire the hunting skill a cat takes down a bird or mouse, but have nothing but distain for a bloody gift in front of the TV?

Because I am not a cat, that’s why.

Of course Cats have rules for us as well. 

Rule #1.  Read my mind and give me whatever I want.

Rule #2.  Don’t do anything that might make me angry.

I think I will adopt their rules.  Why not? I will probably enjoy as much success as my before.



4 thoughts on “Backyard Cat Rules

  1. Mitch says:


  2. S. Le says:

    Yeah. I mean, how could one enforce such rigid rules? Your way seems much more sensible.

  3. planetross says:

    My only cat rule is: whatever happens in the litterbox, stays in the litter box.

  4. I’m thinking that your list of the two cat rules applies PERFECTLY to small children. Actually, come to think of it, big ones too.


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