Dear Cat Owner:
I’ve seen it for far too many years. It’s always the same scenario. You’re toiling away at your job, putting in the overtime to bring home the bacon—and the Fancy Feast—and what is Fluffy, your freeloading, fat cat, doing?
Snoozing on the love seat?
Staring out the window?
Soaking in the sunlight?
I’ll tell you what she isn’t doing, she isn’t raising one paw to help you. Nope. Your cat is watching TV, waiting for you to come home. This cannot go on.
Your cat needs to get off the couch and get a job. Right now!
I have over fifteen years experience as a life coach and career counselor, and I have dedicated my life’s work to helping once-feckless felines find meaning in their nine lives through challenging and rewarding employment. My belief is that with the proper guidance, all cats can master the skills needed to reach their potential as fully contributing members of their households.
It began in the early 1990s when an economic recession put a dent in my lifestyle. Although I wanted to shield my sheltered kitties from the undignified reality of want ads, resumes, and interviews, my bank account was sucking wind. I had three hungry mouths to feed. What could I do? I propelled Fella, Bibsy, and Milton into the workforce. Fella went into law enforcement; Bibsy launched a successful catering business, and Milton pursued a long and varied career in the entertainment industry.
My methods work and because they do, I have numerous celebrity clients. I’ve personally counseled many of the cats you’ve seen in movies, television commercials, and print ads. My phone number is also on the speed dials of famous, once-frustrated cat owners across the country, and I have plans to take my message—and my business—global.
The thousands of cats I’ve coached through the years have thanked me for transforming their lives. Once unmotivated, underachieving, and entitled, my client roster now includes a rap artist with lucrative recording and endorsement contracts, a best-selling self-help author, and a highly visible White House staffer. To a feline, they have claimed nothing less than spiritual reawakening. No longer bored, overfed, and sluggish, they wake up in the morning refreshed and inspired to join the rat race.
Take Bubbles, a five-year old cream-colored Persian. Three years ago her owner (we’ll call her “Kathy”) called me, inconsolable. She explained that Bubbles was sleeping seventeen hours a day. Imagine that, doing nothing in your life but catching up on your beauty sleep? I invited them both to my office for a consultation.
Kathy, a slender, attractive woman in her midthirties, was a wreck. Nervous, with dark circles under her eyes, she had all the classic symptoms of caffeine overload. Bubbles, on the other hand, looked gorgeous, well rested, every hair in place, perfectly groomed. She wore a pink diamond collar that accentuated her limpid blue eyes. When Kathy started talking, Bubbles crossed her legs and yawned.
After listening to Kathy’s story, I went straight to the heart of the matter:
“The problem is quite severe. Bubbles needs to find work. She needs a purpose in life.”
“What?” Kathy seemed shocked. “Bubbles, um, doesn’t work.”
The cat curled her tail into a question mark.
“You’ve been waiting on her since she was born?” I said.
“True, but . . . ”
“She eats her meals off silver plate or fine china?” I questioned.
“Well, yes, because she refuses to eat off of anything else.”
“You brush and comb her daily?”
“Well, sure, but—”
“And,” I added, “you praise her constantly for doing . . . nothing?”
Kathy looked sheepish.
“You need to let go, Kathy. Bubbles should be supporting you. She is a very capable cat.”
Kathy agreed to let me meet one-on-one with Bubbles for an in-depth personality assessment and subsequent career analysis.
First, Bubbles took the Meowers-Briggs Career/Personality Test to determine her career type. The Meowers-Briggs Test zeroes in on a cat’s special personality traits—friendly or reserved, whimsical or serious, sensitive or self-confident. Once Bubbles pinpointed her type, I could help her gain a clear understanding of her abilities. From there, she could be steered toward a suitable selection of career choices.
Upon completing the test, Bubbles was excited to discover she was an Intellectual Extravert (an IE). Together we explored the countless career opportunities that a cat of her type would find satisfying. A steely resolve shone in her azure eyes, for years she had been underestimated. People had seen her beauty, but not her brains.
Bubbles is now a successful advertising executive in Manhattan. You’ll find Kathy, who recently quit her job in publishing, living half the year in Turks and Caicos working on her tan. In fact, Bubbles has expressed concern about Kathy’s lack of ambition. But that’s for another book.
Although I have been a cat counselor in private practice for many years, this first consultation with Bubbles was a defining moment for me. I saw I had the ability to turn around a cat’s life—and the life of the person who loved her. I realized I needed to share my experience and offer my services to other exhausted cat owners and their well-rested cats. So I wrote this book for you. It is the only career guide written exclusively for cats and their special needs.
This book will transform your cat’s life—and yours, too. Look how my methods helped Jack.
A muscular tabby with a clipped ear, Jack enjoyed tearing up his home like a rebellious teen. He ripped up newspapers, broke costly knickknacks, overturned potted plants, shredded the furniture, and scattered kitty litter across the kitchen. It was easy to find him—all you had to do was follow his path of destruction.
When I managed to get Jack to sit down, I administered the Meowers-Briggs Test. As I suspected, he was a Labor-Intensive Introvert (an L-II). Jack is now working as a building contractor. He has since replaced the tattered wall-to-wall carpeting in his owner’s house and added a new bathroom with a sunken spa tub.
In Careers for Your Cat
, I’ve provided you with the same Meowers-Briggs Career/Personality Test that put Bubbles and Jack on the road to success. You can help your cat complete the quiz today so he can identify his unique personality type and find the job of his dreams. In addition, I have profiled thirty-five hot kitty career options. You’ll also find a special bonus section of my own personal tips written just for your cat on acing the interview process.
Your feline can find personal fulfillment, even in today’s challenging job market. You know you need this book.
So wake up that lovable, lounging slacker and tell him it’s time he got a job.
And maybe it’s time for a catnap yourself.
—Ann Dziemianowicz, CCC The Meowers-Briggs Career / Personality Test: Part One
Part One of the test will determine your cat’s Career Type. It’s wise to administer this test after a meal in a distraction-free environment. Place your kitty cat in your lap. Encourage him or her to choose the most accurate
answer for each question. If two options seem appropriate, your cat may select both, but it is not acceptable to select more than two options.1. What is your favorite activity?
Anything that involves string: chasing it, sculpting it, guarding it, killing it. B ___
Athletic activities: high jump, long jump, vaulting, tackling, or badminton. C ___
Meowing, purring, socializing, or just hanging out where the people are.D ___
Napping, hiding in cupboards or drawers, or curling up quietly where I won’t be disturbed, for goodness sakes. E ___
Riding in the car. 2. What do you enjoy playing with?A ___
Nonstandard toys: paper bags, loose string, bottle caps, rubber bands, jewelry, or anything that looks interesting. B ___
Other cats, or toys I can sink my teeth or claws into and pretend it’s another cat. Grrr. C ___
Catnip-filled or other mind-altering toys that allow me to expand my horizons, fuel the imagination.D ___
Play? But that would involve getting up. No thanks. E ___
People with Frisbees, balls, sticks. 3. Where do you prefer to sleep?A ___
Thoughtfully chosen locations throughout the home for contrast of color(for example, dark fur on light-colored laundry), contrast of texture, or the sunniest spot, darling. B ___
Anywhere challenging! No place is too high, low, or difficult to get to. Bring it on! C ___
On top of books, newspapers, the mail, file folders, keyboards, school projects, laundry. D ___
Nearest flat surface; doesn’t matter as much as location, though commonly found often on sofas, chairs, and beds. E ___
None of the above—would rather be awake than asleep, and probably outdoors.4. When it comes to fine dining, you:A ___
Insist on the pricey stuff, often specialty or organic. Prefer the single serving cans of moist food. Must be served at room temperature.B ___
Prefer whatever cat food is available, the more the better. And for goodness sake, don’t be late serving it. C ___
Are discerning, but not overly fussy. No generic cheapo brands, but not a Fancy Feast fancier. Will eat either dry or wet food. No problem.D ___
Doesn’t matter so much, as long as it is dependable, and good enough to be worth the effort of getting up. E ___
Like dog food, cat food, people food, table scraps, garbage, or just about anything. Whatcha got?5. When a mouse runs by and disappears under the refrigerator, you:A ___
Spend as many as twenty-four hours crouching by the fridge, visualizing all possible ways to get at it, or draw it out. Not above rearranging furniture to get to it. B ___
Catch it and save it for dessert. C ___
Befriend it, or at least am more interested in observing it than in eating it. Rodents are not one of the foods groups. Believe me. D ___
What mouse? Isn’t that your problem? Call the exterminator and leave me in peace. E ___
None of the above. 6. What happens when food is placed in front of you? A ___
Scratch at or pace around dish, maybe rearrange it, then eat. Will walk away if menu is not up to snuff. B ___
Gobble it right up, usually without pause. Sometimes give a quick thanks when done.C ___
Check to ensure that it indeed is the best thing being offered, then eat. Not above coming back later to finish it off. D ___
Let it sit there until good and ready to get up and eat.E ___
Eat mine, and yours, too, if given the chance. 7. When greeted by a dog, how do you react?A ___
Eyeball the dog, might allow a sniff, but otherwise more concerned with getting back to being the center of attention in the room. B ___
Show the dog who’s boss. Have been known to hiss, swat, or show annoyance, if dog invades my personal space. Not at all afraid of the dog.C ___
Sometimes rub against the dog, or exchange sniffs. Study dog from a distance, but most often decide that the dog is hardly worthy of further attention. D ___
What dog? That thing? Oh please. E ___
Run over and sniff its butt.8. When a stranger enters your home, you:A ___
Announce him/her in some way, then either stay in the center of the room to show off, or go from person to person.B ___
Jump up on guest’s lap or get physically affectionate right away. Push hard in response to a friendly petting. Purr loudly. This is the life, baby. C ___
Are interested in the person, but want to make sure it’s safe before jumping into the fray. Retreat on occasion. Sometimes more drawn to women or quieter people.D ___
Don’t move if in the same room, or decline to emerge if in another room.E ___
None of the above. 9. What do you do in the quiet hours before bed?A ___
Stay where the people are, making every social minute count.B ___
Race around, getting a second wind of activity. Might request a final outdoor prowl and yowl before bed. C ___
A thorough cleaning and contemplation on the day’s passing, which can sometimes be mistaken for light napping. Take care of personal housekeeping.D ___
Stay put, resting up for the long night’s sleep ahead.E ___
None of the above. 10. To show displeasure, you:A ___
Find a way to express myself: hiss, yowl, knock things over to make sure there’s no misinterpreting my displeasure. B ___
Go into destructor mode, sometimes slipping into a kitty-sized rage: shredding, clawing, and other destructive activities. C ___
Put the ears back and give you the silent treatment. Often retreat to think things over; nurse grievances. D ___
Act blasé, nonplussed—who needs you anyway?E ___
Displeasure? What’s that? Never heard of it.11. You spend hours staring out the window at:A ___
Own reflection. May change position from time to time to calculate best angles. B ___
Birds, cats, dogs, or other small mammals. Consider exactly how to catch, kill, maim, or open a can of whoop-ass on each one. C ___
Nothing in particular. Enjoy the exercise of going into a Zen state. May follow movement, studying the mechanics of it.D ___
Staring? That would require opening my eyes and paying attention to something. E ___
Anything that looks like it could be my new best friend. 12. You respond best to:A ___
Clean litterbox, or fresh pile of clean laundry. B ___
Sound of the can opener, or a shaker of treats. C ___
My people returning home. D ___
Well-made bed, or an empty sofa cushion.E ___
Car engine turning over.13. You expect to be treated like:A ___
Royalty. B ___
A finely tuned specimen of physical perfection. Expect to have full run of house and property, and please, make sure dinner is served on time. C ___
An equal member of the household.D ___
An important, respected, and valued piece of art. It’s better to be looked at and left alone, rather than touched. E ___
None of the above. 14. You purr the loudest when:A ___
Being groomed with a comb or brush; require close attention paid to the delicately rendered fur around ears and chin. B ___
Receiving a deep tissue massage and the occasional vigorous scratching.C ___
Receiving firm, continuous strokes from head to tail while listening to verbal appraisal of my good looks. D ___
Why should I purr when you’re the one getting all the pleasure? E ___
Purr? Nah, I just drool to express my happiness.15. You love friends who:A ___
Bring gifts and/or make a big fuss over me. B ___
Give a good scratching and smell interesting. C ___
Have softer voices and don’t speak to me in demeaning baby talk.D ___
Don’t expect me to move or otherwise disrupt my nap, wherever it is. E ___
Come ready to play. 16. You come for dinner when:A ___
You walk into the kitchen—you exist to serve me, remember? B ___
The exact moment the clock hits dinner hour. I’m waiting.C ___
When called or tempted by alluring aromas. D ___
When good and ready. Sleeping comes before eating almost all the time. E ___
It’s always dinnertime.Count up the total number of letters:
Total Ds ____
Excerpted from Careers for Your Cat by Ann Dziemianowicz, Illustrated by Ann Boyajian. Copyright © 2010 by Ann Dziemianowicz, Illustrated by Ann Boyajian. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.