Good Vs Bad

Getting into Kitty’s brain is something we do regularly. After all, if you’re going to share your space with an animal, you want to try and figure out what makes them tick. One of the things that puzzled us for some time was Kitty and obedience.


I know what you’re thinking:   “Ha! A cat? Obedience?  You’re joking!”  But we have managed to get Kitty not to jump up on the kitchen table or counter tops-

Well, at least during the daytime when we are around.

Nighttime is a different story though. When our heads hit the pillows at night it’s like the starting bell for the “Kentucky Derby of Disobedience” for Kitty.  As we lay in bed we can hear her jumping on and off the table and counter tops and rummaging around in whatever she can find there. We cringe as we sometimes hear things being knocked onto the floor.

Why oh why, if she knows it’s wrong does she do it anyway?!?!?

Well, after much pondering on the subject we finally decided that we’re comparing apples to oranges here.

For us, there is Good Vs Bad. But for Kitty there is Good Timing Vs Bad Timing.

Let me explain.


If Kitty jumps on the kitchen counter, we tell her “NO” and to “GET OFF”, which she does right away – usually. It might take a few tries because she’ s hard of hearing sometimes.


We’re thinking:  “Bad Kitty. Its wrong to get up on the counter with your dirty feet.”

She’s thinking:  “Bad Timing. I shouldn’t have gotten up on the counter with the humans in the room – I need to wait until they aren’t around.”


And so while we think we’ve trained her not to do bad things, all we’ve accomplished is teaching her what things should be done only when the humans aren’t present.

And so this is why Kitty will never be disciplined.  For her, there’s no such thing as Good or Bad Behavior. For her, it’s all about Good and Bad Timing.




Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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15 Responses

  1. Huh. Not just Miss Kitty, I can tell you. My Tiger did that, too, I’m sure.

  2. Carol says:

    It’s a cat’s world, we just live in it! Kitty is so beautiful, you have to forgive her of everything and just enjoy her!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Maybe this would help….My bestfriend Carrie would place mouse traps (spring-loaded) on counters…tables…Guest bed….you get the idea… when she left the house. The noise startled her two cats and they stay off certain ares now. She would also lay a half an eggshell of water on the traps sometimes in the kitchen!
    Tell Kitty I love her 😉

  4. Becky L says:

    Oh dear…we had a cat that did the same thing when we weren’t around. Phil caught him on the table a few times and the counter top when we weren’t home. So sometimes he’d get let outside when we were gone. He had his own place in the garage at night. If Phil was late coming home, he was wondering why he couldn’t go to garage. Or in the summer time, he’d walk right into the garage when we opened the door. And of course, he’d jump up on the rafters in the garage. We could hear him get off cuz he had to land on one of the vehicles. A few times he took a tumble elsewhere when he misjudged. My sis thought it was horrible that he was in the garage at night. But I don’t sleep with cats or dogs because of allergies. That’s why there are no animals here. But he was fun when we had Kirby the cat and Domino before that (who ran away or never came home one night.) Sigh!

  5. Alica says:

    Kitty’s do as Kitty’s want to. Isn’t that what they live by? 🙂

  6. Dianna says:

    …as all cat lovers eventually learn….or should!

  7. Suzanne, I love this post! It is just so funny. I had a cat twice, briefly when I was a kid….but my Dad could only handle it for about a week each time…and that was about it. Anyhow, I have heard from plenty of people, the shenanigans of cats. I always love reading about your Kitty!!

  8. Euni Moore says:

    O my. You must have a spy camera somewhere in my house because you are describing our 6 month old Pixi-bob cat Molly to a T. On the table, on the counter, on the stove, hanging from the shower door, etc. Try to train her to stay off, but trying to train a cat is like harnessing the wind! Love my Molly even if her name should have been Mayhem.

  9. Debbie says:

    Soooo true!!

  10. Edith says:

    I’ve trained my kitty very well. She now knows it’s not permitted for her to jump up on the table or counter. All it takes is a water bottle placed in both locations once you’ve squirted her a few times with it……:o) Once she knows these bottles have water in them she will never jump up again. Keep the water bottles so she can see them until the idea is planted in her brain then you can remove them.


  11. Tina says:

    My cats are sort of trained. They each have a rug to sit on in the kitchen to get fed and they run to get in place when it’s time. They know they are not allowed on the kitchen counters and they don’t get up there…unless we are not home or in bed. The only reason I know is the little foot prints. They also know what the water sprayer is and would never misbehave if it were around but my rolled up newspaper was taken hostage and chewed up!!!!!

  12. Jeanne says:

    Suzanne, you told it very well! You could have been describing the Siamese kitty we used to have! Whenever we were gone, we could always tell she had been up on the kitchen counter, and found a “wire tie” to play with. We would find one somewhere on the floor, all wadded up in a ball! She would never get on the counter when we were in the house. She was a really nice kitty though.

  13. Patti says:

    Your post is cracking me up. Every night I go through the same thing with my 2 cats. As soon as I turn off the bedroom lights they start jumping on and off the counters. They are having the time of their lives. During the day my orange tabby will jump up on the counter, I tell him to get down and he jumps up on the top of the refrigerator. I love the way he thinks that get down means to jump up even higher. There is no use getting frustrated with them they are going to do what they want anyway.

  14. Debbie says:

    LOL! This really made me laugh! It is so true of my cats!
    And I think….er….know you are right about the good timing vs bad timing to the cats! I’ve just never thought about it quite that way! I know as soon as I am gone, they will do what they want anyway! Still….I love them anyway!

  15. Amy says:

    I loved seeing a picture of your kitchen. Could you show us more? I also really enjoyed your recent outdoor video of your farm property.

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