While I happen to live with a couple of people who are decent enough, I confess that I am not a huge fan of human beings in general.

Their behavior strikes me as often arrogant and, with breathtaking frequency,  surprisingly violent. To tell you the truth, I find many people more than a little scary.

But they are my fellow members of the animal kingdom, and as our kingdom goes they maybe aren’t the worst — kind of middle of the pack, not as good as, say, chipmunks or most fish and birds, but not as bad as poisonous snakes, some sharks and rampaging grizzly bears.

Still, people could rise in my estimation if they would just follow a few simple rules of basic animal dignity, rules that we cats almost always abide by. (Oh, did I mention that I’m a cat?)

A refresher course in these rules would probably be useful for human beings in many countries, but today I’ll just address the folks in the United States of America, some of whom have been doing and saying really ugly things because they don’t like the idea of a new health care policy that promises to be a little more humane than the present one. (An aside, but, from a cat’s eye view, I am often puzzled by the way people seem to understand words like “humane” and “humanity.”)

Here are my suggested rules, all part of the Universal Cat Code of Honor.

1) Never make an anonymous telephone call, even if you are angry and want to complain to a lawmaker. Not fully identifying yourself on these occasions is cowardly — and I use that term with some regret; it was invented by human beings but, let’s face it,  is rather pejorative toward cows. Neither cats nor cows would ever make anonymous calls.

2) Ditto for e-mails or faxes using fake names or sent anonymously. Take it from me: No cat — not one — ever uses a fake name for any purpose; we stand by what we say. (In some cases, I recognize, that a pseudonym might come in handy for a human being who can’t otherwise speak freely to comment on the Internet. Or maybe some people just have fun names they want to try out, kind of like those old CB handles or the names that Hollywood stars, musicians and professional wrestlers sometimes make up for themselves; I’m all for having fun. But false names or pen names should never be used in cowardly ways. Again, I apologize to cows.)

3) Never try to intimidate your opponent with threats. If we cats actually intend to fight, we only howl at you if we’re serious and are going to attack in seconds or minutes at most. We’re not big on terroristic threats. The way most American human beings talk about Osama bin Laden, I would have thought they weren’t either.

4) If you feel violence is necessary, never use a weapon other than your claws or teeth. A cat would never think of using a gun or bomb. We would not even throw a brick or stone. We would never set a house on fire. And we certainly would not cut the gas line at a house. I would advise everyone to fight like a man, but I can’t because people, no matter what their sex, don’t set much of a standard for fair fights. Fight like a cat.

5) If you are going to have an argument with someone, never distort the facts or repeat false assertions. Cats only say what they really think. No cat ever speaks an untrue word.

My guess is that’s probably enough information for most people to absorb right now. Maybe I’ll offer some additional wisdom later. But please, people, embrace your rightful place in our great animal kingdom. We cats are here to help you.

Tiger Liliuokalani

Tiger Liliuokalani

Tiger Liliuokalani is a cat and proud of it. "Cats aren't purr-fect," she says, "but we do so much less harm than people, don't we? Even dogs must agree." A native of Georgia, she is the founder of the international organization, Catnapping for Peace and Justice.