When I got Brewsky 18 months ago, I resolved to rid him of those failings that are so regrettably common to both cats and women, things like vanity, aloofness, selfishness, disloyalty, obsessive grooming, and a perverse refusal to obey simple commands. In short, I resolved to do with him what I have failed to do with Peggy after 42 years of unrelenting effort—I resolved to make him into a good dog in the hope that he would serve as an inspiration to her.
He is only influenced by immediate punishment, and even then the effects only last two or three minutes, after which he returns to doing the same thing for which he was punished. This is where technology is useful. For example, I installed an alarm system to keep him off the kitchen countertop. When I leave the room, I flick a switch and if he jumps up on the counter while I’m away, three diesel-strength airhorns emit 185 decibels of sound simultaneously. Except for urine on the countertop, cabinet doors, and sometimes the ceiling, this works amazingly well because he knows he can’t wear down technology the way he wears down flesh and blood people who have more to do in life than control a recidivistic cat.
Breaking him from burying his shit has proven to be a greater challenge. As I observed him in his toilet one morning, I reflected upon how pointless it was for him to bury that which I would have to dig up anyway, so I resolved to cure him of the habit. To accomplish this, I began carrying his litter box to whatever part of the house I was in, and when he would start to bury his poop, I would run at him screaming while using my Deluge-a-Kitty Water Cannon™ to knock him right out of the box and into whatever wall, chair, or table was within his line of travel. Now, he only shits in his litter box when I’m asleep or away from home. The rest of the time, he shits on my pillow. On the one hand, I have been largely successful in preventing him from burying his poop, but on the other, things haven’t worked out quite like I planned.
I have also had excellent results in getting him to sleep during the night instead of keeping me awake by miaowing loudly while running full-tilt throughout the house (after which which he would sleep all day while I stumbled drowsily into walls). My method consists basically of locking him in a room with a vacuum cleaner everyday (he’s terrified of vacuums), and connecting the vacuum to a timer so that it will turn on for a few moments every fifteen minutes. Now, he’s the one who stumbles drowsily into walls, only he does so at night while I'm sleeping peacefully.
These are just a few examples of the kind of work I have done with him and the outstanding success I have achieved. If you would like further ideas, feel free to buy my $30 book How to Keep a Lid on Your Pussy in Twelve Easy Steps. You will find it anywhere good books are sold, which basically means that if you'll send me a check (certified only, please), I’ll send you a link to a Word document.