Petting My Cat and Other HR Thoughts

by Frank Roche on August 18, 2011

in KnowHR

Benny XXIII, the best cat that ever lived, has a nighttime ritual. It involves me. And a back scratch. No, not my back, silly. His.

I’m not sure when it started, but it goes like this: I go upstairs with my book. I start to brush my teeth and there he is. Mewling. Loudly.

I say, “Guhway, ‘m bruffing my teef.” Benny says, “Yoooowwwwwwww!”

Then he flops himself on the bed. Right where I’m supposed to lie down.

I scoot under the covers. Get my book situated. And if I’m not giving Benny the belly rub of the century within 30 milliseconds, he lets me know about it. “Yoooowwwwwwww!”

So the ritual begins. He likes his back scratched. He likes his belly rubbed. He likes to ram his head into my hand in some feline marking rite. He likes me to rub between his toes. Under his chin. And on his tail.

And I can’t stop. Not even to rub my own nose for a second.


And that’s the HR lesson in all of this: Once you start rubbing a cat’s belly, you can’t stop. A cat will purr when you do…but try to stop. Then it’s yowling and screeching. They get used to it. And once they get used to it, you’re obligated. Or you suffer the consequences of disappointing them.

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