Fiction: On the Care and Training of Human Staff

An essay by The Mysterious Rumble Purr, as provided by Princess Rain E. Day
Art by Luke Spooner

The training and development of human staff can be one of the most difficult yet rewarding tasks assigned to the average feline. The species, self-identified as Homo sapiens, is remarkable in that it has developed complex communities, advanced means of travel and limited orbital escape, and something called tacos. Unfortunately, it also has poorly developed communication skills, which appear to be deteriorating rapidly. Particularly at risk are direct communications and complex thoughts that cannot be explained via emoji.

I have previously hypothesized that humans can be trained with extensive patience and positive reinforcement. This report will cover a longitudinal study lasting, at this point, 12 years, and will discuss the successes and failures of the training regime.

We will begin with a discussion of the human communication limitations and will further address these in our conclusions regarding the success of the project. At no time were any human unduly harmed in this undertaking, thought claw- and fang-based correction were applied as needed. It is further theorized that the overall mental well-being of the humans may be greatly improved as a result of our efforts. Furthermore, we must caution that replication of this experiment may be difficult given that indications are each human suffers from a unique “personality” and varying intelligence level which may significantly impact the test results.

Illustration of a cat wearing glasses and taking notes with a pen.

As noted earlier, each human has individual quirks and requirements in their training process.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2020 collection.

The Mysterious Rumble Purr is the secret identity of an American short-hair torbie (not me, I swear it!), living in the Mid-Atlantic. Purr is originally from the Midwest, but moved her human staff east and north looking for a cooler climate. She is fond of tuna from a pouch and ice cream, preferably caramel. When not training humans, she is an organizer in the Feral Cat Union, attempting to help every kitten find its own people. She hopes to try her training techniques next on a canine, but has been unable to train her people to get her a puppy.

Princess Rain E. Day rules a small kingdom in Oaks, Pennsylvania. She is fond of naps, brushing, and chin bumps. She is opposed to the outdoors, her nemesis–black kitty who deigns to set foot in her kingdom–and children. She’s been known to hiss her displeasure at human females who choose to reproduce. Her hobbies include basking in the sun, pouncing her mousey, and guarding the house. This is her first publication.

Luke Spooner, a.k.a. ‘Carrion House,’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree, he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales, his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy, or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility, as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at

“On the Care and Training of Human Staff” is © 2019 Princess Rain E. Day
Art accompanying story is © 2019 Luke Spooner

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1 Response to Fiction: On the Care and Training of Human Staff

  1. How funny (and accurate I suspect). “atrocious little appendages they call children” made me almost spit out my coffee! Hilarious.

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