When you get a cat, the internet falls over itself to tell you what you'll need to buy. Litter tray, food bowls, bed, collar, flea comb. Everybody wants you to know how to look after your cat.
Which is good, don't get me wrong. But nobody tells you how to look after yourself once you have a cat.
Here is a list of must-have items for the survival-bent cat owner.
You heard it here first, folks.
(1) Cat-coloured clothes
You think feline aficionados suddenly start wearing leopard- and tiger-print because they want the world to know they love cats? Nope. It's because they've figured out which colours hide cat hair the best.
Fill your wardrobe with items that match your cat of choice and you'll rarely have to use...
(2) Sticky rollers
Buy lots of these. Keep one in the bedroom. Keep one by the front door. Keep another in your car, and keep one at work if possible.
A sticky roller will be your saving grace when you realise it's not professional to go to a meeting/the shops/your friend's wedding/your great-aunt's funeral covered in kitty floof.
(4) A room your cat doesn't go in
Think about it. A room where you can keep real plants, store food without the use of padlocks, hang expensive dresses (for the days when (1) isn't happening), direct allergic visitors and so on.
Seriously. You'll thank me later.
(5) The Secret Weapon
The Secret Weapon is your trump card.
You have to discover it for yourself. It can be an irresistible flavour of treat, a noise, a smell, a favourite toy. Basically it's something you can produce and gain instant control over your cat. (Yes, it is possible.)
Great for those awkward situations. Like when your gerbil escapes.