A house with five cats and no discipline would be anarchy; therefore, Tony and I employ the "Kitty Deterrent 3000" for all our kitty behavior modification needs. What's the Kitty Deterrent 3000, you ask? Basically a spray bottle full of water. (Kitty Deterrent 3000 sounds better though).
Jumping up on the counter? Squirt. Tearing holes in furniture? Squirt. Generally reeking havoc? Squirt. It doesn't hurt, but the shot of water to the side is just enough to make them realize that whatever they're doing probably isn't the good idea that they thought it was. It's been so effective that all of the above bad habits immediately ceased and we were able to put it away completely.
Until Bella, that is.
It's been three weeks since Bella came, and while inner-house cat relations remain somewhat strained, I think we're sloooooowly getting used to each other. Every now and then though, Bella slips and decides to chase her brothers around. The first few weeks, Tony and I chalked it up to just adjusting to the new environment. We scolded, we made "angry face", we carried her back downstairs. Today however, I sat Bella down and explained that enough was enough, and any further ambushing/chasing/swatting/hissing and generally giving her brothers panic attacks would not be tolerated. Poor Mason won't come out from under the bed and I'm not administering kitty Prozac, so knock it off already. And as fair warning, the KD3000 would be enforcing. She was all, "Sure Mom. Whatever".
Sure enough, about three hours after our talk, I was in the office, working away, when who should I hear come tearing up the stairs hissing and spitting and otherwise terrorizing Sebastian? Why yes, it's dear sweet Bella on the warpath. So I did the resigned kitty-mom head shake, and I got the KD3000. And I got her with two quick squirts to the flank.
(Non-cat people think that cat people are crazy when we talk about a cat's expression, but I swear even a blind man could have interpreted the look on Bella's face...I just wish I had a camera). She stopped dead in her tracks and her eyes got absolutely huge as she turned around to look at me. It was a cross between "OH NO YOU DIDN'T!" and "WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT?!?" I gave the spray bottle a gunslingers twirl, blew the top of the KD3000 and stuck it back in my belt loop before drawling, "You behave now, little lady".
She'll think twice before chasing Sebastian again. She'll also think twice about my sanity.