The picture is of Coco, our black cat... Well, she was black. She's getting on a bit now and has started to go grey, so now she's speckled. Coco has perfected the art of torturing humans and has asked that her techniques be passed on so that other cats wishing to torture their humans, and who have Internet access can plug "how to torture a human" into their favourite search engine and benefit from her wisdom.

  1. Start with slightly stressed humans. The torture will be far more effective this way. Coco bade time and waited for the most appropriate set of circumstances to arise. In her case it was a global pandemic called Covid19, which is caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus. She isn't responsible for its genesis or transmission, but she salutes whoever dreamt it up, although she thinks they may have gone a bit far - you shouldn't kill your human; after all, you can't torture someone that's already snuffed it.
  2. Train your humans to put small cat biscuits into a bowl somewhere near to their bedroom. It is imperative that this be on a hard floor. Carpets simply won't do it. Wood is best, but concrete can work. Cement floors are also okay. But do try and make it wood.
  3. Apply the torture at night. Humans seem to be resistant to torture of the kind cats mete out during the day.
  4. Take your time. Next are the exact instructions. You should take your time and be patient, otherwise there's a significant chance that all that happens is you end up with a full stomach and some rested humans, which is not the point at all.
  5. Starting at around 04h00, knock one biscuit onto the floor from the bowl. Do this as loudly as you can.
  6. Take biscuit into mouth and crunch down hard. This should make a great deal of noise, especially as at this time of day there are generally no other sounds around to compete.
  7. Repeat the above every 45 - 90 seconds. No more. No less. This is important. Once your human has awakened it will try to get back to sleep. This generally takes between 35 and 100 seconds. By timing as advised, you will maximise the potential for each knock of a biscuit hitting the floor and each crunch to reawaken the human or, better yet, to catch it just as it's nodding off again.
  8. After every five minutes of the above, pause for three minutes. This will lull the human into thinking that you've stopped and found something else to do; however, they'll now be at the stage where it's more difficult for them just to drop off again. Don't worry, after three minutes they should be nicely on the way back to the land of nod.
  9. Start the process from step 6, above, and repeat until either all the biscuits are gone, or you feel the first twinge of repetitive strain injury on your paw (RSIP).
  10. Once you've finished the above, you will have tortured your human significantly, but there is one more step you can take to ensure you reach Maximum Human Torture (MHT). Just as you suspect they're about to slip back into slumbersville... Jump on them and demand food. Also, if you have the luxury of sharing your human with another cat, try getting the both of you to sharpen your claws on an item of bedroom furniture just before leaping up and demanding food. It's a nice touch.

The best part of the above - Coco says - is that when you execute step 10, your human will think it's entirely reasonable because by then it should be about 07h00, which is when cats naturally demand food.

Good luck, and happy torturing!