Discipline is not my strongest suit. When I was employed as a camp counselor in the summers between college semesters I found that I could not reprimand my campers without breaking into a goofy smile. The smile always betrayed my intentions and undermined my authority but I couldn't help myself. It just seemed so ludicrous to me that I was playing the role of authority figure in the first place – I had to give myself away. Occasionally, the campers would listen to me but I always believed those rare occasions amounted to nothing more than them humoring me.

My relationship with my cats is no different. I try to scold with a stern voice and stiff posture but the quizzical looks on their faces that greet my every outburst are so precious that I almost immediately loosen my shaking index finger, take the edge out of my voice, and cry, "who's a little pooper?" (answer: them) It's humiliating. Once, after a typical scold-to-cherish episode, I swear I saw my cats high-five each other.