|Even sweet pets like this can be terrors when guests arrive.|
It seems like everyone has their own preferred method for dealing with this issue. Typically, they fall into one of three groups:
- Banishment. The animals are put in some other room or outside until all the guests are gone.
- Full disclosure. Guests are told about the animals in advance, and then the animals can do as they please.
- Prayer. Owners just hope this will be the one time the animals won't behave badly.
When my guest arrived, Liam was allowed to have about 5 minutes of craziness, and then he was asked to stay calm and relaxed or get a squirt from the water bottle. Similarly, the cats were asked to come in for affection, or leave the room if they felt threatened. They would also face a squirt for yelling or scratching.
Amazingly, this worked. These guys know what they should be doing, but I suppose they were waiting to see if I was serious about making them comply. Once I got serious, they did the same. Liam stayed in his bed for most of the party, and even shy Maggie and Lucy emerged for some affection. No bad behavior was on display.
I'd never claim this technique would work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me. I had a lovely dinner party, with my lovely pets. I don't know why I didn't try this before!