I always feel bad when I have to scold them. I don't have many rules. All I ask is that they don't scratch anything but Ade-approved scratching devices (I really don't care if they mutilate the carpet or the crappy futon, but I don't want them thinking it's cool to shred furniture in general), go on the dining room table or kitchen counters, go potty anywhere but the cat box, or intentionally bite/scratch people who don't deserve it. Right now I'm trying to break Yarmulke of her tendency to scratch pretty much anything (particularly my pants when I'm wearing them), and they're both starting to learn that I don't want them on the table. Yarmulke is slowly getting better about hopping down to the chair when I tap it and say "get down," but Bouncer is stubborn. If they don't get down by themselves, I pick them up and set them on the chair or floor while saying "get down," but half the time, Bouncer just jumps back up again. I finally shut her in the guest room so I could eat dinner in peace, and she gave me that sad kitten look and cried for a couple minutes.
Gosh darn it, they know I have a serious weakness for kittens, and they sure know how to work it. Then I feel like the bad girl for punishing them or even just scolding them. Those eyes... those big, shining eyes... I am helpless to their power. I shouldn't feel guilty for scolding them, because you'll never learn how to behave if you don't repeatedly screw up and get yelled at first. And I'd like to live in a house where my new couch isn't shredded (they've left it alone, actually - microfiber doesn't have that texture cats love to scratch) and I can eat a meal without a cat poking her nose into my bowl. Haha, wishful thinking, I know. I'll be lucky if they only get on the table when they think I'm not paying attention.