Things that should be put behind the <lj-cut> tag:
- Things that are not a note to a cat.
If you want to share something goofy, cross-post something, ask a question, great. But either re-format it into a note to a cat or put it behind a cut tag. Do not be surprised if someone asks you to cut it or reformat it; if you don't do so, the post may wind up deleted.
- Large or multiple images.
I've given up on trying to enforce putting all images behind cut tags, because LJ now has the placeholder images feature. However, large images and multiple images should go behind a <lj-cut>.
- Page-breaking items.
If your content has bad HTML (especially bad tables), very long character strings, or extremely large images, it will mess up people's friends pages. I do tend to enforce this one much more stringently than some of the others.
- Advertising of related communities or other resources.
If you must advertise a related community or other resource, also do that behind a cut tag. Related communities include other pet communities and other note_to_ communities. Other resources might be other webpages, funny things you think the community will appreciate, or anything else that is outside of the community and is not in the format of a note to a cat.
- Lengthy posts.
A good rule of thumb is this: if your post (images included) takes up more than one screen on your browser when you are scrolling through the community or your friends page, consider putting it behind the <lj-cut> tag.
- New! Offenses against the Queen's English.
(This is primarily an English-speaking community, so common errors in other languages are not addressed.) If you know you have difficulties with spelling, you should run your post through a spell-checker (LJ has one) before posting. Bob the Angry Flower has a guide on the use of the apostrophe. The moderators strongly urge that no matter how nifty your personal style of alternative punctuation may be to you, if it's in severe violation of standard English, it will make our eyes bleed and we don't want to see it. One or two little errors are understandable. But if the whole post makes us run screaming, please proofread or <lj-cut text="painful grammar, spelling, et cetera"> !!
Since enough people read LJ at work or in other situations where they can't afford to stop everything for a few minutes to compose themselves after reading a post about a heartbreaking situation, please try to put all posts that you think of as sad or disturbing behind a cut tag with an appropriate warning (for example, <lj-cut text="Warning: cats in shelter need help!>, <lj-cut text="Warning: grieving for cat"> or <lj-cut text="Lost cat">, et cetera) so that people can decide on their own whether it's appropriate for them to read that post just then.
- Potentially inflammatory topics.
The community tends to erupt in flames whenever people bring up certain topics. It's entirely appropriate to put, say, <lj-cut text="Cut for declawing issues"> on a post to try and let people who can't handle this topic avoid it. It's my ambition as a maintainer and moderator to avoid having to put out flames whenever possible.
And, for the love of Pete, if you see an entry that's tagged with a warning about something you know you're particularly touchy and apt to flame about (calling someone a murderer, an abuser, cruel, or unworthy to own pets are all examples of language I find to be flaming), DON'T CLICK IT unless you feel you can discuss the topic civilly and DROP IT if the person you're debating with does not come around to your side of the topic.
- Non-original content.
If it's an e-mail forward or something you've found somewhere else, chances are that lots of people have seen it before. It's not banned outright, but think before you post it, and use a cut. Especially if it's not an actual note.
Note that this is not a "cat-lovers" community per se. This is a community for people who have things to say to cats. The difference is crucial, especially because everyone defines "cat-lover" in a slightly different way. In general, this is a relaxed forum where people write notes to their cats and laugh, cry, and gossip together, with a laissez-faire government. However, under some circumstances, things happen, and the community abruptly becomes a pyroviragoligarchy.
Specifically, the community inevitably erupts in flames when someone mentions taking cats to a shelter that isn't guaranteed no-kill, or mentions declawing one of their charges.
To those people who are determined to hurl personal abuse at someone for taking a cat to a shelter or declawing a cat: get the fuck over yourselves and either keep it civil, shut up if you can't keep it civil, or else be banned and booted (warning beforehand entirely optional). "Civil" is by my rules, and the standards of my fellow moderators, and not necessarily yours.
To those people who are thinking about taking a cat to a shelter that does euthanize, or getting a cat declawed: please, before committing to these, research some of the other options. If you don't know where to start, ask around (even here), and the people who are familiar with the local no-kill shelters and declawing alternatives can share their wealth of experience. Declawing is illegal in some areas, but not all. There may even be someone in your area who can take in a cat that you can no longer care for.
To those people who have researched the options and come to the regretful conclusion that taking a cat to a dubious shelter or declawing (if legal in your area) is the only viable option under your particular circumstances, your presence here is still welcome. If other community members choose to harass you for this, I would refer them to this portion of the community guidelines.
To those visiting this community for the specific purpose of harassing the community, harassing a community member, or those inviting others to come and harass community members, bugger off. Using this community as a rallying point to conduct a flamewar upon another user or community is also right out. If I'm feeling exceptionally pissy, I may go far as to kick out people who have come from here and gone into other communities and made a nuisance of themselves, because it reflects poorly on this community when people do that.
I regret that making policies about flamewars had to become necessary, and I further regret that as least one really interesting person whose presence in the community always brightened my day wound up voluntarily leaving because one of their friends had the piss-poor judgment to be a flaming bitch without portfolio in here and left involuntarily.
Fortunately, the pyroviragoligarchy moments are relatively rare and sporadic. Enjoy your stay, and don't forget to pet your favorite feline.