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Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas is coming..... food, trees, and catnip

Dear George,
Christmas is coming and I don't know if it's a good thing or not given the high level of anxiety experienced by my family. I don't even know if it's anxiety or excitement. Lately they went nuts - they cook, they bake, they decorate the house, they stay up late and all these are disturbing my sleep. I don't exactly know who Christmas is and how it looks like or how Christmas will get to our house but I don't want anybody invading my territory! All I hear all day long is "let's share....it's Christmas" or "be nice.....it's Christmas" or "in the spirit of Christmas" over and over again! I remember last year about same time we got the house full of my humans' family and friends and I had to hide for a full week. I don't want this to happen again so I got up high on the roof watching my territory (picture attached). But....should I really chase Christmas away if I see it coming to my house? To tell you the truth George.....I like how the house is decorated, I like the smell of food and cookies, I like the festive atmosphere....so what should I do?
I like that everybody is jolly and they wish each other Merry Christmas!
Maybe if you'll explain to me what Christmas is all about and how I can best enjoy it....I will stay up high and...welcome Christmas in my territory!
A very meowy Christmas to all....
Zoe

Dear Zoe,  
It is not easy to explain Christmas. Humans are so inconsistent. On the one hand it is boring for cats - lots of strange humans coming round, too much liquid catnip consumed, humans quarrelling or laughing inanely... And, boy can they eat - turkey, goose, ham, bacon, sausages, pudding, brandy butter, custard, cream, bits on sticks, bits on binis, smoked salmon, unsmoked salmon, prawns, pasta, .... enough to make a sensible cat sick.
Feast well but a note of warning. Yes, there is a lot of food on offer. You can sneak into the room where they are going to eat and if you are quiet just fill up on whatever is there.You can steal stuff off the kitchen counter. You can gobble up fallen bits of food on the kitchen floor. You can pull down the trash can and eat what is inside it. You can even go out in the garden and eat some of the food they put down for the birds. 
Avoid the liquid catnip. There are cats who have overindulged and fallen off the mantlepiece breaking a leg or two. Avoid the Christmas pieces of string or tinsel - they can get wrapped round your innards. Avoid grapes, onions, avocado, raisins and chocolate - all poisonous. There's no need to make a fool of yourself. Humans will do that for you.
Christmas trees are fair game. Liven up the party by climbing up them. Or by pulling them down. Take a look at some creative felines adding to the Christmas fun here
Have a happy Christmas.
George



Saturday, December 13, 2014

My human has gone stark staring mad.... she thinks she is training me.

Dear George,
What do you do about a human pet that has gone mad. Stark staring bonkers. She has started a regime of feeding me on a mat.
OK, you might think there is nothing wrong with this. But there is. It is the way she is doing it.
At first she more or less fed me when I was sort of half on the mat. Then she stopped doing this which upset me terribly. I didn't know why the rules had changed. Now I think I have got it. I have to have all four paws on the mat before the food will be delivered to me.
But she keeps changing things. She moves so that she and the mat are in different positions. So I feel anxious and worried. Will 4 paws do the trick in each new position? Each time I have to experiment to find out. She looks pretty fed up as I gingerly put one paw, then two, then walk away several times before putting all four on.
She is also videoing me and I feel like Len, who earlier complained, that I have no privacy. What I can't work out is why she is doing this. And I get confused because she is rather inconsistent and sometimes gives me some food when I am not doing it.
What on earth is going on?
Toby, the Cross-Eyed Stray.

Dear Toby,
Your human has fallen victim to the illusion that cats can be trained. It's a sad insight into their delusional thought processes.
I suggest that you turn the whole project round. Train her. Four paws on the mat, look up appealingly, food is produced, another appealing look and with luck more food will arrive. This looks like co-operation but in fact is cat training a human to dispense food. What does she get out of it? Nothing except a lousy video. What do you get out of it? Food. It's a no brainer.
Yours George
PS. This YouTube intrusion into our privacy get worse every day.  It's cat porn for cat addicts.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Movember - the annual festival of whisker envy.


Dear George,
Here we are -  worried about our male human's behaviour and deeply contemplating (as you can see in the picture) the idea of getting him some professional help.
Therefore you were commissioned by us to help us understand his behaviour and eventually help him get back to his senses. We have to alert you thou that he does this ONLY in November. He did it last year and he did it again this year. Although he is not delusional we think he firmly believes he is in some sort of competition with us.  
What make us think so? Well, the fact that he's trying to grow "whiskers" each November. We truly believe he is jealous of our beautiful, long whiskers and he desperately is trying to beat us with his "whiskers" but all he grows is some ugly, bushy hair under his nose. Nothing compared to our elegant, long whiskers. He is not trying to grow hair on any other part of his body; at least we did see it. Such a pity! We tried to show him how to groom properly; we "licked and washed " his face, his head, we tried "to pull" the hair from under his nose and we could tell he did not appreciate our efforts. By the end of November he got rid of that bush under his nose. Why? What was the purpose? Could this be a "November syndrome" that our daddy is suffering of? Is there any treatment? George, what do you think?
In gratitude
Blackie &Spokie

Dear Blackie and Spokie,
This is a very sad case, isn't it! Humans have a deep unconscious whisker envy. Whatever they do, however long they try, they cannot produce cats' whiskers. Even the longest ones are floppy rather than properly stiff and they have no feeling in them at all. They are a poor excuse for a proper whisker.
But the deep whisker envy makes them keep trying and a good cause such as Movember (in favour of male human cancer) gives them an excuse. Each year thousands of male humans try to grow whiskers. They concentrate their efforts between the mouth and nose, where a proper whisker pad, of the kind we have, might be expected.
They grow a pathetic half inch or so. Then they realise that this is fundamentally thick fur, rather than proper whisker. There is no feeling and no movement in it. We can move our whiskers forwards and back and feel the struggles of a mouse we are carrying. They can do nothing of that.
So at the end of November, they give up - pretending that they meant to do this all along, denying their own whisker envy.
Be kind to him. He has suffered a grievous disappointment.
Yours pityingly,
George

 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Strange creatures invading my territory


Dear George,
I was strongly advised by my cousin, CAT Victoria,  to write to you and ask for help as neither one of us knew what to do in my dramatic situation. Here is my story: I was rescued as a kitten and after a stressful period of adaptation in my new home (mostly due to being continuously sniffed at by the dog) I finally came to terms with everything and everybody (meaning the dog). My humans are very well trained and I think it is more of my cousin's merit rather then their human intelligence. Anyway, they provide and I take - as you can see in the photo attached. However, my happiness is in danger and I have no intention to let it be short lived. I enjoy my new home, I ignore the dog on daily basis and  I kinda like my mommy, especially when she's holding me in her arms. But....I was horrified to discover this strange creature (photo on the right)
EATING my food in the backyard. George, what is this? Certainly it's not a dog nor is it a cat. Its coat hurts anybody touching it and this strange "thing" can disappear in a ball. CAT Victoria thinks it is an ET and she's trying to communicate with it. This strange creature dares to eat my food and dares to sleep in one of my little houses in the backyard. The worst part yet? My humans seem to like this "thing"; they are talking to it and gave it a name. Is there a possibility that I might have been rescued and adopted by extra-terrestrials? Do you think they plan to abduct me and take me to the outer space? At least that's what my cousin thinks. George, do you think I'm safe in this creature's proximity?
Help(less)
Kitty-Kitty

Dear Kitty-Kitty,
Human beings are ridiculous. They have you, one of the most beautiful cats in the world with your amazing wildlife coat colouring, and they are giving your food away to a small odd creature with spikes and fleas. No, Victoria is wrong. It's not an alien, though it looks like one. It won't eat you or abduct you or try to form a relationship of some unhealthy type.
I think your hedgehog looks slightly different from the ones near me (photo below). Shorter noses perhaps.

But hedgehogs are natural flea bags. Covered with them. As your silly humans will discover if they try to pick it up. Admittedly hedgehog fleas are not cat fleas but even hedgehog fleas can give us cats quite a nasty bite. So my advice to you is to keep a sensible distance away from it. Tell Victoria if she wants to communicate to do it from a distance. Perhaps she could try some kind of feline semaphore!
And what on earth is it doing in the garden as winter approaches? Here in the UK they hibernate. They find heaps of leaves or grass and burrow down into it and sleep through the bad weather. Some people buy hedgehog hibernation cabins here.
May I be frank, Kitty-Kitty. Just ignore this latest human craze. It's not worth bothering about their behaviour.  Hedgehogs are boring. Now if it was mice.....
Yours
George 
PS.  If you hate your humans, or keep having to punish them with claws and teeth, then a TV company would like to hear from you. Email them at catdocumentary@gmail.com 


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Grass for your very own lawn -- a pre Christmas gift for indoor cats


Dear George.
I thought I'd show you my Christmas present from my people.......a U Beaut, fully turfed, indoor lawn!  Excuse the Aussie slang.....can't help it sometimes....
As I may have mentioned before, I am a total indoor cat, albeit with my own personal jungle gym in the form of rafters going up into the ceiling....but no grass. I have, from time to time mentioned this to my staff, and finally they have listened.
Friends have been laying turf around their house, and I have scored the off cuts.  The "garden" tray sits inside a water tray, so that in the heat we are currently enduring*, [particularly me, with the' full on' fur coat] the whole thing stays cool and fresh.
I consider this a stroke of genius from my people, and worthy of a mention on your blog, don't you? 
I have to keep The Dog off it, in case (silly animal that she is), she thinks it's to dig in. Hence it is up on two chairs.
It's  41.5 C  outside, and we are all melting......I even have it in me to feel sorry for the Dog, but not enough to share my lawn...what am I...daft? But I do share it with the wallabies when it grows too high. My people just put it outside and the wallabies mow it down.
I do hope your Christmas includes heaps of paper to be silly with, and a sparkly tree to mess up. This is my favourite time of year...can't wait!
Best Wishes
Chaos 

Dear Chaos,
Love the lawn. Don't even think of letting The Dog near it. This is a rare example of human intelligence (they can more or less think but they just don't most of the time) allied with careful feline training skills. Congratulations. 
Sigh.... Christmas again. I can never decide if I like it or not. On the one hand there are good kitchen treats - turkey trimmings, cream, gravy, butter (left out on the table), and the chance to bat the decorations hanging from the Christmas tree.
On the other hand there are the hazards - humans drinking too much of their liquid catnip substitute, strangers in the home that want to harass you with petting, human-kittens that may want to pull your tail, and a lot of noise from the TV. 
And - horror of horrors, humans who put silly hats on you. What I want for Christmas is turkey, some cat treats like Dreamies, and a nice warm place to sleep away from drunk humans or quarrelling families.... must be great to be in Oz where everywhere is warm.
I catch rabbits here. I'd love to have a crack at the wallabies.
Yours
George

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, www.celiahaddon.com This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online VetTechprogramms.org