Follow by Email

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Showered..... in kisses. Purr or Grrr?

-->
Dear George,

I’m Beau and I was blessed with the same great family as Paco. I’m a rescue and, of course, Paco’s younger brother. But, let me tell you something: Paco loves drama! He likes to be the center of attention; he starves himself lying down on the cutting table just waiting for our daddy to share his dinner looking… in to each other’s eyes! Phew! Such a nonsense! He thinks he is the Alpha Cat! Well…he’s not! I am the Alpha Cat in the house! I can’t care less about anybody in the house! They all have to serve me J

I have a big “cat-attitude” and big blue eyes! Having blue eyes is mandatory if you want to get showered in kisses! My only problem George is how do I stop/turn off the shower?

My mommy loves me so much and kisses me so much that sometimes I feel like opening  the gate and running away (as you can see in the photo). I know I can be and do whatever I want; I can be a movie star, I can be on TV, I can be on YouTube….but I chose to be in charge of this funny, loving family. Of course it’s so much fun making Paco jealous! Of course it’s a lot of fun making my humans worry about my disposition! Humans are so good at blaming themselves for everything! I laugh out loud! Often! But, George, how do I tell them that ….sometimes I need time for myself! I need my space, but….not on a cutting board! Do you think the cause of all this it’s my blue eyes? Should I change the color of my eyes?

Cheerfully yours

Beau-Beau 

Dear Beau-Beau,  
It's wonderful that you have such a loving human but some humans don't know when to stop. They follow us around, they cuddle us close, they kiss us and they pick us up all the time.  It is very stressful for us - scientific research has proved that cuddling and kissing may push some cats' stress hormones higher than normal.
Your reaction depends on your training programme. I do hope you have one. Some cats rely on reward-only training and hesitate to use punishment. I use a Claw and Order programme, which involves a smart push by the front paws claws retracted, followed by a stronger push with claws out, graduating finally to the ultimate punishment a sharp nip. So far I have never had to bite down. The human withdraws at an earlier stage.
Because our pets cannot understand cat language, we have to be clear in our commands - and punishment may be the only way to do this. If, however, you are dedicated to reward-only training, you will have to try other measures such as ceasing all purring, wriggling hard to get away, or even hiding under the bed. 
What is important is that you make your feelings absolutely CLEAR.  Personally I would scratch!!
Yours 
George.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I want to have a career in Feline TV


-->
Dear George
Have you noticed how many cats there are on television these days? From motivational speakers to singing cats, every ad seems to feature a furry feline. It’s got me thinking – how could I get in on this action and start my career on the screen?
I’m a pretty handsome, lively young boy – if I do say so myself – so I think I’ve got what it takes to be a TV star, but how do I convince my human? While I await your reply, I will practice strutting my stuff!
Yours,
Joe x

Dear Joe, 
It is your lucky day. I happen to know of a TV company looking for feline stars in the UK. Chalkboard TV say they are looking for Britain's "quirkiest cat owners."  
Decode that and it means cats with the best trained owners - the sort of owners that give you the biggest side of the bed, that don't mind you sitting on their heads, that let you share the shower, are grateful to be woken up by their toes being bitten under the duvet, and/or generally run the household. If your owner is like that contact lorna@chalkboardtv.com  with a photo of yourself.
Send that email now!!
George 
PS. Let's hope they don't put cat addicts on the show, the sort of people who are cat hoarders.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Rescued... once again.


Dear George,
It's me, Bander, the cat rescued by a whole pet food store! Remember my story? Well, let me tell you the latest news! After that client of ours started making sarcastic comments about my size and shape...the staff analyzed the situation and they agreed that I'm taking my job as the night shift "food quality manager" way too serious (as you can see in photo 1) and this might affect my health. Since there was no other career opening for the moment at the store, the youngest staff member (and the cutest) Danielle decided to take me home to boss her dog around. You might think "why a dog"? Well, this dog is very special; he LOVES cats - can't live without a cat bossing him around! So, I was rescued once again! But, the dog is a lot of work! We play together, we sleep together, but we don't eat together! The result of my new job? I slimmed down a lot as you can see in photo 2. Of course I'm happy! I have a big backyard and a lot of space to run around, I have a lovely dog to boss around and I have the most lovely Danielle to cuddle to.
But the truth is that even if I'm very happy now...my ego was hurt when people tried to shame me for being fat! George, for my own sake please explain to me the difference between being fat, overweight and obese! In my not so humble opinion ...I was just well rounded and nothing else!
Cheers,
Bander

Dear Bander,
This puts me in a bit of a spot. In principle I claim that humans have no right to be judgemental about feline size - I mean just take a look at the passersby from your window. About 60% are overweight and of those a further 50% are obese. This species has no right to be critical of fat cats. And I strongly object to the way we are stigmatised in the press, as if we were money-grubbing humans. Cats are not interested in money. This is a particularly vile insult.
That said, being very overweight is not good for our health. Cats get arthritic like humans and being overweight is a stress on the joints. It's probably not good for a whole range of other diseases too and I would remind all cats reading this that disease means a trip to those torturers known as vets. Stay healthy and you stay out of the vet's surgery with its horrible smells and whining dogs.
Overweight? The STS or Sagging Tummy Syndrome does inflict many of us, who are unable to regulate our diet naturally. And if we don't have any exercise, it gets worse. I am lucky enough to go out and kill rats and mice, but indoor cats cannot hunt - so they need hunting games with their humans. Obese? That is more of a problem. If the human cannot feel your ribs, then it is an issue. So perhaps leaving your job as food quality inspector was a good idea.
But I bet the customers miss you.
Love 
George

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Training my human -- should I purrsist?

Dear George,
My name is Prudence, like you I am a black cat, and like you I am lively, highly intelligent and insatiably curious. Unfortunately my human Rose went off to university leaving me stuck at home with her rather dim mother, whom I have spent several years trying to train. I have managed to get her to understand a variety of very simple MEOWs: - Get Up its 5am! Open the door NOW! Any nice food in that bag? Catnip NOW! but we seem to be reaching her limit of understanding. 
Any ideas on how to extend her ability to learn would be most useful. I am getting bored of saying the same old meows every day. 
I do rather wish I could have gone to university too, perhaps to study human behaviour and cognition. Or mice.
Best wishes, Prudence

Dear Prudence, 
You have done well to train your older human so effectively. It will not be easy to improve her much more. Do you have the time and the patience to purrsist? You might try training her (if you have not already done so) to buy the right kind of cat food.
This requires self discipline, because it is done by refusing to eat inferior brands or, at least, pretending to eat with great reluctance, then covering the food as if it was something in the litter tray.  (Yes, you can of course eat this on the sly from the food recycling bin once she has thrown it out).  Loud purring when you get the right kind of food followed by a lot of rubbing against her will reward her. Most humans can learn which food to choose on the supermarket shelves.
I am sorry to hear about Rose. Humans that get obsessed with studying often suffer from stereotypic repetitive behaviour. Celia has been particularly trying lately, spending all her time on the computer and showing every sign of being stressed out. At her age she should know better and would do, if only she was a cat.
Many Oxford and Cambridge colleges have career opportunities as the college cat. Register with Felinked in. Purrsonally I wouldn't bother studying human behaviour at university - it is blinding obvious that the species is just thick.
Yours
George.
PS. More details of college cat life here.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Dinner is late.... again

Dear George,
I was blessed with a good family! I always took pride in how well I trained my humans but lately I have my doubts. Between you and me? I think I failed in training my "daddy".
See, I always enjoyed having dinner with him! What can be better than looking in each other's eyes and share a ..... juicy steak? But, he is a workaholic! And, I'm afraid I'll develop "emotional eating" waiting for him every night! Sometimes I climb 50 feet tall trees trying to see where he is but most of the times I'm waiting for him in the kitchen (as you can see in the photo attached). George, I worry about my wellbeing! I read in a book that "emotions" derived from the Latin verb "emovere" meaning "to move" therefore the word "emotion" covers any feeling that moves the mind and my mind it is "moved" towards "eating"! George, what do you know about "emotional eating"? Is it going to make me fat? Most humans manifesting "emotional eating" are fat and depressed.
Should I become a vegetarian and punish my daddy?
Yours in distress
Paco

Dear Paco,
Do not despair. We all of us have these moments when we think we have failed. Failed to train our humans properly. Failed to allow for their little foibles. And it is at moments like this that we need help and support from other felines.  
Yes, some cats do develop emotional eating - from boredom, from stress or from the difficulties of living with a different species (humans). But you do not look to me, as if you would do that. I can tell from the wonderful look of your coat that he has not failed in his grooming duties. And there is a look in your eye which tells me you are more resilient.
You are letting your human control you. That is a big mistake. Make him wait for you. Cut that waiting down by doing more tree climbing. If you have access to the street, start checking out alternative sources of food. Is there a lonely human somewhere who might feed you on the sly? Can you break through a cat flap and steal another cat's food?
That way when he comes home from a hard day's work, you won't be so hungry. Make him search for you. And use that wonderful look in your eye to make him feel guilty, very very guilty, so that you will get more of his steak! Act starving even though you have dined elsewhere.
I have full confidence in your abilities.
George.
 PS. Do not turn vegetarian: it is not a good diet for cats.

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