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Saturday, March 21, 2015

March break and.....humans

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Dear George,
I learned about your blog from a backyard friend and I'm quite happy I did as now...I found the right place to ask for advice and to complain about my human. But, first - can anybody explain to me what March break is? I know the schools are closed for a week or so and I assume it is because kids are behaving badly and teachers need a break to recover mentally and physically! I also assume that teachers can't hide under the bed or desk when the kids are around! I got that too. But why would humans pack and go away for March break when they don't even have kids? That's what I'd like to know George? Why my mommy went away leaving me behind stuck indoor and having a catsitter to look after me? Plus, she got me a deaf and possibly blind one. I'm pretty sure this was the case since all my efforts to get outside went unnoticed. No reaction to my meows or scratches at the back door. What mommy would leave her kid with a deaf and blind sitter?  Do you think I behave so badly that she needed a break? I don't think so! And I want revenge!
Yours....quite upset
Mouse
PS. my name is another story altogether ....for another letter

Dear Mouse,  
Your mommy has failed in her duty - which is to make herself available for you all the time, any time, day, night, weekend, weekday, summer, winter and spring (March included). To put it bluntly, she is not a good servant. You need to put some time and effort into training her better so that she knows her place in the household. 
As for the deaf, blind cat sitter. This beggars belief! If the cat sitter is still with you, then I suggest you leave a highly visible faecal message (a poop) on her pillow.  If she is in the bed at the time so much the better.  If she has already left, do the same for your mommy.
The amusing thing about this is that a cat behaviourist will tell her, you are pooping on the bed because you were upset about being left. Well, I guess that is true. But you will be having your revenge as well.
And, as every cat knows, revenge is a dish best eaten warm.
Yours 
George. 
PS. That carpet suits you. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cat wrestling ... do humans understand?


Dear George,
Nope! It's not what you think (looking at my picture with my brother).
I'd tell what it is - it is called CAT WRESTLING and I'm the champion in our house. It all started with my desire to help Stanley (my brother) to be more active.
Lately there was a lot of talk about lifestyle, healthy eating, being active - all this non-sense. If you think how much we helped humans to evolve over the years one might wonder if we didn't do ourselves a disservice. As soon as we trained them to be our humble servants they never stopped. They developed canned food, dry food, food in pouches, treats, frozen goods including farmed and frozen mice and all this in the name of their love for us! 
We marvel at all these packaged goods but in the meantime we became less and less active. Obesity runs rampant in North America for both cats and their humble servants. My brother is just an example; he's not obese yet but he's not active and he sleeps all day. So, I thought of something fun to entertain him and make him "move" around. That's how I started cat wrestling and I was quite successful until the day Mom caught me and started yelling to leave Stanley alone. She THINKS we are fighting. She said cat wrestling is absolutely forbidden in our house!
George, this is the reason I'm writing to you. Can she get me in trouble? It's just a game! Can she "make" cat wrestling illegal? I don't think she understands what "wrestling" is all about. What do you think?
A very upset wrestling champion
Rocky

Dear Rocky,
You are so right. Indoor living has a high risk of obesity. Lots of energetic games between loving siblings is just what is needed to keep healthy. So wrestling is great. But there is one worry. How does Stanley feel about this?  Is he enjoying it too?  Or does he feel bullied?
Humans are hopeless at working out whether wrestling is fighting or play fighting.  And it matters, because if it is fighting, not play, one of the cats will be feeling very unhappy. Are you biting him, Rocky? Is there fur, or even blood, on the carpet? If so he needs a new home.   
Is Stanley beginning to wear a cautious look? Is he being ambushed at the litter tray? Or frightened to go to the food bowl?  If the answer is "Yes" to this, then you are bullying him. He needs lots of hiding places, separate litterbox location and a separate food location.
On the other hand if Stanley starts a wrestling bout, if he plays an equal part in the game, if he is sometimes the winner, and if the play is reciprocal - then it is play. So wrestle on, my friend.
Love 
George.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

SOS from Toronto ....



Dear George,

We desperately need your advice in regards to what should we do to find a forever home.  We are two brothers: Frisky (in the basket - in the photo attached) and Speedy (in bed) who are looking to adopt a set of parents (we don't mind middle age singles either). Our story is sad. We have been rescued 2-3 years ago (as kittens) by our dear father who unfortunately and way to soon crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Our daddy loved us very, very much but our stepmother went into a nursing home. She wanted to surrender us to a shelter. Horror! You know what that means! Our human sister took us in for now but she has five other cats. For those who live in Toronto - you know what that means; it means she can not have more.  Her heart is broken and so is ours. Plus, we have to be adopted together. She'll screen very carefully all possible parents and she's willing to take us back if they won't be happy with us which is quite impossible since we are very good and well mannered. George, do you have any blog followers from Ontario, Canada? Can they cross-post if they read our letter? All we can say is for those interested in two sweet, shy, but beautiful boys to leave a message here at frisky2866@yahoo.ca .
George, any other tips? Advice? Our heart goes out to all the cats in shelters but we don't want to end up there.

Forever grateful
Frisky and Speedy

Dear Frisky and Speedy,
My heart goes out to you. I know what it is like to need a home. I was brought up in a shelter and bottle fed, because my mother couldn't cope. I did all right in the end, though. So I want to say to you that having to go to a shelter isn't the worst thing that could happen. 
The worst is to be chucked out like a piece of rubbish on to the street, to live or sometimes to die at the mercy of strangers.
I would ask everybody who reads this blog and has friends in Canada to pass it on via Twitter, Facebook and so forth. Social media might be able to help.
Yours George.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The perils of feline publicity... can I cope with stardom?

Dear George,
I am about to become a celebrity and I am very worried about my public image.  As the hero of Toby the Cross Eyed Stray, a biography of my adventures so far, I am not happy about some of the revelations in the book. At the time it was being written I trusted the writer; now I am feeling very let down, very disappointed, and very betrayed.
She says I am like Bradley Wiggins, the sports star. Fair enough. He's an attractive famous human and a ginger. Then she adds I am more "like a spotty teenager imitating Bradley Wiggins?" Is this fair? No. Can I help having acne under my chin? No.
There are other wounding comments about my liking for kitchen scraps and my ability to seek out food in unlikely places. She calls it cat burglar. I call it foraging.
Can I sue for libel? How can I cope with this unpleasant publicity.  I was thinking of lending my image to cat food companies - now I think this is out of the question. Who wants a cat with acne on their food label? She has contaminated my publicity.
Yours anxiously,
Toby.
PS. I am possibly going to be in the tabloid press too - Daily Mail. Oh the angst of it all.....

Dear Toby,
Celebrity status, of whatever kind, should be embraced and enjoyed. So called "reality" TV shows with humans have made it clear that imperfections, flaws, even downright wickedness is no bar to making a living out of being famous. All publicity is good publicity.
You don't have to do anything. Just smirk if your photo is being taken. Glory in your "foraging" abilities. This is cat misery memoir.... make it work for you. I have coped with my feline agony aunt publicity by enjoying it.
I will volunteer to be your agent (10% of everything), if the offers come rolling in.
Yours hopefully,
George.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Puppy alert!....ready for a claw and order programme.

Dear George,

Why humans are so unstable, never happy and always wanting something more or something else? Here is my story; I was rescued many years ago; my human found me hiding in a toolbox (hence my name) - a small, frightened kitten. He took me home and we have never ever been apart since, not even for one day. Even more, recently he went on buying this big house for me (we lived in a small apartment for many years). But, right when I'm about to enjoy my new paradise....I heard him saying that he'll bring home a puppy! I suspected that something might be wrong when he started coming home late and his cloths were smelling very strange. I can smell a rat ...but I can't smell a dog! I don't know what a dog smells like. And, above all, I don't want a puppy! What is a puppy good for? How can I live with a puppy in the house? I'm having a panic attack!

For now I got my "tools" out - as you can see in the picture (attached).

George, what should I do? Shred my human or the puppy?

All confused

Toolbox

Dear Toolbox,
I really feel for you....  Why do humans think things like puppies will make them happy? Why can't they be contented with cats. And why, oh why, don't they get it. We cats are not here to make them happy. They are here to make us happy. Who wants a puppy anyway?
To manage the situation you need to get your human to buy the right kind of puppy - a nice gentle breed like a labrador or spaniel, rather than a terrier or a chasing breed. Then, before the puppy arrives, get a crate. Put nice things in it so it becomes the puppy's den. That is where the puppy can be, while you are in the same room. (Or if your humans can't afford a crate, they must put a house line, a lead, on the puppy whenever it is in the same room as you).
The puppy must never ever ever be allowed to chase you. It it is allowed to do this, it may start seeing you as prey, and your future will be dire. You must be the puppy's master, top alpha cat, totally in charge. You must always be free to come and go, with high up places to get out of its way, and a little tray where you cannot be harassed.  Baby gates on the stairs might be a good idea too.
Yes, get those claws ready for discipline..... and don't let your humans stop you. 
Yours with sympathy
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