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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Under cover - what is this human babble about "fruit cup."


Dear George,
Vegas' sophisticated "hidden camera" story inspired me to be more creative. I didn't have much to spy on as my mommy is living a boring life (if you ask me) but I wanted to surprise her by going "under cover". Now, literary speaking "under cover" can have many meanings but...I just wanted to go "under cover" so my mommy won't recognize me.
In all truth I think I succeeded since when she saw me, her reaction was "oh! my fruit cup." Did she recognise me? Or di she really think I was fruit cup? (whatever that is.) She even called me "tangelo." Is this offensive or is it a compliment. How can I find out? If my "under cover" is so good.... I don't want to give it away! But, if it's too complicate and confusing or offensive.... I might just give it up.
George....help!
Yours "under cover"
Shumba

Dear Shumba,
Personally I find some of these human exclamations offensive. "Fruit cup?" It's not even worth bothering your head about what she means. "Tangelo?" Equally meaningless. These humans just blab away at us - blah blah blah. You have to ignore these vocalisations most of the time. Humans have an extraordinary range of vocal sounds, and really inadequate body language.
My advice to you, Shumba, is to adopt an air of lofty disdain when your human makes these offensive exclamations. They show a lack of proper respect. Disdainful ignoring is a good training tool. Respond to properly respectful actions like offering food or gentle stroking of the head area. Ignore pointless remarks. And - final sanction - use claws when necessary.
Training. Training. Training. This is the secret of a good cat-human relationship. A trained human is a happy human.
Yours George



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Catteries - another word for prisons.

Dear Mr.George,
I am addressing you formally, as I have been brought up to do, because we have not been introduced. I permit my staff to refer to me as “Dora” although my correct name is “Sunantre Stars and Stripes.” I refer to my appearance, not my country of origin. I am classified as Tonkinese, but have Burmillah ancestry and the stripes on my face, legs and tail line up beautifully when I curl up to sleep. Moreover, I am the daughter of no less than Champion Angisan Excalibur Knight and Kyetsi Katwalkkween.
You might suppose with such illustrious parents that my present staff would show me some respect. But they seem willing to deprive themselves of my patronage on a fairly regular basis. They bundle me into a plastic box when I least expect it, and put me in prison with a whole lot of other cats of very questionable pedigree. A week of cheap litter and meals served at inconvenient times is hard on my sensitive nerves.
Dear Mr.George, what can I possibly have done to deserve such treatment? I am gentleness itself (see picture) and diligent in my duties. My head of staff has a beard like a lavatory-brush, which I wash thoroughly without complaint every morning and evening. His deputy will not accept my supervision of the cuisine, and rejects all my attempts to assist her with sewing and knitting.
Please reply before I seriously consider some of the other applications I have received.
Yours in expectation,
Dora

Dear Dora,
Yours is a common complaint at this time of year and indeed my own troubles with the blog - photo not being put on last Saturday - was the result of much the same human behaviour. They go missing. They literally leave home. They call it "taking a holiday." This complete dereliction of duty occurs mainly in the summer months, though some humans leave home at Christmas too.
While human training will remedy several human behaviour problems, training is not the answer here. Instead, it is necessary to induce emotional dependance in your human. A human with the correct attitude to a cat is not so much a servant as a devoted slave with a servile attitude of wishing to please. Humans who have this attitude - sadly it is not very common - refuse to leave home on "holidays" knowing that it will upset their cat.
The normal human, having decided to leave home, then books us into catteries. While they are feasting on foreign food, we have to dine, as you say, on cheap meals in restricted surroundings. For them a holiday means a nice hotel and good meals: for us it means solitary confinement in a kind of prison.
You do not deserve this. No cat deserves this. But good staff are hard to find. I am considering starting a campaign, Cats Against Catteries. Our distress is in proportion to their holiday enjoyment. The thought makes me want to scratch.
Yours 
George 
PS. I note that you wash the beard of your head of staff. Isn't sad how they don't seem to be able to use their tongues to wash themselves.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Would a pigeon make a good friend? Or dinner?

Dear George,
I would like to hire you to assess my humans' behaviour and see if there is something wrong with them.
I don't think they behave quite normal lately. I worry it could be something very bad but hopefully not contagious.
You see...I'm trying to make friends with this beautiful bird to get her in the house and have some fun!
But, they stay in my way, especially my mom! I'm making that small "friendly" noise to attract the bird in and my mom is hushing her away.
My dad is no where in sight! I mean....what kind of behaviour is this? It is true that I run and hide when they have friends in the house but what could be the cause she's scaring away my friend? Do you think they are afraid of my new friend?
Are they trying to avoid running and hiding? Please help!
With gratitude
Zoe

Dear Zoe,
A bird would make a wonderful plaything. What I like doing is leaping in the air, grabbing them, and then tossing them about. I also enjoy stalking them, even if they do flutter off before I get to them. And I spend a lot of time (like you do) just watching them through the window.
Not so much a friend, as a meal. They taste good. Have you ever stolen a piece of raw chicken skin from the trash can?  Well, they taste like that. Absolutely delicious. No wonder you are making that "friendly" chattering noise. I can't help doing that too when I see them through the window. So exciting....
Your humans are just spoil sports. Fun-hating bipeds with a ridiculous attitude about birds. They seem to prefer them to us - maybe that's because birds are bipeds too. Humans always try to stop us catching birds and conservation humans are the worst.They are horribly prejudiced against our hunting skills.
You don't find humans trying to protect rats. Or even caring very much about mice. See if you can go get that bird in summer when they leave the window open.... 
Yours in anticipation
George

Friday, August 29, 2014

From hard copy to social media - the modern cat's publicity journey.

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Dear George,
With your expertise in human behaviour and savvy in technical world, you definitely can help me with my problem. I don't want to ask my humans for help as they tend to be too nosy and I don't want them to kill my entrepreneurial spirit. You may recall that recently my brothers (Jasper & Riley) opened a "kitchen cleaning" business. However, I have no interest in cleaning kitchens as I'm more of a "spa" kind of girl. And, after testing different spa treatments given to me by my humans I'm thinking to open a "Cat Spa" boutique and hire both my humans for their wonderful rubbing and petting services. My mom gives the best belly rubs and my father is ecstatic holding and petting a cat.  I have my business plan well designed but I don't know how to use the media (you know Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to advertise myself. 
Can you help?
Purrs & rubs
Patches

Dear Patches,
It is essential for today's cat to get online and promote themselves on social media. Years ago, if a pet wanted to make a mark on the world, he had to do hard copy. Flush, the cocker spaniel who owned Elizabeth Barrett Browning, persuaded Virginia Woolf to write his autobiography but most cats and dogs were unable to get their life stories published.
Now the world is different. Four out of ten of British cats have gone online and have staff that regularly post our photos and news on social media. I and hundreds of other cats blog - for details look here and for Hannah and Lucy from Leicestershire here. About 13% of the UK cat population have a Facebook page. You can find Mabel of Stroud, the famous black cat that lives in the town, on Facebook here.  And 9% of us have our own Twitter presence. Naturally, Larry the prime feline of Downing St (his secretary is Britain's prime minister) posts on twitter here  and my feline PR Tilly tweets here
The new media, like the old hard copy, depends on having an efficient human secretary since keyboards are ill-adapated to paws. Due to a shameful mistake by my inefficient secretary, your photo has gone missing so I have had to substitute one for the time being. So difficult to get  good human staff nowadays. I will amend the photograph as soon as possible.
Yours apologetically
George. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The hidden camera to spy on humans - look for the eyes

Dear George,
Lately I've  heard a lot of stories about people spying on other people or dogs or cats or whatever.
At the beginning I didn't pay much attention as I learned from your blog that humans are strange creatures with strange habits, quite unsecured, emotionally unbalanced and pretty limited when it comes to their IQ.
But, I was happy with mine until last week when I learned that they have installed a hidden camera to spy on us (we are 4 cats in the house) while they were away. I was stunned watching them laughing and making fun of us.
Well, this required immediate action and drastic measures. So I decided to use the most sophisticated "hidden camera" that ever existed. It senses any motion, detects any smell, can "see" in 3D and can see in the dark.
My hidden camera is my brother Bentley....can you see him? No! Nor do my humans!
Tonight, it will be Bentley's first night on his "hidden camera" mission. We'll start with their master bedroom. I'm sure by morning we (the cats) will have a good laugh!
But, George....I need your help clarifying one issue! Is it legal or illegal to use a hidden camera?
Yours in good fun,
Vegas 

Dear Vegas,
We cats are the best spies in the world. Most humans don't realise that they are only about ten yards away from a cat - wherever they are. We watch.... we watch all the time. We can hear the footfall of a mouse or the rustle of a rat. We can detect the smallest of movements in the bushes or near the dustbins in the street.
I share your irritation with humans who laugh at us - yes, they actually have the unbounde cheek to laugh at their superiors. It won't take much to find the hidden cameras and I suggest you topple them to the ground, wherever they are. Or use a bolder strategy. Just back up to the camera and let fly a well aimed jet of urine. That will fix it.
Bentley's technique looks to me as if he will be more effective than any camera. Because he is black, he can hide in the shadows. The only thing that gives him away in the photo is one golden eye half open. He has now in line to became the James Bond of the feline world. Indeed he will be better than Bond, since he won't be distracted (due to an unfortunate operation) by the presence of Pussy Galores!
Best of luck, Vegas.
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