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Saturday, December 08, 2018

Of whiskers and humans...

Dear George,
I need your help to understand humans and their true nature and behavior better. 
You see, my mommy is a medical doctor but not a behavioural specialist and she couldn’t answer my question! She’s specialized in something very difficult to pronounce so I won’t even bother.
Anyway, sometimes she takes me to her office. She created a room for me there, kind of a nursery. I can stay in there and watch people through a glass door – very funny! Last week we had to take the subway twice to the office since she took her car for a tune-up and, no, we couldn’t get a taxi which was very frustrating!  
I found the whole experience very interesting and amusing! Amusing to observe humans when they don’t realized that I was a hidden camera! At times was really hard not to laugh out loud! What I came to realize was that people try really hard to copy us – yes, like in the copycat song released last year by Billie Eilish: “Copycat trying to cop my manner….Copycat trying to cop my glamour”.
George, humans are trying to grow whiskers! Mostly the men! I’ve seen few elderly ladies trying really hard though! The younger ladies are more focus on eyelashes! Guess they can’t grow anything compare to ours so they using fake ones! So, so funny! But, my question is: why are humans trying so hard to imitate us? What is all this about?
Yours …in disguise  
Angelica

Dear Angelica
At last humans are beginning to see that our beauty and our lifestyle are well worth imitating. Their rather pathetic attempts at growing whiskers are a good example. Yes, the males manage a lot of hair round the lower half of their heads and (like our whiskers) the hairs are stronger than their normal head fur. But....
The whiskers don't work like ours. They don't work at all. We can move our whiskers backwards and forwards. We can detect surfaces (rough or smooth) with them. And when we swing them forward, if we have a mouse in our jaws, we can tell if the prey is struggling or limp. It's our sixth sense, almost. Watch them here.
Human whiskers can do none of these things.
Poor idiots. They do try, you know. I have written a manual entitled 100 Ways to be More like Your Cat, to help them. Anonymously, of course. It seemed to unkind to mention whiskers, so I concentrated on other lifestyle advice!
Yours
George.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Do cats need to take supplements?


Dear George,
I’m quite worried about my mummy as I believe she fell victim to marketing and advertising promoting supplements and superfoods for pets. Lately she behaves very strange and our kitchen start looking like an apothecary, if you know what I mean!
Little bottles and containers with mysterious stuff inside… on every single counter! When she’s preparing my food she’s like a pharmacist measuring and weighting powders and other things.
I’m damn sure she doesn’t try to poison me but all this it’s very unsettling for me! I heard her saying that I should get more anti-oxidants! Why? I don’t have “oxidants” in my body so why taking “anti” something that I don’t have? The other day I caught her ordering online some “super greens” for me.
Could this be genetically modified cat grass? If that’s what it is….then, no thank you! I would not have that – very damaging to anybody’s health. Our bodies are so much smaller compared to humans’ bodies! It will be devastating! I think she’s watching too many commercials on TV! Definitely she’s following too many holistic veterinarians (not that they are any different than the others…they all smell the same). George, I don’t know what to do about this situation! Do cats really need to take supplements? I need you advice! And, in the meantime I’ll have some “regular”, normal grown cat grass (oats) as you can see in the photo attached.
Chico

Dear Chico,
We cats are carnivores with a digestive system that is designed to eat the bodies of rodents, birds and insects. That means not just their flesh but their innards, their skin, their bones, etc. We probably eat a little green stuff in the rodent gut and we definitely eat grass occasionally.
An all-flesh diet of something like steak doesn't give us everything we need. Nor does an all-vegetable diet. Nor does an all-fish diet. An all-liver diet can kill us with hypervitaminosis. Feeding a home-made diet is complicated.
In the past we cats were fed scraps and milk and fish (those two items used to be cheap) and we supplemented our diet with catching mice and birds. Cats fed odd diets by their owners can still do that, as long as they have a cat flap. But cats that live indoors without a cat flap cannot do that.
So supplements for cats on home-made diets are a good idea. Which ones? Your owner should ask a qualified vet for advice and follow it. It's probably better to choose a well qualified vet and stick to their advice, rather than taking a piece of advice here and another there and maybe getting muddled.  As for TV commercials, Youtube "influencers," pet shops, etc - these are not the right places to get advice. They do not know enough.
You've gone through so much, you need the best, Chico.
Yours
George.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Can my human infect me?


Dear George,
Looking at the picture attached you might be horrified thinking of the worst scenario but, please take a deep breath and relax …as I am okay! The little “chair on wheels” is not for me…it is for my human auntie who is a stubborn eccentric! I told her many times to be careful when walking outside on an icy road! I told her that not only she doesn’t use all her limbs to walk …she’s using just two of them and she doesn’t have proper claws – humans’ claws are so brittle! I told her that her high heel boots are not proper claws and don’t give same grip as our twenty-two claws! Did she listen to me? Of course not!
She went out on stilettos, slipped, fell and broke one leg! Who’s suffering now? ME!
Because she needs to stay at my place now, take over my room and bed while I’m being left with this little thing that moves around (if you push it)! The cast on her leg freaks me out and I’m too mad at her to share the bed. I’d gladly “unpunish” my mommy and share the master bedroom but she’s coughing and sneezing! I don’t know what’s wrong with humans but my question to you George is: what are the chances for us cats to catch a cold from a human?
In distress,
Shumba

Dear Shumba,
Another example of Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Good. No wonder they fall down, as they totter about with only two legs, no proper claws to grip the ground when unsteady, and without that miraculous feline balance which allows us to walk along narrow fences without falling. As for high heels ... the sheer stupidity of humans takes my breath away. 
That said, the wheelchair makes quite a good cat chair for you! So it's not all bad news.
Can you catch a cold from your human? There are one or two cold of flu viruses which humans can pass on to us but this doesn't happen very often. Most of the time when we start sneezing or coughing, we have caught a cat virus not a human one. Every now and again excitable humans get worried about catching flu from us: that's not impossible but it's not very likely.  Most of the time we don't share the same cold and 'flu viruses.
Just make sure she doesn't run you over when she is using those wheels!
Yours
George
 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Of humans, cats and exercise!

Dear George,
I’m totally puzzled by the amount of money, time and attention humans spend on such “non-sense” as exercise or work-out (if you wish)! I look at my human mommy and wonder about her sanity! She gets the latest fashionable sport gears, she’s getting up at 6 in the morning to run her 3k like a maniac, she’s obsessed with cardio, aerobic, yoga, etc. – you name it and she’ll be right on! I no longer know what to make of her! I really think I like my human daddy better! Not that he’s lazy but he doesn’t do all these crazy things! I think he’s a great cat at heart! George, my problem is: how do I convince my mommy that following the cats’ path to wellbeing is better and safer that the crazy things she does now!  How do I convince her that getting up late, being late for work, staying in bed with me and just doing the stretch I do (see the photo attached) is much more fun and much safer than running outside in cold weather! So much more joyful and peaceful!
Are most humans actually incarnated dogs? Definitely dogs will do these crazy things!

Puzzled, lazy but… happy
Stanley

Dear Stanley,
Humans would be so much happier if they imitated us cats. We know how to relax and we also know how to minimize effort (which isn't quite the same thing!). And we don't spend money on sports clothing. Indeed, we are purrfectly happy even though we don't spend money at all. Not a cent. Not a penny.
How do you convince a human to slow down? Impossible, I fear. They are a restless species unable to lead a sensible life. My latest book, 100 Ways to be More Like Your Cat, (alas published under the name of my human pet, Celia, and available here) tries to bet through to humans. But I don't think it working.
Yours gloomily
George
PS. Don't get me started on dogs and their craziness.
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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Cats in books - and how to make an affirmation board

Dear George,
I’d like to share some good news and some not so good!
Good news: I took up reading! I had to since my human pets are avid readers and like to cozy up with a book by my side! One on each side. 
Not so good:  I have to stay put…sometimes for hours! I know they need my emotional and physical support but sometimes I feel like a book holder – holding a book for each!
At the beginning I was like “OK! I’m killing time…so I was napping! But after a while I started browsing through their books and I must admit I found interesting things!
Interesting sayings! Words of wisdom! I’ll share some: “The purity of a person’s heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals” - Anonymous or “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Mahatma Gandhi
“I’ve met many thinkers and many cats, but the wisdom of cats is infinitely superior” –Hippolyte Taine or “I’m fond of pigs! Dogs look up to us! Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals” – Sir Winston Churchill.
And my favorite of all: “There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats” – Anonymous! Isn’t this great wisdom?
George, I’d like to make a “daily affirmation” board for my human pets! How do I make it? Any suggestions? Ah! So, so inspirational!
Hmm! I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by my own ideas …I think I’ll take a nap for now!  
“If you want to write, keep cats.” – Aldous Huxley
Chico

Dear Chico,
I have made an affirmation board for myself out of a bedroom door. If it is shut, I go into creative mode and run my claws downwards and slantwise. This results in interesting affirmative patterns which inspire me to  artistic further effort. My human, however, has no artistic taste and dislikes these intensely. However, they have inspired her to leave the door half open most of the time. (This means it swings so I cannot add to my art). 
Try it, Chico. The path of a feline artist is a lonely one. But maybe your humans are more creative than mine. 
Yours 
George.
PS. Love the quotes.
PPS. Maybe wallpaper would make a good affirmation board.

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