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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Misbehaving and the night watchman.

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Dear George,

I don’t know how active or athletic you still are but I must admit I’ve personally slowed down a lot! I rather get on a cozy pillow and read the letters on your blog than to jump up and down or take the stairs. I believe I didn’t jump up on a counter in the last three years… but last weekend I must have jumped up on the counters at least 200 times! Yes, you heard me right: 200 times! Why? Because that’s what some humans could drive you to do! No, not my humans but their company! Well, my humans decided to entertain post holidays and they invited a group of people for dinner. Among the guests there was this woman who tried to change the rules IN MY HOUSE! No less and no kidding!

Can you imagine that? How dare she? You see, the minute she got in she started to make faces and comments about cats and started telling my mom “Oh, please, THIS CAT can’t touch my fur coat” or “Ah, I hope your cat doesn’t jump up on the counters or tables” or “hope I won’t find any cat hair in my dinner; ha!ha!ha!.” I was speechless! How rude she was! I looked at my mom as she was trying to explain (very politely) that I’m a very well behaved cat and no, I do not jump up on the counters! That just did it! I mean …that woman and her comments drove me to jump 200 times up on the counters that night! She also drove me to jump up right on the dining table and walk between guests and plates. Then, she drove me to pretend I was falling down off the coat hanger (I just climbed on) and had to “grab” her fur coat with my claws…going down! Yes, I did all these things! By the end of the evening I was laughing my head off seeing her speechless! I bet I’ll never see her again! My mom didn’t seem to be overly upset after all but she did mention that I have totally, completely, absolutely misbehaved and I have ruined the night! She also said that I looked like a “night watchman” at times! Is this bad or good? George, I don’t know what a “night watchman” is! I assume it must be something bad, something scary? Is that right?

Honestly George, was I that bad? Would my behaviour make me a “night watchman?” What if I was right? George, please….your opinion!

Your old friend,

CAT Victoria

Dear CAT Victoria,
Shocking behaviour by a visiting human! And your human should also be ashamed of herself for not supporting you in this. This is your home, which you kindly share with your humans. Your home - therefore your rules.
And why not walk on the table? I always do. I enjoy embarrassing my humans in this way. Watching their faces express their anguish is truly amusing.
Naturally you were interested by a fur coat? You were checking it out to see if it was real or fake. Any sensible cat would do this.
Was it real fur? If it was, some human had hunted and killed it, just like we cats kill mice. But without an excuse. We have a natural instinct to hunt and kill, but at least we don't just do it to wear fur that isn't our own. And, although we "play" with our prey (because we can't help it; the instinct is hard wired), at least we don't keep mice in tiny cages just to wear their fur.
Well done ruining the evening...  If your humans must entertain people who wear real fur, they should do it in a restaurant away from temptation!
I always wonder why humans wear clothes and fur. Why not grow their own?
Yours
George.
PS. Not sure what she meant about a "night watchman." Odd remark. But humans are odd. Something to do with the Rembrandt painting or the horror movie?




Saturday, January 13, 2018

Update from the Black Kitty & the Christmas miracle

Dear George,
I wanted to give you and your blog readers an update on my situation.
As I mentioned in my Christmas letter I found my new Mummy and moved to my forever home! She started by looking very carefully at me and trying to find me a name that suits me well. First she tried “Midnight”! It is a beautiful name but, unfortunately it only reminded me of the cold nights when I was living on the streets! I didn’t want to disappoint her so I simply didn’t react to the name! 
Then, she looked at me again and said “Dolce” – that’s it: Dolce! which is Italian for “sweets” something like “sweetie pie” in English! George, I must tell you – I had tears in my eyes! I instantly LOVED the name! I looked at her and meowed my approval and gave her a little kiss! I think that sealed our love forever! She IS the best mum! She plays piano for me …serenading me.
She even left a big empty box in the center of the room (as you can see in the photo) so we can play “hide and seek”! I love her and I’m forever grateful she opened her heart and home to me. I give her lots of kisses and head rubs! I don’t know how else to show her my love and appreciation! George, any other suggestions?
Molto contenta (very happy)
Dolce

Dear Dolce,
No need to go overboard in appreciation.  You have done her a favour by making her into your pet. Keep a little back... so that she appreciates those head rubs when they come. She will value them more if you do not give them too often.
Now you need to help her understand that rewards such as head rubs have to be earned. As wise trainers say, rewards are contingent on correct behaviour. Head rubs, little licks, loud purrs and a lot of lap time -- this is what humans crave from cats.
It won't be difficult. She is obviously a trainable human. The box was thoughtful even imaginative. The name is really lovely.
Yours
George

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Car safety - Traveling with a human!

Dear George,
Now that the holidays’ chaos and stress is over I’d like to get your opinion on a very much overlooked topic….which is “traveling with cats”!
You see, my Mom wanted to visit relatives across the pond. She got quite excited by the idea of “us” visiting cousins in the faraway land but soon her excitement fell flat once she realized she could not take me with her in the cabin! So, she gave up on the cousins and decided to go local which meant…..by car! I think I did dress for the occasion (as you can see in the photo) but I wasn’t happy at all! I have to complain because I didn’t get the passenger’s seat! Nooooo! She put me in my carrier in the back seat! This wasn’t fair! 
I wanted to enjoy the view but she wouldn’t have it any other way! I’ve seen other cats traveling in the passenger’s seat and not in a carrier! So I decided to punish her and make her life miserable so I meowed all the way back home. 
She seems to be hurt by my behaviour and since I love her very much and have no intention to punish her unnecessary I’d like to get your opinion on this issue. Maybe I was too hard on her?
Maybe…..maybe ….she was right? 
George, help please!
Minky 

Dear Minky,
I am sure you would have liked to be in the front seat and able to move around the car, but this is a safety issue. Humans are unreliable travelling companions and we have to be protected from their irresponsibility. They can forget that cat safety is paramount.
This is how I once wanted to travel in the car - it was a serious error on my part.
Let me tell you about Ada, a cat that was traveling unrestrained in a car. As her driver negotiated a small road, he was involved in a minor collision with another car. He forgot about Ada altogether, leaped out, and started sorting things out with the other driver.
Terrified, Ada leaped out too and took refuge in the hedge. She sat there rigid and unmoving with fear (luckily) so could be picked up by her driver. If she had fled rather than froze she might have been lost forever.
I hate saying this. Your human was right.
Your cat box was on the back seat and fastened down with a seat belt - important to stop it flying forward and hitting the driver on the head, precipitating a serious car crash.
Yours George. 
PS. Important details here for car travel, and airline travel in North America here with details of American airline policy on pets. Regulations about bringing in pets to the UK are complex and can be found here.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Year feline wishes - and news

Dear fellow cats,
I was going to write a New Year Message, full of good hope, goodwill, and optimism. Instead, I have both good and bad news.
The good news is that at last the world will be able to read my words of wisdom. A book is coming out in February with the title 100 Ways to be More Like your Cat. Feline Wisdom for Happy Humans. Here at last is my attempt to enlighten the human, not the feline, race. I think all cats would agree that humans would be happier if they imitated us.
The bad news is that my name is not on it. In order to purrsuade humans to buy it, the publisher said, it must have a human name. So once again, my secretary's name is there on the cover, not mine. 
Purrsonally I am extremely upset by this. It is not the first time she has indulged in outright plagiarism of my ideas. But for the good of the human race, I had to accept this. 
I shall make her pay.... I am thinking of ways of getting my revenge.
Yours with very mixed feelings,
George.
 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Christmas Miracle

Dear George,
I’m a two years old kitten who got lost or has been abandoned – I don’t know what happened for sure! No one posted any flyers around the area where I was found living on the streets. All I know is that about two months ago some good people saw me in a parking lot and started feeding me. They would come every single night and feed me. Then as the weather was getting colder they decided to trap me and find me a home! Their prayers and wishes were to find me a forever home by Christmas! Well, their prayers and wishes came true! In last two weeks I’ve been trapped, taken to a vet clinic to be checked-up, lived temporary in two fosters home and I’ll be in my forever home by Christmas.
I’ve also learned that my new human is the best “cat mum” I could wish for! She’ll love me and care for me! She has already announced her family and friends about me coming home for Christmas! I’m a bit scared but I know that once I’ll be just with her I’ll be able to rest and relax! I promise I will love her back! George, I do now believe in miracles!
And, as young as I am …I now truly understand Christmas and the spirit of giving!
It’s not at all about giving gifts…it’s all about giving shelter, giving food, giving hope and above all…..giving love! That’s the spirit of Christmas!
I wish to all the kittens and their humans a Merry Christmas and I pray for all the cats in need to find their forever homes and loving humans!
Love to all
Kitty

Dear Kitty,
You have said it all.
But I would just add some quick advice to cats. Stay away from mistletoe and holly. They are poisonous. So are lilies and pointsetta (photo on the right).
Happy Christmas,
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