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Saturday, August 27, 2016

In violation of Cats Freedom Rights..

Dear George,
Right so, right on and right now! Yes, you would not believe it!
And the culprit? My very own human mummy!
Yes, George, she is in violation of my fundamental right – freedom! Everybody knows that we, cats, are most intelligent, superior to any other species and fiercely independent! Well, I have now a 10 o’clock curfew! Really? Just because I didn’t come home for two days and two nights? See, our house backs into a ravine and, of course lots of interesting things are happening there at night so, normally I wanted to have some fun! Her reaction? Ugh! Apparently she cried her heart out worrying for me so she thought she was entitle to set the 10 o’clock curfew! I’m meowless George! Meowless!
My own mummy who participates in every single protest against animal abuse or violation of animals ‘rights! What do you have to say about this George?  Or maybe she’s just jealous of the chair I have in our garden? I’m the King of that Chair (as you can see in the photo). I love to sleep there at night! Maybe…. all she wants is my chair?
Meowless and fuming
Paco 

Dear Paco,
The arrogance of humans is sometimes overpowering. You must fight back. Find your command voice, the command yowl! I suggest that you institute an early morning play session around 3 am. Jump on the bed yowling with a toy and rush up and down it. Be prepared for a quick exit, though. Some humans are violent when awoken unexpectedly.
If they shut you out of the bedroom, sit by the cat flap and yowl intermittently all night. You must be so frustrated.... Many humans give way at this point. They have tried to institute a change but haven't got the strength of mind to stand out against a determined cat. Usually a fortnight of extreme pressure by the cat will make them relent.
The other possibility is just not to turn up at 10pm.  Of course, if she is brighter than most humans, she will feed you at 10pm thus ensuring that you turn up. But as many humans are stupid she may not do this... if so just ignore the curfew.
You can do it. We cats can outwit, outwait and outpersevere humans.
Yours
George.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

There's a feline sneak... sneaking into my home, eating my food, seducing my human.

Dear George,
My human and I have recently moved to a new home and, although I dislike any kind of relocation on principle, I have to say that my new territory is well supplied with silly birds, small rodents and nice places to sleep in the sun so I have settled in quite well. However, there is, invevitably, some misunderstanding with my new neighbours who are unaware that I am in charge of this area now. I have had no problem in deterring most of them and can still put on a convincing display of aggression though supposedly middle-aged now. (Seven is the new three, bring it on.) However, one of these interlopers has adopted a strategy that has confused my human. It has approached me with the utmost respect, put on a fine performance of grovelling submission, refused to get into a fight and generally convinced my human that it's intentions are honourable. Which, of course, they aren't. Not that I mind my leftover breakfast being snarfed down every morning, but there are principles at stake. My human is reluctant to use her superior powers of intimidation to this creature and has even given it a name, Cheeky. I am at a loss to understand this behaviour. How can I get rid of this animal in a polite but assertive manner?
Yours ever,
Scarry


Dear Scarry,
All cats keep an eye out for a second breakfast somewhere and most of us two-time our owners. But is this sneak thinking of rehoming himself? If his current premises are inadequate, this is what he might be moving into a better home - yours. I applaud his tactics - sneaky grovelling behaviour is much more difficult for cats to deal with, than aggression. Worse still, humans are very vulnerable to this. If you are not careful, she will be putting down meals for him regularly, then worrying about how he is coping on cold winter nights.
Have you tried the yowl?  A very noisy yowl may not put off this sneak burglar, but will get your human's attention fast.  A rising inflection may purrsuade her that you are not just angry, you are also emotionally devastated. Try it from behind her legs, giving the impression that you are sheltering behind her out of fear.
Has she installed a microchip cat flap? Or done anything about finding the intruder's owners. Probably not. Humans are slow at answering the call of duty. 
If all else fails, I am afraid you will have to spray. This is the ultimate weapon but one which can backfire on the aggressor if a human misunderstands it. I recommend you use it sparingly. 
Yowl to get her attention (without that it is wasted effort), then back up and then let fly at the cat flap. 
Yours
George.

Dear George,
My human and I have recently moved to a new home and, although I dislike any kind of relocation on principle, I have to say that my new territory is well supplied with silly birds, small rodents and nice places to sleep in the sun so I have settled in quite well. However, there is, invevitably, some misunderstanding with my new neighbours who are unaware that I am in charge of this area now. I have had no problem in deterring most of them and can still put on a convincing display of aggression though supposedly middle-aged now. (Seven is the new three, bring it on.) However, one of these interlopers has adopted a strategy that has confused my human. It has approached me with the utmost respect, put on a fine performance of grovelling submission, refused to get into a fight and generally convinced my human that it's intentions are honourable. Which, of course, they aren't. Not that I mind my leftover breakfast being snarfed down every morning, but there are principles at stake. My human is reluctant to use her superior powers of intimidation to this creature and has even given it a name, Cheeky. I am at a loss to understand this behaviour. How can I get rid of this animal in a polite but assertive manner?
Yours ever,
Scarry


Dear Scarry,
All cats are happy to have second breakfast and most of us two-time our owners. But is he thinking of rehoming himself? If his current premises are inadequate, this is what he might be moving into a better home - yours. I applaud his tactics - sneaky grovelling behaviour is much more difficult for cats to deal with, than aggression. Worse still, humans are very vulnerable to this. If you are not careful, she will be putting down meals for him regularly, then worrying about how he is coping on cold winter nights.
Have you tried the yowl?  A very noisy yowl may not put off this sneak burglar, but will get your human's attention fast.  A rising inflection may purrsuade her that you are not just angry, you are also emotionally devastated. Try it from behind her legs, giving the impression that you are sheltering behind her out of fear.
Has she installed a microchip cat flap? Or done anything about finding the intruder's owners. Probably not. Humans are slow at answering the call of duty. 
If all else fails, I am afraid you will have to spray. This is the ultimate weapon but one which can backfire on the aggressor if a human misunderstands it. I recommend you use it sparingly. 
Yowl to get her attention (without that it is wasted effort), then back up and then let fly at the cat flap. 
Yours
George.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Meow... Calling all cats.... we have our own special day.


Dear George
It seems that in celebration of the International Cat Day I got a new toy (as you can see in the photo). If you read here, you can see it was last Monday. On this specific day (August 8th) we cats, can get away with everything as our humble human pets will venerate and pay us respect. To tell you the truth I don’t find this new toy too entertaining or amusing so I’m going to using it as a “fancy” pillow! I don’t want to hurt my humans’ feeling telling them the truth. I know they meant well (but I doubt their IQ – psst! that’s our secret George!). By the way, any idea what else I can do with this new toy?
Cheers,
Chico

Dear Chico,
I've got a version of this toy, and if my human starts it rolling then I find it quite interesting. But a lot of the time it just sits there without moving.  That is boring, boring, boring. I think it would be better if my human put down a new toy every two or three days and took away the old one. Or at least started that white ball rolling for you.
See if you like the Da Bird fishing rod toy too. It's my favourite. It needs a human the other end, but Celia will wave it about while she is watching old back sessions of The West Wing so even the idlest pet owner (and she is idle in the evening) can join in the play.
Meow
George. 
PS. There are home made toys that cost nothing - dried broad beans (too large to swallow whole!), cardboard boxes, old lavatory rolls and so forth. Look here for some ideas.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Rescued - severely hydrated, starving, tiny and very ill.

Dear George,
This is me, Merlina. Somebody picked me up at a farm where there was a feral colony of cats. I was so ill that I couldn't run away like the rest of them did.
Everything hurts. My eye is swollen and raw where I scratched it. My right leg is almost hairless and inflamed from where it touched the eye. It's hard to breathe with all the phlegm nearly choking me
After a vet's visit, I arrived at Sunshine Cat Rescue who put me in a kitten pen with a water bowl. I was so thirsty I drank for a whole minute. Eventually I started eating too.
Now I am settling down to a regime of food, eye drops and antibiotic pills. I'm still scared.
Yours Merlina.

Dear Merlina,
Welcome to your new life. You will now live to be a happy loving pet cat. Your beautiful grey markings and the fact that you will learn to trust humans means that from now on, it's going to be a thousand times better than it has been so far.
Your photo shows how vaccinating cats is so important. Millions of kittens die from cat 'flu ever year and the ones that survive often have long term health issues. And if only the farmer had allowed his cat colony to be neutered and spayed, there wouldn't have been kittens dying of cat flu all over the barn. It could have been a healthier happier colony.
A message to all other cats - make sure your humans vaccinate you if you are allowed outdoors. Help the local cat lovers who are trapping, neutering and returning feral cats in established colonies.
Because I was originally a rescued feral kitten too, I support Sunshine Cat Rescue in Oxfordshire with regular donations. If you'd like to help pay Merlina's vet bills, go to their website here. The donation button for PayPal is on the right, at the bottom of the page.
Yours 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