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Saturday, October 01, 2016

Making Food into Fun - get your human servant to do DIY.

Dear George,
I am an indoor only cat and I am getting fat. The truth is that I am bored. There's not much to do in the house, as both my humans go out to work. So I eat. It passes the time. It makes me feel better. And when I have eaten, then I sleep a lot.
Every now and again my humans reduce the amount of food they give me. I hate that. It makes me feel hungry all day.  I miaow for food. I stand up on my hind legs for food. I wake them up in the early hours for food.
The diet never lasts long: they just give in.
None of us are very happy. I hate the diets. They worry about my weight. Any ideas?
Herbie

Dear Herbie,
There is a lot your humans should be doing for you. They shouldn't be putting food down in a bowl. They should make it into active fun. They should be hiding it around the house. Or putting it in cardboard boxes, or in little play balls where you have to move the ball around to get the food out.
I have helped my human develop a series of home-made food fun toys - you can see them here.And check out the IKEA cat tower below made by Waltham for their cats.  Indoor cats that live in groups would really love this one. We need to get our humans to do more DIY to give us more activities and make food into fun.
Yours
Copyright WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, Mars Petcare
George


PS. She never gave me credit for my work on "her"website.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Are humans becoming more stupid? You gotta read this!

Dear George,
I was chatting to my feline friend Ying the other day and we agreed that our own humans appeared more stupid day by day. That they needed frequent retraining to keep them up to the mark.
Ying, who got his paws on the computer, decided to google "Is Modern Man More Stupid?" and discovered an amazing fact. Homo sapiens actually has an anatomical brain which is smaller than that of their ancestors, the Neanderthals. Apparently this is a fact.
It is all our fault. It has been well known that animals like dogs have smaller brains than wild wolves - due to domestication making them more puppy-like. 
Since we domesticated humans, the same thing has been happening. Humans have become more and more childish (a recent incident with them pushing me off the bed last night comes to mind). 
And their brains have shrunk as a result.
I await your comments with interest....
Yours
Yang.

Dear Yang,
At last the explanation for what appears to be Celia's growing inability to do what I want when I want it and how I want it! Years of training her are forgotten in an instant.  I have tried to be understanding and have put it down to growing cognitive dysfunction as her brain ages.
Now I realise this is just the result of domesticating her and the human race. Maybe we should have left them alone.... What an amazing piece of information.
Yours gratefully,
George.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Honeymoons are no fun for cats.


Dear George,
I’m not sure if there are official safety rules in place for cats’ transportation but, I definitely hope so since my Mom managed to cross a busy downtown street carrying me wrapped in a towel – Yes! against all odds - as you can see in the photo (I covered her face as I don’t want to get her in trouble – she’s still my Mom after all).
You see, this summer she got married and for this useless and meaningless event (at least in my life) she took off more than a week leaving me with my human grandparents. When she came back to take me home I was so mad at her that I peed in my carrier bag!
Last night I heard her saying she’ll go on a honeymoon! And now I don’t have a carrier bag anymore as she threw it away! But, George, firstly what is a honeymoon? I’ve heard of a full moon or new moon or, even a blue moon but never about a honey moon?
How far is this honey moon? Secondly, if she plans to take me with her this time is there any special equipment for a cat to travel to outer space? I hope she’ll not take me to her honey moon wrapped in a towel! What do you think George?
A bit worried
Stanley

Dear Stanley,
You are right to be worried about transport. It's not safe for a human to carry a cat like this. What if you just wriggled out of her arms and ran away.You might have got lost in the traffic, or even run over. She needs to get a secure cat carrier.
Honeymoons? Humans really are odd. Their mating habits are varied, ranging from pair bonding to one night stands (so called though this could only be literally achieved by medication!). As a species we do it better. Our female queens come on heat, go out in search of toms, mate furiously with several and have kittens a few weeks later usually from multiple fathers. That way we get the best chance of healthy kittens. If one of the toms isn't up to scratch (so to speak) and sires a weak kitten, there is always others in the litter that are strong.
Honeymoons? Part of the pair bonding ritual, once associated with the chance to have sex; nowadays just a nice holiday after an expensive ritual wedding. Don't go on the honeymoon. Heaving mattresses are no fun for cats that need a decent night's sleep.
Yours 
George.
PS. This blog is late due to the unforgivable absence of my secretary for most of the week.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Dutch Master Moggy in charge. Do not touch.

Dear George
I own a store on a very busy street in Amsterdam. I’m my own store Master Mouser.
I watch out for rodents and other small creatures that might sneak in off the street to steal! (photo on left). But people, especially tourists can be very distracting; they think I’m part of the decor and that seems to be so cool for them.! Some even try to take pictures of me and some try to pet me. How do I tell them that I’m not here for their amusement or entertainment? How do I tell them I’m serious business and they better buy things from me instead of petting me! I’m not looking to get cozy with anybody! Just purely business! Buy a Van Gogh! Buy a windmill! Buy Dutch chocolate! Buy something!
Annoyed by tourists
The Dutch Moggy

Dear Dutch Master,
Fending off human harassment is one of the most severe irritations for working cats. Humans cannot accept the idea that we are on duty: we do not wish to be interrupted: and, most of all, we don't want complete human strangers to walk up and without even a by-your-leave try to cuddle us. 
It's bad enough in daily life when we are just mooching around patrolling territory. They pounce on us and try to pick us up. But if we are shop cats, brewery cats or garden centre cats, they seem unable to understand that we are busy with our jobs. And worse still, if we are in retail we have to pretend to be nice.
How would they like it? When we sleep on the keyboard or just walk across it, they get very upset. No empathy for us. That's what it is.
Yours in sympathy,
George.

 


Saturday, September 03, 2016

Basil the good little kitten - and why humans should be neutered too

Dear George, 
I’m Basil! Not The Great, not the Holly, not the Italian and, definitely not the Thai basil! I’m simply …..Basil the Good Boy. My mother was rescued off the streets by this good family when she was pregnant.
She had a litter of four and she had the luxury to nurse us until we were about three months old. The good family kept my mother, me and my brother and their relatives adopted the other two kittens. We all have good homes now and good, caring people. 
Actually I was born right in this room you can see in the picture (above). The room is our human grandma’s bedroom. I love this room so much that sometimes I don’t even want to leave it to go eating. During the day my human grandma sits in her favorite armchair solving puzzles and I sleep in her bed. At night we switch – I’ll take the armchair and she’ll sleep in her bed. 
But I need your advice as we have big problems with my brother and I’m afraid he’ll get in trouble. See, his name is Aristotle which I think our parents rush to name him so (after a dozen of other names which none fitted him) – he is no philosopher nor is he wise. The minute he gets indoors he jumps on our human kitten’s bed and pees right there. So, he is mostly an outdoor cat because of this! While outdoors he gets in fights with the west end guys over territory! My mummy can’t catch him on an empty stomach to take him to be “fixed”. We need your advice – how do we catch him before he eats? Once fixed I think he’ll make a really good, wise philosopher! 
But…. until then?
Yours   
Basil, the good boy 

Dear Basil,
I don't like thinking about the snip, castration, fixing, neutering, sterilising - those are the words used by humans. It makes me feel uncomfortable. It happened to me and because I don't know what life would be like if I still had my mating tackle, I can't be sure  if it was a good thing. But I certainly don't pee in the house or get into fights, roam from home looking for sex or get sexually transmitted diseases.
If Aristotle wants a good life, he will have to submit to this. Perhaps your humans could borrow a trap from the local cat shelter and get him to the vet that way. In ancient Greek literature, I think in a book by Plato, an old man is asked how he feels about no longer being interested in sex. "I feel I have escaped from a violent god," he replies.
A wise philosopher! Humans get into fights, roam round looking for sex, and end up in the STD clinics. But they don't neuter each other, do they? If it is such a good thing, why not?
I leave you with that thought.
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