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Thursday, April 26, 2007

No sense of proper territory - that's humans

The trouble with humans is that they have no sense of territory. OK so they have what they think of as home, a core territory in which to sleep, scratch and lounge about without tension. But it's not home territory as we cats know it. They invite other humans right into it, to share the space and sometimes to spend the night. They even invite them to share their meals. Share? No sensible cat does that. We don't share hunting so we don't share the prey either - not if we can help it. We don't share territory either except for relatives.
Once again Celia has shown that her territorial feelings, so necessary for a decent cat, are all awray. She is going away. Not just on a one day hunting trip to London (prey being clothes, shopping, books etc) but a three day hunting trip. This time the prey is even more ridiculous - static, non-living standing stones, often in rows. They just stand there. They don't move. They are cold and inedible and what on earth is the point of them, I ask. Something in her head is very disordered indeed.
This will leave me alone with Ronnie, a good man but not a first class cat wrangler. He can't bend down to pick me up. I don't much care for being picked up, what cat does, but I like the attention. Ronnie can't pick me up and he wobbles alarmingly when I wind round his ankles or his walking stick. I am somewhat afraid I may trip him up. I still rub against him however. It's my friendly nature to do so. He will have to look after himself. I am not a dog for the disabled. He is on his own.
He can, however, throw down food. So he can feed me and William, which is his main duty. This doesn't make Celia's conduct excusable or acceptable. Her duty is to serve us cats and this weekend she is failing in it. It's a disgrace.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Late again. She's getting pretty upset.

"You come in late. You just walk in without any explanation in the small hours and think you can crawl into bed with me without so much as an apology." That was the accusation that met me last night when I popped back through the cat flap after a night's hunting. I've noticed her saying much the same to Ronnie too. It's a habit of human females.
OK so it was little late - 3 am. I just hadn't realised the time. I was having such an exciting time hunting rats in the old piggery down the farm track. Time flies when you're having thrills. It's not the caterwauling female cats out there that make me stay up late. Hunting I love but love I laugh to scorn, as the bard said - more or less. Celia thinks, with Dr Johnson, that "it is very strange and very melancholy that the paurciy of pleasure should persuade us ever to call hunting one of them." She's wrong. Badly wrong. She tries to shut the cat flap so I can't get out into that dark world of excitement, cruelty, blood and death.
She whines and complains when I get back late. All she thinks about is how I might get eaten by a fox or run over by a car. She doesn't sympathise with, and doesn't want to hear of, the pleasures of waiting near a rat hole, the mysterious whispering and squeaking that goes on in the night, the dark shadows where you might see a tail slipping by, the cry of the hunting owl, the bark of the hunting fox, the quiverings, the pouncings, the crunch of bone as my teeth sink into a furry neck. The night is alive with hunters of all kinds and full of dark cruel doings. Moonlight and shadows play in a world of predators and prey.
I was late. And I was rather late the night before. And the night before. The delights of the fireside, the bowl of food, and the touch of a human hand, are nothing to the fierce excitements of the night. Just thinking about the world of the dark makes me quiver with anticipation. She just doesn't understand me.

Monday, April 09, 2007

My own conservatory


Celia must be feeling guilty about the imprisonment - see earlier diary. She's made my very own conservatory. Admittedly it is made of plastic not glass but it's nicely placed in the vegetable patch to catch the sun. Underneath the plastic she has carefully dug the earth and made it friable. Just right for rolling in or for digging a hole for you know what. She's really tried hard with this one and I appreciate all her hard work.
That said, it has several uncomfortable features. It's hardly big enough to turn round in. No room to swing a mouse. For some reason she has made it long and narrow, rather than rectangular. I mean I shall enjoy sitting in it in the sun, but the shape is not ideal. Further more she has added doors either end - well, more like barriers. I shall either have to shoulder my way through these or kind of creep below the plastic. It will be quite possible but a little uncomfortable. What was the woman thinking of?
And, the final touch. You can see she was trying to make the conservatory nice by decorating it. She planted two rows of small broad bean plants but she planted them ALL along the conservatory taking up valuable room and getting in the way of my digging. Broad bean plants smell mildly pleasant and very pleasant when in flower. But they have no place in a feline conservatory. I can't tell her that. She would be too upset. She meant well.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Free at last.... just checking territory boundaries

We are free. No more prison. No more horrible strange Persians within a whisker of us, unnaturally close for comfort. No more Gill the Cattery. Regrettably, no more cooked coley at lunchtime. (How can I convey to Celia the idea that she should cook for us, not just open yet another tin.) The relief is enormous.
Getting back home required a lot of energy. I went right round my hunting territory boundaries, past the evergreens near the pond (useful for amphibian prey), up past the unused owl box (unused by owls but now home to some pigeon prey), along the side of the ploughed field past the Dutch barn where the brambles are (good for mousing), down the track towards the old piggery (also good for mousing) then up the other side of the hedge towards the rabbit holes (best of all, a lagomorph killing ground.). All the territorial smells I had left from chinning had gone. I renewed them. I left new scented scratchings on the apple tree and the plum tree and that bit of hedge near the rabbit holes. If you don't make your boundary marks, some other cat may take over your territory. William used to stop and spray at various points but he seems to have neglected to do this lately. So far I have not bothered to spray. Maybe as I get older I will start doing this. Spraying is a useful way of leaving "George was here" marks.
The first night back I slept very close to Celia all though the night, and woke her several times for a bit of cuddling. Not that I needed reassurance, you understand. Nothing of the kind. I am just trying to rebond her so she doesn't do that to me again. If a bit of cuddling up makes her feel guilty so much the better.

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