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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Bold from the beginning


George took charge of William from the beginning. He spent many happy hours pouncing on unhappy William who was much too gentle to tell him off. He, William, had been smacked round the face by Fat Mog who simply hated having another cat. She hd put William firmly in his place from the start. But poor William just couldn't do it to George.
George enjoyed himself greatly near water. He jumped in to the lavatory pan, luckily when I was nearby to fish him out before he drowned. He tried to get into the shower with me or Ronnie on all occasions. He ventured out on the ice of the pond and fell in. I rescued him with a big fishing net. He shook himself and promptly jumped in again. This time, I rushed him into the house for warming up. He clearly felt this was a bit of a fuss. A week later, when the ice had melted, he jumped in for the third time. This time I waited to see if he could swim. He could and came safely to shore. Oddly enough, perhaps because I hadn't rescued him with the net, he never jumped in again.
Instead, he waded into puddles. He enjoyed this greatly. He liked it when I laughed, so he would do it when I was near him. But I could also look out of the window and see him - in my absence - carefully walking into the biggest puddles. He liked dripping taps, of course. And he enjoyed swishing the water in his water bowl with his paw. That habit continued all his life.
His other favourite activity was climbing. He climbed up my leg levering himself up with his claws on my jeans. I let out what was to him a very satisfactory yelp. He climbed up sofas and beds, of course. He didn't climb up curtains, perhaps because ours are not posh enough. We wouldn't have minded and so perhaps it wasn't worth the effort for him. He climbed up chests of draws, up piles of linen in the linen cupboard, up bookshelves artfully posing near serious books such as the Memoirs of Creevy, and up the hedge.
His most startling exploits were when he climbed up the huge double trunk oak tree in our garden. The first time he did this, I got a step ladder and retrieved him from one of the lower branches. This was a staid end to his adventure. A little while later on a frosty freezing day, he went for the summit, ending up about 100 yards near the top. He wasn't mewing. He just sat there watching the birds in the branches. He was in no hurry to come down as he was clearly enjoying himself. Every now and again he would look down at the garden and climb a little higher just for fun. I spent an hour ringing the RSPCA, the local tree surgeon, friends, and builders who might have long ladders. I couldn't wait for him to come down. It was too cold for such a small animal.
Luckily John Holcroft, a handsome young man on a tractor, was passing by and saw this tiny kitten up in the high branches. John climbed up to the top and with wonderful skill climbed down again with one hand on the trunk and one gripping an indignant George. George was not at all grateful. He was not pleased to be back at ground level.

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