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Saturday, February 28, 2009

How can I throw my human out of the Master Bedroom?


Dear George,
As you can see, I am King Winston of English descent and I was the king of the house…..until my housekeepers moved to a new house. As soon as we moved to this new place, my male housekeeper “took" away from me the Master Bedroom and Master King Size Bed! I know he is of English descent too, but I don’t think we are related (unless he is one of some unknown relative’s of mine off springs).
Anyway, this is LES MAJESTE (and I hope he knows what that means)! George, William, Oscar…. I need all your help to kick him out of the Master Bedroom. (I want him down in the basement – that’s where he should be). My female human is very nice, a real lady and very kind. I don’t mind to share my king size bed with her. I know that if I start pushing inch by inch…..soon I’ll have the whole bed for me. But…what can I do about my male human? How can I move him fast in the basement?
In bewilderment Sir Winston


Dear Sir Winston,
It amazes me that your female human doesn't prefer you to a mere human in the bed. Such beautiful green eyes, elegant white spats and shirt front! Surely he's not as elegant as you are? OK, so I realise there are some things he can do which you can't (I presume like me you've been fixed). But can he purr? I bet he can't. It is outrageous that he thinks he has the right to sleep in your Master Bedroom. The man needs to be put in his place - well below Alpha cat, Sir Winston.
So how do you get him out of the Master Bedroom and into the basement? There is a choice - purr or claw. The purring method consisters of pretending to be nice -- too nice. Get right into his face at night - literally sleep over it. This nearly suffocates humans and they can bear very little of it. If he has a beaky sort of nose (inferior to your elegant one), it may be a tad uncomfortable. In that case simply sleep on the pillow right next to him and edge yourself so that you are sideways on but absolutely tight against his face. Not quite so suffocating, but pretty close.
As well as suffocating him, snore. Loudly. Walk up and down his body in the early hours of the morning. Pause merely to knead hard at any tender bits round the groin. This apparently loving gesture is extremely painful if aimed at the correct area and if the bedclothes are not too thick. It also looks affectionate in the eyes of the female human, so there is less likelihood of your getting booted outside the Master Bedroom yourself.
Incidentally, I assume you have put an end to hanky panky, or knookie, how's-your-father or bit-of-the-other (as we Brits call it in tabloid newspapers). Most of us cats sleep between our humans to remind them that we don't approve of it. Their juvenile humping and noise interferes with our sleep. We pet cats have turned to a graceful celibacy. They should do the same if they want to keep us happy.
The claw method of chucking a human out of bed is direct punishment. Use your male human as a scratching post. Bite his ears, or his nose - exquisitely painful. Crawl under the duvet and grab his toes or those other bits near the groin. That'll shift him fast. But it may also lead to human aggression. While there is no excuse whatsover for human cruelty to cats, humans can lose control which is why punishment in the bedroom has its risks. The unhealed wounded human is dangerous to be near! I'd go for the subtler purr method myself.
Best of luck,
George

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Favourite TV programmes for cats.


Dear George,
My humans purrsuaded me to watch a Garfield movie the other day. I didn't think much of it. They seem to think I should enjoy watching another cat. I don't. What I enjoy is wildlife - preferably small and squeaking but flappy and twittering will do. I was inspired by the picture of Cayenne on the TV to send you this photo. You can see that I am interested but only mildly.
William


Dear William.,
I share your TV tastes. My favourite TV programme used to be Wildlife on One. Now that the winter is gone, or nearly gone, my interest in TV is very limited. Small and squeaking is far better in reality than on a screen and the same goes for flappy and twittering.
My predecessor Fat Ada, a large black and white that had livedon the streets of London where wildlife was limited to pigeons, was once given a video called Cool for Cats, invented by Peter Neville of cat fame (see www.coape.co.uk).She was not much taken with the goldfish scenes (though cats with aquariums tell me the goldfish are as fascinating as interactive TV), though she occasionally enjoyed snooker - balls going into mouseholes rather like mice disappearing.
Mac, as beautiful and black as I am, used to adore Big Cat programmes. He was entranced by lions chasing zebras or leopards pulling carcases up trees. He would sit growling at the Big Cats, as if to warn them not to come out of the TV and into his living room. Then when the programme stopped, he would look satisfied. He had growled and they had - eventually - gone away. He was Some Bad Cat to have seen off lions.
Personally Gafield leaves me cold and I have never enjoyed Tom and Jerry cartoons. They are a slur on the feline species. Mice don't win. They may escape but they don't win. I think the man who invented Tom and Jerry was a rodent.
Yours
George, mouse exterminator.

PS. What do other cats watch?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I hate jogging; I’m a yoga girl!


Dear George,
I believe that my wellbeing is in big danger. Let me tell you why I think so!
This past Sunday, I and my sister, Fluffy, woke up our male human at 6 am
to serve us breakfast, which he did willingly and then he went right back to sleep.
By 7 am I felt like playing so I start calling out on our female human.
I heard her saying “it’s Sunday - I want to sleep”. First of all, how is a Sunday different than any other day of the week? If you ask me….it’s not! Then…why should they sleep longer on the weekends? They shouldn’t! So, I completely ignored her comments and kept calling out on her.
Finally she called my name and there I was….happy, hoping that we’ll play. I jumped right on top of her (as she was sleeping on her left side). And….guess what? Instead of getting a kiss and a rub, I heard “Oh! dear…you are getting too heavy” and then she told the male human “we have to do something about this; we have to cut back on her food and exercise her more”. WHAT? Is she crazy? I WAS PARALIZED! SPEECHLESS!
I panicked but I was thinking fast; what George would advise me now? What should I do? Punish her? No! Reward! That’s it! George would tell me to reward this crazy creature. So, I pretended that I didn’t hear her comments and I started grooming her right arm. I did this very thoroughly trying to find a flea or something, so she’ll realize I saved her life. But, instead of showing any gratitude…I guess she felt offended by me assuming that she can still have fleas after taking a shower the night before.
Well, I got so put off by her attitude! Such arrogance! Then...it hit me! What on earth did she mean by “having me exercise more”? Running up and down the stairs, like Fluffy? Jogging? I hate jogging – I’m a yoga girl! And she knows that! Each time she does yoga, there I am helping her. For example; when she does the Lion’s pose (the one where she bends forward sticking her tongue out – yak!) I quickly clamp on her back trying to push so she’ll bend forward properly. Or if she’s doing Cobra (when she lies down flat on her belly) I quickly jump on her back just to make sure that she stays still and holds her breath. Do you think that she ever thanked me for this? Nooooo! And….between you and me…I don’t even think she’s serious about yoga because when I’m trying to help she starts laughing until she “shakes me” off her back. Insensitive traitor; that’s what she is!
Not to mention that later on the day, she said something about “fasting”. I mean – I know Easter is close but, George, do cats fast? If yes, for what reasons? Religion? Or, what else? I wish humans could express their thoughts better without inventing new words like “lean protein”, “less carbs”, etc. What is wrong with them? We, cats, are extremely sophisticated and yet, can express ourselves in simple thoughts and words.
What I’m going to do George? I like to eat, sleep and read! Now I have to watch out for myself and see what these creatures are up to.
So, dear George, here is a very serious question?
How can I lose few pounds (just to get these monsters off my back) without cutting back on my food, fasting or exercising more?
As I said, my wellbeing is in danger, so I will hold my breath until you’ll answer.
Hugs
Cayenne

Dear Cayenne,
Glad to see you are taking human training seriously, but I am very worried about your human's attitude re avoirdupois, or being well found, or being just ever so slightly teenily weenily overweight. It's a pretty worrying moment when humans start worrying not about their own weight (they do that all the time if they are female) but about OUR weight... It is no business of theirs.
Cats do not fast. Not ever. Indeed if they are forcibly fasted, they are in danger of hepatic lipidosis (if they are fat). Humans can fast safely. Dogs can fast safely But cats can't. Even a vet, that vilest of human creatures, will tell her that - luckily.
You could lost weight by the following quite enjoyable methods
1. Eat more protein and less carbs. Purrsuade your human to buy a better class of cat food with nore protein in it. This is done by refusing to eat cheaper food. Well, refusing to eat it while they are in the same room. Look unhappy. Cover it up as if it was something nasty in the litter tray. Look hungry. Quite often they will try and feed you something else. Something better and better means more meat less starch. The carbs in cat food are just there becaue they are cheap. We cats don't need them. There is one disadvantage, better cat food is tastier, so you might eat more so it might not work.
2. Start hunting your humans as prey. Ambush them round corners, run up and down the stairs after them. The running is not boring if you are doing it as part of predation or hunting. Treat them as if they were gigantic mice. Yes, I know its exercise but its fun. If you catch and wound them they will make a delightful shriek.
3. Purrsuade them to let you out to hunt real mice.
4. Purrsuade them to play more games with string with you. Start bringing them things to throw for you. I know dogs do this and we cats really hate imitating these servile beasts, but it is one area where they have got hold of a bright idea. Fetch. When you take a small ball to a human, pause, look cute, and drop it at their feet, they often respond by throwing it. And it's fun to chase.
George.

Friday, February 06, 2009

How can I stop my human disturbing my afternoon nap?


Dear George,

This is a serious matter and I need all your help as I’m close to losing my temper!
What could possible be in my human male’s mind to make him think he’s doing me a favor by DISTURBING my afternoon nap?
George, imagine this; I’m in a profound sleep, dreaming sweet dreams, and there he comes making some strange noises like “ciu-ciu-ciu” or “tzi-tzi-tzi” trying to hold me, kiss and pet me! He got this crazy idea that I’m his “daddy’s little girl” (see how well I trained him?) and he can’t live a minute not holding me.
I mean….I don’t mind to be his “daddy’s little girl” BUT ON MY TERMS, not his.
What does he think? Do I wake him up at noon? NO! I wake him up at 4 am – that’s when we, cats, want to play! Do I make some strange noises? No! I lick his face and kiss him. And…what do I get in return? His grumpiness – at 4 am.
Is this fair? Sometimes I even pretend I want to eat, but he won’t get up to serve me.
Some nerves he has! So, dear George, how can I make him stop waking me up at noon and making him play by my rules?
Love,
Fluffy

Dear Fluffy,
This is a claw and order issue. You need to administer punishment. Remember, as with all training issues, the punishment or reward must come within a second or two of the human behaviour. They are not bright. If you leave it for half a minute they will not understand that it is linked with their behaviour. So, as soon as he puts a hand on you, swiftly claw him. You will see from the comments below that Oscar Snuggles also uses this technique with skill. Claws work.
Is this kind to humans you ask? I always consider human welfare. Kindness to humans is a feline responsibility and I will have no truck with cruelty. Humans are in our care and it is important that, while as the superior species we put our own interests first, we should never wholly forget theirs. But as I see it, a well-trained human is a happy human. Allowing bad behaviour to go unpunished is simply to allow a good human to turn into a bad one. It is in their own interests to receive swift punishment when their behaviour is over the line.
Punishment works. After you have administered a swift and sharp scratch several times, the male human will think twice about harassing you when you are asleep. You have laid down a boundary for him. You have, by the scratch, communicated to him in clear body language what you require - sleep that is uninterrupted. You will see by his rapid withdrawal of the hand that he has got the message. Because humans are wilful and stupid, it may take two or three punishments before he finally understands, but, I assure you, he will...
As for his unwelcoming attitude at 4am in the morning, we cats require not just obedience but willing and instant obedience. However, this attitude of grumpiness is best dealt with not by punishment but by reward. Purring, nuzzling, and licking are very rewarding to humans. If you have properly become ruler of the household, the humans are in a submissive and appeasing mood state towards you. In the human-cat dyadic, you are top cat. When top cat purrs, humans are excited, pleased, even a little bit overwhelmed with sheer gratitude at our condescension. What we are aiming at is a human attitude of gratitude. Happy humans are grateful for any feline attention or kindness.
So, purr and claw does the trick. It's called operant conditioning and we cats do it all the time to our humans. Only they are so dim, they don't realise.
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