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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Why do these apes think we don't feel pain?


Dear George,
I am a very senior lady cat of 19 years young and despite living all these years there is one particular thing (amongst many) about apes that utterly confounds me. Why do so very many apes (including rather too many vets) come out with nonsense statements such as "they don't feel pain like we do" ? All I know is that pain hurts and makes me miserable.
How else can a mammal feel pain? Do apes have sole rights to both the feeling of pain and its alleviation?
Where does this crazy ape belief come from? After all, felines and simians are still mammalian and have similar nervous systems.
We cats do show our pain and discomfort albeit with more dignity and less fuss than apes, who can't resist screaming, jabbering and yelling about anything and everything in their strange primate world.
I tell my apes when I hurt, I have trained them to be observant, but I really would like to know why so many apes believe that only apes feel pain in a way that deserves attention?
George, where did this insane belief come from?

Kind regards,
Angel of Everycat (http://everycat.blogspot.com)

Dear Angel,
Humans are dumb animals - dumb meaning foolish. They are also the most arrogance species in the world. They think they are special and different
, forgetting that they are just mammals like us. So because they think this way, they believe we don't feel pain. All living creatures feel pain. As you say, it is just that we deal with pain in a dignified and silent manner, unlike them.
This is particularly important for older cats who may have painful conditions like arthritis. Cats with arthritis may not even limp. The only sign maybe a reluctance to jump on or off the bed. Or just relative immobility in the cat bed. We are so brave and stoic that we suffer without symptoms but a vet has just published a paper suggesting that older cats sometimes need painkillers even though they are not limping. So, hey you human pets reading this, start doing a bit of simple observation and empathy.
You may be inte
rested in the attached illustration of the tree of life. Traditionally, humans show this with humans at the top, on the grounds, they think, that they are top animal. A friend of mine, evolutionary scientist Charles Purrwin, has reorganised this so show the top species. What is it - cats, of course. Purrwin says I can publish this here. You can see the gorilla on the left and a little below, in his proper place well below cats, a sort of stick man - Homo non sapiens.
Yours ever,

George
PS. Lovely green eyes and a very good joke on your subsequent comment, Angel.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Why do humans let off these terrible fireworks without warning?


Dear George,
Throughout my four years of life, I have always been a cat noted as much for my steely feline nerves as well as my luxurious coat and whiskers. Lately, however, my nerves have been severely shaken by the relentless human tendency toward the prosecution of ridiculous, noisy, unpleasant "customs." I speak of the American habit of setting light to these foul-smelling and explosive "firecracker" contraptions all night long beginning on what is apparently some sort of human date of note, earlier this month, and continuing throughout the warm summer months. The noise is deafening, and the smell worse. My human has served me effectively during such things as violent thunderstorms, and I have trained her to provide me with brushing and a steady stream of tuna-flavored Pounce during such natural calamities; however, fireworks "displays" are a thousand times worse.
I hope that you will not judge me too harshly when I confess, feline to feline, that I apparently have some sort of weakness in the face of such events. Quite honestly, I have been logging a lot of time under the bed, in closets, and up draperies, and frankly, shaking. I can't stand the noise! My nerves are just about shot. My human, good soul, wishes to help. Aside from laying in a larger-than-usual supply of Pounce, how should I instruct her to serve me during these firework catastrophes in a manner which will make the situation more agreeable to me? (Incidentally, in her blockheaded human fashion, she does not appear to be unnerved by the explosions, per se, but rather by my reaction. I fear that causing her distress in this way will cause her performance in my service to suffer. It's hard enough to get good help these days, and I wish to retain her in my employment as long as possible.)

Anxiously, Puss-Puss.
P.S. Here I am in my favorite window. As you can see, I am quite calm, and serenely watching the juicy little birds hop about on the lawn.

Dear Puss-Puss,
You are right to be frightened. Humans are probably the most inconsiderate and destructive species in the world. They rarely consider our comfort - unless we train them to do so. But your human, trained by you, did not set off these fireworks. It must have been neighbouring humans who don't have cats and don't think of feline welfare. Or canine welfare, come to that. Some dogs are utterly terrified by these explosive noises
That said, your human obviously failed to foresee this significant date which is (I can reveal) July 4. Other dates are Fireworks Day in the UK, November 5 and New Year's Eve, December 31.
Why these particular dates I have no idea. It's just part of the time-obsessed human way of life - special days in the year, strange intermittent two-day periods called 'weekends', so called 'holidays' when they desert us for several days. Clocks that tick, clocks that don't, computers that show time mouse tracks, alarm bells, cries of "You'll be late". They don't know how to settle to a sensible day-night routine based on light, a routine used by every other species that lives above ground. They live in fear of the future. They can't live just in the day like the rest of us do whether we are cats, birds or lilies of the field.
But I digress. If your human know in advance that fireworks are going off, the week before she could install a Feliway diffuser, which exudes a calming feline scent, or get a Feliway spray and spray your preferred room with it about ten minutes before the fireworks start. But if she doesn't know they are coming, its more difficult.
Most importantly, she must shut the cat flap so that you can't run out in fear and get lost. During Halloween or Fireworks day, there's the possiblity of feral humans catching you and throwing you in bonfires or hurling fireworks at you. She must keep you indoors from twilight onwards and give you somewhere to hide.
Keep your courage up. It's only a few days a year.
George.
PS. Keep away from cat lovers in the US who catch up black cats and hand them into animal shelters before Halloween. They have the best of motives but seven out of ten cats so handed in are euthanased. Only no-kill shelters can offer real safety.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Help stop the barbaric declawing of cats

Hi George,
We are just wondering if you know how declawed cats manage without their toe ends and claws ? As we live in England where declawing is thankfully banned, we have no friends without them who we can ask.How do they balance properly to walk,how do they groom their fur to regulate their body temperature and how do they exercise, as we need to dig our claws into our scratching posts to exercise our leg,shoulder and back muscles don't we ? Is that why so many of them get arthritis do you think ?

We know lots of USA cats don't go outside but they still need their claws anyway for all those things and what happens if they escape ? They have no defence have they ? We
heard that some start biting due to being declawed , well we don't blame them ! And we also heard some stop using their litter trays as the first agony of trying with their painful stumps after the operation, stays in their mind forever.
Do you know George, some cats in the USA are even declawed on their back paws too, however do they scratch an itch ? Please sign our petition
Walter and Jozef

PS. That's me Jozef at the top and my friend Walter at the bottom. Both wearing our white bibs. Very smart!

Dear Walter and Jozef,
We UK cats are lucky that vets refuse to do this. I've signed (under Celia's name) the petition on http://www.petitionthem.com/default.asp?sect=detail&pet=4312 And I read your human's blog on http://kattaddorra.blogspot.com/ too.
Personally I feel that the house is much improved with frilled soft furnishings - particularly the arms of armchairs and sofas. I also have enjoyed, in my time, frilling the
edges of long curtains - giving what I call the Bohemian gypsy look. I do have trouble with my human who doesn't share my ideas about decor. But pulling out my claws? She wouldn't be so cruel.
I have seen horrible pictures of cats with their paws bandaged as they recover from this operation. This is mutilation, like cutting the tails off dogs (or, in the USA, cutting their ears too).What is it about humans that they think cutting bits of living animals is OK. Pulling out finger nails was torture done by the Nazis and I think it is torture for animals too. I can't imagine what it is like to live without claws. They are an essential part of me. Imagine not being able to scratch an itch - horrible.
My soft furnishings enthusiasm has been modified by being given a scratching post in every room that I use - one in the bedroom, one in the living room and one in the upstairs bathroom. I use them all and I particularly enjoy the really tatty one that has bits hanging off it. I purrsuaded Celia not to change it for a new one as, like all cats, I like scratching posts that smell of the glands on my paws and that have nice stringy bits to scratch. We cats need to scratch. It is part of our natural behaviour. Apart from the pain of declawing, cats without claws must have difficulty making their living quarters smell right. And smell is so important to us.
Celia uses double sided sticky tape to stop my scratching the furniture (which she claims belongs to her though I know better). The stickiness is horrid so I don't scratch there again for about a month. She says the sofa looks odd with this tape all over it, but if she leaves it there for a month she can take it off for about three months before I notice and start scratching again. There's a posh version costing four times as much called Sticky Paws which looks slightly less odd.
Best of luck with the petition
George
PS. I read this blog on claws too -http://clawsforever.blogspot.com/2009/06/elsie-cant-lose-he-gets-it-both-ways.html

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Outrageous human behaviour - screams over mice


Dear George,
Do you know of any books, something like “Understanding your cat for dummies”?
If you do, please let me know. If such book doesn’t exist yet, please write one; my “parents” can be such an inspiration ☺ They are DUMMIES!!!!!!!
Last Sunday I was expecting to have breakfast with my mom when she, instead of making breakfast, picked up the phone and started talking with a friend!
So, I waited (quietly) for her to finish her phone call. After about 30 minutes staring at her, I said to myself; “fine, let’s help her with breakfast”. That’s when I brought in the first mouse (quite dead) which I deposited at her feet.
She didn’t even blink. I could not believe this; usually she freaks!
So, I waited for a sign from her! Nothing! She was still on that damn phone talking and talking and talking! I couldn’t take this any longer, so….I went out and got the second mouse (alive, but dizzy) that I deposited at her feet. She still didn’t blink! I tried to tell her…”hey, mommy….breakfast is served”! But, no response from her.
So…I started “eating” my breakfast alone! That’s when they both jumped, screaming and yelling and scaring the hell out of me! WHAT’S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE who call themselves “my parents”? He grabbed my mouse and threw it away!
Now, tell me George, what parent would take the food from their kid’s mouth and threw it away? See what I mean? You tell me what I should do now!
With lots of love …but …speechless, Minnie

Dear Minnie,
Humans ARE dummies. All cats over the age of eight weeks (old enough to understand humans) agree with your assessment. There's something seriously wrong in their attitude, particularly their attitude when we are kind enough to bring in mice for them. Do they tuck in and thank us? Do they praise us for our keen hunting skills? Do they gather round to admire us as we eat them? NO. NO. NO.
It is particularly painful for us when they just don't notice. Phones seem to do that to humans. They place these items (which can occasionally make interesting squeaking noises) near their ears and they vocalise repeatedly and meaninglessly into them. Very odd, very dysfunctional, behaviour. I personally have tried to take part in this, pushing my nose between phone and cheek, and received some very unpleasant human brushing off behaviour. It's some kind of sterotypic behaviour, compulsive and out of their control.
As for the screaming at mice... that can be more fun for us. Humans that jump up on chairs to avoid living mice are at least noticing us. I quite enjoyed Celia's frantic attempts to catch living mice, using a Wellington boot. The other day she had to try and catch a small wren nestling which (because wrens hide in small places like dry stone walls) flew into the corner of book cases etc rather than flying towards a window. It took her two hours to catch it in a dishcloth and liberate it. It had taken me a mere five minutes to grab it in the first place.
But, as you say, the principle is outrageous. They STEAL our mice. Without shame or second thoughts. Humans, why do we love them? Sometimes I don't know if I do.
Love George.
PS. Celia has just finished a book titled Cats Behaving Badly and Why we Still love them. I am busy writing the synopsis for a Cats' Guide to Humans so as to have my say.
PPS. Lovely tummy!

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