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Sunday, May 29, 2011

I am a feline love rat trying to protect my love kittens...


Dear George,
I have taken out a superinjunction (a legal system of getting absolute privacy from tabloid and red top newspapers) to protect my love kittens... There are scores of them all around Sussex, an English county. I have caterwauled on roof tops, fought in the streets, and mated with numerous females. So many, that I fear I cannot even remember their names. But they all probably had kittens - four or five at a time. Not that I had anything to do with my love kittens. I was, I admit, a love rat. I loved them and left them taking no responsibility for the little ones for five glorious years. If I try to remember, I reckon there must be more than 900 kittens that looked like me. But now I am a reformed (and snipped) character, I don't want anybody to know about my disgraceful past.
Will a superinjunction protect me?
No-Name Tom.

Dear No-Name Tom,
The new English legal system of protecting love rats, whether footballers or TV presenters, is working well for these human males. It's the males wot get the pleasure: it's the females wot get the blame. Our judges are nothing if not traditional.
But it won't work for cats. Your identity has already been revealed on Twitter. Just sending me a silhouette of yourself wasn't a sensible idea. A copy of your true photo came into my paws and I can reveal you are known in Sussex as Randy Victor, cat about town and love rat (your phrase not mine). You are a tabby and white who has the treatment of choice for sex addiction - castration.
It was Cats Protection who spilled the beans on you after they'd given you treatment. They rescue 5,700 unwanted kittens every years and the centre in Sussex reckons you could have contributed scores to this number. These moralistic humans take the view that unneutered toms like you (and me once) should be stopped.
Why? Well not just because we could go on fathering hundreds more unwanted kittens. It's for our own sake. The rooftop caterwauling life is pretty dangerous for us toms before the snip. We fight each other and risk catching dangerous blood born disease like FIV. We spray urine all over the place so humans don't want us in their homes. We roam for miles, taking our lives in our paws each time we cross roads. You, yourself, were picked up as a stray.
So, thank your lucky stars, Victor, that you
were given a chance of a new life. As a female human once sighed; "Ah the deep peace of the double bed after the hurly burly of the chaise longue."
Personally, as I was given the snip early in life, I reckon I am happier this way. In this, I count myself both superior to humans who have a disgusting habit of doing it in and out of season for most of their adult life. Would you consider setting upa charity for pets with me? We could call it Human Protection and run a campaign to neuter and spay them? They'd be so much happier.
George

Friday, May 20, 2011

Whiskers....our pride, glory, and a sign of intelligence?

Dear George,

Is there any connection between the number of whiskers one has and one’s intelligence?

My brother is trying to convince me that more whiskers one has ….more intelligent one is! He’s telling me that “tomcats” have more whiskers… generally speaking!

George, is this true? Or is my brother a misogynist? If this theory is true….does it applies to humans too? I can see that our “daddy” has more whiskers than “mommy” but why is he shaving every night then? Is he afraid that his intelligence will overgrow while he’s sleeping? And…what purpose will have shaving legs? I don’t get it!

George, what is the difference between our whiskers and human whiskers?

All confused

Minnie


Dear Minnie,

Your brother George is right that proper functioning whiskers are a sign of intelligence. They tell us if we can pass through tight places, they send sensitive messages back to the whisker pad and the brain, and when we catch a mouse, they move forward to touch it so we can tell if it is struggling while in our mouth (as our eyes couldn't swivel enough to see). Brilliant, brilliant things. Our Pride and Our Glory.

They are a sign of superiority over humans and our greater intelligence (more information reaches the feline brain from our whiskers). Many humans, including many females, don't have any whiskers at all. Those that do either shave them off, pluck them out (ouch), or have electric shock treatment to get rid of them. Why? Because their whiskers are non-functional bits of hair that aren't worth the face they are growing on. Human whiskers, even the thick long ones grown by the males in a beard, do nothing. They can't move. They just catch bits of old food. Horrible things.

However, where George has gone wrong is thinking that male toms have more whiskers than females. If toms are bigger than females, as they often are, then the whiskers will be longer so as to embody the right proportions with the bigger body. But they will be the same number. Incidentally blind cats grow super-normal growth whiskers to hellp them "see" with them. We also have whiskers above the eyes and on the forefeet, where they can feel a mouse if we jump on it and hold it down with our front claws.

Male humans have more whiskers than females but I do not think it is a sign of intellectual superiority. As females seem to be more addicted to cats, I consider the reverse may be true. Or may be there is no connection.

That, dear Minnie, is the glory and the beauty of our whiskers. Poor human pets are deprived of these wonderful organs.

Love George

PS. You both have lovely whiskers... purrrrfect


Friday, May 13, 2011

Campaign for cats on Facebook


Dear George,
For the past few weeks, our human has been chattering away about how much fun she's been having on The Cat's Whiskas Facebook page. She shows us all the lovely photos and stories shared by other humans about their clever cats. And recently we've caught her meowing at her computer on more than one occasion!
We were originally concerned because she usually saves her meows for communicating with us, bless. But she explained that she's actually recording her meows for our benefit! The Cat's Whiskas are campaigning to have cats officially listed on Facebook profiles. Did you know that even though our human shares every other part of her life with us, she still can't list us as part of her family on her profile? Indeed, that is just not good enough.
And so we write to tell you about the campaign, and to invite you and all of your readers to encourage their humans to join The Cat's Whiskas page and record meows for cat equality!
Strength in numbers,

Bonnie & Buttons
The Cat's Whiskas
http://www.facebook.com/WhiskasUK


Dear Bonnie and Buttons,

I know you work for Whiskas, so I need to say that your letter has gone on this blog because I think it is fun to make Facebook into a more catty zone. Why not? My secretary, Celia, already runs a Cats Behaving Badly page (http://www.facebook.com/CatsBehavingBadly ) of which I disapprove heartily as it is a space for humans to post funny photos of cats. I would like a page where I could post funny photos of humans. Here's what I find funny about humans - their odd way of washing with water not saliva, their inability to move their whiskers (if they have any at all), the way the males lose their hair on their head, their nakedness - skin without fur, etc etc.

Of course, there are areas like the cat blogosphere which is devoted to cats who blog. But a feline Facebook membership would be another area where we could express our feelings about the idiotic species, Homo sapiens (I don’t think), which we keep as pets. There’s too much on the web from a human point of view. Lets get our felinity out there as a corrective to anthrocentric thinking (ie: human-centred thinking).

Think Cat, say I. So, Bonnie and Buttons, get typing. Make your secretary work for you. We could also use your page as a place to post photos of cats that need homes – there are plenty of those in my area (http://www.westoxfordshirecats.org.uk).

Purrs and rubs

George



Saturday, May 07, 2011

Kittens, kittens, kittens..... and the recession too.


Hi George.
I'm told you are a cat of knowledge and many friends so I thought I'd speak to you about my humans and their plight. You see they are part of a charity called Lincoln Cat Care that tries to find homes for cats and kittens that do not have human servants. But for some silly human reasons (something to do with money and financial climate I'm told) they have had a huge influx of cats and are really struggling to find homes and look after all us cats and kittens.
My story is a good example. I was what they call a “stray”. I call it free. But cold. And hungry! In my first season I met a big Tom and fell for his charms. Of course he cleared off and come the day when my kittens where due I was scared and didn't really know what to do. I went to the garden of a human who had been giving me and some others some food and had my kittens in the open in his yard on some bricks. That was Sunday 17 April. On the Monday a lovely human came to scoop us all up and take us to her home. She is now our willing servant, totally chained to the power of the meow!
She tells me that she is a new volunteer with Lincoln Cat Care and that I was very lucky as all their foster carers were full up when they heard about me and they would have had to turn me away if she hadn't come forward! Can you imagine that? I would never have found the joy of a good chin rub, and given my size and the fact that I really struggle to care for all four kittens I doubt if all of them would have made to to their two week birthday. A man she knows called Ed Cole is a pro DVD editor and camera man, he offered to put this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_pRK0sDEyw> film together to try to raise awareness of the cats just waiting for the right human to take them home, but now we need people to spread the word!If you search on You Tube for Lincoln Cat Care it's the first one.
Do you think any of your friends could get their humans to watch it and tell their friends? Obviously my kittens aren't up for adoption yet. But many other cats are! The website; http://www.lincolncatcare.com; has details of the majority, or you can call them.
Apparently my kittens have to go with me to something called a V E T. I've had my flea and worm treatment but they were to young, now they are old enough to get the V E T to do it, he's also going to check us all in case the human has missed anything. So I'd best be off to make sure the human gets them all in the basket, I don't know if she can count!
Thank you so much George,
Lots of love,
Sophia
(and, left to right, Gaynor, Oscar, Shackleton and Silent Bob)

Dear Sophia,
Your friend Ed Cole is just what we need at West Oxon Cats Protection, the charity which rescued me off the street in the first place. We are not yet swamped with kittens, but we have far too many older cats needing homes. The human recession is really making life tough for us cats. People are losing their homes and then discovering they can't find rented accomodation which will let them keep their family cat or dog. Other people, without veterinary insurance, are handing in their cats to us. Still others (humans are so cruel) are just dumping their cats on the street. Finally, there are the people who don't have the money to get their cats neutered or spayed and dump cats with kittens on the street. It is sickening.
Please, you cats out there, see if you can influence your humans to give some money to local cat charities. Money is the best thing. Volunteering is the next best thing. That is the single most helpful human gesture towards our species. Many of us cats have been badly let down by our humans: others are just unfortunate. If you look at our West Oxon website you will see elderly Duke, whose equally elderly human became so ill that she could no longer keep him.
My human, Celia, sometimes despairs of humans. But I pass on feline wisdom. "You can't do everything, but you can do something. So what you can do, do it." Let's flood YouTube, Facebook, and all the other networks with cats needing homes and with cat care videos. Get the message, you dumb humans.
Humans can count but with typical arrogance they think we can't. We can - up to about six or seven which is all the numbers any sensible animal (not humans) needs.
Love George
PS. Had a great deal of trouble getting my secretary, Celia, to type the words. She just drooled over the kitten photo. Babies leave her cold: but kittens....

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A hat for the royal wedding!


Dear George,
Watch! Stillness! Watch more! Get a little bit closer! ACTION!!! No, no way with my female human clapping her hands and shouting “fly bird, fly! WHAT? Is this for real?
I can’t believe her! Is she insane? Am I clapping my paws shouting “fly turkey, fly” when she cooks that big bird? No! I’m waiting in silence until it is nicely roasted and then claim my portion! George, why are humans so insensitive? I was so focused, “intensively” watching a little bird (as you can see in my photo) not even with the intention of killing it. All I wanted was a few feathers to ornate my hat for the Royal Wedding! I am CAT Victoria after all, right? Now, the bird is gone and so is my royal attire! I have to miss the wedding and watch it on TV! Phew!
George, any ideas how I can train my humans to not interfere with my activities? I even heard her saying something about a little bell around my neck? What? Does she think I’m a rattlesnake? I want revenge! She should be punished, don’t you think so?
CAT Victoria

Dear CAT,
I took little interest in the Royal Wedding, except to lie on my back for a bit so that Celia could stroke me while watching. The idea of bagging a pheasant (plenty outside) in order to snatch one of its tail feathers hadn't occurred to me. Nice idea. Nice try. As always, our best intentions are frustrated by our humans.
Sneakiness is essential, in order to have a satisfactory life with this rather dumb pet. Like you said, sit quietly waiting for the turkey to roast before claiming a portion. I do a special upward imploring look at my human, in order to get titbits. I almost look like a dog - soulful, deferential, pleading. In fact I am silently muttering "You silly human. Give. Give. Give. Idiot."
However sometimes guile, deviousness and dishonesty get what we want.
Bells round the neck I hate. For one thing collars on cats always are somewhat dangerous. My favourite charity Cats Protection every now and again will pick up a stray cat that has got its paw caught in its collar. My human says she has never come across a really safe collar. And (though I hate them) flea spot-ons from a vet are far more effective than old fashioned collars that have potentially dangerous chemicals.
Should you punish your human? I use punishment, as I use deviousness, guile, sneakiness and downright cheating, to get what I want. Scratching? Yes. Biting? Yes. But only in circumstances where it will work.
See if you can't just outwit her with your grace and charm.
Love 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