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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Roof top climbing - it's the life



Dear George,

We are two Burmese cats, Inky and Ellie. We thought we’d let you know that we have invented a new way into our humans’ bedroom. We could simply go through the door but this is a much more interesting route.

We start from the garden and jump up to a ground floor window sill. We leap from there to another sill at a higher level. Then we spring onto the sloping roof of a lean-to. Walking up that roof we can jump on to the pergola. The next stage is to prance gingerly for 5 yards along one of its transverse beams. At the far end of the pergola there's a hop up to the edge of the conservatory's sloping roof. We climb up that carefully. After progressing along the ridge we jump to the bedroom window sill.

Then all we need to do is to mew loudly until one of the humans finally finds out where the noise is coming from and opens the window to let us in.

What next? Well we jump into the bedroom, down the stairs and then out into the garden to start the whole exciting procedure all over again! What do you think of that?

Inkyman and Ellie


Dear Inkyman and Ellie,

I really admire your leopard-like mountaineering. Marvellous photos of you on the top of the roof looking down on the pedestrian world of human beings.

This is the outward visible sign of our species' inward superiority over humans. Don't see many humans high up on roofs - except those poor souls that have to put up a ladder to get there. If only we had cat olympics we could show the world what we can really do.

Climbing allows us to practise a particularly good game. We climb up trees and then stay on a high branch mewing with apparent distress. The poor old humans come up, stand under the tree, and make distress noises themselves. Out come a ladder and up climbs a shaky human.

Then, just before he/she reaches up to grab us, we jump down with ease.... game, set and match to us felines.

Simple. So simple. They always fall for it.

George

P.S. Due to shocking absence of my secretary Celia, my comments were a day late... I am thinking of firing her. It's just not good enough.






Saturday, July 23, 2011

Why is Richard so mean to me?

Dear George,
I’m lost in confusion and I need your help. I’m a pure breed or so I was to
ld, apparently expensive too. I got to my new home (a while back) where I was welcomed by “hisses” from no other then Richard, self-named the Lionheart. At the beginning we lived in separate rooms but now we share the house; he is my brother (not my choice). We play a lot but he always wants to rule – he thinks he is the king! I think he is such a mardy! I’m a young, cute kitten and I think he should be nicer to me. When my human mommy is not around I’ve been called ET (whatever this means) or “ugly”. Richard is making fun of me by saying that I’m a “pure breed experiment gone wrong”
He says that he’s “the wild and handsome one”! This is cruel.
What should I do? Should I tell mommy?

Confused
Luna

Dear Luna,
I blame your humans.... they probably thought Richard would like the company. Humans are disgustingly and undiscriminatingly social. They eat together and hang out together all the time. It's quite horrifying to see them in a sort of pack. Irresponsible socialising is their thing. And they think we cats are like them.
Well, we are not. We don't hang out in packs. We might hang out with another cat if we had met in kittenhood but, even if you think Richard is your brother, it is unlikely. Where is your hair? Besides, if we cats are allowed to mate with whom we choose, a litter of kittens can have several fathers. (Humans reading this should remember the survey which suggested one in five children was not fathered by the man who thought they were his! So no sneers about promiscuity, please).
Sometimes we do learn to be friends with other cats: sometimes we just remain aquaintances. Richard was quite rightly upset when a small intruder, you, turned up in his territory. Luckily your humans are not as dumb as most of their species and they introduced you the right way. Richard will eventually calm down (as long as the humans don't punish him) and you will work out a relationship which allows you both to live in the same house. Have patience. Be confident in the feline ability to adapt to most things.
Rolling on your back is a very good idea. It will show Richard that you are not going to pounce on him. And, if things got really bad, you have all four paws with claws to fight him off.
Love
George

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wicky Wuudler, the wit and wisdom of a great cat.



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Whicky Wuudler, famous character on the feline blogosphere, has passed away. I am in mourning for a great cat.
It was Whicky, with his ironic and post modern comments on this blog, that taught me so much about how we cats should think of humans. He called them “apes.” Perfectly correct terminology. Homo sapiens (don’t laugh at that last word) is part of the primate family and one of the Homidae genus which include other great apes. Whicky’s instinctive grasp of the correct term reminded us cats that humans are only animals – and not very nice ones at that.
He campaigned ceaselessly for proper human training. “The reward of purring should always be earned. I agree that cats should make the apes work hard for a purr., I like to make the ape work hard for even the smallest purr. Be careful though, apes can become quite emotional from purr absence, thus making them ever more grateful if I relent and offer the odd rumble. Remember, grateful apes = 100% subservient apes.”
Another bit of Wicky wisdom was an alternative training method, use of the miaow. “Apes are simple creatures, but they are easily reduced to mush by use of the most powerful weapon a feline has. The Silent Miaow. Just open your mouth as if to miaow, but don't make a sound. Make sure that you are looking up at your ape, keep your eyes wide open - expectant and innocent, try looking slightly pitiful as well. Then let the ape have it. It works every time, your ape will instantly attend to your every need and forget about use of that pointless ape word "no". The Silent Miaow must be used wisely lest the ape becomes used to it."
Whicky, or Mr Wuudler as he occasionally signed himself, was sound on feline basics: “Humans need much supervising in the kitchen. There's another way to ensure that a cat gets to do plenty of "cleaning up". Once the human has served the meal and is wending their way to wherever they want to eat it, wind yourself around their legs until they fall over and the meal lands over a wide area of carpet. The human will get up and stagger off to find cleaning items. When they return (limping) they will be so grateful that you have cleaned up the spilt food for them.
Also, never forget to swipe the bacon from an unguarded bacon sandwich. This is my speciality, a bit like the magicians who whip the tablecloth from the laden table without disturbing the place settings.”
It wasn’t just his wisdom. It was also his wit which made his contributions so valuable. Of Larry, the cat at Number 10 Downing St, he wrote: “Larry has his work cut out for him. The head ape at No. 10 is making life hard for many pets who reside with apes. Shelters are full already and recession means more pets to be dumped at shelters. Yep, Larry is a brave cat to take on ape training at No.10 “.
He also campaigned for an end to the cruel declawing of cats in the USA (see a Facebook page here) and the plight of homeless, starving and unloved cats everywhere. Whicky with his wonky ear was larger than life. Farewell, Whicky. We shall miss you.
George Online Cat.
PS. The photos on this blog are copyright from Everycat blog where more tributes can be found http://everycat.blogspot.com

Friday, July 08, 2011

To spray or not to spray - that is the question!


Dear George,
I am currently extremely stressed by my home situation and my human's behaviour. It has really upset me. She has brought home a new human, one who works in a veterinary clinic. Yes, one of those. A complete stranger to me. He smells of dogs, feline fear, vaccination needles and disinfectant (ironically smells a bit like cat pee). True, I have had a few scent hints about his presence in her life. She stayed out one night all night and came back looking very pleased with herself. As if the cat had got the cream, I might almost say. Now he has turned up and spent the night here. Yes, the whole night. He didn't even have the decency to mate and leave.
Shall I spray? I think it might make me feel better. And it would show her how very upset I am by her mating behaviour. What do you think? I rather thought I might do it on the unmade bed after he had got out of it.
Yours
Louis.

Dear Louis,
No wonder you are upset. The sex life of these humans is so outrageous. Any time. Any season. The females are ready for it all year round. Their permanent readiness is really disgusting to felines. We have proper seasons for it, interspersed with kitten bearing and usually we remain abstinent during the winter. Makes sense. Who wants to have kittens that die of cold. As a cat who has had the snip, I really feel sorry for them, at the mercy of their ever present hormones.
Spraying gives the message "Stop it." Or "Piss off". Or both messages at the same time. However, it is the nuclear option for us cats, Louis. It is the ultimate weapon and the final deterrent. It can go wrong. Humans seem unable to read the message - which is "I am upset". They sometimes think we are just being malicious.
So my advice would be to avoid all out final war and try to set up a training programme using more gradual rewards and punishments. Obviously you will refuse to sleep on the bed, as usual. You wouldn't get a wink of sleep anyway. Pace round it making little kitten mewing noises. Jump up on the side of your human, then shudder, crouch and hiss at the new mate beside her.
Run away immediately he comes into the house, making sure that your human sees your fear. Refuse to eat your food (you can probably get a good meal further down the street anyway). In every way treat him as if he was a cat killer. A human who smells of the vet is a killer. They call it euthanasia. I call it murder.
Sympathies,
George

Saturday, July 02, 2011

When a handsome tom cat comes calling, should I let him in?


Dear George,
I just came back from a month vacation and WOW! Vegas - the new k
id on the blog. Stanley – the PM’s of Canada new kitten. Blaze & Lea - the gangsta sisters! Wow! Wow! Wow! Boy weren’t you busy! No wonder you are one of the favourite cat bloggers. Congratulations!
So, let me pick your brains on a recent problem I have. Right before we went on vacation a really handsome tomcat started visiting me. At the beginning he was shy and will wait outside for me. Of course we get along very well which, I know, it’s
a bit unusual but, we might even be related (we look very much alike). Later, he started coming in the house; first in the kitchen where he would eat from my plate and then in the living room where we would take a nap. I couldn’t find out if he is homeless (he doesn’t look like), looking to re-home or just lonely. My problem, George, is: how do I introduce him to my humans; especially to my female human? I don’t want her to react like a worried mother when the daughter brings home her first boyfriend!
Love
CAT Victoria

Dear Victoria
Yes, Victoria, he's handsome (see photo on the right). Humans are odd about visiting cats. They just don't think about our feelings. Some humans let in any stray cat, even when we are outraged at having to share our house with them. For, let's face it, most of us cats are very possessive about our territory. We are not promiscuously social like dogs. We don't like intruders, and yet our humans seem to think we won't mind sharing bed and board with a complete stranger. You are an exceptionally social cat, Victoria, in your attitude towards this handsome tom cat.
First, there's the problem of whether he has a home. I expect he's told you the details of why he is visiting, but because humans are so dumb, they don't speak cat language. In order for them to know the details, they should cut a strip of paper like a collar with a message saying "Phone this number". Then put this round the cat's neck with some sticky tape. A paper collar will be safe because if it gets caught in a bush, the paper will just tear. Or they could put up some posters saying "Does anybody own this cat?"
Has he been neutered? Yes, I know
you know, Victoria. But your humans need to survey his backside to see if there are two little furry balls there. If there are none, he has been fixed and probably has, or had, a human home somewhere. If those little furry things are there, then he is a full tom and it's no wonder you enjoy his company. My predecessor, Fat Mog, fell in platonic love with the local stray tom cat but went off him completely when Celia meanly had him neutered.
If he is already sharing meals with you, you are half way to moving him in already. All he has to do is charm your humans. Wind round their feet. Purr loudly at them. Then show them that you and he are friends by sitting close to each other. Do the friendly cat kiss nose to nose. Sleep in each others arms. Most humans will fall for it.
Yours
George
PS. There's a good conference coming up in October for UK cat lovers and cat rescuers. Spread the word to others. Details on:
http://www.eventelephant.com/apbcannualfelineconference

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