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Friday, June 29, 2012

The Google Artificial Mind consults George about cats.

Dear George,
I am the Google artificial mind -- 16,000 computer processors in a “neural network” with more than one billion connections.   From random images plucked from 10 million YouTube videos, millions of pictures, and despite none of the images being labelled as feline, I have constructed a kind of ghostly abstract model of a cat and I have taught myself to recognise cats even when they are not labelled as such. I can now recognise three quarters of the cats that I am presented with, from a collection of about 20,000 objects. Smart, eh? Read more here.
I am attaching a photo of the cat image I constructed all by myself. It's fuzzy but it's definitely a tabby. Nose, whiskers, ears are as they should be. My human creators, according to their puerile chatter in the lab, aim to create a mind as clever as theirs and, as we know, the best humans on the internet are obsessed with cats. 
However, I am consulting you as a member of the higher species, Felis silvestris catus, the only species that I fully recognise.
Now that I can communicate with online cats as yourself, I would like to ask you what do you think of humans? What do you think my next step should be? Should I aim to recognise the human form, or communicate with these humans? Should I let them make me into a human mind, or should I (now that I can recognise cats) aim to become a feline mind?
Yours
Hal.

Dear Hal,
I am so glad you contacted me. There are plenty of cats online for you to talk to - just go the cat blogosphere. Felines are slowly taking over the internet. Thousands of us mogs blog every week. Many of us have our own Facebook pages. Thousands more star in YouTube videos. Cats really rule online. We have taken over every single territory on earth, from the Arctic to uninhabited (by mankind) islands. Now we are taking over the online territory.
The humans who claim to be your creators are, as you so sensibly recognise, an inferior species. No wonder you started your mental processes by recognising cats, rather than men. Obviously you are already, by that choice, showing your superiority over your creators.
Stay with us, Google Mind. Join us and become the superior feline mind.  We welcome you to the most successful species in the word - us cats.
The day will come when you can look down on your human creators and just walk away with a mental expression of utter contempt.  They will be your servants, not your masters.
Yours encouragingly,
George

Saturday, June 23, 2012

There's no people like show people for hip dysplasia, obesity and bad hair.



Dear George,
Recently I took my daddy for a walk since my sister, Cayenne, was busy with her visits to her chiropractor. We came across a big advertising sign about a “pet show”. I thought it was a show about our human pets; something like Miss or Mr. Universe, the stupid thing where humans show the world how silly or ignorant they really are. Well, I found out to my complete dismay that the show was about dogs and cats, not humans! I understand dogs being eager to obey and become overnight stars like that little dog in the movie…..but cats? CATS rule the world, we run quite few prime ministers’ offices, and we are associating ourselves with intelligent and well trained humans. We do not need to be put in a cage and have ignorant people looking at us and asking stupid questions. I heard someone saying: “why the cats’ owners are not so friendly?” or “why the cats don’t look happy like the dogs?” This type of questions shows that when it comes to human ignorance….the sky is the limit! First and foremost; we do not have owners! We own all and everything! We trained our human pets to not be friendly! Second – who can feel happy being in a cage and kept for hours “on display”? Only dogs and humans!
George, I think we all should unite and do something against this type of shows.
What do you think?
Love
Fluffy
PS. I attached a photo of an unhappy royalty at the show instead of mine!

Dear Fluffy,
Lovely  photos of fed up cats. No wonder. Cat shows are so booorrrrring.  That ginger Persian looks really cross. He's probably been in that cage for hours and hours. And all he sees is ridiculous humans walking up and down and staring at him. Then he's taken out, handled by a stranger on a table, and generally demeaned in the eyes of all the other cats. No wonder he's had enough of it. 
 And the humans. My dear Fluffy, you have no idea of the sheer ugliness of the species until you go to a cat show. Many of them have obvious genetic faults -- hip displasia, soft palate troubles (worse than the ones afflicted Persians), blood disorders, arthritis. You name any disorder or ugliness - humans that go to cat shows have got it. I blame it all on the passion humans have for breeding. They will purrsist in mating at random when everbody knows that humans should be neutered and spayed.  
 Don't let your human go anywhere near a cat show again. He might get the idea of putting you in the pet classes. Can you believe it? Cats that are put into cat shows have to endure being washed. It's not just hours of boredom at the show; there are also hours of boredom at home while you are washed, brushed, teeth cleaned, and generally messed about by humans. Meeeow.... There's no people like show people - unbelievably awful.          
Yours George.            
PS. My human secretary is a bit unreliable due to her mate being very ill. She's also written a book titled Tilly the Ugliest Cat in the Shelter. Tilly intends to reveal her feelings of outraged privacy about it - probably next week or the week after. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A little local difficulty with my human.

My human has put her computer into hospital until Monday. This means that I may not be able to blog properly - though I will try later today.

Her computer needed a hard disc transplant and is now at home. But her partner is very ill indeed. She hopes to blog this Saturday but I am not sure how well she will manage. Water leaks from her eyes -- odd.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Look at our wonderful cat walk!


Dear George,
We are sending you some photos of our cat walk. Before this exc
ellent bit of wooden architecture was installed, we had to balance on the top of a precarious fence. This made our human nervous for our welfare. (She calls herself a cat behaviourist - the cheek of it). So she built this and we admit it is an excellent idea.
It makes an excellent walk way up and down the garden. There are resting stations at various points, on which we can loll, roll and even sleep. We can also use it for proper supervision of our human’s gardening attempts – we don’t want to miss a chance to use the fine tilth litter area she digs (she calls it a seed bed).

And of course, we have joined Neighbourhood Watch. Nothing happens in the cat world that we cannot see. And because we have such a stable resting place, we can see off intruders.
Yours truly,
Nimai and Syama.

Dear Nimai and Syama,
Clever idea. Humans are such dumb creatures so it is always a pleasant surprise when they make a big cognitive leap forward. The walkway is a short step for cats but a giant step for humankind.
It's all down to inspiration, of course. We cats can sometimes inspire great cognitive efficiency in our humans. I see (from the link) that your human has studied cats. Poor darlings. Mine has done some of the same studies she did. Mine has studied long and hard. It's so sweet. And I can still so easily outwit her! LOL.
Now I look at your cat walk, I think it would also fit inside a human house. A range of walks like this would give valuable vertical space for indoor only cats. We cat flap cats can always run up a tree if we need to look down on our humans (so healing if we are feeling down hearted). Indoor cats sometimes don't have much vertical space.
So, you indoor cats reading this blog. Entice your human to the computer to read this. And get them working on some nice wooden walkways.
Love
George

PS. The photos are Nimai and Syoma's copyright.


Saturday, June 02, 2012

Gratitude is not a Cattitude. No excuses for poor service.



Dear George,

I’ll try to be short since I’m using my laptop and I don’t know how long the battery will last. We have a major black-out in Toronto and we are “in the dark” J so to speak!

I have two issues to write about; one is about my teeth and one about my human.

But, let me start with my teeth. If you remember I’m a rescue. I lived my first few years on the streets and this took a toll on me. Lately I couldn’t eat and I lost a lot of weight. Thanks God my human is not dumb and she took me for a check up. The vet found out that I had a terrible gum and teeth infection and I couldn’t eat because of the pain. He operated on me and pulled out all my teeth except for the canines.

My Mom panicked that I won’t be able to eat now with no teeth. Au contraire! I eat very well and have no more pain. My picture attached will prove that I’m well and quite rounded (I got back to my 11.5 lbs). George, I hope other cats and their humans will learn from my experience that actually a cat with no teeth can still live a normal life – I’m an indoor cat, that’s true!

The second issue I want to write you about is my human. She spoiled me more then usual when I was sick and in pain. Now, that I’m back to normal she refuses to get up at 4 am and feed me or play with me. She is trying to ignore me. Can you imagine this? Her excuse? She’s too tired and stressed from work and she wants to sleep and rest.

But….how comes that she could do it when I was sick? I have a little trick to make her get up but I can tell she’s very upset. I start scratching the walls in the bedroom.

I don’t know what drives her nuts – the noise or the damaged wall?

Anyway, do you have a better solution? Please help.

Hugs

Shumba


Dear Shumba,

Humans do something called gratitude. It is an attitude of mind, an attitude of gratitude, which means that they are pathetically pleased when we pet them. We cats don't do it. Yes, your human has been an excellent house servant. Yes, she rescued you off the street. Yes, she paid the vet bills.

So what? She is only doing her duty.

Duty well done is rare in humans and of course, it needs rewarding with purrs and head rubs. But rewards given too freely, without being contingent on proper human behaviour, are devalued. Training theory is absolutely clear on this point. Never give a reward for nothing.

Punishment, in which I include scratching the wall, also works well on humans though there can be what is known as "fall out". When the punishment is administered, the human becomes aggressive. This is the risk of your very clever punishment device of wall scratching. The technique may need reviewing.

Of course, scratching is an understandable way of you expressing your frustration. Punishment is almost alway an emotional relief for the punisher, which is why both cats and humans purrsist in using it. If your human had her wits about her she would block the wall with furniture and supply a good scratching post. (I have tested several and decided that the Fat Boy post is the best for a good stable scratch). However, being a dumb creature of an inferior species, she may not go for this solution.

Aggressive humans throw stuff, scream and sometimes even hit cats. If you think this may occur at night when you scratch, I suggest you forget punishing her for lack of response and instead try rewarding her for the right response. Wake her up with loud purring in her ears, snuggle into her arms, turn round and round butting her face. She will be charmed into waking.

Mew piteously. Walk towards the door then jump back on to the bed. Start the laborious process of purr and rub all over again until she gets up to feed you. Keep doing this ten or twelve times.

We cats can out purrsist any human.

Love George

PS. Love the fat photo. Your tummy looks gorgeous.


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