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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Humans judge by looks, ability and colour: we cats don't

Dear George,
Have you noticed how odd humans are. I am three legged. I lost my right hand back leg in a road traffic accident. It was hell at the time and to begin with I found it difficult to cope. Now I can manage perfectly well. My other three legs enable me to do most of what I want - leaping on and off the bed and chairs, hunting mice, keeping warm by the Aga, rubbing up against my human, Jilly.
Yet humans have this odd attitude to me. "Poor little thing," I heard your human say. "She looks so odd without one leg. Does she manage all right?" All through this blather was a note of pity. Why are humans so obsessed with what we look like? Why pity?
Yours disgruntedly
Figgi

Dear Figgi,
Humans are visual animals. They can't hear very well and they find smelling almost impossible. The only smells that get through to them are urine, poo and sweat. Those fine smells that distinguish one cat from another, or a cat on heat from a neutered cat, or even the smell of an anxious cat.... they can't get it.
The result is that they rely too much on their eyes. Add to that they have an odd culture. (Yes, I call it culture though some cats argue that humans can't think and therefore don't have culture at all.)  They prize youth over age, the perfect body over the imperfect body. This means they discriminate among themselves against the elderly, the ugly, amputees, or those of a different colour.
They go to huge lengths to hide imperfections with injections of a poisonous substance in their faces, they have noses cut and reshaped, clothes that squeeze their shape, prostheses to hide amputated limbs etc. Among humans imperfect or disabled specimens are judged and found wanting.  They even try to do the same to us by inventing cat shows.
Cat wisdom show how foolish they are. Figgi, you are fine in my eyes. Just another cat. And I still love my pet human despite her now imperfect shape and wrinkles. She smells right which is what matters. I am sure you love Jilly, even if she is no longer a breeding human. They all look fine to us.
We really are the superior species.
George.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

She was trying to make me share my home with a street cat....

Dear George,
I am writing to you with an issue I have which has been tweaking at my conscience.
I appear to have ‘jealously' issues. Over the last 6 weeks there has been a stray cat hanging about outside my home, and every time my human opens the front door he runs over demanding her to fuss him and give him some food (MY food!!!!). He seems to get around her with his pitiful meow and big sorrowful eyes, and she gladly fusses him and feeds him daily. This sends me into a fit of jealous rage and I lean out of the bedroom window and hiss and spit at him furiously.
I know that I should feel sorry for him as he is without a home, is riddled with fleas and his coat is all matted and greasy and he has no one to love him…but I want my human to love ME ALONE, no-one else. I get into such a temper whenever I see my arch enemy, and my human bears the brunt of my fury too, as I nip and hiss at her whenever I know she has fussed him…so much so that she has taken the stray to Battersea Cat’s Home in order to find him a good home (and calm me down!).
Do you think I have a problem George? …Is my jealously out of control?
I look forward to your reply.
Yours guiltily, Sidney Baker
PS – I hope you can read my writing well enough, the crayon kept slipping through my claws.

Dear Sidney,
You do have a problem but it is of your human's making. You should not feel a moment's guilt. It is your human that should feel guilty. She has fallen into the trap of thinking that cats are as promiscuously social as dogs and some humans - though I dare say she would object as strongly as you have, it if you brought a homeless street person into her home. She is completely at fault.
Of course, you hissed and nipped when she walked into the home smelling of the intruder. What decent cat wouldn't! Smell is how we identify friends and foes. How would she feel if her boyfriend came home smelling of another woman? We, cats don't share with other cats unless they are relatives and not always even then.
You have done the right thing. You have expressed your feelings consistently and punished her when appropriate. That is what good human training is all about. Now reward her with purrs and rubs.
You are already generously letting her use your bed at night. Now snuggle up closer so she realises how lucky she is to have an exclusive one-to-one relationship with a cat as glamorous as you.
Yours approvingly
George

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Accompanying your human to the lavatory.... any chance of a goldfish?

Dear George,
I am a little worried about something. I have been in the habit of accompanying my human to her litter tray. I feel it is a way I can offer her support and, besides, I enjoy looking down the pan when she has flushed it. I keep hoping, as I watch the water whirl around, that something interesting might turn up - a goldfish, perhaps.
What do you think, George? Should I stop this practice? Sometimes I think she enjoys my company in the bathroom. At other times I worry in case I might interfere with her toilet habits by showing my affection.
I purr and rub against her legs.
Yours anxiously,
Bertie Catster.

Dear Bertie,
Your anxiety about human welfare has to be applauded. Some cats just wouldn't worry about it. That you do is a tribute to your empathy and responsibility to the lesser species. If only all cats thought about their human pets....
Personally, I think humans enjoy our company when they are using their litter trays. I would hate it if my human started petting me, as I used the tray. But I am not a human. Different species have different behaviours.
One great advantage of winding round their legs while they use the tray is that they will not fall over. Very elderly humans can be unsteady on their feet, and an affectionate cat can topple them very easily. Rubbing against them while they are securely seated is a way of showing affection safely.
Moreover, there is another advantage. I don't know how you feel about being picked up and cuddled. Frankly I don't appreciate it. I enjoy affection from my human but cuddling goes a bit too far. A human on its litter tray cannot cuddle. They can bend down and stroke but cannot pick us up. Another reason for accompanying them to the bathroom.
So put aside your anxieties and continue your activities,
George.
PS. Like you I have always hoped that a  fish might turn up in water.... no such luck.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Sharing - what's what's yours is mine and what's mine's my own.

video
Dear George,
My name is Bob and I live with dogs... Nope, that's not a bad thing, as I have the dogs well under control. You could say I am top dog, except that to call a cat a dog is a terrible insult. It's just a question of innate superiority.
I've been experimenting with their toys lately. Of course, I use their Kongs, the large rubber things which if you are lucky have sticky cheese inside. I can poke my paw in and get out the last fragments. Now I am using their puzzle toys. These are round and have places to hide food. They are bit heavy but I have discovered I can lift them off with my paw.The video of me doing this is at the top of this page. The dogs share: I take.
My point is, George, should these be sold for cats? I'm pretty fed up with the cat toys which are meant to look like a mouse, but don't. Or the ones that are too heavy to bat about. I'd prefer toys with food in them.
Yours,
Bob,
PS. We have something in common. My human pretends to be an animal behaviourist. Click here for details. You have laugh, don't you, at their pretensions. Poor dumb creatures.

Dear Bob,
I have posted a photo of myself here, using my own food toy, well mostly of my backside, because my head is inside the cardboard - nearly but not quite stuck. I was fascinated by your video of using that dog toy. I don't think that my celebrity cat friend, Tilly, would be big enough to make it work.  
If your human wants to spend money on you, she could buy you the Play-N-Treat ball, the Armitage Good Girl Cat Treat Ball, the Pipolino (a bit heavy), or better still the Cat Activity Funboard (too small for Maine coon paws).
Better still, get her to make her own. Lavatory paper inner rolls, cardboard boxes are easily made into toys. There are some photos on www.catexpert.co.uk under indoor cats. Of course, I got my head stuck into one of two of the toys, so I had to get my human to make sure the holes were either too small for my head or too large for it.
I agree with you about these so-called human behaviourists. It really is a good joke to see them try to understand us. Poor dears.
Yours
George
PS. I was pleased you made the point about sharing. We cats do not share. I have never let my human into my cat bed and never shall. Of course, I let her share her bed with me - what's hers is mine.





Saturday, September 01, 2012

Harvey the inspirational house rabbit launches his book....

George, my friend!  
I'm a sensation!  You called me Harve the inspirational bunny and I am now Harve the sensational bunny. I have to thank you for suggesting I write a blog  in the first place.
My book is being launched at Wood Green Animal Centre this weekend. Am planning to ask your name sake, George Clooney to do the voice over when I'm made into a Disney film. I'm going to snooze now and practice my paw signature ready for signings.

Yours
Harvey

Dear Harvey,
Now you are a celebrity bunny, I am pleased that you have remembered your old friends. Your caretaker Janet has been much more reliable than my secretary in getting your words into print. There was talk in my home about my book on How to Manage Your Human being published: then it all came to nothing due to human sloth and inattention. 
Those who wish to buy your book should go to your website which is where there are details of where to send an order. The book has got some very good photos too. I particularly enjoyed the picture of the table wearing socks - not Victorian prudery but socks to stop you eating the table legs! And you watching TV is sweet too.
Sending my cheque in the post today...
George
PS. That is the most wonderful portrait of you.

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