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Friday, September 26, 2014

Meeeooooowww ... Black Cat Day is coming up.

Dear George,
I'm stuck at the Cats' Protection Taunton and Wellington branch waiting for a new home. As you can see I am a glossy black with gorgeous green eyes.
The humans here are looking after me well. I was in a car accident and they have paid for surgery for my fractured pelvis. But I've been here for three months and I want to get out.
I keep seeing nearby cats get homes - tortoiseshells, tabbies, and even black and whites. Do you think this delay is because I am black? Is it possible that humans are colour prejudiced? And is there anything we black cats can do about it?
Duke.

Dear Duke,

Yes, they are colour prejudiced. Black Cats are slower to get homes than many of the other colours. The strange thing is that humans have made laws to stop colour prejudice against black humans. They believe that humans of any colour should be treated equally. But it doesn't apply to us felines, apparently.
So we need to support National Black Cat Day on Thursday October 30th. We need to remind humans that black is beautiful. And we need to campaign for Black Power.
Cats reading this can get their human to upload a photo of a black cat onto Cats' Protection Facebook page here. One of us might become the poster cat for rehoming appeals. And any humans who haven't got a black cat yet can get one here. Or if they live in Oxfordshire here.
Alas, the more I know about humans, the more I seriously wonder if they are right in the head.
George.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Under cover - what is this human babble about "fruit cup."


Dear George,
Vegas' sophisticated "hidden camera" story inspired me to be more creative. I didn't have much to spy on as my mommy is living a boring life (if you ask me) but I wanted to surprise her by going "under cover". Now, literary speaking "under cover" can have many meanings but...I just wanted to go "under cover" so my mommy won't recognize me.
In all truth I think I succeeded since when she saw me, her reaction was "oh! my fruit cup." Did she recognise me? Or di she really think I was fruit cup? (whatever that is.) She even called me "tangelo." Is this offensive or is it a compliment. How can I find out? If my "under cover" is so good.... I don't want to give it away! But, if it's too complicate and confusing or offensive.... I might just give it up.
George....help!
Yours "under cover"
Shumba

Dear Shumba,
Personally I find some of these human exclamations offensive. "Fruit cup?" It's not even worth bothering your head about what she means. "Tangelo?" Equally meaningless. These humans just blab away at us - blah blah blah. You have to ignore these vocalisations most of the time. Humans have an extraordinary range of vocal sounds, and really inadequate body language.
My advice to you, Shumba, is to adopt an air of lofty disdain when your human makes these offensive exclamations. They show a lack of proper respect. Disdainful ignoring is a good training tool. Respond to properly respectful actions like offering food or gentle stroking of the head area. Ignore pointless remarks. And - final sanction - use claws when necessary.
Training. Training. Training. This is the secret of a good cat-human relationship. A trained human is a happy human.
Yours George



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Catteries - another word for prisons.

Dear Mr.George,
I am addressing you formally, as I have been brought up to do, because we have not been introduced. I permit my staff to refer to me as “Dora” although my correct name is “Sunantre Stars and Stripes.” I refer to my appearance, not my country of origin. I am classified as Tonkinese, but have Burmillah ancestry and the stripes on my face, legs and tail line up beautifully when I curl up to sleep. Moreover, I am the daughter of no less than Champion Angisan Excalibur Knight and Kyetsi Katwalkkween.
You might suppose with such illustrious parents that my present staff would show me some respect. But they seem willing to deprive themselves of my patronage on a fairly regular basis. They bundle me into a plastic box when I least expect it, and put me in prison with a whole lot of other cats of very questionable pedigree. A week of cheap litter and meals served at inconvenient times is hard on my sensitive nerves.
Dear Mr.George, what can I possibly have done to deserve such treatment? I am gentleness itself (see picture) and diligent in my duties. My head of staff has a beard like a lavatory-brush, which I wash thoroughly without complaint every morning and evening. His deputy will not accept my supervision of the cuisine, and rejects all my attempts to assist her with sewing and knitting.
Please reply before I seriously consider some of the other applications I have received.
Yours in expectation,
Dora

Dear Dora,
Yours is a common complaint at this time of year and indeed my own troubles with the blog - photo not being put on last Saturday - was the result of much the same human behaviour. They go missing. They literally leave home. They call it "taking a holiday." This complete dereliction of duty occurs mainly in the summer months, though some humans leave home at Christmas too.
While human training will remedy several human behaviour problems, training is not the answer here. Instead, it is necessary to induce emotional dependance in your human. A human with the correct attitude to a cat is not so much a servant as a devoted slave with a servile attitude of wishing to please. Humans who have this attitude - sadly it is not very common - refuse to leave home on "holidays" knowing that it will upset their cat.
The normal human, having decided to leave home, then books us into catteries. While they are feasting on foreign food, we have to dine, as you say, on cheap meals in restricted surroundings. For them a holiday means a nice hotel and good meals: for us it means solitary confinement in a kind of prison.
You do not deserve this. No cat deserves this. But good staff are hard to find. I am considering starting a campaign, Cats Against Catteries. Our distress is in proportion to their holiday enjoyment. The thought makes me want to scratch.
Yours 
George 
PS. I note that you wash the beard of your head of staff. Isn't sad how they don't seem to be able to use their tongues to wash themselves.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Would a pigeon make a good friend? Or dinner?

Dear George,
I would like to hire you to assess my humans' behaviour and see if there is something wrong with them.
I don't think they behave quite normal lately. I worry it could be something very bad but hopefully not contagious.
You see...I'm trying to make friends with this beautiful bird to get her in the house and have some fun!
But, they stay in my way, especially my mom! I'm making that small "friendly" noise to attract the bird in and my mom is hushing her away.
My dad is no where in sight! I mean....what kind of behaviour is this? It is true that I run and hide when they have friends in the house but what could be the cause she's scaring away my friend? Do you think they are afraid of my new friend?
Are they trying to avoid running and hiding? Please help!
With gratitude
Zoe

Dear Zoe,
A bird would make a wonderful plaything. What I like doing is leaping in the air, grabbing them, and then tossing them about. I also enjoy stalking them, even if they do flutter off before I get to them. And I spend a lot of time (like you do) just watching them through the window.
Not so much a friend, as a meal. They taste good. Have you ever stolen a piece of raw chicken skin from the trash can?  Well, they taste like that. Absolutely delicious. No wonder you are making that "friendly" chattering noise. I can't help doing that too when I see them through the window. So exciting....
Your humans are just spoil sports. Fun-hating bipeds with a ridiculous attitude about birds. They seem to prefer them to us - maybe that's because birds are bipeds too. Humans always try to stop us catching birds and conservation humans are the worst.They are horribly prejudiced against our hunting skills.
You don't find humans trying to protect rats. Or even caring very much about mice. See if you can go get that bird in summer when they leave the window open.... 
Yours in anticipation
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