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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Never trust a handsome stranger!

Dear George,
About two months ago I was inspecting my territory one more time before retiring for the night when I’ve seen this handsome stranger wondering around my alley. He looked a bit confused and hungry but irresistibly handsome so, I invited him in for dinner. Now, 60 plus days later…look at what happened to me! But, I’m neither upset nor ashamed; I love my babies and I think they all are beautiful, little miracles! Actually I had to hide them away from my humans as they constantly wanted to hold them, pet them, and kiss them. That’s a perfect example of why human kittens don’t behave later in life. My human mommy is so excited about my babies – she thinks they are Godsend but she’s not the one breastfeeding or teaching them mouse-ing! Anyway, since she wants to keep us all I made her promised me that we’ll all go through the “snip-snip” phase once my babies are old enough. In the meantime…I wonder where did the handsome Casanova vanish? Probably to more exotic places? Another alley? Another dinner?
Anyway, if anybody sees him…please catch him and….. fix him!
Any other suggestions George?
With loving purrs
Kitty-Kitty 

Dear Kitty-Kitty,
It's the  tom's that get the pleasure and it's the mums that get the kittens.... That's feline life, I am afraid. I am posting a photo here of some other kittens near me that are the result of a single night of pleasure with a tabby-and-white!  
Will you ever see that gorgeous hulk of tomcat  again? Probably not. You have to accept that a one night stand meant more to you than him. But being neutered (as I am) will allow you to swap the hurly burly of a night on the tiles to the restful pleasure of the sofa.
As soon as your babies get older, after about a week, you should encourage your humans to handle them.  It will help the kittens learn how to manage humans in later life - how to be relaxed with these large pets and how to train them.  
Yours restfully,
George
PS. There's a nice link to kitten advice here.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Deepak Chopra .... of cats!


Dear George,
Reading past letters I realized that kittydom is a buzz! It is such a joy to see cats becoming entrepreneurs, opening up businesses, taking vocational training or simply….improving their body, mind and spirit by taking up Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Zen meditation! We do really rule the world and, I can see why….the future is ours! I had my “aha” moment when I took up yoga! I even developed an important and, in my humble opinion, revolutionary asana called “Cat Slipping” as you can see in the photo attached! One can practice this pose throughout the day, anywhere and everywhere! My preferred location? Master bedroom! 
Favorite spot? For me…. my “daddy’s” side of the bed! Time? Especially when he’s ready to go to sleep! Timing is important and mine is just perfect! Benefits from practicing it? One is more relaxed, but mind sharper, one will look younger in minutes and above all…seeing your human’s perplexed face not knowing what to do! This is priceless! You don’t push Deepak Chopra off his chair, do you?
But, my daddy dared to push me aside last night and I’m much infuriated.
I’m taking three deep breaths now and start working on a plan how to relocate him on a couch in the living room or even better….down in the basement!
George, any suggestions?
Namaste
Lenny

Dear Lenny,
Pushing you off the chair is unacceptable behaviour in a human. No wonder you are infuriated. You need to climb back immediately and start re-inserting yourself on the chair slowly edging him off. If this doesn't work, get on the back of the armchair and start forcible grooming of his head. If he has a bald patch, groom this furiously. If not, rearrange his hair with tongue and claw. This often makes a human leave.
Forcing a human off your bed is going too far. I think he would be lonely on the downstairs couch or in the basement. Human welfare matters. Well behaved humans should be allowed to share the bed with us, as long as they don't take up too much space. Grooming them in the early hours or merely slowly moving them into a better position using your asana while they are asleep effectively repositions the human body.
Namaste
George.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Is harassment the price of beauty?

Dear George
I live in a small market town, in a busy street. As you can see from the photo, I enjoy sitting on the end of the fence, when the weather is suitable. However, I am harassed by humans.
Some of them just stop to admire me. Some take photographs (like this one) which I feel I have a duty to the public to tolerate. Naturally these are spread about social media - but that is the price of beauty.
However, what I loathe is humans that want to pet me. They seem to think that I will enjoy this. Why? I am a cat who is careful about her friends. I only admit a few humans into that category.
So why should any old passerby think I want their sticky hands on my fur. They have no right to intrude into my personal space.
How can I prevent this?
Snowflake.

Dear Snowflake,
You need to be more proactive when you see humans approaching. Put your ears back as soon as you see them. Crouch lower and bare your teeth. As soon as they are close enough, hiss loudly. Any closer, give them a good scratch!
Be honest.... Are you enjoying the admiration too much? Do you like being a Facebook pin-up? Your serene and beautiful demeanour may be causing the problems in the first place. Think about changing your image from beauty to the beast.....
Yours 
George

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Crochet versus knitting... knit your own human!

Dear George,
I'm a young kitty rescued by my "mommy" which I love very, very much (as you can see in the pic attached)
We do lots of things together like cuddling, purring, playing, sleeping, eating!
Lately she is insisting in teaching me how to crochet! By the way....she does crochet a lot!
Well, I'm a bit worried now as this age-old hobby, relevant even today as you can see, makes a comeback
with pre-teens, teens, grandmas and everyone in between (where my mommy will fit).
Why am I worried? Because I love to knit and I think knitting is what we should do together. Plus, as you may know crochet is using a single curved hook (my claws fit the description perfectly)
but, in knitting we use knitting needles (not harmful).
I don't think she realizes that if I start crocheting....I'll shred everything to pieces.
George, how can I make her change her hobby and switch to knitting?
Knitting comes so naturally to us, the cats!
By the way, why do you think we are knitting and love it so much?
Maybe if you'll explain ...she'll change her hobby
With knitting purrs
Sophie

Dear Sophie,
Do your claws get stuck in the crocheting? I guess they might do. Sounds a bit tricky for a cat. If you show her how they get stuck, perhaps she will change her habits. Knitting would be safer - and there are those nice balls of wool to play with too.
If you do start knitting, would you knit me a nice human to play with? I'd like one small enough to bat about and perhaps with some catnip inside. It must be female, of course, and it would be lovely if it looked like Celia - mature (!), wearing trousers not a skirt, and with knobbly knees! Pink face and yellow hair on the head.
AND.... I know this is controversial but I would like you to add a tail.   I feel pity for them as they are disabled without a tail. So I would be grateful if you could add a tail to my toy Celia.
Yours in grateful anticipation,
George.
PS. Have you seen this book?

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Showered..... in kisses. Purr or Grrr?


Dear George,

I’m Beau and I was blessed with the same great family as Paco. I’m a rescue and, of course, Paco’s younger brother. But, let me tell you something: Paco loves drama! He likes to be the center of attention; he starves himself lying down on the cutting table just waiting for our daddy to share his dinner looking… in to each other’s eyes! Phew! Such a nonsense! He thinks he is the Alpha Cat! Well…he’s not! I am the Alpha Cat in the house! I can’t care less about anybody in the house! They all have to serve me J

I have a big “cat-attitude” and big blue eyes! Having blue eyes is mandatory if you want to get showered in kisses! My only problem George is how do I stop/turn off the shower?

My mommy loves me so much and kisses me so much that sometimes I feel like opening  the gate and running away (as you can see in the photo). I know I can be and do whatever I want; I can be a movie star, I can be on TV, I can be on YouTube….but I chose to be in charge of this funny, loving family. Of course it’s so much fun making Paco jealous! Of course it’s a lot of fun making my humans worry about my disposition! Humans are so good at blaming themselves for everything! I laugh out loud! Often! But, George, how do I tell them that ….sometimes I need time for myself! I need my space, but….not on a cutting board! Do you think the cause of all this it’s my blue eyes? Should I change the color of my eyes?

Cheerfully yours

Beau-Beau 

Dear Beau-Beau,  
It's wonderful that you have such a loving human but some humans don't know when to stop. They follow us around, they cuddle us close, they kiss us and they pick us up all the time.  It is very stressful for us - scientific research has proved that cuddling and kissing may push some cats' stress hormones higher than normal.
Your reaction depends on your training programme. I do hope you have one. Some cats rely on reward-only training and hesitate to use punishment. I use a Claw and Order programme, which involves a smart push by the front paws claws retracted, followed by a stronger push with claws out, graduating finally to the ultimate punishment a sharp nip. So far I have never had to bite down. The human withdraws at an earlier stage.
Because our pets cannot understand cat language, we have to be clear in our commands - and punishment may be the only way to do this. If, however, you are dedicated to reward-only training, you will have to try other measures such as ceasing all purring, wriggling hard to get away, or even hiding under the bed. 
What is important is that you make your feelings absolutely CLEAR.  Personally I would scratch!!
Yours 
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