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Saturday, August 29, 2015

I'm learning to trust humans - but worried about a feline bully


Dear George,
I’m a rescue and, of course I live in a multiple cat house. I’m the only girl and very shy.
I’ve always been very shy and not very trustful, especially of humans. One of my “brothers” is a bully and I don’t know how to deal with that. My humans are very supportive of me but they work late hours. Lately I started going to them for an occasional rubbing and petting and they seemed to be very happy. Yesterday, after quite few hours of playing time with them I heard them saying “she’s coming out of her shell”. I got nervous as I don’t know what that means? Am I going to lose my coat? What shell are they talking about?
Nervously
Princess Penelope

Dear Princess Penelope,
Feline bullies are difficult to deal with. Do you have your own safe sleeping area, where he cannot intrude upon you? Doe he block your way to the litter tray? Or have your humans got several trays so that you can always get to one without anxiety? The same with food. You should not have to eat in close proximity to him. There should be several food and water locations. 
I am so glad that you are beginning to trust your humans. I hope that you are able to spend some time with them, without the bully being there to intimidate you by staring or blocking. You should train them to feed you cat treats when you go towards them, so that you are getting rewarded for overcoming your fear. Patient humans will be rewarded by your love.
Yours sympathetically
George
PS.  Celia has taken to taming a feral kitten instead of concentrating her time on serving me. I am fed up. You can see it here.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Keeping time - feline time, not human time.

Dear George,
We are the ultimate Time Keepers as you can see in the photo attached.
Marty is the keeper of the “Sleeping Time” and I, Vegas, am the keeper of the “Feeding Time”. However, our humans seem to function in a different time zone. They try to introduce to us a “working time” (whatever is that), a “work-out time” (such a joke – we look at them in amazement when they act like hamsters running on a wheel they call treadmill) and something they call “socializing time” (when they eat and drink and make loud noises). Why? Why do they try to make life complicated? Why can’t they function on our time? George, how do we train them?
From Sleeping and Eating zone time
Marty and Vegas

Dear Marty and Vegas,
Many cats manage to re-educate their humans into feline time but it does take a great deal of time, effort and purrsistence. Easiest place to start is the awful socialising time.
 If a supper party has gone on too long, I walk into the room and start miaowing.  If they are round the table I jump on to the table and try to eat any food that may be there. Or turn and put my bottom in the nearest human face - this rarely fails to create a sensation. It always embarasses Celia, who has to get up from her chair and remove me.

If they are lingering in the living room, drinking too much of that liquid catnip which they use, I can't use the same tactics. Instead, I look round the human that seems uneasy with my presence, who may not like cats, and I leap on to her lap, rubbing against her and purring loudly. Alternatively look for the human who is slightly allergic to cat fur - signs are a very red face and lots of sneezing or wheezing. Do the same to them.
You can also decide to rub on the glasses, thus upsetting them and pouring liquid everywhere. If this is the red catnip liquor, it will make a big stain on the furniture and carpet. Celia then has to rush off and start trying to clean it up. Result - supper party interrupted. Guests think of leaving.
Have a go.
Love George.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Will a feline amputee be happy again?


Dear George,

I’m writing on behalf of your blog follower and our friend, Freddy who needs some tips.

Freddy lost one of his front legs to an aggressive bone cancer. His leg was amputated (from his shoulder) last week in an attempt to save his life as the cancer didn’t spread.

He’s doing fine now, is under medication and pain killers – he even jumped on the sofa. However, his mommy is very worried about Freddy. She can use any tip and advice available. Please help her to cope with the situation at this difficult time in their life.

Thanks & love

Fluffy

Dear Fluffy,
Of course Freddy's human is worried. She has only two legs and if one of hers was cut off, she couldn't get around at all. But we cats are superior legwise! We have four, double the human number, so if we lose one, we can manage perfectly well because we have still have three.
Yes, it takes a little time to get our balance. But we are superior to humans in that too. We have a tail.  We can balance our bodies by moving that wonderful extra wavy limb. There's some very helpful information for humans about living with a feline amputee here
Last week, Paco was reporting his disappointment with humans. Well, here is an example of a good human. She really has done her best for Freddy. I just wish that all humans were as loving as she is. 
Tell Freddy from me get going on his three legs. Purr a lot to calm down your human.
We Cats Can Do It. 
Cheers,
George.
PS. For people with disabled cats, there might be some useful information on Celia's website about disabled animals.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Of man..... and disappointments.

Dear George, 
Your post last week made me ponder on life in general and, in particular on our lives with humans. Why humans, especially the ones closest to us, hurt and disappoint us so much and all in the name of friendship or love? I agree with Fluffy that just “domesticating them” was not enough. We failed in our training as they never developed a higher conscience or integrity. They constantly sneak behind our back and do things making us look like fools. Don’t they see it? Pondering on human behaviour I’ll quote Carl Jung who said: “I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way”. All I can say is…..Jung was right! The stories from last week are a proof.
What should we do? Give up on them?
Very, very sad
Paco

Dear Paco,
I do understand how you feel, Paco. It hits me hard, when I hear of the humans that slaughter lions, do cruel medical experiments on cats, throw elderly cats out on the street to die rather than pay a vet's bill, or let their children tease or even torture cats. Yes, some humans are vile.
But we mustn't give up on them. We must keep the faith and try to change them, one human being at a time. For every vile dentist that slaughters a lion, there is a devoted person helping cats find good homes, or just beautiful human beings like Michelle and Dan who are kept well and happy by Fluffy.
When I despair, I think of the good humans in our lives. They balance out the bad ones. And every cat who lives in a human home can do their bit - by training their human to love and respect felines. They can be trained. Or, at least, most of them can be. Celia was always a natural cat lover but I helped train her partner, Ronnie, to love cats. From being indifferent he became a truly good cat pet.
So it can be done.
Remember. We cannot change them all, but we can change one.
So that is the human we change.
Sympathies
George 
PS. Michelle has asked me to mention a good source of sensible advice for your human pet's health. Look here

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Tigers, lions, Whiskas cat food and a disgusting dentist

Dear George,
I know this letter won't be published in time for Global Tiger Day on July 29, but I want to appeal for support from fellow felines. The problem is humans, Homo sapiens.
You little tigers, tabbies and others, have cleverly domesticated them. But, alas, we big cats  cannot do this. We thought about capturing a few, keeping them in captivity to breed, and then killing and eating them, (like humans do with cattle), but somehow our hearts were not in it. We kill to live: we don't live to kill, like some humans.
We tigers are not as deliberately cruel as humans are. We are not dentists after all (read here about the dentist that shot a lion with an arrow making it die slowly over more than 24 hours). We are just wild animals trying to survive alongside humans.
They take our land, shoot us, trap us, snare us, cut up our bodies for Chinese medicine, or stuff our corpses so that dentists can put them on a wall and feel good about themselves. Whiskas cat food are supporting Global Tiger week here.
Yours
Anonymous Tiger cub

Dear Tiger Cub,
We know how desperate our big cat cousins are getting as their number dwindle. Even us small cats, who have learned to survive by domesticating humans and living in their territory, suffer from human cruelty. There are thousands of unwanted stray cats desperate to adopt a loving human.
I was disgused to read about the story of Cecil the lion, killed by a bow and arrow and given a lingering painful death. Just so a pathetic dentist could stuff his head and put it on the wall. Shame on him. Make this revolting death mean something by by getting your human to sign a petition here. Or donate for Cecil the lion here
And, please, please, please, if you know any humans who don't have a cat, purrsuade them to adopt, or foster, or give money to unwanted stray cats.
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