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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dressing up cats - a vile undignified human desire.

Dear George,
I wish to protest in the strongest possible terms about human behaviour in the so called festive season - dressing up cats. My personal experience (see the photo on the left) has been shatteringly humiliating.
This degrading use of human clothing covering our beautiful fur is on the increase, encouraged by YouTube and other internet organisations such as Facebook. This particular photo was widely circulated by my human - to my shame. 
Purrlease, George, help stamp out this unpleasant human activity. The perpetrator of this undignified image is my human pet.
How can I make her stop doing this at Christmas?
Bob.

Dear Bob, 
The only way to stop this happening is to bite and claw while the garments are being put on. You seem to have given way too easily to your human. A cat your size - you are a Maine coon - could surely have inflicted several wounds while that horrible little jacket was being forced upon you. And a mere shake of the head would have got rid of the cap - I cannot see an elastic on it.
Put your paw down for once and for all. Bite and bite hard if this is being done to you. Scratch and scratch often.  Just wriggling free is not enough. You need to punish them. 
It's the only thing that humans understand.
Yours
George.
PS. There is a photo of me wearing a Santa hat. Celia waited till I was sleeping and put it on me, taking the photo before I was fully awake. I have not forgiven her.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

George's Christmas message for 2016

Dear Readers,
Now is the time for empty boxes, wrapping paper, tinsel, trees to climb, baubles to play with, bits of turkey, with catnip overdose and general silliness from our humans....
It's warm inside, even if there are strange humans, crying human kittens, and toddlers trying to pull our tail in the house. My Christmas plan is to sit unobserved in the kitchen so that the humans to forget I am there. With luck, they may leave the turkey unattended either before or after cooking. Even without that good fortune, there will be crumbs, pieces of turkey skin, spilled cream and heaven knows what else on the kitchen floor.
I shall stay quiet while they eat and (if they go for a walk or sit and gawp at the TV) I will be free to explore the possibilities of the kitchen - empty plates with plenty of gravy on them, cream sauce left over from the pudding, turkey carcases, stray sausages and fragments of bacon..... 
Then upstairs to the bedroom for a long, long sleep. Purrrrrrrrrr. My idea of a good day.
Yours George.

PS. Forgot the important bit. Spare a thought for homeless and unwanted cats this time of year outside in the cold. Tell your humans to give them a home or put out food for them. Sunshine Cat Rescue could do with a Christmas pound. The donation button is on the right hand side under the News section. Tommy, right, who needs a home, says even a tiny amount will help.
He tells me that in the feline world it is well known that the Bethlehem stable there was a cat. Somehow it was left out of the narrative.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

What makes a cat a thief? Stealing or just sharing?

Dear George,

Tell me one thing: why is it OK for a squirrel to jump on the table on my patio and steal my food and things (as you can see in the photo attached) but isn’t OK for me to jump on the kitchen table to check (and share) my humans’ dinner?

Why my humans will find the squirrel amusing and quite entertaining to watch but would get upset with me being on the dinner table? Why would they call me a thief?

I’m not stealing anything….I’m only sharing dinner with them.

Actually, what make a cat to be a thief?

In the spirit of sharing

CAT Victoria

Dear Victoria,
Sharing your human's dinner? Finding an extra snack on the kitchen counter? Investigating a half open kitchen cupboard?  This is not theft. It is natural behaviour in our own home.
Humans have ridiculous ideas about ownership which they expect us to share. Feline morality is very different. It's finders keepers; what we find is ours. Yes, we do bring food for our kittens and sometimes we even bring a mouse as a present to our humans. But, on the whole, what ours is ours, and what is theirs' is also ours. "Thine's mine and mine's my own," as the famous Yorkshire cat proverb puts it.
My friend, Tommy, is becoming an excellent forager. Here is a photo of him investigating a kitchen cupboard! He has volunteered to do my Christmas message next week.
Happy Christmas, Victoria CAT. And thank you for your letters during the year.
George.

Friday, December 09, 2016

A Christmas gift for all cats

Dear George,
The other night I was watching this video with this kitty whacking her human’s fingers.
Immediately I realized the potential of getting rich quickly by intelligently marketing this game as well as mass producing these cardboard boxes ready to use (something like “pret-a-porter” in fashion world). I really like this cat game: it is entertaining for us and educational for humans – our human pets will perfect their skills and we, the cats, enjoy the interaction with them! I shall call this “spending quality time” with your human. 
So, late at night I was sitting on my favorite counter and contemplating my sketch (both my photo and my sketch attached) planning the business venture, suppliers, insurance (what if a kitty literary “kills” her human’s finger – the game is meant only to whack not kill), shipping….you know…all that boring stuff coming with any successful business.
And, on second thoughts, I decided to post the sketch and the game on your blog free! 
Why not? It’s Christmas and in the spirit of giving ….I give the game free!
Any human can reproduce my sketch and make some holes in a cardboard box and have fun with his/her kitty.
Merry Christmas to all
Diego

Dear Diego,
Thank you for sharing this. Yes, it's a good game but only for adult cats. We can control ourselves and not injure our humans too badly. Personally I prefer fishing rod games, as humans can play them with us  while watching TV. But this finger game is fun too particularly for cats that live indoors.
It's not for kittens. Kittens enjoy it but it can make them too scratchy to humans. Let me tell you the cautionary tale of Tommy (still waiting for a home).  His humans played fingers games with him as a kitten, then when he got a bit bigger they punished him for biting their fingers. And so he bit harder. And they punished harder.....  So they then threw him out of the house for being "vicious." It wasn't his fault - he was just playing.
He had to go into rehab with Celia and learn to be gentle. 
I love the way your fur colour matches the kitchen.
Yours
George

Friday, December 02, 2016

At war with my mother... like many humans.

Dear George, 
I decided to write my memoir (as you can see in the picture) and I need your help since you are so much more experienced in writing books than any other cat!
It is true I’m only three but I think I’ll write my memoir in “stages”: Part I – kittenhood; Part II – tomcathood; Part III – wisdom at sunset! The kittenhood chapter is difficult because of the memory I have of how I was given away by my own biological mother! Yes! I remember that! You see, my mother was pregnant when she was rescued. She had a litter of four (two girls and two boys) in these humans’ house. Then, when we were about eight weeks old she gave me and my brother, Bubble, away to some of their close relatives.
But, life is strange and due to unexpected events we’ve got back with our biological family. George, now that I’m back in the house where I was born I can’t help fighting with my Mama because I am so mad at her! She is scared and doesn’t understand why I’m so aggressive but how could she discriminate between the boys and the girls? Why did she keep the girls and gave away the boys? I see red only thinking of it!
My brother is begging me to calm down! He’s trying to convince me that it wasn’t our mama who gave us up! He says she didn’t have a chance and that it was the human mama who gave us up! Could this be true? And, if it is, how do I punish my humans? Bite? Scratch? Piss on them? What?
George, tell me the truth and teach my how to punish my humans (we’ll talk later about tips on writing, editing and publishing). Punishing my humans is of paramount importance right now!
In boxing mood
Ricky

Dear Ricky,
Even though plenty of humans are mad at their mothers and would hate to live with them as adults, they still expect us cats to do this. You had grown up, become independent, and now suddenly you are plonked back in the family without your consent. It is not fair to assume you will get on with your mother. Very few adult humans live with theirs!
Can you rehome yourself?  If you have a cat flap, you can just start looking for a new home down the street. Turn up, sit outside, meow pathetically. It usually works.
If you do not have a cat flap, I suggest you get your human's attention by spraying urine, a form of territory marking which highlights your discontent and stress. If they call in a cat behaviour counsellor (as they should) this "expert" will suggest either rehoming or extensive modifications to the home to keep you and your mother apart.
Yours
George.
PS. All this would make a good misery memoir in the style of Angela's Ashes or A Boy Called It. Get writing.

 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mini Me - I have found my new home all by myself.

Dear George, 
I literally woke up the other day in front of a gate! I don’t know how I got there! 
 All I recall is that I was sleeping in my human kitten’s room the night before. 
Why was I left all alone in front of this gate I had no idea! Have I been dumped by my humans? It looked like it! But why? Well, I puffed up my chest and pushed the gate open! Wow! To my complete surprise I’ve met (behind that gate) “my maxi size me” (as you can see in the photo attached). Well, this “Maxi size me” was confused too as he was staring at me like I was his “mini size him”. At this peak of confusion his humans appeared and after few laughs they absolutely adopted me on spot! I felt immediately welcomed into their lives! I soon learned that there are two other cats and a dog living in the house. Everybody is very nice to me so far! But now…what? What should I do?  
What should I expect? And how do I secure my place in their hearts so I won’t be dumped again? 
ME (just “Mini Me”….I don’t have a name yet)

Dear Mini Me, 
Congratulations on a successful pet human adoption. You have chosen your new family all by yourself, as many cats do. You need do no more for the time being - just settle in and relax. Enjoy the food and the warmth - it's cold out there without a house to live in.
Once you feel at ease, it is important to start training your humans and, of course, the dogs. Successful training (of dogs that are used to cats) means standing up for yourself, never retreating, and being ready to give a sharp scratch on the nose if a dog is being difficult. It is essential that the household cats are at the top of the family hierarchy.
Next training the humans. First, work out what you want - do you want to sleep in a lap? is there room on the bed you share with humans or would you prefer the warmth from sharing with one of the dogs? Can you keep your food bowl to yourself without dogs or larger cats interfering? Are there enough litter trays (one for each cat and perhaps one extra)? 
When you get what you want, purr as loud as you can. If that doesn't work, then do something cute. Laughter is always a good human response to cats. So, if your humans have done something you like, reward them with cute behaviour to make them laugh. 
They won't even realise they are being trained. That's the beauty of training humans. They have no idea that we are doing it. Dumb animals indeed!!
Yours
George 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Hello, 
My name is Teddy .. I am 3 years old and the most adorable long haired ginger male cat . I have a brother called Dolly he's very thin and unattractive (we are true brothers and came to live with our mum at the same time ) as soon as we arrived our human mother completely and utterly adored us .. Me probably more than dolly .. We were very spoiled well loved kittens .. Our human Mother's Day revolved around us... We had the best of everything. 
My problem is I cannot stand my human mother. She tries to pick me up and I push my paws into her to get her away . I stay out of the house as long as possible only popping in once a day for food , then I leave as quickly as I can. She always gets excited when she sees me. Because I am so very big fluffy and beautiful. I never want to spend time with her or in the house. Where as my skinny brother adores her and stays in the home all the time and even dribbles when he's on her lap! Yuck.. So my question is why do I hate her so much? Have you got any tips on how I can be like Dolly and love my human mother.
Yours perfectly 
Teddy-Bear

Dear Teddy,
Let's face it. Some of us just don't like our human pets. We have them because they are useful - for feeding us, providing warm beds (though they take up too much room), and a house for when it is bad weather. That's just how it is.
I wouldn't bother too much about your feelings. Remember, we are the superior species. Humans are lucky that we want to spend any time with them at all. But there are moments when it would be worth faking love - before feeding time and at night when it is cold and you want to sleep next to her for her warmth.
So try to fake a purr now and again. It could pay off. She will probably be so pathetically grateful for any attention, that more food will come your way.
And if she harasses you for a cuddle just give her a little nip.
Yours George
PS. Dolly can't help being a creep. It's just her genes. You've got the lone gene and she's got the snuggle gene.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Of human arrogance..... and genes.

Dear George, 
I’m fed up with human arrogance and here it is why! You see, when I was very young I adopted a human family who later betrayed me and dumped me into a ravine to live with a colony of feral cats. I was hurt and confused but soon I became the Alpha Cat of that colony. We were doing fairly well until this woman start feeding us daily and actually claiming ownership of the colony. She did register with a rescue group and soon after she started behaving like she was the Alpha Cat! I was fuming but I had to go into hiding since she started trapping us and taking us to be neutered and spayed. In most cases she did end up keeping most of the cats to live with her. All was good over the summer and I was able to come out of my hiding. But now I have this funny feeling that she is looking for me! George, why would she be looking for me? I heard her saying that out of the four kittens she had rescued one was mine and the other three were some other tomcat’s kitties. 
How can this be possible? All four came from the same litter! Maybe she wants to ask me for kitty support? I still don’t understand how can a short hair kitten be mine when I’m long hair and gorgeous (as you can see in the picture) and the other three (which happens to be long hair) be somebody else’s? It doesn’t make sense!
George, hope you have some knowledge about kitty genetics and you can explain this to me.
The Wild Alpha

Dear Alpha
My answer takes us into the jungle of cat sex and cat genes!  When our females are allowed to mate with whom they like, they often mate with more than one tom. This means that their litter of kittens may well have more than one father - which may explain why most of the kittens were short haired. (This happens with humans too, only they produce young one at a time!).
The other explanation is genetic. The gene for long hair in cats is a recessive gene, and can be carried by cats that have short hair (the dominant gene). This means that long hair will only show itself in kittens if both male and female parents carry the long hair recessive gene. The short haired gene always wins out otherwise. Only if you have a double dose of the long haired gene, you are long haired. Your female mate (if she is short haired) probably has one short haired dominant gene and one long haired recessive (hidden) gene. 
Some of her kittens will have inherited her short haired gene which will make them short haired. Some of the kittens, however, will have inherited her long haired recessive gene and together with your long haired gene - a double dose of long haired genes - this will make them long haired.
This IS complicated. If you want to know more you can find it here.
Yours George
PS. Think about getting the snip. Neutering will prolong your life and perhaps help you find a new human to adopt.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Will L-Lysine help with cat 'flu? And a footnote about Toby Trumping.

Dear George,
Why do rescued cats get sick with upper respiratory infections even when they don’t live outdoors anymore? I live in a house with some rescued cats and it seems that their health problem won’t go away! They have been rescued for almost six months now, have been spayed and neutered, checked and treated by good doctors and yet, once in a while the problems reoccur: fever, eyes’ stain/tears, loss of appetite, etc.  Someone suggested to give them L-Lysine? Is this safe? Or do you know if there is some kind of vaccine for this? Like the “flu vaccine” for humans?
I’m not worried about me getting it from them but it’s painful to see them suffer.
Any advice George?
Sophie 

Dear Sophie,
If the rescue cats are suffering from the kind of cat 'flu which is Feline Herpes Virus, then even after treatment, the virus doesn't go away entirely. It stays dormant but can flare up when the cat is stressed. And although it is wonderful that the rescued cats are now warm and safe, the change of routine and living quarters will be difficult for some of them at first, possibly leading to a flare-up.
Yes, L-Lysine has often been offered as a treatment and the first studies looked promising. But since then, further studies suggest it is not much use and the latest scientific research suggests that it doesn't do any good (the summary of the article is here). So your human can save her money.  
What is important is that when the cats catch FVH for the first time, they are very infectious. You, Sophie, should be kept away from them, not share any of their dishes, or litter trays till the infection is finished. There is more information about FHV at International Cat Care. It is also worth asking the vet whether temporary flare ups of the disease make the cats infectious again: I got Celia to google and it wasn't very clear. 
Yours
George.
PS. I am worried about my friend, Toby. He has started wearing his hair like Donald Trump. Is he going mad? Or does he just want to get online with Cats That Look Like Donald Trump?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Watch me jump for a forever home...it's black and white cat week in the UK.


Dear George,
This is me showing how clever I am in photos and a video (below). I have white socks on my forepaws, white boots on my back legs, and fine white whiskers.
I am clever but naughty! I love jumping in the sink. I love cardboard boxes.  I love doing tricks, but I have difficulty controlling myself. When I get over-excited I nip and scratch.
Will somebody give me a home? I need a specially patient person who understands cats.
When I was a kitten, my first humans taught me rough games, punished me then gave me up. When I first was rescued, I growled and bit deeply often.  Now I just nip occasionally but it still hurts my foster mum a little bit.
If somebody in Oxfordshire, UK, wants a clever but difficult cat, purrlease adopt me. I need a forever home.
Yours
Jumping Tommy

Dear Tommy,
Be patient. The right person will come. Any cats living in Oxfordshire and reading this, please share the blog address. Tommy needs a forever home. You can find his details at Sunshine Cat Rescue.
Yours
George. 
 




Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pedigrees and moggies - equal in the eye of the Feline God (and sensible humans).

Dear George,
I ask you: what is the difference between me and a moggy? I see none! Do you?
To me… we (and I mean all cats) are beautiful, intelligent; superior to any other species! 
If this is true then why do human try to “create” differences between us based only on their biased opinion? Why do humans try to judge us based on color, breed, pedigree, sex, age, etc.? I’m 17 years old and I was named after Ricky Martin by my euphoric human after attending one of his concerts! Do I look like Ricky Martin? I don’t think so! Do I judge Ricky Martin based on his cuteness, hair, clothes or preferences? No!
If I look (at me) in a mirror I really think my human could have very well named me Snow White! See what I mean? But …would I be a different cat from who I am now? No! That’s what humans don’t understand and that’s why I was in hiding for years as I didn’t want to be part of my humans’ social life! Until last night… when I literally came out of the closet (see the photo) because we had guests: a moggy and her family.
I love that moggy! And she loves me! Nothing else matters!
George, you know her – you know her name and you know how cool she is!
I don’t want my humans to discriminate against her because of her origins!
What do I do?
In love with a moggy
Ricky

Dear Ricky, 
Somebody told me it was CAT Victoria with whom you are hopelessly in love.... Her photo can be found in her post a week go but I am going to add it here. Just to remind myself. What she didn't tell me when she wrote to me, was that she was in the tree looking out for you. Just in case you passed by.
There isn't anything much different between you and her - only that you have a differently shaped face and longer differently coloured hair. Unfortunately human beings have stupid notions about class.They think pedigree cats are different in other ways from ordinary moggies. They are wrong. Persians like you enjoy hunting and playing and need all the same things that moggies do.
Just because you look different (and to human eyes more beautiful) doesn't mean you are not a cat like any other cat. And that means that pedigree cats and moggy cats are equal in feline eyes and in the eyes of sensible humans (alas, too few of them).
Long live moggies. And pedigrees. They are equal in the eyes of the Feline God (Blessed Be Bubastis).
Love
George, 
PS. Some colour prejudiced humans don't even like black cats but I say "black is beautiful."



Friday, October 14, 2016

The Cat Intelligence Service - Victoria sets up hers.

Dear George, 
I decided to open my very own CIA which stands for Cats’ Intelligence Agency!
In a way it is similar to what is known as CIA by humans only that mine won’t serve any government or state; mine will only serve and protect cats’ goods and territory.
You may ask why I’m doing it. I know it is a lot of work and the job itself requires great skills but I’m tired of having my territory invaded every night and my food stolen.
I’m actively engaged in the task (spying) as I already opened the first office right in my backyard – as you can see in the photo. – and, of course, I plan to expand internationally!
George, what do you think of my idea….spying in the name of and for cats? But what if the intruder is one of our own? How do I punish him or her?
Also, what equipment do I need? A tree house? Camouflage? Undercover? I need all your wisdom to make a solid action plan!
Your advice George?
In camouflage
CAT Victoria


Dear Victoria,
So sensible to watch over your territory.  We all do it. We like high places which we can safely scan looking for enemies and intruders.  Being able to hide but look out is also good - so hiding places high up with a good view. Tree houses (if humans are willing to spend the money) would be ideal. Trees large enough with branches that are horizontal are also great. 
But if our humans won't supply us with watching places we can find out own - roofs, cars, fences.
Pixxi's human (see photo on right) made a little shelf for him so he could sit on it and scan the neighbourhood.
We are natural spies. If the human CIA or MI6 could only recruit us, we would achieve far more than our human equivalents.
We don't need equipment - just our own natural abilities. If you see an enemy just chase him off while making a lot of noise. Fighting is usually unnecessary.
Yours
George



PS. Can't get this blog to make the text bigger.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Indoor plants - a warning to all us cats.

Dear George,
Look at me….don’t I look like a young professional? Of course I do as I just graduated from an Interior Design School!
I’m kidding you not! My only problem is that I’m not that familiar with herbs and plants!
I don’t know which are good for cats and which are not! And that’s a big “no-no” in my business! I know how to set up a room but….am I sitting in a pot with catnip?
I don’t think so! I need your help – PLEASE post a list with poisonous plants for cats!
If your secretary is up for the task….please tell me where there is a list with bad plants for cats! With your help I can foresee a bright future for myself!
In gratitude
Buster

Dear Buster,
The plant you are sitting on is not catnip. It's a jade plant (Crassula ovata). It's safe, but there is a list here of other indoor plants that are poisonous. Any human employing an interior designer better check this list.
Danger - Lilies.
It's not just the plants humans keep in your home: it's also the cut flowers that they put in their homes. Lilies are the most dangerous of all for cats. Everything about them is poisonous - flowers, leaves and pollen. If even a tiny amount of pollen falls on a cat's coat, the cat will lick it off when grooming and can be severely ill, sometimes fatally ill. So humans should ban lilies from the home. Or at least cut off the stamens with their pollen and keep the lilies completely away from our reach.

If you are an indoor cat, there are other house plants that will make you sick if you nibble them - poinsettia, Christmas cherry (solanum), dumb cane and others here.
So tell your human to buy you some kitty grass. So you can nibble safely. We indoor cats cannot get grass from outdoors.
Yours
George.


Saturday, October 01, 2016

Making Food into Fun - get your human servant to do DIY.

Dear George,
I am an indoor only cat and I am getting fat. The truth is that I am bored. There's not much to do in the house, as both my humans go out to work. So I eat. It passes the time. It makes me feel better. And when I have eaten, then I sleep a lot.
Every now and again my humans reduce the amount of food they give me. I hate that. It makes me feel hungry all day.  I miaow for food. I stand up on my hind legs for food. I wake them up in the early hours for food.
The diet never lasts long: they just give in.
None of us are very happy. I hate the diets. They worry about my weight. Any ideas?
Herbie

Dear Herbie,
There is a lot your humans should be doing for you. They shouldn't be putting food down in a bowl. They should make it into active fun. They should be hiding it around the house. Or putting it in cardboard boxes, or in little play balls where you have to move the ball around to get the food out.
I have helped my human develop a series of home-made food fun toys - you can see them here.And check out the IKEA cat tower below made by Waltham for their cats.  Indoor cats that live in groups would really love this one. We need to get our humans to do more DIY to give us more activities and make food into fun.
Yours
Copyright WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, Mars Petcare
George


PS. She never gave me credit for my work on "her"website.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Are humans becoming more stupid? You gotta read this!

Dear George,
I was chatting to my feline friend Ying the other day and we agreed that our own humans appeared more stupid day by day. That they needed frequent retraining to keep them up to the mark.
Ying, who got his paws on the computer, decided to google "Is Modern Man More Stupid?" and discovered an amazing fact. Homo sapiens actually has an anatomical brain which is smaller than that of their ancestors, the Neanderthals. Apparently this is a fact.
It is all our fault. It has been well known that animals like dogs have smaller brains than wild wolves - due to domestication making them more puppy-like. 
Since we domesticated humans, the same thing has been happening. Humans have become more and more childish (a recent incident with them pushing me off the bed last night comes to mind). 
And their brains have shrunk as a result.
I await your comments with interest....
Yours
Yang.

Dear Yang,
At last the explanation for what appears to be Celia's growing inability to do what I want when I want it and how I want it! Years of training her are forgotten in an instant.  I have tried to be understanding and have put it down to growing cognitive dysfunction as her brain ages.
Now I realise this is just the result of domesticating her and the human race. Maybe we should have left them alone.... What an amazing piece of information.
Yours gratefully,
George.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Honeymoons are no fun for cats.


Dear George,
I’m not sure if there are official safety rules in place for cats’ transportation but, I definitely hope so since my Mom managed to cross a busy downtown street carrying me wrapped in a towel – Yes! against all odds - as you can see in the photo (I covered her face as I don’t want to get her in trouble – she’s still my Mom after all).
You see, this summer she got married and for this useless and meaningless event (at least in my life) she took off more than a week leaving me with my human grandparents. When she came back to take me home I was so mad at her that I peed in my carrier bag!
Last night I heard her saying she’ll go on a honeymoon! And now I don’t have a carrier bag anymore as she threw it away! But, George, firstly what is a honeymoon? I’ve heard of a full moon or new moon or, even a blue moon but never about a honey moon?
How far is this honey moon? Secondly, if she plans to take me with her this time is there any special equipment for a cat to travel to outer space? I hope she’ll not take me to her honey moon wrapped in a towel! What do you think George?
A bit worried
Stanley

Dear Stanley,
You are right to be worried about transport. It's not safe for a human to carry a cat like this. What if you just wriggled out of her arms and ran away.You might have got lost in the traffic, or even run over. She needs to get a secure cat carrier.
Honeymoons? Humans really are odd. Their mating habits are varied, ranging from pair bonding to one night stands (so called though this could only be literally achieved by medication!). As a species we do it better. Our female queens come on heat, go out in search of toms, mate furiously with several and have kittens a few weeks later usually from multiple fathers. That way we get the best chance of healthy kittens. If one of the toms isn't up to scratch (so to speak) and sires a weak kitten, there is always others in the litter that are strong.
Honeymoons? Part of the pair bonding ritual, once associated with the chance to have sex; nowadays just a nice holiday after an expensive ritual wedding. Don't go on the honeymoon. Heaving mattresses are no fun for cats that need a decent night's sleep.
Yours 
George.
PS. This blog is late due to the unforgivable absence of my secretary for most of the week.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Dutch Master Moggy in charge. Do not touch.

Dear George
I own a store on a very busy street in Amsterdam. I’m my own store Master Mouser.
I watch out for rodents and other small creatures that might sneak in off the street to steal! (photo on left). But people, especially tourists can be very distracting; they think I’m part of the decor and that seems to be so cool for them.! Some even try to take pictures of me and some try to pet me. How do I tell them that I’m not here for their amusement or entertainment? How do I tell them I’m serious business and they better buy things from me instead of petting me! I’m not looking to get cozy with anybody! Just purely business! Buy a Van Gogh! Buy a windmill! Buy Dutch chocolate! Buy something!
Annoyed by tourists
The Dutch Moggy

Dear Dutch Master,
Fending off human harassment is one of the most severe irritations for working cats. Humans cannot accept the idea that we are on duty: we do not wish to be interrupted: and, most of all, we don't want complete human strangers to walk up and without even a by-your-leave try to cuddle us. 
It's bad enough in daily life when we are just mooching around patrolling territory. They pounce on us and try to pick us up. But if we are shop cats, brewery cats or garden centre cats, they seem unable to understand that we are busy with our jobs. And worse still, if we are in retail we have to pretend to be nice.
How would they like it? When we sleep on the keyboard or just walk across it, they get very upset. No empathy for us. That's what it is.
Yours in sympathy,
George.

 


Saturday, September 03, 2016

Basil the good little kitten - and why humans should be neutered too

Dear George, 
I’m Basil! Not The Great, not the Holly, not the Italian and, definitely not the Thai basil! I’m simply …..Basil the Good Boy. My mother was rescued off the streets by this good family when she was pregnant.
She had a litter of four and she had the luxury to nurse us until we were about three months old. The good family kept my mother, me and my brother and their relatives adopted the other two kittens. We all have good homes now and good, caring people. 
Actually I was born right in this room you can see in the picture (above). The room is our human grandma’s bedroom. I love this room so much that sometimes I don’t even want to leave it to go eating. During the day my human grandma sits in her favorite armchair solving puzzles and I sleep in her bed. At night we switch – I’ll take the armchair and she’ll sleep in her bed. 
But I need your advice as we have big problems with my brother and I’m afraid he’ll get in trouble. See, his name is Aristotle which I think our parents rush to name him so (after a dozen of other names which none fitted him) – he is no philosopher nor is he wise. The minute he gets indoors he jumps on our human kitten’s bed and pees right there. So, he is mostly an outdoor cat because of this! While outdoors he gets in fights with the west end guys over territory! My mummy can’t catch him on an empty stomach to take him to be “fixed”. We need your advice – how do we catch him before he eats? Once fixed I think he’ll make a really good, wise philosopher! 
But…. until then?
Yours   
Basil, the good boy 

Dear Basil,
I don't like thinking about the snip, castration, fixing, neutering, sterilising - those are the words used by humans. It makes me feel uncomfortable. It happened to me and because I don't know what life would be like if I still had my mating tackle, I can't be sure  if it was a good thing. But I certainly don't pee in the house or get into fights, roam from home looking for sex or get sexually transmitted diseases.
If Aristotle wants a good life, he will have to submit to this. Perhaps your humans could borrow a trap from the local cat shelter and get him to the vet that way. In ancient Greek literature, I think in a book by Plato, an old man is asked how he feels about no longer being interested in sex. "I feel I have escaped from a violent god," he replies.
A wise philosopher! Humans get into fights, roam round looking for sex, and end up in the STD clinics. But they don't neuter each other, do they? If it is such a good thing, why not?
I leave you with that thought.
Yours
George 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

In violation of Cats Freedom Rights..

Dear George,
Right so, right on and right now! Yes, you would not believe it!
And the culprit? My very own human mummy!
Yes, George, she is in violation of my fundamental right – freedom! Everybody knows that we, cats, are most intelligent, superior to any other species and fiercely independent! Well, I have now a 10 o’clock curfew! Really? Just because I didn’t come home for two days and two nights? See, our house backs into a ravine and, of course lots of interesting things are happening there at night so, normally I wanted to have some fun! Her reaction? Ugh! Apparently she cried her heart out worrying for me so she thought she was entitle to set the 10 o’clock curfew! I’m meowless George! Meowless!
My own mummy who participates in every single protest against animal abuse or violation of animals ‘rights! What do you have to say about this George?  Or maybe she’s just jealous of the chair I have in our garden? I’m the King of that Chair (as you can see in the photo). I love to sleep there at night! Maybe…. all she wants is my chair?
Meowless and fuming
Paco 

Dear Paco,
The arrogance of humans is sometimes overpowering. You must fight back. Find your command voice, the command yowl! I suggest that you institute an early morning play session around 3 am. Jump on the bed yowling with a toy and rush up and down it. Be prepared for a quick exit, though. Some humans are violent when awoken unexpectedly.
If they shut you out of the bedroom, sit by the cat flap and yowl intermittently all night. You must be so frustrated.... Many humans give way at this point. They have tried to institute a change but haven't got the strength of mind to stand out against a determined cat. Usually a fortnight of extreme pressure by the cat will make them relent.
The other possibility is just not to turn up at 10pm.  Of course, if she is brighter than most humans, she will feed you at 10pm thus ensuring that you turn up. But as many humans are stupid she may not do this... if so just ignore the curfew.
You can do it. We cats can outwit, outwait and outpersevere humans.
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