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Friday, April 29, 2016

Good manners means starting at the nose not the tail.

Dear George, 
I wonder if you can help me with my human. I believe, if what I read on your admirable blog is representative, that she is not really any more stupid than the average for her species, but she seems unable to understand the correct procedure for eating wild food. My mother, a cat of impeccable manners and breeding, taught me that the correct way to eat a rabbit is to start with the head. Then, if your appetite is delicate, you can leave the body to be shared by your family. Amy Vanderbilt’s invaluable Complete Book of Cattiquette confirms that this is how prey is consumed in the best circles, and I have followed her additional advice to leave an eyeball uneaten for “Mr Manners.” My human seems unable to understand this basic concept and keeps asking me why I eat the head first. She seems unsatisfied when I tell her that this is simply the right way to do it. How can I make her understand? 
Yours ever, 
 Scaramouche

Dear Scaramouche,
Humans don't understand fur. They don't have any (except for some long fur on the head and some in the pits and pubes). Males have a few bristles and that it that. But mice and rats have fur - lots of it. If you eat it from the head first, the fur lies down flat. If you eat it from the backside forward, the fur gets ruffled up and makes it difficult to eat.
So it's not just good manners to eat that way: it's good practice. I do know of a bad mannered cat called Toby who starts in the middle. But he has lost 7 teeth and grew up on the street. You can take a cat out of the slum but you can't take the slum out of the cat. 
Keep up the good manners.
Yours respectfully, brother,
George.
PS. I leave the scut of a rabbit for Mr Manners.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Why is there so much animal abuse lately?



Dear George,
like to live my life in harmony & balance! I always thought that’s the right way and, silly me….I thought everybody else was thinking and feeling the same way! 
But I was wrong - lately there were lots of reports on animal abuse everywhere! 
What happened to humans? Why are they so cruel? My first human listed me on Kijiji 
I was lucky I was adopted by a kind human; usually no one knows what happens with the cats and dogs listed on such places. Usually they are bought to be abused and killed. 
Why are humans so sick? What happened to their soul and spirit?
Hoping for a miracle!
Gizmo

Dear Gizmo,
Human cruelty to animals is sickening. Here in the UK, an eighteen year old has just been convicted of torturing Jager, a Staffy dog, for a whole day - beating her, rupturing her liver, breaking her ribs, and burning her with a cigarette. He probably ended his torture play by strangling her - or so the RSPCA concluded after examining her battered dead body.
The magistrates sentenced him to a mere 18 weeks in jail and he will probably serve only half of that.
One of his family yelled in court: "He's only a kid and didn't know what he was doing' - which I think says something about the family he came from. The only sensible part of his sentence was that he has been banned from keeping animals for life. There's a petition asking for a longer sentence here.
Get justice for Jager.
Yours gloomily,
George  
PS. You look glamorous in that sink.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Make declawing illegal....

Dear George, 
Mommy signed a petition asking to ban declawing in Canada. You can sign it here. She was very upset and was saying that this was mutilation and vets should refuse to perform it and should educate people instead. Guess this must be something terrible if mommy was so mad!
I can only imagine how painful the procedure must be and the terrible feeling after.
I know I need my claws to protect myself, to strike a chord on my guitar or to strike my brother Stanley (like in the picture attached).
George, can you explain why declawing should be banned worldwide and how can we better educate humans on this issue?
Rocky

Dear Rocky,
Human beings enjoy cutting bits off animals. They used to cut off the tails of horses until it became illegal. They still cut off the tails and part of the ears of dogs in the USA (not in the UK, thank goodness). And in Canada and the USA declawing is still legal. But it's not just declawing. The operation involves cutting off the end joint of each digit (which includes the claw). If somebody cut off the end joint of their human fingers, they would protest.
The operation is painful. Most cats survive all right after it, but they live diminished lives. Cats enjoy scratching and leaving their scent where they scratch. They can no longer do this. Cats enjoy climbing and now they can climb less easily, though they can still jump. There may be neuropathic pain for some of them: and they find some kinds of litter difficult to manage. So for declawed cats, life presents fewer pleasures and more problems. 
But the the so called "owners" of these cats, life presents fewer problems. The furniture is never scratched, neither is the human. In Japan, they go even further. If your cat scratches or bites, you can have it declawed and all its teeth pulled out. Human problem solved. The cat is now defenceless against owners who mistreat it.
"I think humans have reached the peak of cruelty, greediness and selfishness," says Rocky's friend, Michelle. She's right. I'd like to get my claws into the vets that do the declawing.
Yours gloomily
George.

 

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Food – such hot topic for cats but still a dilemma

Dear George, 
Since you mentioned my name in your post recently I thought it’s time for an update! 
Well, I’m pleased to report that I totally adopted the couple who rescued me; they make good pets. They are very responsive to my needs and are very well trained. I have quite a clear, simple schedule – wake-up at 6 am for a round of play, eat breakfast by 7 am and then play some more and sleep until evening when I get my dinner! Some more play and cuddling and sleep again! I live a blessed, simple life! But, I have a dilemma when it comes to food. When I was living on the streets I was eating from garbage bins unless people would give me some dry food in their backyard. 
I’m no expert in food or nutrition but I see my human mummy spending a lot of time to carefully prepare my meals. I’m on a raw meat diet (80% meat and 20% organs) mixed with a Healthy Powder (it contains Lecithin, nutritional yeast, kelp, bone meal, eggshell powder, Vit. C and other vitamins and minerals) and raw yolks. Each serving in mixed with a teaspoon of organic gluten free oats (cooked) and 1/2 teaspoon cooked butternut squash. Three times a week I get fish oil/omega 3 and an extra taurine supplement to make up for whatever is lost through freezing the meat. Go figure! She follows the recipes from Dr. Richard Pitcairn’s book and sometimes from Dr. Karen Baker’s book.
I’ve seen her watching videos on www.catnutrition.org too. George, one thing I’ve learned while eating from garbage bins was that humans are completely immersed in toxic food culture.
They are fundamentally wired to prefer junk food as we are fundamentally wired to prefer treats over healthy food. I heard a lot about “dry food is no good”, “canned food it is better” but lately I heard canned food is no good either because the can lining is toxic, carcinogenic, etc. And yet I’ve learned about cats who lived to be 18 or 20 or even 22 years old on either canned or dry food. So, what’s the truth about food? There is no way around that! Or is it?
Purring in content
Chico

Dear Chico,
It's inspiring to read your survival story.
Most humans are just not clever enough to feed their cats a proper home-made diet. So good quality cat food, whether dry or in an envelope, will be the right choice for a cat. Avoid anything which is 'giblet flavoured' or anything labelled 'complementary.' Here in the UK that last label means the food isn't a complete diet. Avoid anything made in China. We cats have strict diet requirements, unlike dogs, and most good quality ready-made food will at least be adequate.
You can read about the dangers of a badly-made home diet here. The other danger is too much liver. We adore it and we would eat any amount of it. But that leads to an overdose of Vitamin A and severe health problems. So my advice to cats is, unless you have a truly well trained human and most are not, stick to good quality envelopes or dried food. Canned food may be OK for most cats, but there is a suggestion that the can lining might be involved in the development of hyperthyroidism. It's a bit of a minefield!
Yours
George
PS. I've just found a new product called Cat Soup. This might be useful for cats on a dry diet or cats that have a history of  cystitis.


Saturday, April 02, 2016

The Feral Life - is it right for me?

Dear George,
I have a very important question to ask you: as a feral cat who was trapped (as you can see in the picture attached) and taken to be neutered what chance I have to become domesticated? I’m asking this because I was very happy living with my colony of feral cats in an absolutely gorgeous place (an open space shrine, ravine and a lake with lots of vegetation and hiding places). Some kind humans built us shelters. Same humans will feed us daily. My life was quite idyllic until this woman trapped me and took me to this awful smelling place. Someone asked her if she’ll put me up for adoption but she said no! She said she'll keep me with her until I heal and then I’ll be released back to the same place where I came from! I’ll forever be a feral cat and that I’ll never accommodate to living with humans! Is that true?
Ferdy the Feral. 

Dear Ferdinand,
It all depends on your kittenhood. If you were loved and handled by humans before the age of eight weeks or so, you will find that you can readjust to them after a little while. Of course, you will be scared at first, but if you choose the right humans, like a cat I know called Chico, you will be happy adopting them as pets.
If you never met humans, when you were young, you may always see humans as your enemy. And, alas, they often are. Homeless or feral cats can be chased, abused and occasionally even tortured by cruel humans. I called these feral humans - as they are savage, not domesticated. And they are far crueller than any cat.
That said, you may find after you have been put back into your normal territory, that you begin to warm to the humans that come and feed you. If that is so, and if you feel like it, you may begin to form relationships with them. I have known of feral cats that were fed regularly, that finally adopted humans and moved into their homes.
It is your choice. Trust your instinct and all will be well. It looks like your territory now has shelter and food, which are what feral cats need most. 
Yours 
George. 
PS. A word about neutering. Believe me, I have never regretted losing my bits. Neutering lets us lead longer healthier lives.

 

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