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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Four weeks old - abandoned twice, but now in a safe home

Dear George, 
My letter will be very, very short as I’m a four weeks old rescue and I can barely reach the keyboard! I desperately need your advice! I was abandoned on a front lawn when I was less than four weeks old. The home owner or rather said the front yard owner said she’ll keep me but later changed her mind. Luckily the next door neighbour (a very nice and loving lady) volunteered to take me in (even if she already has a rescue cat)!
So, I was abandoned twice in my young life so to speak!
My new good mommy never had to take care of such a young kitty and even if she’s trying her best we both need some solid advice! She takes me to work with her (in her purse) so she can bottle feed me but what else does she need to know or do?
George, please help!
Franklin 

Dear Franklin, 
Thank goodness you have finally found a human pet who can be relied upon.  If your new pet needs to be up to speed on bottle feeding, she can find advice here. How wonderful that she takes you to work in her handbag (or purse as you say in Canada). She must have a great boss. What a great way to socialise you to other human beings.
If you are now four weeks old, it's time to think about weaning and there is good information here.  Slowly introduce kitten food.  Because kittens need the right food ingredients, it's best to feed ordinary over the counter kitten food made by a reputable manufacturer. They've done a lot of research into growth rates over the years. Later, if you want to, you can switch your adult cat to organic or ethical diets. At the moment some of these are not reliable (because of libel I can't name names) and therefore should not be used for the first year. Home-made diets can also lead to stunted growth or even bone deformities. 
You look really good - unlike the little kitten handed into Celia last week, which had infected eyes, cat flu, hair loss on two feet, and a belly swollen with worms. 
Yours 
George
PS. Remind your human not to play games with her hands with you. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Larry the Downing Street Cat is in Danger

Dear George, 
Something very curious happened to me! Since I took up Cat-Yoga (pronounced Catha-yoga) both my energy and conscience expended to an unbelievable level! I’m no longer the sleepy kitten waiting for my Mom and Dad to rub my belly and give me little kisses!
Even more so my awareness of critical situation and injustice developed to such an extent that I became a very active supporter of the “animals’ rights” movement around the globe. Of course I have full support of my mummy and quite often I’ll send her to represent me at different demonstrations and protests!
I became aware of the changes going on in the UK lately and, with no intention to get into politics, I have to ask you one question! What is going to happen with Larry, the cat now? (NB: not to be mistaken for Larry, the tabby - the famous cat of CatCafe in Vancouver, Canada that your very meow-amazing Adele fell in love - or so the twitter world claims). 
So, getting back to our Larry – the cat living at 10 Downing - will he be abandoned once again? Will he be back on the streets?  Or will he continue to serve the nation from 10 Downing? I heard he was limping the other night? Did he get proper treatment? Does he have the full staff to his orders as before? I’m very worried about his fate. Should I start a cat revolution to save Larry?
George, I’m standing tall (as you can see in the picture attached) and waiting for your comments! You are closer to home than me.
Yours…. ready for action,
Beau 

Dear Beau,
Larry has had a tough time lately - but its nothing to do with the new Prime Minister at no 10 Downing St. For a very brief period he was in charge of Number 10 after David Cameron left and before Theresa May was officially in charge. But he welcomed her into his home and all is well between them, as far as we can tell.
No. The danger has come from the Foreign Office. Not Boris Johnson, the Foreign secretary with the Donald Trump hair. But from Palmerston, a dark presence and sworn foe.
Palmerston is named after an expansionist Victorian Prime Minister, and seems to behave like his human predecessor.
He is a black and white cat. In his tuxedo with white gloves, he obviously thinks himself a cut above Larry from Battersea and is expanding into his territory.
So Larry has limped home with a wounded paw and the nation waits to see who will win this cat fight.
Yours 
George.
PS. Another competing mouse looms. Gladstone has joined the Treasury.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Travelling with my family or staying at home?

Dear George,
My family planned a short ten day vacation to visit some relatives and last night they were debating if I should go with them or not! Well, I don’t know! They have a big car called a “van” and I’ll have my bed, litter box, water and food all in the car but still…it’s a 12 hour drive! Plus we’ll cross the border…which makes me very nervous! What if they quarantine me? What if I get lost? I heard their relatives have a huge house which I like to explore but what if I’ll be “placed” in just one room?
The alternative …if I’ll stay home …is to have one of their friends coming once a day to clean the litter box and feed me! Yes, I would be home alone and lonely but, at least I will have my little paradise (as you can see in the photo).
Ugh! George, there are so many pro and con! I really don’t know what to do; one part of me wants to go and one part of me wants to stay home! I know some cats are good on road trips but some are not! Do you think I’ll miss my humans? Or will they miss me more and that’s the reason they want to take me with them?
I have such mixed feelings!
Yours….at a fork
Leo 

Dear Leo,
The van with bed, litter box, water and food sounds good to me - assuming that you are traveling in a temperate climate. In really hot weather you would need air conditioning or fully open windows all the way. Dogs can die of heat stress and so can cats - though most people don't realise it. Staying just in one room while you are in a strange house is probably a good idea - many cats are very freaked out in a new home because of different smells, noises, people and unfamiliar territory.
But having somebody visit each day at home is equally good, if they are reliable. If your family is going to be away for a long time, it would be safest to make sure you are confined to the house, not allowed out of the cat flap. Because if something happened to you outside (road accidents, being chased by a dog etc) the daily visitor wouldn't know about it or might not be able to rescue you.
Celia puts me in a cattery each time she goes away for more than 3 days. I hate it there but it is the same cattery and the same pen each visit. So it is familiar territory and I know all the cattery workers. She feels I would be physically safer there if I have a health problem or the house burns down while she is away.
Purrsonally I think humans should stop taking holidays. It's selfish. Their duty is to stay with us....
George.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Look what my human has made - an outside litter tray

Dear George
My human does make me laugh sometimes. She is always getting the builder to do stuff in the garden relating to me, or the squirrels. She enclosed the garden knowing how important it is for me to keep in shape and have great fun as I chase the many fascinating creatures and leaves in it, and of course to sunbathe on my castle. By the way, she only enclosed the garden as I am FIV positive.
The neighbour’s gardens have therefore become unavailable for doing my business, and this year she has vegetables and herbs growing which are great and convenient toileting locations as the soil is lovely and soft, but she has decided to offer me an alternative. A pit was dug today and filled with gravel and soft sand. I assume she wants me to use this instead. Doesn’t the contraption remind you of Dalek? I’ve had a wander inside, and may use it to shelter from the rain. Whether I’ll use it as a toilet remains to be seen. Do you think I’m being too much of a tease?
Yours in collusion for making our pets work really hard for us,
Diamond
P.S. I'm sending you my human pet's blog on how I inveigled myself into her life in case it might provide ideas to some of your readers. Read it here. And her website here.


Dear Diamond,
I love the way you have trained your pet to be so active on your behalf. Special fencing in the garden instead of an indoor-only life. I bet the neighbour is pleased! For some reason humans are very disgusted by cat poo in their gardens.
I love the idea of sand too. Just what our ancestors in the desert would have used. Is she prepared to make sure the loo is kept clean enough for you - solids cleared daily and urine flushed with water every two days or so? Otherwise it can get very smelly - even by feline standards. 
I've just got the news that Celia has taken on another difficult kitten.... apparently one that attacks the face! Luckily she (Celia not the kitten) wears glasses. I quite admire these feisty kittens but they need to learn how to train humans with rewards not punishments. Claws should only be used in an emergency.
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