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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Why are there no prehistoric cats?

Cher Georges,
I live in the Dordoigne in a house where there are archeologists as pets. Nearby there are lots of caves with prehistoric paintings in them which are about 22,000 years old.
Paintings of cave bears, bison, aurochs, deer and even cave lions. But no cats. Not a single one. Not even a little pawprint left on the sand.
Another bull but no cats

Why? My humans are not interested in this but I find it upsetting.
Isabel La Chatte.

Dear Isabel La Chatte,
There is no need to get excited or downhearted by this omission. The answer is simple. These paintings were done by primitive men and women who lived a nomadic life. They had no houses, just tents covered with animal skins - or they sheltered below the rocks of the Dordoigne.
Imagine the sheer discomfort. Imagine the damp. The lack of sophistication among these humans! How could we possibly adapt to this kind of lifestyle. It is simply not up to our requirements. We adopted humans about 10,000 years later in the Middle East, when they had settled down into properly built dry houses - incidentally houses with mice.
Then at last they had achieved a level of technology and civilisation worthy of us. So we deigned to move in with them.
Yours
George.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Just a box - every cat should have one.

Dear George,
I found this box just under the window - an ideal place for a nap in the sunlight. A blissful morning. Then she, that human I call my pet, got rid of it. "I'll take that to the dump," I heard her say.
Why do humans do this? We all love boxes. They are not expensive. Yet humans buy us elaborate cat beds, when just a box would be better. 
How do I get the message across?
Yours Tilly.

Dear Tilly,
The only way to get through to them is to use the box as soon as they take anything out of it. So, if they order a box of wine, jump into the box as soon as the wine is taken out of it.
And make it clear what you think of these expensive cat beds or cat trees by using the box they came in and refusing to set a paw on the new item. If you do this often enough even the stupidest human may get the message... We Cats Demand Boxes.
Purrhaps we could start a campaign for rescue shelters with the slogan  "A box in every pen."

Yours
George.
PS. Kittens like them too - look here.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's a cat....

Dear George,
Here I am - flying through the air. All four feet tucked up while I am airborne, with my front feet ready to stretch out when I land - on a mouse in that long grass.
I heard the rustle and a tiny high pitched squeak, as I waited by the side of the grass. It wasn't going to come out of the grass so I had to leap high into the air to get to it.
Am I right to boast about this amazing feat?
Yours 
William

Dear William
Yes, you have the right to be proud about it. We cats are wonderful hunters - athletic, graceful, and astonishingly accurate. OK so  few foxes, wolves and dogs can do the same airborne leap. But none as graceful as us. 
Kittens can take a look at the video here and learn how it is done.
Yours
George


Saturday, September 02, 2017

I'm bored.... the plight of an indoor cat.

Dear George,
My daily routine goes like this - eat dry food breakfast out of bowl, human leaves for work, nap. More daytime sleep. Human arrives back, eat supper out of bowl. Then, when I am ready to play, my human just sits in front of the television doing nothing.
So I climb on her knee. Sit there napping and purring for a bit. Climb off, have late night snack out of bowl. Then its bed time and we both nap. My only activity, apart from sleep, eat and litter tray, is the occasional bit of human attention on the days where she stays home.
This is dull, dull, dull. What can I do about this lifestyle?
Yours
April.

Dear April,
Yours is a common problem among indoor only cats. Your human needs to give you a climbing frame. She could use shelves or the drawers of an unwanted chest of drawers, like this photo shows. Leaping from one to another will give you some exercise.
Stop using that bowl. Get her to throw the dry food round the house so you have to hunt for it. Or make a food dispenser out of a lavatory roll, a plastic bottle, small cardboard boxes, or an old tennis ball  - examples here here. Hunting for food will be more fun.
And why hasn't she bought a fishing rod toy, so she can play with you from a distance while watching TV. Indoor cats need games. Get that idle human working for you.
Yours
George.
PS. Please comment with some other ideas.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Of cats, un-neutered humans and religiously spayed nuns!

Dear George, 
Look at me sitting on that chair and pondering at my humans’ behavior.
I don’t know if I should be proud of them? Should I be fed up with their tricks? Or should I pity them? I know they like to travel and because they feel guilty leaving me behind they usually come up with most eccentric excuses for their escapades. Actually I feel sad! 
Last night they came back home after a month of enjoying the sun and the beaches of Cyprus. Their excuse this time? Oh! They wanted to make sure the cats at “St. Nicholas Monastery of Cats” were okay! I’m so disappointed by their foolishness.
Those cats are doing fine since 327 AD (click on the link here) Are they kidding me? I think they enjoyed a full month of good, fun vacation while I was left almost home alone! They left me with their human kitten who being a young man was coming home very late every night, slept in until noon and then would leave again. I don’t think he was fixed yet (you know what I mean) so he’s wondering around perhaps in search of a nice kitty? In the meantime…my whole daily routine got all messed-up! For what? So my humans could parade a nice suntan? But, on having second thoughts…what if they are really checking on cats’ welfare worldwide?  After all they show me about 200 photos with cats they took in this trip! Hmm! I wonder!
Yours
CAT Victoria 

Dear CAT Victoria,
Your letter is a textbook example of the selfishness of humans. They suddenly take off to another country leaving us without proper service or even (worse) imprisoning us in a cattery.
And another thing.... It always surprises me that humans are allowed to wander around without being neutered or spayed. They would be much happier without having to worry about sex - gettting it, avoiding it, sexual disease.  Adolescent humans roam around searching for sex and getting into fights. 
I hope the nuns of Cyprus get their cats neutered and spayed. Odd to find a cat nunnery (sort of like a religious cat cafe). At least these nuns are neutered (religiously if not surgically!). 
Worth getting your humans to look at the photos on that website because they will see that we like to keep a proper distance between each other. Not like dogs. We are relatively unsocial animals.
Cheers,
George
 PS. Get that young human fixed before he starts a population explosion. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Down with colour prejudice -- read the tuxedo website (link in the text)

Dear George,
My memories as a young kitten are hazy, however I do vividly remember being put inside a suitcase one day with my brothers and sister, I remember being very excited thinking it was a fun game.
However when the minutes turned into hours and we were still locked in there the game rapidly ceased to be much fun at all. The bag must have been carried somewhere because we all got jolted around a lot, falling over each other!
After what seemed like an eternity the jolting stopped and the box was soon opened by a kind looking lady who took us inside her house, which (you won't believe this but it's true) was FULL of cats, loads of cats, all kinds of cats, big cas little cats, old cats, young cats, every type of cat imaginable.
This became our home for a whole four months, until one day a nice young couple came to look at me. They recognised the glamour of my black and white tuxedo. When they took me to their house I quickly found my feet and became the confident cat I am today!
Get your readers to visit www.tuxedo-cat.co.uk
Sincerely Whisky
PS. The website is to encourage people to choose tuxedo cats at shelters.

Dear Whisky,
Glad to see that you are making your black and white pawmark on the web. I am black all over - well nearly, except for a tiny few white hairs on my chest. We also suffer discrimination and are often the last to be chosen. So I am joining you in the message that black is beautiful and black-and-white is all right. Long live tuxedo cats and black cats.
Yours
George

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Brush or play? No, brush and play, please.


Dear George, 
I’m Shumba and I have a problem with my human. I know you are the most awesome human behaviourist even if you let your own secretary slack on her duties so much and so often! Sorry George, but this was a much discussed issue since I joined your blog – your soft spot for Celia which ….creates “disturbances” in the blog …at times!
Anyway, I was living on the streets for quite few years when I was rescued by my human! We do have a great relationship but I’m not quite sure if she fully understands me or I’m lacking in my training her! See, she works full time and sometimes I become bored. I miss the human interaction during the day so I took up the Zen Zzzzzz meditation and I do relax a lot but I wish she comes home during her breaks at work. 
Anyway, she got me a brush …which I love and I learned how to brush myself (video attached) but, my question to you is….should I wait for her to brush me or should I spend our time together just playing? I would like her to both “brush & play” but how am I going to tell her so she can understands?
Cheers
Shumba.
PS. I had a video on this but it didn't seem to work.

Dear Shumba,
You are absolutely right. If I have a fault as a human behaviourist, it is that I am too indulgent to my human, Celia. Which means she slackens and I don't punish her by withdrawing affection, as I should do. Last night she came home very late and for once I did let her know I disapproved. I sneaked out of the door as she opened it and didn't come home till 5am. She was distraught. I hope she learned her lesson about coming home too late.
Now, your problem. Your human should both brush and play. That's a great brush, a Zoom Groom,  that she has got for you and I see that you have worked out how to self groom. Many congratulations. But it isn't enough. She should get a fishingrod toy and, while she watched TV, play with you with that. It's not hard for humans. They are just too lazy to do it enough.
Do as I say, not as I do. Don't let her slacken off!!!
Yours
George. 
PS. At least she grooms. Some humans don't bother even to do that. 

Saturday, August 05, 2017

What we cats see, what dogs see and what humans see.

Dear George,
As you will know, all gardens in the immediate vicinity of any cat’s house legally all belong to the cat. I currently oversee around 6 gardens in my neighbourhood but unfortunately have to allow a rather uncouth dog to use one of my many estates. Being a lesser animal with barely any brains, he often barks at me, so I tend to taunt him from the fence, commenting on his wirey fur and lack of beautiful whiskers, while he tries in vain to jump up and reach me.
However, the other week while throwing some of my best insults at him and watching him jump and bark as usual, my beautiful red collar came loose and landed in the grass on his side. I have appealed to him to return it several times but he claims he cannot see a red collar in the grass. Is he just trying to wind me up or are dogs’ eyes as poorly developed as their brains?
Yours,
Chipstick


Dear Chipstick,
Dogs have inferior brains, yes, and they can't see the colour red. Humans are even odder. As well as an inferior brain, they have eyesight which shows them this unnecessary colour, red. We cats don't see red (except possibly a little tinge of it) because we don't need to. Whoever saw a red mouse? What we see, is what humans call colour blind. What I call feline eyesight is highly developed specialised vision.
We cats are far better than humans at seeing movement. Anything which moves we like - not just moving mice but also moving small furry toys from fishing rods! And also some people now believe that we may even see some ultraviolet!  And we can see in the dusk far far better than any human.
Instruct your human to look at  https://www.lasik-eyes.co.uk/see-world-pets-eyes/ which gives a good illustration of how animals see compared to humans. That way they will understand more about us. Oh yes, and incidentally they will be able to see how dogs see - if they are interested in this inferior species.
Yours
George. 
PS. On that website the gecko vision is very odd! But they taste good.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Danger.... raccoons are dining next door

Dear George, 
I’m following your blog for some time now and I really enjoy it! My mommy bought some of your books (whatever she could find at a local book store). We have recently moved to a village – countryside I would say! Nice and quiet, lots of trees and birds and plenty of backyard. But mommy is a little worried as she learned that our next door neighbor is feeding a family of raccoons in her backyard! Our house is not that close to hers but still within walking distance. Mommy is afraid that I’ll get hurt by these raccoons! I don’t even know how they look like – I didn’t see any yet – all I’ve seen so far were little lizards. Am I in any danger? What can we do?
With thanks
Julius

Dear Julius,   
Your human is right to be careful that you don't get into any danger. Raccoons don't usually attack cats and if they do, a full sized adult cat often sees them off. Elderly cats, very small cats and kittens might be more vulnerable.
Here's what your human needs to do to keep you safe. Firstly, make sure there is nothing to attract raccoons to your garden - no garbage, no vegetables, insects etc. Secondly, install a microchip operated cat flap (or a flap too small for a raccoon to squeeze through), that will only open for you. Thirdly, raccoons can climb but they can't jump high. So make sure that good fencing keeps them out.
Put items around the garden for you to jump on to get out of their way - garden chairs, garden tables, large plant pots with room for a cat, and maybe ledges on the fencing at various points. 
If humans were not so dumb, she could go politely to the neighbour and ask her to stop feeding them. But that might set off a neighbour quarrel and quarrelliing humans are difficult! I have had no success in counselling them. Inter-human aggression among neighbours is impossible to resolve.
Yours
George.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Indoor life is boring... I want to get out and about.

Dear George,
I’ve heard it’s safer for a cat to be indoor (even if it’s soooooo boring) but is it better?
I mean considering the cat’s emotional and mental health? George, I’m asking for your opinion since my humans decided to not let me go in the backyard. See, I was rescued few months ago when I was a tiny kitty and until now I wasn’t interested in the outdoors…but one sunny Sunday I sneaked outside and discovered the trees and the bushes and the ravine behind our house! My humans got really worried and started looking for me frantically. I was hiding under a bush and I just didn’t want to come out. Apparently this upset them very, very much and now I’m not allowed outside at all. I don’t think it’s fair! I want to go out! Any ideas what I can do to be safe outdoors?
Yours….desperate for fresh air!
Minky

Dear Minky,
I like the great outdoors but I live down a cart track near fields where it is not too dangerous (except for foxes). And I come in at night for my last meal, so that I don't stay out too late - which cuts out some of the risks of being run over or eaten by a fox. Most cats would like this kind of lifestyle.
But it is safer indoors, definitely. Safe from predators like stray dogs, coyotes, foxes. Safe from traffic. Safe from disease caught by fighting with other cats. If indoor life is boring it is the fault of your humans. You should have lots of toys, a different one every day, lots of games with fishing rod toys when your humans are watching TV, and you should hunt for your food.
Hunt? Well hunting is what we cats do and it is what I do outside in the garden and fields. You can hunt too if your humans stop putting any food into a bowl. They should put it into food dispensers (look here for ideas), or scatter it so you have to run for it, or hide it round the house.  Or build a feeding pole! Or by the Funboard - video here. That way you can keep busy hunting for food even when they have gone off to work.
I hope you have chosen rich humans... If so, they could build you a catio or even just fence in the whole garden - ideas here. There's a photo of a catio here. That would keep you safe and give you some fresh air.
So if they won't let you outside, get them to start doing what humans should always do - make you happy with an active lifestyle. It is their job to make you happy.
Yours
George

Saturday, July 15, 2017

What the DOG....... cat survival tips.

Dear George, 
I’m convinced now that I’ve completely failed in training my humans! Why do I think so? Because past weekend they came home very happy, shouting from the rooftops - "look, look …we’ve got you a brother” I was totally perplexed as you can see in the picture attached! I was like “what the heck is THAT”? I mean I knew it was a dog but… WHY?   
Are they nuts? How could this puppy be my brother? Were they skipping zoology classes in school? Dogs and cats are VERY different! Don’t they know that? And, what am I supposed to do with this unsolicited “brother” now?
He’s not even good as a “pillow” as he’s constantly running around, it won’t stay still! Plus he’s trying to eat my food and this is a BIG mistake! George, do you think I can train him to be my humble servant? What is the purpose of a dog in a cat’s life?
Yours….totally confused
Pepe

Dear Pepe,
Your photograph shows how upset you are - ears back, feet braced ready to run, body stiff with nerves... Your humans are putting you through a really stressful experience. I only hope they are keeping the puppy under total control - on a lead, in a crate, never unsupervised if you are around. You need to be free to go, or to jump up on to a safe high place, at all times.
That puppy should never EVER be allowed even to think about chasing you...
Why on earth are they feeding you where he can get to the food? Is your litter tray in a safe place where you can reach it and he can't? (Dogs sometimes EAT cat poo - disgusting). Can you get to the litter tray without being ambushed by this excitable canine? Are you safe at night completely away from him so you can sleep without one eye open? Can you choose whether to be in his company or not? I can't see a house-line on this dog, which should be there to make it easy to restrain him.
Keep your nerve. Never run otherwise he may chase. Stand up to him. If all else fails, if you have a cat flap, you can just leave home.... 
Yes, you have failed to train your humans. Now concentrate on training the puppy. Rewards (purrs, rubs and attention) and punishment (swipes with the paw). If you do this properly you will be able to use him as a pillow eventually.
This puppy is not a brother. He is a very junior servant. That's the purpose of a dog in a cat's life.
Yours in great sympathy,
George.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Do I look fat in my fur? Do I need to diet?

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Dear George,
I don’t want to see anybody (as you can tell by the photo attached) - I’m mad!
I’m angry because my mummy dared to “body shame” me last night calling me “fat”.
Well, I don’t think I’m fat - I’m a big boy! I’m a large, well-built cat as my daddy said. 
I mean what’s the point for her to make me homemade food based on Dr. Pitcairn’s recipes and measure everything to be nutritionally balanced, mostly raw and mixed with some organic cooked vegies (1 tsp per meal) and then call me fat? I eat 3x a day small portions and that’s it! I don’t eat junk and I can’t open that fridge on my own!
But, there she goes calling me fat! Even more she said “obesity” it’s a pandemic in North America in both humans and pets! I didn’t understand exactly what she meant by this but, by the tone of her voice, it must be something really bad! Am I in any danger?
What is a pandemic? I didn’t want to ask her because I’m not talking to her now! George, is it really bad? What is the difference between being fat, overweight or obese? It must be a difference! How can one tell? Please look at my photo again and tell me I’m OK!
Yours ….in stones (won’t tell how many)
Chico

Dear Chico,
You may be a bit overweight but you are not obese (30% above the proper weight, which your owner can check with the vet). Here is a photo of really fat cat, Boomer. He was obese and he was suffering because of it. You couldn't see or even feel his ribs and he was so fat that he couldn't reach his backside to groom it, so he had mats there. He lived with a slightly demented elderly owner, who couldn't remember if Boomer had been fed. And because Boomer was bored - he was a young indoor-only cat - he kept asking for food.  And getting it every time.
We cats need exercise. I am lucky. I can leave the house through a cat flap and go hunting. When I am not doing that, I am patrolling my territory making sure I know where everything is and if there have been any changes in the garden or down my cart track. I do a lot of walking around. So I don't get fat. And I don't get too many treats either. Just three meals a day and nothing in between - apart from what I steal off the kitchen surfaces.
So get your owner to buy a fishing rod toy and play games with you using that. She can do it while watching TV. Play is good for her and play is good for you. Being obese can give us cats diabetes and arthritic pain. Just like humans.
Yours
Slimline George
PS. They eat delicious and varied meals but they expect us to eat the same bought cat food over and over again. It's not fair. At least your human cooks properly. Mine doesn't.


Saturday, July 01, 2017

Ouch... toothache... pain....dental hygeine

Dear George, 
I’m a 5 year old cat who has lived on the streets and in shelters until I was adopted by my current human parents! I’ve always been grumpy or somehow upset and mad at everything and everyone. My human parents were very patient with me all this time trying to do everything in their power to please me and make me happy!
At some point they decided to take me to a doctor to check my health trying to find the cause of my moodiness! Oh boy; they did not expect what they discovered! I had all my teeth infected and I was in constant pain. So, I had to go through a surgery and had all teeth extracted. Now I’m toothless but happy! My mood improved as you can see in the picture attached. George can you share some wisdom when it comes to dental hygiene? Maybe other cats will benefit as well? 
Yours….totally toothless
Nora

Dear Nora,
Life on the streets is tough for cats and poor nutrition often means that our teeth are not as good as they can be. My friend Toby has lost 7 of his teeth at the age of only four. Hardly surprising as he was forced to scavenge bird food to survive.
I always bite my human when she tries to brush my teeth. When she has tried sticking the feline toothbrush into my mouth with special feline toothpaste, I just won't bear it. She watched this video but I still bit her. It's the only thing some humans understand!
So now she feeds me several pieces of large kibble, specially designed for dental health in the hope that these will reduce the plaque build-up. Also she ensures the vet looks at my mouth when I get my annual vaccinations - which is how I had to have tooth extracted only two weeks ago. Get your human to read up here.
Toothless cats can eat dry food as well as soft, so losing all your teeth is probably the best thing for you, Nora.
Yours
George (29 instead of 30 teeth). 
PS. The hole in my tooth (feline reabsorption lesion) was so painful I went off my food. That never happened before. And, like you, I was very grumpy.




Saturday, June 24, 2017

Vacations for humans but not for us. Making guilt work...

Dear George,

Big debate in my family! My humans plan to go on a two week vacation but they feel guilty for leaving me home! I must admit I enjoy very much their “guilt feelings” as they are extra nice with me now and shower me in presents and treats!

But….the big debate remains….what’s the best solution for me? In a cattery? In someone else’s home? A cat sitter who can visit twice a day?

I personally prefer to stay home, in my house and have a very nice “live-in” cat sitter! 
So, what do you say? What other human pets do? Or they never take a vacation? I’ve heard of some who never go together because of the cat (who is their master and, of course runs the house). Your ideas are most appreciated! I still have a month to find the best solution!
Cheers,

Didi

Dear Didi,
How right you are to make guilt work for you. It is one of the best human training technique and all it requires is a soulful look of unhappiness! Yes, vacations for humans can be stressful and unpleasant for cats and the best humans do not go away at all.... wish my human didn't.
No doubt in my mind. The live-in pet sitter, if reliable, is best. Humans that call in once a day are not good enough: twice a day is far better, though even this may not be enough care if one of us disappears outside through the cat flap and is not seen for 24 hours. Cat boarding establishments may be the safest option but from our point of view they are just imprisonment.
Month long human vacations are a dereliction of duty. They have no right to inflict this on us. Make your human stay at home, where it belongs. Or stroll down the street and see if you can find a better pet.
Yours
George.
 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Backyard plants for cats....

Dear George,
I need your help urgently! Maybe Celia’s help as well (assuming she knows about plants). My Mom is planning to do some gardening this weekend and I heard her saying she wished she knew more about plants - what should she plant for me?
George, please, please, please say catnip and catnip and catnip - of course unless you know of some other plants as enjoyable as catnip.
What other cats like beside catnip?
In haste,
Leo 

Dear Leo,
Obviously catnip is a must for us cats and it looks lovely to humans too. My friend Toby can be seen enjoying it here. Don't confuse it with catmint, which doesn't have the same delicious scent though it looks good to humans. Valerian, another herb, is also enjoyed by cats and is easy to grow.
Why not have a small area, or a pot, devoted to cat grass? Ordinary wheat, the kind grown in for bread, or oats, the kind grown for porridge, will grow nicely. Or there is a special kind of grass, Dactyitis glomerata or cocks-foot grass that is sold as seed for cat grass. You will enjoy munching on any of these. A list of plants that are poisonous can be found here. As well as avoiding lily of the valley,  avoid lilies themselves  - if a tiny bit of pollen falls on your coat and you lick it off, you could die. 
What else? Well, why not purrsuade her to give you a water feature with a little fountain or trickling water for you to drink. And think about putting  a walkway, or a ledge, or a shelf on walls or fences. We like to sit up and look down on others. One of my friends, Pixxi (right), has a little shelf just on the corner of the fence so that he can sit and survey his territory.
Yours
George 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The love of birds....a certain human-feline incompatibility of opinion.

Dear George, 
After reading your book “One hundred ways for a cat to train its human” I started to apply your suggestions quite actively in my daily life. For the beginning I set up two goals just to see how it goes!  One was to have at least one bed in every single room and as you can see in the photo attached I have totally succeeded! Ah! Don’t be silly; of course I OWN that huge bed in the master bedroom as well….just that my humans don’t know yet!  The second goal was to train our next door neighbour first to like me, then to “catsit” me, then to miss me and finally to fall in love with me! Yes, you heard me right! Why would I stop to my own humans when I have such a cute next door neighbour?
Plus he has a bird! ONE love bird – quite laughable when you think “love birds” come in pairs!  But, I love the fact that he has just one – easy prey for me! Can you imagine the day (or night) when my cute neighbour will take me to his place and hopefully the bird cage door is open?  Ah, George! I can’t stop dreaming of that fresh, juicy dinner waiting for me in a little cage next door. 
But I need your expertise; all the “tricks and tips” as I have to make him fall in love with me first, right?  Where do I start?
Rio

Dear Rio, 
I love love-birds. Just the right size for a cat - not too large (like pheasants) or too small (like wrens, only a tiny mouthful). Just to reassure you that it is not necessary for any bird to fall in love with you first. All that is needed is for them to be close enough for a good pounce....
However, I reluctantly have to warn you that humans take an ridiculous view of bird slaughter. They love birds as much as they love cats and get very upset if birds are killed. Particularly if they know the "murderer" (their phrase not mine) or even "serial killer" (again, their phrase not mine).
Leave that love bird alone. Killing it, while naturally enjoyable, would ruin your relationship with the neighbouring human, whom you are so successfully training. You have to take the long view. Are a few mouthfuls of love bird worth the loss of a catsitter, a neighbour who may well offer extra cat treats and even a warmer house sometimes? 
I think not.
Yours 
George.

 

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Of human ethics and morals

Dear George, 
I have a “life and death” question for you: what is a cat supposed to do if his human wants to put him down because the human thinks he can’t afford a treatment/medication cost?
It is a nightmare for many cats but it is so true – that’s what happens in real life!
I’m a 8 year old cat and I’ve got an UTI - my human brought me to the vet to put me down because he can’t afford the treatment. However, the doctor explained that the treatment is not that expensive and there is no reason for euthanasia. Then, the nurse – God bless her heart – called a lady who runs a rescue group. The group got the money for the treatment and offered to adopt me! In the meantime….my human had a change of heart and started saying that he wants me back and he’ll pay for the treatment.
For the moment I’m back with my human…but what should I do? 
How can I make sure he’s not taking me to another clinic or abandon me on the streets?
Is there any legal course this rescue group can take to adopt me? I don’t trust my human anymore! 
Bertie 
Dear Bertie,
Your dilemma is awful. We cats should never fully trust humans. Some human owners "love" their cats, won't pay for vet treatment, and yet won't let their cats be adopted into a home that will pay for the treatment. And the fact that you have a UTI suggests that, apart from this dilemma, you are in a home that is stressful and worrying for you. 
The problem is human law. Stupid unethical law. Here in the UK cats are property. If a vet is asked to put down an animal, she cannot refuse. All she can do is suggest rehoming and, if the "owner" (disgusting term) agrees, put the animal in rescue, after a legal form has been signed saying the cat is now the property of the rescue. Without that bit of paper, the cat still belongs to its original "owner" (notice that word again).
Cats that are truly miserable sometimes rehome themselves - if they are lucky enough to have a cat flap. If you can leave the house, I would advise spending several weeks checking out likely homes in the neighbourhood and seeing if you find a better human.
Human laws against cruelty are totally inadequate and rarely enforced. You have to be half dead before the law steps in to save you.
My poor brother feline. My heart bleeds for you.
George.

 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Of humans and DNA... thoughts on this.

Dear George,
I’m reading a book about human DNA with my mummy and I’m very excited and amused. Excited because I have a peculiar interest in the topic and amused because of the humans’ beliefs. The book says that the scientists (human not feline) discovered that the human DNA is only 4% coded and 96% is not and therefore they called it “junk DNA”. That makes me Laugh Out Loud. If God created us all how could they believe that God coded only 4% of their DNA but coded all of ours (the cats)? Sorry, George but I can’t stop laughing! Ok, I pondered for a minute if I should tell mummy that all human DNA is coded but humans need to evolve to understand the “spiritual” codes; they need to transcend to a higher level of consciousness as multidimensional beings! But how could they if they are so stuck in 3D and linear thinking? So, I decided to say nothing because having humans stuck in 3D it is a huge advantage for us (over them). We were able to decode our DNA long ago and the Egyptians knew it – that’s why they held us in high regard as “sacred beings” and treated us better than Royalty.
But…today’s humans? They really believe they “train” and “control” us! I roar with laughter! You see the irony? They don’t realize we take advantage of their primitive nature and their exceptionally good response to emotional blackmailing (big smile). I laughed so much and so hard that I need a nap to rest and recover (photo attached). George, may we hear your opinion please? After all you are a magnificent… human behaviourist!
Chico

Dear Chico,
It is typical of humans that they called non-coding DNA "junk" or "barren" or "non-functioning," when this kind of DNA switches on and off vital DNA processes. Humans are always ready to despise and sneer instead of accepting their ignorance.
They share 90% of our genes but seem unable to say "We don't know"when they don't.
As you say, they think they control us when we control them. We moved in with them when they were sophisticated enough to make dry sheltered housing for us and now we have purrsuaded them to feed us, stroke us, and love us. Unlike dogs we do not have to guard or hunt for them. (We hunt for ourselves.) And they think they domesticated us when it is the other way round!
George
PS. My blog is disgracefully late, as I was locked up in a prison facility while my human jaunted about on the top of a Roman wall in Scotland. I have not forgiven her. Nor have I forgotten her. I punished her yesterday by easing her right to the edge of my double bed. To my amusement she had a nightmare about earth moving artics.
PPS. There were the remains of cats in the Roman camps.
 


Saturday, May 20, 2017

SOS! Vet on the horizon! Going Incatnito!

Dear George,
I need urgently few suggestions on how to go incatnito! Yes, you heard me right: “in-cat-nito” in order to avoid getting to my scheduled visit to the vet. Like any other cat I purr-foundly detest these visits so I try to hide but my humans somehow manage to find me every time. So, for now I thought going incatnito around the house ….maybe something like a “faux cat” that look like a piece of décor? Or maybe I should go as a dog or bunny or something in disguise? Ugh! So much trouble but I do not want to go to the vet! That’s it! Please take a look at the photo attached and tell me if I look like a piece of décor!
Any other suggestions on how to avoid the trip to the vet are welcome!
Yours…..in disguise
Leo

Dear Leo,
This isn't good enough. You do not look like a pineapple. Nor are you a convincing china cat!  Far too elegant. Further in-cat-nito efforts are required. I recommend the following places to hide.
  • Under the bed. Humans do look there but if you squeeze further enough in at an odd angle they may miss you.
  • Under the cooker if there is a gap.
  • Between the washing machine and the drying machine in the utility room. You need a cap but not a big one.
  • On a chair, which has been pushed under a table. This is a simple place to hide that many humans miss.
  • Underneath the bedclothes. Better hope that your human doesn't sit on you by mistake.
  • Back of the wardrobe behind some large boots.
  • Top of the wardrobe - if your human has never seen you there before. Won't work if they already know you chill out there.
Yours
George

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Déjà vu roast chicken….even if …it never happened?


Dear George, 
I know we have a great 6th sense and we can feel and see energy that humans can’t perceive with their naked eyes but, I’ve never realized that in fact I could be so, so, soooo psychic! I mean how else would you explain my experience? You see….I had a déjà vu of an event that never happened. What would you make of it? But, here is my story! Last night I’ve seen my human placing a nice chunk of roasted chicken (leftover from their dinner) on the kitchen table. You see, I’ve never been interested in sharing dinner with my humans and so, I never did! But for whatever reasons when I’ve seen that roasted chicken on the table ….I had a déjà vu ….of the future if I may said so!  I’ve literally seen a good chunk of it “disappearing” into my mouth and down into my belly.
I HAVE SEEN IT!  So, when my human turned around and said “now, be a good boy”…I just ignored her as I knew what’s going to happen next! 
So, George….help me understand! Do I have paranormal abilities? Is it because I spend so much time in nature (as you can see in the photo attached).
Beau

Dear Beau,
Treasure that chicken deja vu (my paws can't do the accents!). It WILL happen and in my opinion, the sooner the better. Check out the kitchen table regularly. I always do. And you will be surprised what you find there, particularly if your human is absent-minded or just disappears for a moment to check her computer.
I have developed the psychic gaze. I use this to convey to my human that I would like a bit of chicken (or similar goody). Silent.  Intense. Yet conveying by 6th sense what I want her to understand. Humans, dumb creatures though they are, have more of a 6th sense than they know.
I also do the psychic garden trick. When she is out there, I just appear from nowhere. Silently, of course. So one moment she thinks I am not there: and then in a few seconds she sees me. This is a psychic trick that almost all cats play. I love doing it. Those hosta plants on your right would make it easy for you.
Yours
George.
PS. The thought of that roast chicken has made my mouth water, so I am just going to check out the kitchen table... you never know.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Look what the sun has done to me.... its' dangerous.

Dear George,
I am writing to warn other cats. I lived with a family that couldn't afford vet bills. My ears got crusty and they took no notice till the crustiness was very bad.
Then they chucked me out to fend for myself although I was 16 years old. Luckily Cats Protection found me, took me in, fed me, and took me to a vet.
It was bad news - skin cancer. So they had to amputate my ears. Now I am recovered from the operation. The ears feel a bit odd and I can't swivel them so well as I used to. Otherwise I am fine.
Be warned. Cats like me that are white or have white faces, must stay out of the sunlight as much as possible during summer. 
I have survived so cancer wasn't a death sentence. Being chucked out on the street nearly was....
Yours
Pearl.

Dear Pearl,
Thank you for the warning.  Readers, please remember this and get your humans to understand that white ears and faces are at risk of skin cancer. Whatever your colour, even black, if your face is white you are vulnerable. Any signs of scabbiness or crustiness on the ear means a visit to the vet (yes, I loathe vets too) as soon as possible.
Good human servants will keep you in during the full sunlight and buy your special cat sun screen.
But some humans are disgusting! They just threw Pearl out into the street when she got old and needed veterinary care. Warning to other cats - if you have that sort of human as a pet, leave home and find yourself a better one as soon as possible.
Yours indignantly
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