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Friday, November 10, 2017

What is... the magic word for "Get out of my box."

Dear George,
I need your help in finding the magic word that will make my human jump out of my box! It all started few days ago as a game - I was sleeping in the box when I heard “peekaboo”. I must admit it took me by surprise and I jumped out of the box only to find my human laughing out loud! OK! I meowed back “peekaboo” and ….quite like by “magic”….he jumped into the box. I meowed again peekaboo but no response! I tried to push him out of the box as you can see in the photo attached but no reaction! I don’t know if he fell asleep there but now I worry he might take residence of my box. How do I get him out? What is the magic word? Cat Scan? I tried it with no results? Oh! By the way, my human will soon become a medical doctor! George, I want my box back! 
Please help. 
Leo.

Dear Leo,
Human-kittens are always so amusing! So sad that they have to grow up to be slow and serious rather than playful like us. Soon he won't want to jump into that box!  So enjoy those precious moments while he is still young enough to play like a proper kitten.
Me in my box
We felines know that boxes are awesome playthings. Nice to jump into. Nice to jump out of. But humans lose that creative playfulness. They just think boxes are boxes. Poor things.
So think outside the box, and encourage him to stay inside it. Or maybe you could lure him out by pretending his favourite soft toy is a mouse. 
Or just jump in with him! It will give him a bit of a surprise, as you land on his head!
Yours 
George.
 

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Halloween and cats.... Guy Fawkes day ... a nightmare for cats.

Dear George,
This was my first Halloween! Seeing my human mommy and her kitten decorating our house was a lot of fun! I was looking forward with great excitement to the Halloween night. I must admit I was rather disappointed. First of all I was “locked in” the house, actually in my mommy’s bedroom for the whole night. I wasn’t allowed outside, nor was my sister. I was told I’m forbidden to go outside because of my color (see my photo attached –laying down on a table utterly bored). Second I was disappointed because there was no fun; all it happened was that different human kittens were ringing the bell to beg for sweets. Really? Like they needed more sugar in their diet? 
Third and the scariest was that late at night teenagers started ringing the bell “demanding” sweets! What was all this about? They didn’t even wear a costume or anything – just plain begging or demanding! I don’t think this was right! Maybe my mommy should have called the police! I don’t know how and why humans find Halloween funny or entertaining! I found it profoundly disturbing! It was a nightmare for me and my sister! Actually what is the Halloween about and why people celebrate such a gloomy night?
Totally confused,
Lila 

Dear Lila,
Halloween and (here in the UK) a few days later Guy Fawkes Day is a dangerous time for us cats. Your humans were right to lock you indoors for safety. There are three main dangers. The first is that cats get scared by the fireworks or by the strangers and run off and get lost. Worse,  here in the UK sometimes feral teenagers pick up cats and throw them in bonfires or attach bangers to them.
Finally, sometimes animal lovers in the USA decide to "rescue" black cats to stop them being sacrificed in black magic ceremonies, an urban myth. They take them to the shelters, where there are already too many cats waiting for home and the bad animal shelters just put them down. Black cats are unpopular in the USA.
Why are humans so stupid and why are some of them so cruel? 
Yours gloomily
George. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

I live in a chicken's house

Dear George, 
This is absolutely true! I was rescued together with my brother by our biological mother.
I never found out how or why our lives were in danger but our mama carried us over to this place and dropped us (literally) in a chickens ‘nest! Amazingly the chickens immediately adopted us. They even adopted our mama and let her live here with us. The chickens’ house is on a big, beautiful property with lots of trees and green space.
There are some humans living there as well but they have a bigger house for themselves.
They seems happy to see us here. They take good care of the chickens and they feed us too. My brother is very shy and so is mama (guess she was abused) but I’m more adventures and bold. I let the human daddy hold me. Even the human kitten held me and pet me and talked to me all summer. I don’t know where the human kitten is now….I think she grew up and left the nest! Ah! I miss her!
Hope she’ll come back otherwise I’m afraid I’ll develop the “empty nest syndrome” (I heard the humans talking about it). 
George, I also heard that cats’ friendship with chickens is unusual. Is that true?
Do you know of any other unusual friendships?
Cheers,
Mia, the tabby 

Dear Mia,
You are not alone.There's a case here where a hen has adopted a chicken. And there are several Youtube videos of mother cats that have adopted ducklings and chicks. The maternal instinct is very strong and when chicken and cat cuddle up together, they mix their smells. And for cats, the smell of home and mother, is very important.
An even more famous cat was the stable cat who was friends with Mr Darley's Arab. The horse is one of the founders of the thoroughbred breed and it chummed up with the cat. When the horse finally died, it is said that the cat disappeared or may have died of grief. We don't know its name or perhaps it never had one.
And of course, many cats make friends with that other different and inferior species - humankind.
Yours
George.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

A second chance for a special needs cat.


Dear George, 
My story is very sad but perfectly illustrates that kindness and generosity really have no borders! I came a long, long way! I was rescued in Iran when I was about 6 months old as a paraplegic kitten. My spine was broken and I was abandoned on the streets. I was rescued by a Vafa Rescue group and I made it to America. I now live at “Home for Life” shelter. There is a small group of talented people who come and paint us. The shelter then creates a catalogue which people can buy. This year it’s a catalogue with dogs but the shelter planned to take me to a tour to educate humans about animals with special needs and prove that even cats like me can live a happy life. I’m sending you one of my photos at the shelter and one painting of me. You can read more about me at this link:

Love to all
Apricot

Dear Apricot,
You are not the first paraplegic cat I have met. I met Thomas, an elderly black and white cat, who was incontinent after a car accident and was handed into Cats Protection. He found an private adult care home - though it took a long time. Two very special human carers were needed.
He didn't wear a nappy. His owners learned how to manually express his urine twice a day (the vet showed them how) and he lived in a kitchen with a laminate floor and a catflap to the garden. Yes, they had to keep the tiles clean with bacterial wipes and, yes, they put out clean bedding out for him each day. They used the sort of bedding where liquid soaks through, so that it doesn't stay in contact with the skin.
Thomas lived happily for another few years before dying of old age. Here is his photo on the right. There are some lovely human beings around who make very good carers.
Yours
George. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Catwalk – Milan, September 2017

Dear George, 
I must tell you I was “the sensation” at the Fashion Week in Milan this September.
I was fundamentally modern (as you can see in the photo attached) with the cutest natural design. I was admired by most famous fashion designers in the world and envied by most famous movie stars especially for my natural make-up! Probably the only one not jealous of me but rather smitten by my beauty was our dear friend Karl Lagerfeld (he LOVES cats). You might wonder how I managed to get there. Well, I live with young fashion designers as my house pets! They are painfully young, trying to design tight leather pants and jackets which they even wear as it seems they can’t grow their own hair/fur.
Actually that’s the reason I’m writing to you if you can help with advice for humans how to grow hair? My humans take excellent care of me; my coat and I would like to return the favour and help them grow a nice fur all over their bodies! Some “pret-a-porter” but more on a fancy, luxurious side….like a nice, fluffy Himalayan coat or Norwegian Forest? Also, I’m planning to open my own “kitty model” agency to help young kittens to become famous! So, if you know of any…just tell me!
What do you think George? Good plan? 
But, first help me with my humans, please!
Mille grazie,
Cara

Dear Cara,
Sensational photo. Not just the beautiful fur coat (your own) but the true catwalk gait. I particularly like the bi-colour ginger and black facial fur. A really brave design. 
Sad to say we can't help humans grow fur. They have just a little - on the head, face (but no proper whiskers), armpits and pubes.
They often shave off these pathetic patches currently even the top of the head. Is it because they compare themselves with us and feel naked and ashamed? Or, in the case of bald headed males, they try to grow more facial hair to compensate. It can look a bit sad - bald on top, furry on the bottom of the head.
No. Nothing will work. We must accept them as they are in all their nakedness.
A model agency for cats? Why not. Internet opportunities grow daily. There are many cats more famous than the pathetic humans called Kardashians. Got for it. You could make millions.
Saluti.
George.
PS. Karl Largerfeld's cat, Choupette, is already a fashion icon - read here

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Ways for a cat to exercise its human.


Dear George,
As much as I loved reading your book One hundred ways for a cat to train its human, I’m surprised that you never pointed out some ways for a cat to exercise its human.
I’m saying this since I’m in much need of your help in this regard. You know that most indoor cats are called “couch potatoes” but, in my case…the couch potato is my human daddy and I’m really worried about his lack of exercise.
I tried to set up examples for him but I think I must do something wrong since he is not responsive to any… such as:
  • Climbing up the curtains.
  • Climbing up and scratching the door frames
  • Jumping from the book case's highest shelf down on his desk.
I even tried the fishing rod and hanging from the chandelier with no success!
To all these excellent examples (in my opinion) he just stares at me in some sort of amazement! Do you think there is something wrong with him? Am I not clear enough in my intentions? George, please tell me how I can train him to exercise more.
Yours truly
Dumi 

Dear Dumi,
In training any animal, it is important to realise that each species has its quirks and particularities. You can only train humans to do what comes naturally to them. For instance you can't train them to scent or hear the location of a mouse. Their noses and their ears are too weak for that.
Exercise is difficult too, as humans are naturally indolent. They will spend hours staring at a screen and only drastic measures such as lying on the keyboard will successfully get their attention towards you.  So first, you have to get their attention.
Even the stupidest of humans usually notice climbing up the curtains and your other activities. Most will spring into action in a vain rescue attempt (either to rescue your or the curtains!). I fear you may have adopted a human nerd, halfwit or a dingbat, as Oz cats call them. These humans are to be pitied not punished. It is not their fault they lack the ability to understand us properly.
You will have to accept that you cannot change him. Don't cease your activities, as this is good exercise for you. One of my achievements was to rip out all the lining from a pair of curtains: it was a truly satisfying achievement - as you can see from the photo on the right.
Yours
George.

Friday, September 29, 2017

My name is Love....

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Dear George,
My name is Love! I’m a six month old kitty which has been rescued two months ago from the hands of a traveller in a Central European farmers’ market! How I got there or how the gypsy kitten got hold of me I have no idea. All I know is that my mummy rescued me and called me Love! She even made me a cozy spot (at the market place) as you can see in the photo attached. I spend all day sleeping but at night sometime I hide so she won’t find me when she goes home so I get to spend all night in the market looking for mice, bugs and all that fun! I feel empowered being in charge with the place.
In fact my mummy lives in UK and I don’t understand why she’s selling wild berries here in Central Europe - guess she has a summer house somewhere nearby this market! Anyway, she’ll return to UK in October and she’ll take me with her.
George, are there any farmers’ markets in UK? Do you have mice? I don’t know if I’ll be living in the countryside or a flat in London but I wonder how could I enjoy my stay over there! What cats do in UK?
Yours,
Love

Dear Love,
What a great name. Cats in the UK do what cats in Central Europe do. When they have eaten, they chill out like you are chilling out in the photo. All of us, wherever we are, have a talent for serene relaxation - as long as we have food, water and shelter.
If we are allowed to, we hunt. Hunting is what we were designed to do. I hunt house mice, wood mice, rats just like the ones in Central Europe. And occasionally I hunt bugs and flies too. 
We do have farmer's markets in the UK but usually cats are not encouraged to hang around them - due to boring human health and safety obsessions. Write me another letter when you get to the UK. I love your colouring - striped tabby with bits of ginger. Very attractive. You will create a sensation in the UK.
Love to Love,
George.
 

 

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.


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