Follow by Email

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.

 

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