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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.

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