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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.

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