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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I'm handsome and affectionate - so why can't I find a home?

Dear George,
My name is Chilli - but I am gentle not peppery. I'm loving. I'm handsome with wonderful white whiskers but here I am stuck in a cattery without a human pet. 
Can you give me any advice on how to get out of here.  And how to purrsuade a human to be adopted.
I want to get back into the real world again.
Yours 
Chilli.

Dear Chilli,
The first step is to get noticed. As people pass your pen, you must make them stop to take a look at you. This requires you either to walk to the front of the pen and miaow. Or  if you are sitting on a ledge nearer human eyesight (which is uncomfortably high) as well as the miaow you must do something unusual. Sitting back on your haunches might work. Or better still standing up on your hind legs.  Putting a paw to your eye, as if wiping off a tear, might also work.
Once you get their attention, you can begin purr very loudly indeed. You already have your tail in the correct tail-up position - the position which tells them that you like them. If you are near the wire of the pen, go right up to it and rub. 
If possible roll over and expose your tummy to them, always giving them eye contact at the same time. 
Miaow some more. And some more. In between the purring. Humans do a lot of vocalisation so this is likely to appeal to them.
Yours cheerfully
George

Saturday, March 18, 2017

I’m my Mama’s boy! How to keep it that way.

Dear George, 
Yes, I’m my Mama’s boy and it feels sooooo good (as you can see in the picture).
But, I’m in a fierce competition with my brother Rocky; not that Rocky cares, not even for a faint second, who in fact is the mama’s boy! He just wants to annoy me! And he does! Rocky is such a mischievous cat! I know our Mom loves us both but I was her first rescue! I was her first “fur baby”! So, in the name of my “rescue right” I expect to be recognised as my Mama’s boy and I want everybody else in our household to acknowledge it! George, what do I need to do to maintain my Status Quo?
Any tips or tricks?
Cheers,
Stanley

Dear Stanley,
That is a cute pose - tongue out, paws up, and tummy exposed. Few humans could resist that one! It feeds into their innate maternal instinct for cradling.
Purr loudly and purr often. They love to listen to purring. It soothes and pleases them. Miaow in moderation. The frequent and intense miaowing made by Siamese is not to every human's liking. So use miaows less frequently than purrs. But they still work well to get attention. High pitched is better than low sounding. Run a few tests. Do your humans like one long-lasting miaows or several short ones?
Tactile signals are cute too. While your human is lying in bed rub your cheek against hers. That's a no brainer! A gentle purr at the same time will seem even cuter. Rubbing against the legs and arms is fine too. Slow blinking is another great sign of affection too. And don't forget the slow little paw pat on the face as a wake-up call (claws firmly retracted for this one).
A little gentle play with whatever toy is around will please them too. Show off your graceful pouncing. It is our cute looks that seem to turn them on. Why else have cats taken over the internet, a visual medium if ever there was one. Charm never fails.
Do all this, and you keep Rocky into second place without  doubt. 
Yours admiringly
George.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The SNIP....why do we have it and why don't humans?

Dear George,

I have been rescued few days ago and my new humans instead of taking me to my forever home they took me to a place called “clinic” where I was given a shot and there I went dreaming. When I woke up I was wearing this terrible thing around my head (as you can see in the photo) and didn’t understand why. I meowed them asking what’s going on? What happened to me? Are they going to harm me? They laughed and said “No, baby, we will never harm you! We adopted you because we love you so much”.
Then, they went on saying that “this is snip month” and it’s only going to benefit me! Well, as much as their assurance is comforting to some degree …I feel I’m missing some “parts” of me now. Quite perplexing as I still don’t see how all this is going to benefit me?
If March is “the snip month” ....do the human males get snipped as well? Is this snipping
thing going to benefit them too? Uh! George, I’m too young to understand all this!  
Can you explain it to me, please?
Very curious,
Misha

Dear Misha, 
The same thing happened to me. I lead a celibate life of my own choice due to surgical alteration at an early age. It's a calm life without fights (with the risk of catching FIV), without roaming in search of sex (with the risk of a traffic accident) without urine spraying (which keeps my human happy). Even feral cats are healthier after neutering and spaying.
But one thing troubles me. If we are happier after this, why don't humans practice it worldwide on themselves? Surely their own lives would benefit. Human overpopulation would fall, the natural world would flourish better with fewer humans. Men would get into fewer fights and women would not be exhausted or even killed by repeated child bearing. We need a worldwide campaign to neuter and spay humans!
They call us selfish but if you want to find a selfish species you only have to look at Homo so-called sapiens. They blame us for killing wildlife, but who has been slaughtering elephants, big cats, and ruining the habitat for wildlife. Not us.
Yours indignantly
George.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Of cats training their human pets.... "cat paralysis"

-->Dear George,Last week letter and Tommy’s story inspired me to write this one from my own experience. If you remember about a year ago I was rescued from the streets by this couple with their clear intention to take me to a clinic and treat my many wounds (both physically and emotionally) and then to put me up for adoption. I saw them screening very carefully everybody manifesting a wish to take me in.
Of course in the process they fell in love with me and today I’m running their house! Even more, I didn’t need to train them through the “reward & punishment” cycle as they were quite well trained already but I started training them in what I would call “cat paralysis,” meaning I jump on one’s lap and that person can’t move until I get tired of sitting there so I leave….releasing them to freely move around! For whatever reason it didn’t work well with mummy (she can’t stay still – quite unnerving) but worked wonders with daddy (as you can see in the photo attached). What it’s very rewarding in fact is that I can get as many treats as I want and as often as I want. Why? Because they think they outsmart me and when daddy goes really numb from staying still he’s asking mummy to give me some treats hoping I’ll be tempted to jump down from his lap so he can move! The whole scenario makes me laugh my head off as I get everything I want this way…..being loved, cuddled up and eating treats!
Ah! I love my human pets! So, George what do you think? Maybe we should write a book about this special training program so other cats will benefit from it? With cheers & a good laugh  
Chico

Dear Chico, 
I am always keen to learn about tricks that can be taught to humans and about new techniques for doing this. "Cat paralysis" is a really good idea, not unlike the way humans teach dogs (poor idiots) to "stay." You seem to have cured that particularly irritating human behaviour of shifting around when we are sleeping on them.  Well, at least you have your male pet trained. Now start working on the female.
I wonder if you could transfer this technique to the bed. I suffer from the way my human, whom I generously allow to share the double bed with me, will thrash about in her sleep. I have to keep waking up and moving to get out of her way. If you find you can stop your male human moving around in the bed, please let me know urgently.
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