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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Who is the boss? Do we need a Mew Too movement?


Dear George,
Good question and quick answer: me…me…and me! I AM the BOSS!
Why I’m wearing “my name” on? Because everybody in my house wants to be the Alpha Cat (and I’m not talking cats here….I’m talking humans).
I’ve learned that the best boss is the one who has sense enough to pick good humans to do what he wants done and, self-restraint to keep from meddling with them why they do it!
My humans don’t understand this simple concept! Whatever I asked them to do they look at me first and they laugh! It is a happy laugh but I don’t need it! For example: I asked them for my treats at “treats time” - what do they do? They bring the treats but, at the same time they want to hold me or pet me or rub my belly! Damn it! I’m the Boss! Just give me the treats – that’s it! No cuddling! I tried to teach them the three “C’s” of leadership which are Cats! Cats! Cats! What did they do? They made a banner reading: Consideration! Caring! Courtesy!
George, what do I do? I’m at my limit of exasperation! Maybe I’ll shred their banner to pieces and replace it with one that reads: “Don’t blame the Boss. He has enough problems”. What do you think?
Yours
Minky, the Boss

Dear Minky,
We need a Mewtoo movement to help stamp out human harassment. Their hands get everywhere. They pick us up, swooping down from a height and literally pulling us high without so much as a "Please" or "May I?" They grab at us like that guy with a hamster on his head (see PS). And like him they seem to think they are entitled.
Keep fighting for your proper place in the family -- top Alpha cat. Start as you mean to go on. It's may become a claw and order situation - your claws to keep them in order.
Of course you are the Boss. That banner, Consideration! Caring! Courtesy! applies to them. Not us.
Yours
George
PS. This photo is Toby being trumped. He did not enjoy being made to look like You Know Who.

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Saturday, December 08, 2018

Of whiskers and humans...

Dear George,
I need your help to understand humans and their true nature and behavior better. 
You see, my mommy is a medical doctor but not a behavioural specialist and she couldn’t answer my question! She’s specialized in something very difficult to pronounce so I won’t even bother.
Anyway, sometimes she takes me to her office. She created a room for me there, kind of a nursery. I can stay in there and watch people through a glass door – very funny! Last week we had to take the subway twice to the office since she took her car for a tune-up and, no, we couldn’t get a taxi which was very frustrating!  
I found the whole experience very interesting and amusing! Amusing to observe humans when they don’t realized that I was a hidden camera! At times was really hard not to laugh out loud! What I came to realize was that people try really hard to copy us – yes, like in the copycat song released last year by Billie Eilish: “Copycat trying to cop my manner….Copycat trying to cop my glamour”.
George, humans are trying to grow whiskers! Mostly the men! I’ve seen few elderly ladies trying really hard though! The younger ladies are more focus on eyelashes! Guess they can’t grow anything compare to ours so they using fake ones! So, so funny! But, my question is: why are humans trying so hard to imitate us? What is all this about?
Yours …in disguise  
Angelica

Dear Angelica
At last humans are beginning to see that our beauty and our lifestyle are well worth imitating. Their rather pathetic attempts at growing whiskers are a good example. Yes, the males manage a lot of hair round the lower half of their heads and (like our whiskers) the hairs are stronger than their normal head fur. But....
The whiskers don't work like ours. They don't work at all. We can move our whiskers backwards and forwards. We can detect surfaces (rough or smooth) with them. And when we swing them forward, if we have a mouse in our jaws, we can tell if the prey is struggling or limp. It's our sixth sense, almost. Watch them here.
Human whiskers can do none of these things.
Poor idiots. They do try, you know. I have written a manual entitled 100 Ways to be More like Your Cat, to help them. Anonymously, of course. It seemed to unkind to mention whiskers, so I concentrated on other lifestyle advice!
Yours
George.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Do cats need to take supplements?


Dear George,
I’m quite worried about my mummy as I believe she fell victim to marketing and advertising promoting supplements and superfoods for pets. Lately she behaves very strange and our kitchen start looking like an apothecary, if you know what I mean!
Little bottles and containers with mysterious stuff inside… on every single counter! When she’s preparing my food she’s like a pharmacist measuring and weighting powders and other things.
I’m damn sure she doesn’t try to poison me but all this it’s very unsettling for me! I heard her saying that I should get more anti-oxidants! Why? I don’t have “oxidants” in my body so why taking “anti” something that I don’t have? The other day I caught her ordering online some “super greens” for me.
Could this be genetically modified cat grass? If that’s what it is….then, no thank you! I would not have that – very damaging to anybody’s health. Our bodies are so much smaller compared to humans’ bodies! It will be devastating! I think she’s watching too many commercials on TV! Definitely she’s following too many holistic veterinarians (not that they are any different than the others…they all smell the same). George, I don’t know what to do about this situation! Do cats really need to take supplements? I need you advice! And, in the meantime I’ll have some “regular”, normal grown cat grass (oats) as you can see in the photo attached.
Chico

Dear Chico,
We cats are carnivores with a digestive system that is designed to eat the bodies of rodents, birds and insects. That means not just their flesh but their innards, their skin, their bones, etc. We probably eat a little green stuff in the rodent gut and we definitely eat grass occasionally.
An all-flesh diet of something like steak doesn't give us everything we need. Nor does an all-vegetable diet. Nor does an all-fish diet. An all-liver diet can kill us with hypervitaminosis. Feeding a home-made diet is complicated.
In the past we cats were fed scraps and milk and fish (those two items used to be cheap) and we supplemented our diet with catching mice and birds. Cats fed odd diets by their owners can still do that, as long as they have a cat flap. But cats that live indoors without a cat flap cannot do that.
So supplements for cats on home-made diets are a good idea. Which ones? Your owner should ask a qualified vet for advice and follow it. It's probably better to choose a well qualified vet and stick to their advice, rather than taking a piece of advice here and another there and maybe getting muddled.  As for TV commercials, Youtube "influencers," pet shops, etc - these are not the right places to get advice. They do not know enough.
You've gone through so much, you need the best, Chico.
Yours
George.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Can my human infect me?


Dear George,
Looking at the picture attached you might be horrified thinking of the worst scenario but, please take a deep breath and relax …as I am okay! The little “chair on wheels” is not for me…it is for my human auntie who is a stubborn eccentric! I told her many times to be careful when walking outside on an icy road! I told her that not only she doesn’t use all her limbs to walk …she’s using just two of them and she doesn’t have proper claws – humans’ claws are so brittle! I told her that her high heel boots are not proper claws and don’t give same grip as our twenty-two claws! Did she listen to me? Of course not!
She went out on stilettos, slipped, fell and broke one leg! Who’s suffering now? ME!
Because she needs to stay at my place now, take over my room and bed while I’m being left with this little thing that moves around (if you push it)! The cast on her leg freaks me out and I’m too mad at her to share the bed. I’d gladly “unpunish” my mommy and share the master bedroom but she’s coughing and sneezing! I don’t know what’s wrong with humans but my question to you George is: what are the chances for us cats to catch a cold from a human?
In distress,
Shumba

Dear Shumba,
Another example of Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Good. No wonder they fall down, as they totter about with only two legs, no proper claws to grip the ground when unsteady, and without that miraculous feline balance which allows us to walk along narrow fences without falling. As for high heels ... the sheer stupidity of humans takes my breath away. 
That said, the wheelchair makes quite a good cat chair for you! So it's not all bad news.
Can you catch a cold from your human? There are one or two cold of flu viruses which humans can pass on to us but this doesn't happen very often. Most of the time when we start sneezing or coughing, we have caught a cat virus not a human one. Every now and again excitable humans get worried about catching flu from us: that's not impossible but it's not very likely.  Most of the time we don't share the same cold and 'flu viruses.
Just make sure she doesn't run you over when she is using those wheels!
Yours
George
 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Of humans, cats and exercise!

Dear George,
I’m totally puzzled by the amount of money, time and attention humans spend on such “non-sense” as exercise or work-out (if you wish)! I look at my human mommy and wonder about her sanity! She gets the latest fashionable sport gears, she’s getting up at 6 in the morning to run her 3k like a maniac, she’s obsessed with cardio, aerobic, yoga, etc. – you name it and she’ll be right on! I no longer know what to make of her! I really think I like my human daddy better! Not that he’s lazy but he doesn’t do all these crazy things! I think he’s a great cat at heart! George, my problem is: how do I convince my mommy that following the cats’ path to wellbeing is better and safer that the crazy things she does now!  How do I convince her that getting up late, being late for work, staying in bed with me and just doing the stretch I do (see the photo attached) is much more fun and much safer than running outside in cold weather! So much more joyful and peaceful!
Are most humans actually incarnated dogs? Definitely dogs will do these crazy things!

Puzzled, lazy but… happy
Stanley

Dear Stanley,
Humans would be so much happier if they imitated us cats. We know how to relax and we also know how to minimize effort (which isn't quite the same thing!). And we don't spend money on sports clothing. Indeed, we are purrfectly happy even though we don't spend money at all. Not a cent. Not a penny.
How do you convince a human to slow down? Impossible, I fear. They are a restless species unable to lead a sensible life. My latest book, 100 Ways to be More Like Your Cat, (alas published under the name of my human pet, Celia, and available here) tries to bet through to humans. But I don't think it working.
Yours gloomily
George
PS. Don't get me started on dogs and their craziness.
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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Cats in books - and how to make an affirmation board

Dear George,
I’d like to share some good news and some not so good!
Good news: I took up reading! I had to since my human pets are avid readers and like to cozy up with a book by my side! One on each side. 
Not so good:  I have to stay put…sometimes for hours! I know they need my emotional and physical support but sometimes I feel like a book holder – holding a book for each!
At the beginning I was like “OK! I’m killing time…so I was napping! But after a while I started browsing through their books and I must admit I found interesting things!
Interesting sayings! Words of wisdom! I’ll share some: “The purity of a person’s heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals” - Anonymous or “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Mahatma Gandhi
“I’ve met many thinkers and many cats, but the wisdom of cats is infinitely superior” –Hippolyte Taine or “I’m fond of pigs! Dogs look up to us! Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals” – Sir Winston Churchill.
And my favorite of all: “There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats” – Anonymous! Isn’t this great wisdom?
George, I’d like to make a “daily affirmation” board for my human pets! How do I make it? Any suggestions? Ah! So, so inspirational!
Hmm! I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by my own ideas …I think I’ll take a nap for now!  
“If you want to write, keep cats.” – Aldous Huxley
Chico

Dear Chico,
I have made an affirmation board for myself out of a bedroom door. If it is shut, I go into creative mode and run my claws downwards and slantwise. This results in interesting affirmative patterns which inspire me to  artistic further effort. My human, however, has no artistic taste and dislikes these intensely. However, they have inspired her to leave the door half open most of the time. (This means it swings so I cannot add to my art). 
Try it, Chico. The path of a feline artist is a lonely one. But maybe your humans are more creative than mine. 
Yours 
George.
PS. Love the quotes.
PPS. Maybe wallpaper would make a good affirmation board.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Camping for cats....

Dear George, 
After reading other cats’ letters posted on your blog about surfing, hiking, fishing, cat scanning the neighbourhood, etc. I decided I’d go…camping! Thought it would be soooo cool for a cat to go…. camping! Anyway, my plan came true but only half! 
When my human pets heard about my plan they were in total shock and decided: “noooo way Jose”! That’s what they said! Well, I was a bit confused since my name is Jasper not Jose but I blamed their lapse of memory on their mental shock! Never thought I could disturb my humans’ logic so bad by just voicing my desire to go camping! I still don’t understand what’s wrong with camping but, at least they came up with a solution! 
They bought me a little tent so I can go …..camping in my backyard! I know it not the same like camping into the woods but being in my backyard is not that bad either. Mummy tried to scare me with the many dangers lurking out into the woods but I didn’t believe her! Anyway, I got my tent but now I have another problem! My brother Riley doesn’t understand that the tent is mine. He constantly keep sneaking in. Mummy bought him his own tent but, still …he’s all the time into mine (see the photo attached); the worst of it? We end up fighting! 
George, how do I make him understand that he got his own tent?
In desperation  
Jasper

Dear Jasper,
I can see that you don't look too happy by the backward position of your ears. It's a really difficult dilemma. My advice is not to let your human get involved.... if they interfere it may make things worse. Humans think it is natural to share: cats don't share except with very special friends (which presumably Riley is not).
My suggestion - a very tentative one - is that immediately Riley comes into your tent, you leave and take up position in his tent. This is worth a try.  If he takes your tent and stays there, you can take his tent and make it properly yours.  Though he might just follow you again into his tent....
If that happens just leave both of them to him and find a nicer place - like a heap of clean laundry.
Yours
George. 
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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Black Cat Day - Black Cats Matter.

Dear George,
Nobody wants us because we are black. It's a terrible example of human discrimination. What is wrong with black?
The other kittens, both tabby, found a home, but we didn't. How are we going to make humans understand that black cats are just as lovely as white ones, or tabbies, or gingers.
Please help educate humans.
Yours
Geraldine and Gerald.

Dear Brother Kittens,
We black cats need to solidarity with each other. We deserve the same love and care as any other cats. 
A human told me a horrible story about an American cat "rescue" shelter. Every Halloween stray black cats were handed into the shelter to "save" them from being thrown on to Halloween bonfires. And every year, because so few people wanted black cats, they were just euthanased. They would have been better off on the streets.
Don't let this happen. Black cats matter too. Please spread the message.
Yours
George

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Dear George,
I am waiting to adopt a suitable human pet. This accomodation is far from ideal. I can see them, but I cannot smell them through the glass. However, I can hear their vocalisations, when they come close to look at me.
What kind of human is best to adopt? What should I be looking for in order to get good household staff?
Yours,
Sam.

Dear Sam,
Here are my thoughts about suitable human pets. I can't tell you what to do, but be careful. Consider these possibilities:
  • Oldies. These have usually had staff experience in looking after cats. Now that age has "neutered" them, they are likely to be in a quiet household with nothing much to do except care for you. They stay at home all day with the heating on, instead of leaving home for 8-10 hours a day at "work."
  • Young male/female couples. If you are energetic and confident these can be fun. However, there is the danger of pregnancy, babies and toddlers. This takes the focus off proper cat care.
  • Young male/male couples. These make great pets. Less danger of babies/toddlers messing up your home or pulling your tail.
  • Dog owners. Forget them. You are going to have to share your home with a slobbery subservient dog that looks up to humans....
  • Cat addicts. Avoid these like the plague. One cat per bedroom should be the rough rule. These addicts fill the house with cats, often don't have proper hygeine, can't afford vet fees....
Good luck... Worst come to the worst, once you get out of this pen and into a proper cat home, you can always rehome yourself.
Yours
George.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Of cats and birthday presents from humans.

Dear George,
I’ve just turned four and I need your help to solve my dilemma; I have a feeling that my human pets didn’t really celebrate my birthday properly! I don’t exactly recall how did they celebrate my other three birthdays but I have this nagging feeling that they didn’t put too much effort into this year celebration. You see, I’m grateful I’ve rescued this stray family with two human kittens and no cats four years ago when I was just a tiny, few weeks old kitten. They seemed to be very happy all this time and I must admit they were very good servants so far. But, growing older and, obviously wiser I started questioning their deeds and, above all their motives! It looks like this year they “gifted” me with a new fence that I can’t climb so I’m confined in my own backyard. They know I love to wonder around the neighborhood so why would they do this to me? It is true they also gifted me with a little hammock and a cushioned basket for the backyard but I’m in my own backyard missing out peeing on my neighbor’s bed of flowers for example!For my birthday dinner I was served with one of my favorite pâté but where was my fresh, juicy mouse with four little candles on its head? Were my humans too lazy to hunt?
George, …these little things are bothering me. Are my humans slacking on their duties? Should I retaliate? Strong or mild punishment? Please advise!
Confused birthday boy,
Leo

Dear Leo,
Humans are hopeless at giving presents. Remember their horrified reactions, when you could still get your paws on a mouse and you gave the wriggling little morsel to them! Not a single "Thank you, Leo." Just squeals of dismay. Like me, you have probably tried over and over again to make them express some gratitude - dead mice, living mice, half dead rabbits and even (I dare say) the odd rat.
They are equally hopeless at giving presents. A mouse with four candles would have been wonderful. Instead you just get more tinned food. Not the same thing at all. How often have you been presented with false furry toy, when you would really have enjoyed a real furry rodent! Too many times!

What to do? My own technique is to follow the traditional feline advice. If it is theirs, take it over. If it is yours, ignore it.
Make your feelings clear by refusing to set paw in the hammock and the basket. Sit in the cardboard boxes that these items came instead.
Yours George
PS. I'd have eaten the pate too. Not a mouse but a shame to waste food.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Of cats and catteries - and how to survive them

Dear George,
I have two questions for you. First: why do humans have that need to wonder away from home for two weeks or more at a time? They call this “holiday” or “vacation” – depending on which side of the pond one lives!
Second: why do they think that placing us in catteries or boarding us on veterinarians’ offices each time they get this “wandering away” itch, that they re doing us a favor?
Hope you can shed some light on the topic as I was put again in a cattery and I came back home sick from the food I ate there. It wasn’t fun. Now, my human is trying to bribe me with two new brushes (as you can see in the photo attached). I love brushes and I love being brushed!
But, I’ve heard of and read about “live-in” cat-sitters or friendly neighbors who come twice a day or even a professional sitter who would come 2-3 times a day to check on us, feed us and clean after us! I rather stay in my home/territory than sharing the space with other cats while we are all constrained in cages.
She doesn’t do me any favor! How do I tell her?
In gratitude for your advice
Shumba

Dear Shumba,
Catteries? I call them prisons. Hateful, hateful places smelling of disinfectant and other cats. The sheer horror of the smells makes me feel sick. Humans are so nose blind that they don't even realise the stress of the new scents. My human does the same to me. Locks me up in a cat pen. She hasn't got a reliable sitter. I have a cat flap at home, so she feels I might leave home if she deserts me to go on one of her "holidays." And what a shameful dereliction of duty, that is!
I suggest you punish her when you get home. Refuse to talk to her. Refuse to sleep on the same bed as she does. Turn your back on her as much as possible. You might also, if you are very very angry, spray on her bed. Humans hate this: yet all we are doing is mixing our scent with theirs in a masterful exaggerated way. Try it! But make sure you do that first thing, so she links it with having been in the lock-up.
How to survive in the nick (ie a prison cattery)? I always take my own food with me. And my own bedding. And my own toy. And sometimes my own litter, too. It helps to have a little scent of home in these hostile surroundings.
Yours
George.



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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Cat scanning the neighborhood

Dear George,
Cat scanning is what I’m doing as you can see in the photo attached! I’m X-Raying the neighborhood in search of a hot spot in someone’s garden or a chance for an extra- meal or treats or even a secondary home I can rely on …in case I need to rehome myself!
But, as good as I am at cat scanning I don’t know how to determine what neighbor is “cat friendly”! Of course, I avoid the ones who have dogs living with them or multiple cat-houses! No, thank you as I aim to always be the Alpha Cat!
So, George I would really appreciate few tips on how to recognize the cat friendly neighbors! 
Yours truly, 
Lila 
Dear Lila,
It's not easy to recognise cat friendly humans, because they don't have tails. We put our tails up, sometimes with an extra kink, when we want to show to a human, or another cat, that we are friendly. They can see this signal as we walk towards them. Without a tail, this isn't possible. (Not sure how Manx cats cope!).
It is always good to have a Plan B for Rehoming. Reasons to leave home include a new cat, a new dog, a new human boyfriend, and a human kitten. (Human babies are not only hairless but they are very noisey and smell odd. Weirdest of all, their human parents dote on them!). Any new living being in the house (except goldfish or little birds) can be very upsetting.
Which is another reason for cat scanning. We need to make sure that every inch of our core territory and hunting range is safe and welcoming. Have you thought about getting up on the roof? Also check out the roof of the car, the garden shed, or next door's garage.
Yours 
George.
PS. This blog may not appear next week as my secretary is on holiday and my paws cannot manage the keyboard.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Pet Memorial Day - Cats remembered



Dear George,
September 9th is National “Pet Memorial Day” and I thought it would be quite appropriate to honor our beloved furry babies by remembering and acknowledging once again the important role they all have played in our lives! We form strong emotional connections with them! For some of us they become the best companion one could wish for, for some of us they become great teachers while for others they become best play pals! 
Whatever role they played in one’s life I know there was a strong bond and when they crossed the Rainbow Bridge we cried in disbelief, were sad, angry, depressed or confused. Some crossed over of old age, some from being ill and some crossed to make room for another cat or dog in need! It is hard to believe but it does happen – I call these ones Angels! I know there are many that are gone but I’d like to take a moment to honor and remember some of the cats I came to know on this very blog: William, Whicky Wuudler, Fluffy, Cayenne, Sigi, Oscar, Felix, Sir Winston and the list…sadly could go on and on! 
But I truly believe we should honor them by remembering them in their good days and years, how playful they were, how much unconditional love they gave us! How truly loving, lovely and beautiful they were! I’d like to dedicate this poem to all of them!

“Poem For Cats

And God asked the feline spirit
Are you ready to come home?
Oh, yes, quite so, replied the precious soul
And, as a cat, you know I am most able
To decide anything for myself.

Are you coming then? asked God.
Soon, replied the whiskered angel
But I must come slowly
For my human friends are troubled
For you see, they need me, quite certainly.

But don't they understand? asked God
That you'll never leave them?
That your souls are intertwined. For all eternity?
That nothing is created or destroyed?
It just is....forever and ever and ever.

Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.
                Author Unknown

In our fur babies loving memory,
A Cat Mom



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Saturday, September 01, 2018

Lauging at my humans' inability to become Master Mousers.

Dear George,
Looking at my photo (attached) you might think I’m yawning or screaming but I really don’t! What I’m doing thou is laughing out loud… at my human pets! You see, I live in a posh neighbourhood where everybody is minding their own business ….neighbours don’t share too much of a social life! I think my humans are the only ones enjoying the outdoors and once in a while a BBQ! It looks to me that my humans are the only ones eating meat on our street! I don’t know if the others are barbequing carrots but

I decided to teach my humans how to hunt for a fresh, juicy steak, sorry…mouse! 

I must admit I totally failed! When I first came home with a fresh, still alive mouse my mummy screamed so hard that she scared the heck out of me and the mouse! So, I gave up on her. Next I tried my human daddy but I wasn’t any more successful than first time!

When I brought him a little bird to taste he was in such a shock that I really gasped in disbelief and the bird flew away! Phew! Damn it! I said to myself I’m not going to give up on him so easily! Next I brought him a baby rabbit! Do you think he was pleased or grateful? No! He yelled at me! Well, this was too much! Having enough of it I let the rabbit go!  George, why are humans so difficult to train? I’d like to know what I did wrong that I failed so miserably. In the meantime I’m rolling on my back laughing out loud as I let my humans believe that all meat comes from the frozen section at the superstore!

Yours….in disbelief

Bear

Dear Bear,
Humans are so ungrateful. I have over the course of several years presented my human with mice, shrews, rats (dead and alive), a dead weasel (really hard to catch), and several baby rabbits, some of them still alive. Like you, I have suffered from screams, yells and hysteria (over the live rat). It is extremely hurtful.
The live rat was my final effort to teach them to hunt. I left it in the kitchen for Celia to finish off. I thought that its athletic abilities -- it ran up the corner of the wall - would arouse her hunting instinct. Nothing of the kind.  So I had to grab it myself and she shooed me out and shut the cat flap.
The smallest kitten learns to hunt. How can these humans be so foolish. I have repeatedly tried to educate Celia - she just cannot learn.
Yours
George.

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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Blowing a kiss to the cat sitter - punishing humans for "holidays"

Dear George,
Yes, that’s true as you can see in the photo attached! But now I’m in big trouble and I need your help! My intention wasn’t to kiss my cat-sitter good-by, not at all….my intention was to punish my mommy who dared to go on a two week vacation without even asking me or getting my permission! 
See, my mommy rescued me 8 years ago as a kitten and she never went away …not even for a day! But she decided on the spare of the moment to fly across the pond and visit some relatives of hers. She let me home with this live-in cat-sitter, a friend of hers!
Well, considering that they were friends I tried every trick I knew to scare the sitter! I even pretended I ran away from home but in reality I was hiding under a bush in my neighbor’s backyard! I must admit I was delighted to see this lady panicking, calling my name, going from door to door! You might wonder why I did all this! Well I did just to scare my cat-sitter enough to report to my mommy and hoping that….after all this mommy will never ever go away! The cat-sitter is really a nice lady but she didn’t tell mommy anything! 
And that’s why I’m in trouble now; mommy thinks I behaved and I’m a good girl, the cat-sitter thinks I don’t like her and she’ll never come back and in the meantime I’m being left empty paws….no promises from anybody! George, how do I mend my relationship with the cat-sitter?  And most importantly how do I punish my mommy? She must be punished! Must be!
Yours,
Jessica

Dear Jessica,
It's the principle of it, isn't it! How dare humans neglect their duty in this way. Going away on a "holiday" is just not acceptable to us cats. No matter how pleasant the cat sitter, no matter how good the service,  the absence of trained staff is always disruptive.
It could be worse. I get put in a prison cell sometimes for as long as a fortnight. A whole 14 days of sitting surrounded by stranger cats, nothing to do, no familiar humans, horrible smells. The only  thing that keeps me going is planning how to punish my human when I get out.
The so called "silent treatment", refusing to interact at all, is what  I aim at. I  don't rub against them. I don't purr. I move away if they try to pet me. I sleep on the spare be at night. If I have sufficient control, I refuse to eat in front of them, waiting to scoff it down during the early hours. And if a stranger visits, I smother the with affection in contrast to my cold distance towards my humans.
Believe me it works. They get ridiculously upset. Try it.
Yours 
George

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Why do cats surf? Train the humans instead.

Dear George,
I have a question for you! The other night I caught my human pet watching videos with cats surfing! I know cats generally speaking don’t like water or crowded places so my question to you is: what’s wrong with these cats? One of them, Kuli seems to be very brave since she’s one eyed cat surfing in Hawaii. Another (her name is Dinga) was skateboarding on the streets! The youngest of all (Boomer) was water-skiing and jumping up the trees! Phew! Are they so desperately bored? Or are they somehow engineered? You know ….like in being “genetically modified”? I mean…look at me (photo attached) lying down comfortably in my favorite spot on my favorite couch and purring happy purrs! My human pet says I’m a couch potato! I ignore such comments! But, out of curiosity….are there cats that really enjoy these things?Are they bribed with treats or what? I’m sending you the links so you can watch the videos for yourself and give us your honest opinion!
All good,
Marty

Dear Marty,
I think these cats have made a big mistakes. They have let themselves be trained by humans instead of being the trainer and training their humans to do cat-like activities like climbing trees, catching mice or using a man flap instead of doors.
I look forward to the day when we will see these trained humans performing on Youtube. For instance, training Donald Trump to jump through a hoop would be fun. Or training Jeremy Corbyn to catch ducklings in St James' Park like Palmerston the cat. Or training Mrs May to ambush mice in the cabinet room. These would make great Youtube videos.
Yours
George
PS. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Rules for sharing the bed with humans....

Dear George,
 I have been wondering whether I have been spoiling my humans. I allow them to share the bed with me? Will this give them ideas above their station and make them think they are my equals?
If letting them sleep on my bed at night is a bad idea, what alternatives are there? The sofa? Or perhaps just the carpet in the living room?
Please advise,
Yours
Coco

Dear Coca,
This is a dilemma common to all cats. It's good to be generous to our humans and, to be realistic, they wouldn't fit into those odd little beds that they bought for us. So share the bed, but do so in the right way. 
Here are my rules for bed sharing with humans.
1. Get on to the bed first and choose the position which suits you. They can fit themselves round you. The middle of the bed is yours. The edges are theirs.
2. Insist that they sleep without moving. If you own a couple of humans, discourage any thought of human sex by walking up the bed, sitting firmly near their heads on the pillow, and staring at them with utter disdain.
3. Make sure they do not take up too much room. By gently but firmly leaning against them, you can imperceptibly move them to the edge of the bed without even waking them.
4. The bottom of the bed is yours on hot nights, when their bodies give out too much heat. Spread yourself over their toes, which will be withdrawn giving you more space.
5. The top of the bed is yours if you enjoy waking and petting your human. A strong purr and some careful grooming of their fur will ensure they give you enough space.
6. The space between two human bodies is yours during cold nights. Too bad if they want to cuddle: they should have thought of that before they got a cat.
Sleep well.
Yours
George

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Hot nights and how to enjoy them safely.

Dear George,
I’ve been in quite a lot of trouble lately. These long hot summer days are ideal for wandering the local neighbourhood. I’ve been raiding the birds’ nests, stalking moths in the middle of the night, and I even had a bit of a face-off with ‘Teddy’ who lives over the road. I love to get him riled up but, on this occasion, he bit me and pulled out some of my precious fur.
The staff (my humans) were in such a state of worry when I returned at dawn that morning. They kept me indoors for a week! I was so desperate to get outside that I climbed out of an upstairs window in protest.
Good news is that we’ve found a solution we are all happy with – they have cat-proofed the garden with fence top brackets that I cannot jump over. Now they are happy for me to come and go as I please, so I can stalk moths all night long!
Yours,
Darius.

Dear Darius,
This is a good solution for a worrying problem. I live surrounded by fields (killing fields for me) down a cart track, so I am free from most dangers except foxes. Even so, I am called in every night at about 10pm for a last meal, which means I miss lots of hunting in the long moonlit summer nights.
Other cats face the dangers of road traffic accidents, feral dogs, coyotes, railway engines and feral young humans. They are therefore made into indoor-only cats, which is fine if they are given enough to do. Ideas here. But without proper feline arrangements, it can be devastatingly boring!
Your Protectapet fencing is the ideal half-way house. Well done for having chosen relatively intelligent humans! These are rare!
Yours
George
PS. For those outside the UK who cannot buy this go to Icatcare for alternative ideas.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Important - what your human must do in an emergency

Dear George,
I’m educating myself by reading the letters posted on your blog lately! I got plenty ideas on how to train my human in areas where she lacks wisdom and experience but, there is one thing I couldn’t find on your blog and it’s kind of bothering me! How do we train our humans in case of an emergency? And I’m not thinking just of the fire alarm going off or a power outage because of a thunderstorm! Of course all these things are good to know but I’m thinking of a health scare, emergency, accidents, etc. The other day I went to visit my dog friend – yes, I befriended a dog since his human mummy is giving me treats every time I stop by and I found everybody in serious distress. My friend’s mummy was in an accident and she’s now badly hurt and in hospital. What does one do in such cases? And, in worst scenario …how do we avoid getting back in shelters?
Can you talk to our human parents and advise them to think of our well being and always have a plan in place for us?
With gratitude
Jimmy

Dear Jimmy,
Such a good question... because most humans have a mental dysfunction which mean they cannot look forward in time for such an eventuality. They deny the possibility that it will happen. They cannot face even the thought of death. Yet they worry about the future all the time -- will I get a raise? will I get fired? will my hospital bills get paid. All things which might not happen. Poor animals. So full of anxieties and so unable to face the truth that 100% of us, cats and humans, will die.
Humans should be putting us in their will, reminding their next of kin about us and - most importantly - carrying an emergency wallet card. Thanks to your letter, Celia (who is my secretary and therefore read it)  has just ordered one which has space for mentioning me.  She assured me that the next of kin will also make sure I am OK. 
This is probably the most important letter I will every write on this blog.
Yours
George

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Remaining a cool cat in a heat wave


Dear George,
Lately we have been hit with temperatures rising to 36 degrees Celsius and over. I’ve heard about some humans suffering really bad from this unusual heat wave.
I’ve found out that even London was hit with hot weather! The problem is that humans can dress sensible but we have to wear our fur coat year around! So, how does one stay cool and hydrated? I personally have central air conditioning but mommy did set it up on low as she doesn’t like cold indoors! So, she is dropping 2-3 ice cubes in my water bowl before she heads to work and when she comes back she’s always taking a damp washcloth and stroke me. She does this sometimes even in the winter when she thinks the indoor air is too dry even with the humidifier on! I must admit I like this very much! George, I wonder if there are any other ways to keep cats cool and hydrated. What about the stray cats and other animals? I’ve seen mommy going out and placing containers with cold water near bushes and in the ravine nearby. She even asked our neighbours to do the same! A while ago she created a “bathing fountain” in our backyard for the birds but I’m not allowed near it which, I think is totally unfair as I love watching birds bathing. And then….you know what yes, right – I’m daydreaming! Must be the heat …but she did build it. So, George, how do you stay cool & hydrated?
Princess Penelope

Dear Princess Penelope,
I have water bowls inside the house in three different places and one outside just near the cat flap. Of course, normally I prefer to drink from muddy puddles (it winds up humans nicely) but at the moment there are none.  None of the water bowls are near a food bowl, as we cats do not eat and drink at the same time.
There is a bird bath. And a bowl put out on what used to be a lawn and is now a dry dead area, full of water for wildlife such as hedgehogs (if we have any and 1 don't think we do). I sometimes drink from the bird bath but the local pigeons have a horrid habit of defecating in it, so I have to do this early when it is scrubbed and refilled. Drinking from the bird bath is another way of teasing my human.
I stay inside the house during the day, preferably on the tiled floor of the kitchen. At dusk I move out into the warm moonlit evening and start my patrol.... hunting if I can. At about 10pm I am called in for supper. Sometimes I won't come. But normally I am hungry enough to come in. 
Stay cool, your Royal Highness.
George. 
PS. You are truly beautiful. If I hadn't had the snip, I would be leaving home and hunting you down.
 

Saturday, July 07, 2018

The tail... what does it mean/ Can humans read it?

Dear George, 
I need your help in finding a common language with my human.
She is pretty smart and she did learn fast cat language but, for whatever reason she is quite stubborn when comes to “tail language”.  She doesn’t understand that we are way more sophisticated than dogs and we also “communicate” with our eyes, face, tail, body, etc. She takes the simplistic approach just like a dog!
At times she makes me think I’m training a dog not a human! I’m sure you’ll agree with me that cat tail wagging can mean so many different things! For example: when she calls me, unlike a dog who would be happy to come when called, I like to take my time and analyze “the call” – is it worth my time getting up? Is it about food? Or she just wants company? But, she doesn’t understand that because she doesn’t speak cat tail language!
So, she comes running throughout the house looking for me everywhere and disturbing my quietude! 
George, can you help?
Katho

Dear Katho,
Humans don't understand tails at all. Why should they? They don't even have one, poor mutilated things. So reading a tail, by which we can express so much, is beyond most of them.
Tail language, of course, is obvious to us. There is TAIL UP, a sign that we like the person we are approaching. We're flagging it up, as we walk towards them, as a sign of greeting and liking. 
Then there is BUSHY TAIL. That's just the opposite. Our hair is literally standing up with rage.  At about the same time, our tails are usually going up, then sort of drooping down to cover our backside if we get in a fight.
There's LASHING TAIL.  This is clear too. It says, "I do not like this. Stop it. Or I may bite you." LASHING TAIL is also part of our hunting procedure. We stop, eye the mouse, stalk and then lash the tail as a kind of balancing movement before the pounce.
What else? Well there is just TAIL MIDMAST.  That's the relaxed tail just hanging out more or less in line with our bodies, when we are just relaxed about about life in general.
But how are you going to get this across to her? Most humans can't red their at all. Write to me again if you have found a way.
Yours 
George.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Is my human scared of me? Bored cats go bad.

Dear George,
I’m very worried about my human but, at the same time, I’m laughing my head off as I’m convinced my human is scared of me! I don’t know why but lately she’s acting very strange. A sudden move or meow on my part will startle her? What do you think is happening here? I know I’ve been acting up lately because I’m bored being indoors while my human is at work. She stopped letting me outside since our next door neighbour got a new cat (which for the moment I hate)!  Also, I hate when new people are coming to my house whenever my human decides to entertain. It might be fun for her but it is a lot of stress for me. I suffer high anxiety because of all these humans trying to hold me, pet me! Yuck! So, George, purr-favor….your wisdom is much appreciated!
Bentley

Dear Bentley,
Your human needs to be taught a lesson. When cats have nothing to do, they get scratchy and may start hunting humans not mice! All that hugging, holding and petting makes things worse. Humans may like that sort of thing but most cats like short petting not hours of it.
You need hunting games in the evening. Preferably with a fishing rod toy. I realise that most humans are too idle to do this, even though they can wave the toy while they are watching the moving box called TV. See if you can get her interested by batting small items like fallen biros, bits of paper, string or ribbon. Play with shoe laces. She might then start throwing things for you. Humans are slow to get the message, so you will have to purrsist.
Show off. I find that a small piece of dried pasta dropped on the kitchen tiles makes a great toy.
Do zoomies. Don't know what these are? They are rushing up and down stairs, or round the house at top speed. Try to get her out of her self-obsession and into your fun zone, not hers. 
And while she is out of the house, get her to hide dry food round the house, or scatter feed you rather than put it in a boring bowl, or use a food dispenser. My ideas about making indoor-life more interesting can be found here.
Yours George 
 
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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