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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.

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