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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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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