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Saturday, June 22, 2019

June 24 – Cat World Domination

Dear George,
I’m sure you know that June 24th was officially declared the Cat World Domination Day. It was declared by a wise cat, Sparkle, on her birthday (I think it was in 2012).
Since then Cat World Domination Day is celebrated with gifts, toys, treats, fun videos and photos and it is getting better every year! I would dare to say that this is the most important cat day there is!
As you very well know we are plotting for world domination since ancient Egyptian times if not for longer! We purrfected our humans to be humble, obedient servants who adore us no matter what we do. We got them wrapped around our fuzzy little toes; hypnotize them with our beautiful eyes, use our cuteness to make them give in to our demands and outsmart them when we need their computers to communicate with other feline friends in cyberspace!
Now that we have conquered the world I ponder (as you can see in the photo attached) what else is left for us to do, what’s next to be conquered?
George, you are such a wise cat; a distinguished feline, a true Maestro!
What should we plot next?
Gizmo

Dear Gizmo,
Our continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no cat has gone before... Outer Space? The Milky Way? Or maybe the Universe, Gizmo? 
When I contemplate how we cats have taken over every land and island in this world, I am humbled by our own genius.
Yours
George

Saturday, June 15, 2019

How to deal with noise in the living room

Hello George,
I am interested to know why humans listen to some awful noises on a machine in the lounge (which is supposed to be a comfortable and serene area to relax). The odd time it sounds okay but sometimes I find it very upsetting and it causes me to react to show my displeasure. A cat I know demonstrated his displeasure by spraying one of the boxes the noises come out of! I think this got his message across very well! It is harder for me to do this as I am a girl. Are there any other effective ways you can suggest to demonstrate my displeasure? I am willing to carry out any instructions you provide to keep the lounge as it should be; a second bedroom for my slumber! If I let my humans get away with this what else will they try to get away with? It could be the beginning of a long slippery slide and I want to nip it in the bud! I look forward to your advice!
Yours
Gracie

Dear Gracie,
Girls can spray and do spray too. Particularly feisty females who want to send a strong message to their humans. Even nose-blind humans get the scent message when we spray. And there's something enticing about spraying on electrical items or even on electrical plugs. 
They don't just give off a noise: they give off an interesting plastic warm-up smell, of which humans are totally unaware.
That said, spraying is the ultimate weapon. It's almost the equivalent of the nuclear option for humans. It doesn't hurt humans but it upsets them dreadfully and can ruin the cat-human relationship.
So just Turn off, tune out and drop into sleep. 
Remember we cats can sleep anywhere - here are some photos to remind you.
Yours George 
PS. I adopted this motto from the l960s hippy one -Turn on, tune in and drop out. Hippies knew how to relax even if their drug problems were awful.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Feline party time across the pond.

Dear George, 
I don’t know about you but I’m in a party mood as we are ready to start our season of “summer garden parties” here, across the pond! As you can see in the photo attached I have the glasses and silverware ready but I’m having second thoughts about the menu! Should it be “finger food”? Buffet style? Mixed with my humans? They are big on summer parties. I’ve already invited few of my neighbours but I didn’t decide on the menu yet! I’m thinking maybe some lizards, grasshoppers (even if I’m afraid the humans will eat those as there is a real push for it in changing humans’ protein source) and, of course some juicy mice! 
The problem is that there are no mice around! You see, I live in a posh neighbourhood and mice are a “no-no” which will make them an absolute delicacy, an ultimate extravagancy on my menu! If I go for having mice on the menu that means I have to stay up few nights in advance and eventually wander off my neighbourhood in search of fresh mice! By the way, do they freeze well? What do you think George? Should I be eccentric and adventurous or should I let my humans cook and then just share their barbecued meats with my friends? Hmm!
Tough decision!
Your advice, please!
Yours….in good party mood
CAT Victoria 

Dear CAT Victoria,
In order to get your humans working properly, the easiest solution would be to share barbecued food of the kind they, not you, are used to. Many of the neighbourhood cats will enjoy stealing a hot sausage off the charcoal and levanting over the garden wall. Or just giving that wonderful feline imploring eye, which induces humans to cut off a bit of meat and hand it over.
Most Western humans are still uneasy at the thought of serving insects, reptiles and rodents - though these are on the human menu elsewhere in the world. Locusts in sugar are sold in the Far East and guinea pigs are enjoyed in South America.
If you must have mice, get your humans to buy these from a pet shop where they sell frozen food for snakes. You can choose from pinkies (no fur), fluffies (just a little fur) and big furry ones. My human once served these to me when I was temporarily anorexic and after defrosting they tasted just as good as the real thing caught in the garden.
Yes, mice freeze very well. But, even if you can stockpile mice bringing them into the kitchen, can you purrsuade your human to freeze them? My human just throws them out even before I can eat them! 
Yours 
George
PS. I have added a photo of my friend Tilly stealing a slice of dry bread.
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Saturday, June 01, 2019

If it fits, I sits...

Dear George,
I must admit that I love boxes and bags and I don’t really think I need a reason or an excuse for it! I think every normal cat does but my mummy is quite perplexed by my liking or what she calls “my obsession”! However, she does her best to provide me with a variety in any color (black in the photo attached). She also does a lot of research to learn why cats love boxes and bags! Quite amusing, isn’t it? Here are few example of what she learned so far:
  1. Cats like boxes because they are cryptic animals and they like to hide (I think this is a good one)
  2. A box will give a cat a place of safety and security (hmm! I agree to some extent)
  3. Boxes or bags provide cats with a cozy, safe places to sleep (of course, since we sleep between 16 to 20 hours a day)
And the list goes on! All this fuss about boxes and bags makes me laugh!
Mummy should know by now that understanding a cat’s mind is notoriously difficult but sometimes our logic is quite simple…like in this case: if it fits….I sit! That simple!
Shumba

Dear Shumba,

I love them. Keyboards, books, the backs of armchairs, newspapers and high shelves are all fun. But boxes are best. My friend Tilly and Tanni like them too.
I particularly like hanging my head outside the box. There's something about boxes that brings out my originality.
You are so right. If it fits, sit in it.
George



Monday, May 27, 2019




Dear George,
It’s me, Gizmo, again! I took your advice and left the postman alone but some days can be a real drag! Boooooring! So, I was thinking how could I have some fun? What should I do? Then boom! I got this brilliant idea to catch and bring inside a little mouse – just for entertainment!  Well, it didn’t go as planned because it happened that mummy was home that day!
Her reaction when I left the mouse free in the house? Priceless! I’m “meowing out loud” as you can see in the photo attached. First she jumped up on a chair and then she started “negotiating” with the mouse (with a childish voice): mouse, please don’t jump on me!
Please, go away! Let’s go out – I’ll give you some cheese”! I was speechless (still laughing)! Who has ever heard a human talking to a mouse? Definitely not the mouse! The poor thing got so scared that it run and hid! That’s when my troubles started! Mummy looked at me furious and said: now, you stay here and catch that mouse and take it out! Wow! She meant it!
She was fuming! So, now I have to be up all night and find the mouse! And God forbid to harm it because my mummy is a big animal rights advocate! She’ll never forgive me! George, how the heck am I going to take that damn mouse out without harming it? Any advice please?
In trouble,
Gizmo

Dear Gizmo,
We have all tried to please our humans by giving them a present of a mouse. Or a rat. Or even a bird. We have done our best to please them. It just doesn't work. Ever. So stop trying.
What do you do next? You wait till 3am and then start hunting carefully hoping to sniff out the mouse. Then you settle down to ambush it. When you have caught it, as you will if not the first night then the second or third, do NOT take it to show your human.
Humans react very badly indeed when we jump on the bed with a mouse in our mouth... very badly indeed. They may become violent. And the mouse may escape again.
Admittedly this gives you the pleasure of recatching it for the third time, but your relationship with your human will suffer badly. So dispose of that mouse quietly. Preferably eat it. Or if you want to eat only half, leave the other half outside if possible.
Yours sympathetically
George



Friday, May 17, 2019

Cattack alert... when the postman knocks!

Dear George,
I'm laughing my head off - the story I'm going to tell you. It is too funny.
Recently my human provided me with a cat flap(which was much overdue, by the way.) Coincidentally, we got a new postman too! And, that's how it all started.
I was sunbathing on my porch when I saw the new postman coming with the mail. 
He looked around and saw the cat flap, looked around again and then he bent forward and slipped the mail inside through the cat flap…then he rang twice. Wow! He definitely wasn’t Jack Nicholson nor did Jessica Lange come to open the door!  Why he rang the bell twice I have no idea. Anyway, he did exactly same thing for the next few days. Since it seemed to me that he either hasn’t noticed our mail box or has chosen to ignore it I decided to play a little game with him! Next day I stayed indoor waiting for him. The minute he slipped the mail in I bit his hand! He startled so easily that he forgot to ring the bell. The following day I was again on the porch waiting for him. I saw him coming down the street (he didn’t see me) – this time he was carrying a stick in his hand! I was so curious to see what he’ll do with that stick! OMG! You won’t believe it! He used the stick to open the cat flap and slipped in the mail! Aha, okay! So next day I “clawed” his stick J I don’t know what he thinks but since that day he leaves the mail in front of the door and does not ring the doorbell anymore! George, I know I misbehaved and I’m still laughing about it but how could he not realize that…that was a cat flap? What should I do now? Tell mummy of my misbehaving or should I sit on top of the mail box meowing so I’ll bring it to his attention? Maybe he is a good man who has never seen a mailbox in his life? 
Puzzled but laughing
Gizmo


Dear Gizmo,
The post is good fun. It comes through a cat flap or a letterbox just like a mouse pokes its head out of a hole. Attacking it is almost as good as hunting a mouse. Look how these Youtube cats enjoy it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5lkucdrVuA Better still attacking the post gets your human's attention. They laugh.
Tempting though they are, postperson's pink fingers should not be attacked. Concentrate on the mail. If you do hurt the postmen they may refuse to deliver - like the case of Bella here 

So have fun.
Cheers
George

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Living with an alcoholic is too much for any cat.

Dear George,
I have been investigating human catnip, alcohol. Frankly, it doesn't smell very good to me even though I enjoy sniffing catnip. It's also inconvenient, since it has to be ingested in liquid form.
Do we know why humans are interested in this alcohol, yet have no interest at all in catnip? It seems odd to me. 
Yours
Tilly,

Dear Tilly, 
Alcohol has roughly the same effect on humans, as catnip has on us. Only worse. Humans react by losing their inhibitions in an enjoyable way though to an outsider their behaviour seems merely silly.
We cats always take catnip in moderation. We sniff, roll about a bit, and then walk away after a few minutes. Humans seem less able to use alcohol in this way. They will sit drinking alcohol for hours at a time. There are even alcohol bars and pubs, in which some humans spend their whole evening.
Cats who are unlucky enough to have adopted a human that cannot drink sensibly, should rehome it as soon as possible. Living with an alcoholic is too much for any cat.
Yours
George.
PS. My human secretary has come back and taken up her duties again.



Friday, April 26, 2019

Human failure - my paws won't type

There will be a gap in this blog, because I cannot use my paws to type. My secretary Celia is going away and without her, I cannot blog. Her absence is extremely irritating.
However my young nephew, called George as a tribute to myself, is trying to teach himself to type. Like me he has studied human behaviour at degree level and is currently finishing his MSc thesis, Human behaviour: a meta review of current studies in feline-human interaction. He is also rewriting the thesis as a general book to help cats understand their human. The title will be A Cat's Guide to Humans: from A-Z.
In the meantime, I am silenced by lack of human fingers. Very irritating indeed. Sometimes I think it is time I passed on this blog to a younger feline.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Cats and the Easter bunny

Dear George,
I’m in talks with some friends and family (as you can see in the photo attached – I’m the one with the red collar) to form a trade union or a labor union as it is called in the USA! After my humans’ deceiving behaviour last week I decided to protect my group’s members’ interests and improving wages in the form of more treats/steaks per capita, hours of sleeping to be extended to 18 hours per day and better sleeping conditions that absolutely require master bedrooms to be available to us non-stop! 
Even if it really doesn’t matter what we do for a living, there’s a union with members who do the same thing. You might wonder what is our specific “trade” or skills that I want to protect. Well, one thing for sure is hunting. We are born hunters! So why are the humans trying to stop us from doing what comes naturally for us? If I catch a little bird or a little mouse my Mom is screaming out loud as she’s trying to get my prey out of my mouth! Phew! Unbelievable!
And the last deceiving act of my humans? They brought home a chocolate bunny and few chocolate chicks! This is not fair at all! Cats do not eat chocolate yet my Mom is telling me that we should have compassion and only eat fake bunnies! Really? What about the turkey she eats? Or that roasted beef?
You know what George? I’m having second thoughts - I want back that little bunny I hunted few days ago that she made me let go free! Very upsetting!  Anyway, wishing all cats & their humans:
A Happy Easter and a juicy roast!
Tommy

Dear Tommy,
The sheer hypocrisy of humans never fails to astound me! They sit down and gorge themselves on meat - beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, even pheasant. Here in the UK there are human hunters who shoot bunnies.  But when we bring in a simple little mouse for our dinner, they try to take it off us. 
My friend Toby pouncing high
The height of hypocrisy are humans who pursue foxes with a whole pack of dogs. They kill the fox and do not eat it. Yet when we play with mice, they condemn us for doing this before or without eating our prey. They are blind to their own faults and unfailingly critical of us when we behave like they do. They really have no moral compass.
A feline trades union? It probably won't work, Tommy. And don't be tempted by that chocolate bunny. Chocolate can kill cats. Just keep on hunting the real thing and stop bringing them home! I suggest finishing it off and eating it quietly just the other side of the cat flap or underneath a nearby bush in the garden where she cannot see you.
Enjoy your meal.
Yours
George



Saturday, April 13, 2019

Humans snore SO loudly!

Dear George, 
My humans are snoring - one louder than the other. I wonder if this might be a frightening medical condition and if it is ... should I call an ambulance? What should I do? Last night I had to sleep on a chair (as you can see in the photo) because their snoring was greatly disrupting my sleep. Their noise was interfering with my purring rhythm. Terrible. Complely out of sync.
I should move them down to the basement! What do you think?  Maybe I’ll move my dad first as my mummy is not that bad! Actually, most nights we have fun together playing on that screen with moving little arrows or little bugs or mice! Hmm! 
Yes, I should keep her upstairs! How do I move him to the basement?
Sleepless across the pond
CAT Victoria 

Dear CAT Victoria,
You have highlighted one of the insoluble problems of letting humans share your upstairs bed. When they snore the noise is horribly loud and upsets our natural slumbers. Of course, the best way to deal with this is to move the human off our bed and make it sleep on the sofa downstairs. Or even on the floor - I'd have thought that sleeping under a radiator would be quite cosy.
Instead, what usually happens is that we have to leave and go to sleep elsewhere. It's one of the disadvantages of keeping such a gigantic pet. I don't think calling an ambulance is a good idea. You don't want a lot of beefy men in high viz jackets barging into your home and interrupting your sleep. Better do what you are doing and sleep downstairs.
The other possibility is that when the snoring starts up, you jump on the human's midriff. However, some humans then just do a HUGE rolling snort (that I cannot reproduce here) when they wake up and then simply turn over and go back to normal snoring.
Sorry not to be more helpful.
Yours
George.
PS. Some humans claim we cats snore but that is definitely fake news.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Litter boxes - train your human in proper hygeine

Dear George,
I need your advice as soon as possible….before I go completely nuts!
Lately I’m having quite strong arguments with my human over the necessity of a litter box in our house! You see, I’m using the back garden as my litter box but lately my mummy start talking about “potty training” me ….just in case! Mind you….what does she mean by “just in case”?  Could she be up to something? Like leaving and locking me indoor for days? Just the thought of it gives me “goose bumps”! Anyway, when I asked her why do I need to be potty trained she said “what if we need to move from a house to an apartment, a flat”? I don’t get it! Why would we move? But, that’s not the end to our problem. We are dealing with a big dilemma in regards to the litter itself. Neither one of us is knowledgeable enough to make an informed decision. 
 She’s looking for something “natural” and I’m freaking out, twisting myself and turning from side to side (as you can see in the photo attached) to understand what does she mean by “natural”? To me natural is the soil in the back garden. George, seriously what the indoor cats do?
What litter do they use? 
Anxiously yours, 
Lulu 

Dear Lulu,
This tray is far too small
If you are used to using the back garden - soil, leaf litter, or sand - you may just change to ordinary cat litter without trouble, if you become an indoor cat. The most attractive litter to us cats is the small grained clumping kind. Two and a half inches, allowing for a good dig, and an uncovered litter tray as large as your human can buy. It needs to be in a quiet location away from passing humans, dogs, noisy washing machines, outside doors or windows.
If you refuse to change to cat litter, then your human should try putting earth/sand into a tray (with a little bit of poo or pee so it smells correct) and then once the tray is used slowly change that into cat litter. Once you get used to cat litter, rather than earth, you can usually manage to change to litter types - if your human is sensible enough (and they usually are not) to make the change slowly, adding a handful of the new type daily to the old familiar litter. Most of us cats dislike a tray liner: it gets caught in our paws.
My human fosters kittens who come to her using the wooden type
This filthy tray has a horrid lining
cat litter. She changes them slowly to clumping litter (which she prefers) but keeps a second tray with the old wooden litter as well. That means they will be flexible about what they use in their new home. The rule of thumb is one tray per cat and one over. She also sends the kittens to their new home with some soiled litter to be put in the new tray so it smells like a latrine.
Here are some photos of bad litter arrangements. Show them to her.
Yours
George. 
PS. A good human servant cleans out deposits from the tray twice a day.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Exercise your human the feline yoga way

Dear George,
Last night I’ve got up (after a longer nap) to get my night time treats and there was no movement around. The silence was quite unusual and a bit unbearable! Hmm? Where was my mommy? I knew she was somewhere in the house; was she asleep? So I started moving slowly and quietly and there she was….in the stillness of the night…she was watching a video! But, mind you, not your regular video - I mean music or something!
In this video there was a woman explaining some exercises that my mommy was supposed to follow! That caught my interest so I joined my human to watch it!
George, you won’t believe this! The first exercise was about “stretching out one’s arms and rotating/spinning clockwise (apparently very important) like a dog chasing its tail until one gets dizzy! At least, I got dizzy just by watching it and honestly I think I’ve passed out! By the time I’ve regained my consciousness the woman in the video was bent forward in something that was called “downward dog”! What? I know most people behave like dogs …that’s why they are their best friends! They chase their tails, don’t know when to stop eating, looking at you with those big eyes full of loyalty and adoration and most of the time…barking at the wrong tree! Yes, most people but ….not my mommy! George, I have to save my mommy! I don’t want her to do all these nonsense dog exercises! I want her to behave like a cat: napping, relaxing, eating little but good and performing purrfect and elegant stretches (look at my picture attached)!
Now, how do I do this?
Uma



Dear Uma,
Canine type exercises (with all that bottom sniffing and tail wagging) are definitely not ideal for humans. They should be doing cat yoga instead. There are also some very nice feline yoga poses to be found here. If humans imitated some of our more common poses, and cultivated inner feline serenity, they would be much healthier and happier.  
I recommend that you join her during her exercise routine and see if you can entice her to imitate your behaviour. If you start by imitating some of her behaviours, you will catch her attention. Once she is watching, then take the initiative and do some interesting poses for her. Ziggy volunteered to help me by doing some of his more athletic poses for the camera - just to give you a few ideas.

If she continues to watch silly videos suggesting dog behaviour for humans just insert your body between her and the screen and blank it out. We can't have humans imitating dogs. It is just too humiliating for us and for them.
Yours 
George!  
PS. And let us not forget the feline revolutionary asana (below)





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