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Showing posts with label bite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bite. Show all posts

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Reward and punishment (occasionally) are the key to a good relationship.

Dear George,
I have adopted a new human family - male, female, and two human kittens about half grown and therefore a sensible age. You know my background growing up which turned me into a growling, biting and scratching adolescent.
This is my third home - first the bad one, then with Celia, and now this. Of course, I can adapt. I don't miss Celia at all though I miss the games I had with Toby. Within two days, I was sitting on the male owner's lap and (good news) he was keeping his hands away from interfering with my grooming routine!
So these are sensible humans. I have taught the children that if I sit up and beg or jump over a stick, they must give me food. What else should I do?
Yours
Tommy.

Dear Tommy,
Reward and punishment are the basis of a good cat-human relationship. In the first month of your new home, you should at all costs avoid punishment. This is the time to reward them with cute looks, lots of purring, rubbing and making them feel loved. As Barnum said: "You gotta get the suckers into the tent." These humans need all the reassurance and kindness you can give them so that they form a deep bond with you.
After the first month you can lay down a few boundaries - no interference while I am grooming: no human thrashing about the bed I allow you to share: if you use your hands to play with me you must expect to be nipped; etc. These cat rules will vary from individual to individual and in the second month you should be training them to obey by very small nips. And don't forget to purr when they behave well.
By month three, all four should be trained into proper cat servants. The key is good timing and consistency. Good luck.
Yours
George.
PS. If you need to bite, you haven't made your rules clear to these dumb humans.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dressing up cats - a vile undignified human desire.

Dear George,
I wish to protest in the strongest possible terms about human behaviour in the so called festive season - dressing up cats. My personal experience (see the photo on the left) has been shatteringly humiliating.
This degrading use of human clothing covering our beautiful fur is on the increase, encouraged by YouTube and other internet organisations such as Facebook. This particular photo was widely circulated by my human - to my shame. 
Purrlease, George, help stamp out this unpleasant human activity. The perpetrator of this undignified image is my human pet.
How can I make her stop doing this at Christmas?
Bob.

Dear Bob, 
The only way to stop this happening is to bite and claw while the garments are being put on. You seem to have given way too easily to your human. A cat your size - you are a Maine coon - could surely have inflicted several wounds while that horrible little jacket was being forced upon you. And a mere shake of the head would have got rid of the cap - I cannot see an elastic on it.
Put your paw down for once and for all. Bite and bite hard if this is being done to you. Scratch and scratch often.  Just wriggling free is not enough. You need to punish them. 
It's the only thing that humans understand.
Yours
George.
PS. There is a photo of me wearing a Santa hat. Celia waited till I was sleeping and put it on me, taking the photo before I was fully awake. I have not forgiven her.

Friday, December 09, 2016

A Christmas gift for all cats

Dear George,
The other night I was watching this video with this kitty whacking her human’s fingers.
Immediately I realized the potential of getting rich quickly by intelligently marketing this game as well as mass producing these cardboard boxes ready to use (something like “pret-a-porter” in fashion world). I really like this cat game: it is entertaining for us and educational for humans – our human pets will perfect their skills and we, the cats, enjoy the interaction with them! I shall call this “spending quality time” with your human. 
So, late at night I was sitting on my favorite counter and contemplating my sketch (both my photo and my sketch attached) planning the business venture, suppliers, insurance (what if a kitty literary “kills” her human’s finger – the game is meant only to whack not kill), shipping….you know…all that boring stuff coming with any successful business.
And, on second thoughts, I decided to post the sketch and the game on your blog free! 
Why not? It’s Christmas and in the spirit of giving ….I give the game free!
Any human can reproduce my sketch and make some holes in a cardboard box and have fun with his/her kitty.
Merry Christmas to all
Diego

Dear Diego,
Thank you for sharing this. Yes, it's a good game but only for adult cats. We can control ourselves and not injure our humans too badly. Personally I prefer fishing rod games, as humans can play them with us  while watching TV. But this finger game is fun too particularly for cats that live indoors.
It's not for kittens. Kittens enjoy it but it can make them too scratchy to humans. Let me tell you the cautionary tale of Tommy (still waiting for a home).  His humans played fingers games with him as a kitten, then when he got a bit bigger they punished him for biting their fingers. And so he bit harder. And they punished harder.....  So they then threw him out of the house for being "vicious." It wasn't his fault - he was just playing.
He had to go into rehab with Celia and learn to be gentle. 
I love the way your fur colour matches the kitchen.
Yours
George

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Watch me jump for a forever home...it's black and white cat week in the UK.


Dear George,
This is me showing how clever I am in photos and a video (below). I have white socks on my forepaws, white boots on my back legs, and fine white whiskers.
I am clever but naughty! I love jumping in the sink. I love cardboard boxes.  I love doing tricks, but I have difficulty controlling myself. When I get over-excited I nip and scratch.
Will somebody give me a home? I need a specially patient person who understands cats.
When I was a kitten, my first humans taught me rough games, punished me then gave me up. When I first was rescued, I growled and bit deeply often.  Now I just nip occasionally but it still hurts my foster mum a little bit.
If somebody in Oxfordshire, UK, wants a clever but difficult cat, purrlease adopt me. I need a forever home.
Yours
Jumping Tommy

Dear Tommy,
Be patient. The right person will come. Any cats living in Oxfordshire and reading this, please share the blog address. Tommy needs a forever home. You can find his details at Sunshine Cat Rescue.
Yours
George. 
video
 




Saturday, May 02, 2015

Showered..... in kisses. Purr or Grrr?


Dear George,

I’m Beau and I was blessed with the same great family as Paco. I’m a rescue and, of course, Paco’s younger brother. But, let me tell you something: Paco loves drama! He likes to be the center of attention; he starves himself lying down on the cutting table just waiting for our daddy to share his dinner looking… in to each other’s eyes! Phew! Such a nonsense! He thinks he is the Alpha Cat! Well…he’s not! I am the Alpha Cat in the house! I can’t care less about anybody in the house! They all have to serve me J

I have a big “cat-attitude” and big blue eyes! Having blue eyes is mandatory if you want to get showered in kisses! My only problem George is how do I stop/turn off the shower?

My mommy loves me so much and kisses me so much that sometimes I feel like opening  the gate and running away (as you can see in the photo). I know I can be and do whatever I want; I can be a movie star, I can be on TV, I can be on YouTube….but I chose to be in charge of this funny, loving family. Of course it’s so much fun making Paco jealous! Of course it’s a lot of fun making my humans worry about my disposition! Humans are so good at blaming themselves for everything! I laugh out loud! Often! But, George, how do I tell them that ….sometimes I need time for myself! I need my space, but….not on a cutting board! Do you think the cause of all this it’s my blue eyes? Should I change the color of my eyes?

Cheerfully yours

Beau-Beau 

Dear Beau-Beau,  
It's wonderful that you have such a loving human but some humans don't know when to stop. They follow us around, they cuddle us close, they kiss us and they pick us up all the time.  It is very stressful for us - scientific research has proved that cuddling and kissing may push some cats' stress hormones higher than normal.
Your reaction depends on your training programme. I do hope you have one. Some cats rely on reward-only training and hesitate to use punishment. I use a Claw and Order programme, which involves a smart push by the front paws claws retracted, followed by a stronger push with claws out, graduating finally to the ultimate punishment a sharp nip. So far I have never had to bite down. The human withdraws at an earlier stage.
Because our pets cannot understand cat language, we have to be clear in our commands - and punishment may be the only way to do this. If, however, you are dedicated to reward-only training, you will have to try other measures such as ceasing all purring, wriggling hard to get away, or even hiding under the bed. 
What is important is that you make your feelings absolutely CLEAR.  Personally I would scratch!!
Yours 
George.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cat wrestling ... do humans understand?


Dear George,
Nope! It's not what you think (looking at my picture with my brother).
I'd tell what it is - it is called CAT WRESTLING and I'm the champion in our house. It all started with my desire to help Stanley (my brother) to be more active.
Lately there was a lot of talk about lifestyle, healthy eating, being active - all this non-sense. If you think how much we helped humans to evolve over the years one might wonder if we didn't do ourselves a disservice. As soon as we trained them to be our humble servants they never stopped. They developed canned food, dry food, food in pouches, treats, frozen goods including farmed and frozen mice and all this in the name of their love for us! 
We marvel at all these packaged goods but in the meantime we became less and less active. Obesity runs rampant in North America for both cats and their humble servants. My brother is just an example; he's not obese yet but he's not active and he sleeps all day. So, I thought of something fun to entertain him and make him "move" around. That's how I started cat wrestling and I was quite successful until the day Mom caught me and started yelling to leave Stanley alone. She THINKS we are fighting. She said cat wrestling is absolutely forbidden in our house!
George, this is the reason I'm writing to you. Can she get me in trouble? It's just a game! Can she "make" cat wrestling illegal? I don't think she understands what "wrestling" is all about. What do you think?
A very upset wrestling champion
Rocky

Dear Rocky,
You are so right. Indoor living has a high risk of obesity. Lots of energetic games between loving siblings is just what is needed to keep healthy. So wrestling is great. But there is one worry. How does Stanley feel about this?  Is he enjoying it too?  Or does he feel bullied?
Humans are hopeless at working out whether wrestling is fighting or play fighting.  And it matters, because if it is fighting, not play, one of the cats will be feeling very unhappy. Are you biting him, Rocky? Is there fur, or even blood, on the carpet? If so he needs a new home.   
Is Stanley beginning to wear a cautious look? Is he being ambushed at the litter tray? Or frightened to go to the food bowl?  If the answer is "Yes" to this, then you are bullying him. He needs lots of hiding places, separate litterbox location and a separate food location.
On the other hand if Stanley starts a wrestling bout, if he plays an equal part in the game, if he is sometimes the winner, and if the play is reciprocal - then it is play. So wrestle on, my friend.
Love 
George.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Is it time for Bite The Vet week?

Dear George,
Unfortunately ,I was sick the other night, and even though it was outside, Mummy found it, and whipped me to that horrid place where they stuck a glass thing up my bottom, so undignified, and needles in me, shaved off my fur to do this.  And left me in a cage all day with water going in my leg.
What a carry on. I did feel very queasy.
She did collect me at 5 and had cooked me fish, and chicken. Well I was famished so was glad to see food. I stayed out that night, popped in to wake up when I got hungry, and guess what? 

She shut me in at 8am and out came my basket and back we went to the vets, for another injection. Cost her over £300 so that'll teach her a lesson.
Lots more fish and chicken followed, but I've stayed out of the house , only entering to wake her for food at night or a cuddle in the evening, as I know she's is worried, but it has freaked me out.
I suppose it did make me better, but how would she like it?
I know you will understand ,George.
Lots of love,
Toby xx.


Dear Toby,

Vets. I loathe and detest them. I call them torturers.  They are always jabbing needles into us. And as for that thing up the bottom. My friend William used turn round smartly and bite the hand that was trying to stuff a glass tube up his backside. He wouldn't have it. 
And the smell. Each time I go there it smells of feline distress, anxious human, and smelly dogs. In the waiting room the worry smell is almost overpowering. And oddest of all, the humans don't seem able to smell the anxiety in the air. Even the dogs do. But not the humans.
I am thinking of starting a Bite The Vet week among fellow felines. Or maybe we could start a cat gang, kidnap a vet, hold him down and stick a tube up his bottom.
 With sympathy for your suffering,
George. 
PS. This blog is early because my human is putting me into captivity for week, as she goes away to enjoy herself. Sickening behaviour.  AND she was too late to put this photo of Mexico Day (May 4) on the previous blog. I wish humans were more efficient.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bats and cats and human hypocrisy

Dear George,
Have you ever caught a bat?   When a king pipistrelles started to alarm my human on Monday night by zooming around her bedroom, I naturally leaped to her rescue, thinking that those black wing bits might be quite tasty.  I finally got the pesky thing last night and was disappointed to find that it was quite unpalatable, so I left the evidence to show my human I’d tried and helped myself to a young rabbit instead.   My human was impressed, as she should have been, but two things about her reaction worry me.  She is muttering about worming tablets, but it is not long since her last visit to the vet for these stupid pills and I worry that I may become ill if she worms me too often.   And she seemed confused about which recycling bin to use for the dead bat.  Here in South Oxfordshire we have a wide choice – recyclables, land-fill or food waste are the most popular.  The latter seems to obvious choice to me.
And one last question.  Why was the bat indoors anyway?   The colony lives somewhere in the roof space and normally flies out over the garden without any confusion.   Were they trying to stay out of the rain? What do you advise?
Yours ever,
Scaramouche.

Dear Scaramouche,
Bats... mmmm. You are just one lucky cat, Scaramouche. I have to catch mice in the garden and bring them into the house, when I want an interesting game at 3 am in the morning. You've got a colony of bats waiting for you in the roof space somewhere. Hours of fun .... stalking them, climbing into the attic, poking your whiskers into various spaces in the rafters etc.
You could catch one and release it into your human's bedroom. If you are careful not to hurt  its wings, it will then zoom round the room.  That should give you and her hours of enjoyment. Wait for her shrieks of delight. Or just have fun of placing yourself on a wall and batting them as they come out in the twilight. Biff Baff. Another bat hits the dust.
I have never caught one but I thought they were just mice with wings. I'm surprised they don't taste good. I would have thought they were a nice crunchy meal.  I can see the wings would be too tough to eat, but I would have thought the plump little bodies were quite tasty.  Or perhaps because they eat insects, they taste vile - like shrews do. I catch shrews all the time but I never eat them.
Some humans, particularly naturalists (so called) get very upset by our tendency to catch bats. Bats have more friends among humans than ordinary mice or shrews. Not sure why. There are little groups of humans all over the country trying to save bats from other humans and from cats like you.
Humans are terribly hypocrites. Bats are endangered species because humans persecute them. Admittedly we take a few of them - but nothing like the numbers killed by humans using chemicals in their lofts or blocking entry into their rooftops. Even churches often try to kill them.
I envy you. I do.
Yours
George.
PS. We look so alike we could almost be brothers. Humans reading this can get bat information at www.bats.org.uk

Friday, February 24, 2012


Dear George,
My name is Cleo and I am nearly nineteen years old. I have just met your friend, Harvey at the vets and he told me about your advisory column. Our vet specialises only in cats and rabbits so we both get excellent care.
I have recently been very ill but am fine now although I need to have my blood pressure checked by my doctor quite regularly. My human mum is very kind and made some of her special chicken broth for me while I was recuperating but I still can't get used to being shut in my cat basket and taken away from my comfort zone. The only way I can show my disapproval is by shredding the newspaper in my cage while I wait for my appointment.
This spreads the paper all over the waiting room floor and everybody laughs. They don't seem to understand I am expressing my stress and I wondered if you might be able to think of some other way of getting my point over. Harvey said you might have some good ideas.

Yours anxiously,
Cleo

Dear Cleo,
If shredding paper helps, keep shredding. Take no notice of human disapproval or laughter. This is an exceptionally ignorant species with a poor sense of humour and no common sense. Of course, you are stressed. Who wouldn't be?
I hate sitting in my cat carrier in the waiting room where there is not only the hateful smell of vets, but also a number of smelly noisy dogs, panting and barking. Luckily my human has a covered box for me so that although I can smell them I don't have to see them. Get your human to cover your cat carrier with a small blanket or similar while you wait in the waiting room. If possible she should put your carrier on a chair or on her lap. Higher feels safer for cats. She should sit as far away as possible from dogs or other cats. Or leave you in the car, and only bring you in when the vet calls you in.
We cats hate all vets. Would it make you feel better if you bit the vet? If so, feel free to do so. The only problem is that not all vets respond well. Some handle us roughly after that. And I haven't forgotten that awful TV programme in which a vet "nurse" (so called) hit a dog that bit him. I won't name the vet group concerned here, because of human libel laws but if any readers remember it, just avoid that practice.
Personally I just hunch down on the table and feel miserable in a vet's surgery. I comfort myself with thoughts of what I would like to do to the vet - clawing her, biting her, making her sit on a table and pummelling her, looking at her teeth and eyes.... If we could do to vets what they do to us, there would be no practising vets at all. Happy thought!
Yours cheerfully,
George
PS. I often go into my carrier for choice. Celia leaves it on the floor in the house and puts bits of cat food in it. This makes me feel quite relaxed about the carrier. Of course, this warm feeling doesn't transfer to the vet's surgery.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Vets and cats. We all hate vets. They are bad, bad, bad, bad humans.


Dear George,

I’m MAD, mad, mad at my humans who took me to a vet clinic for a visit! What kind of visit is that where instead of tea and cookies one is given a vaccine? I know they called it a “medical visit” but I want a fun visit not a medical one! I don’t want any vet touching my teats, ears, checking my teeth or other places I won’t even mention. By the way; what’s the purpose of having the temperature checked? And why is the procedure different for us then for humans? Why do they “use” one end to check ours and the other end for humans? At least the vet wasn’t successful with me! I simply “flew” right on a shelf and hid behind bags of food as you can see in the photo.

But here is my main concern George; why are we being vaccinated every year? Couldn’t this possibly be over vaccination? Shouldn’t a vaccine give you immunity for few good years? Can we become sick from being over vaccinated?

Worried about us & pissed at humans

CAT Victoria


Dear Cat Victoria,

Join the worldwide fellowship of Cats That Hate Vets. We hate their clinics. We hate the smell of it. We hate their white coats. We hate the receptionists, the vet nurses and the waiting clients. All of it. We hate the way there are dogs barking in the waiting room. We loathe every single moment of visiting them because they stab us with needles, pull out mouths open to look inside, and (worst of all) stick thermometers up our bottoms. Horrible horrible vets.

The needles, they tell us, are good for us. Vaccines protect us from illness. This well and good if we are outdoor cats, or if we are cats that are going to catteries. Good catteries have to insist on basic vaccination just to make sure illnesses are not spread among their feline clients.

But, do we need vaccinating each year? Many people believe not. For the British take on this topic look at The Cat Group's policy statement. For the American view, consult the guidelines of the American Association of Feline practitioners. Both these bodies say that not all cats need all vaccines. It depends on the age of the cat, the laws of the country and how much the cat is exposed to infectous diseases. It's important to vaccinate but it is also important not to over-vaccinate. If you have a bad effect from a particular vaccine, make your human report it and insist that he/she makes the vet use a different type or brand next time.

As for taking temperatures..... uggghhhhhh. How disgusting is it for us to have that tube up our bottoms! Horrible. Undignified. You did the right thing,Victoria. Just make a run for it. If you can't do that, then bite the vet. My friend William used to hate the procedure so much that it took three people to hold him down - his human, the vet and the vet nurse. Afterwards he turned smartly round and bit the vet. I admired him for it.

So the message to all Cats That Hate Vets, is don't let them get away with it. Have claws and teeth at the ready. Fight back and fight back hard.

Love George.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A hat for the royal wedding!


Dear George,
Watch! Stillness! Watch more! Get a little bit closer! ACTION!!! No, no way with my female human clapping her hands and shouting “fly bird, fly! WHAT? Is this for real?
I can’t believe her! Is she insane? Am I clapping my paws shouting “fly turkey, fly” when she cooks that big bird? No! I’m waiting in silence until it is nicely roasted and then claim my portion! George, why are humans so insensitive? I was so focused, “intensively” watching a little bird (as you can see in my photo) not even with the intention of killing it. All I wanted was a few feathers to ornate my hat for the Royal Wedding! I am CAT Victoria after all, right? Now, the bird is gone and so is my royal attire! I have to miss the wedding and watch it on TV! Phew!
George, any ideas how I can train my humans to not interfere with my activities? I even heard her saying something about a little bell around my neck? What? Does she think I’m a rattlesnake? I want revenge! She should be punished, don’t you think so?
CAT Victoria

Dear CAT,
I took little interest in the Royal Wedding, except to lie on my back for a bit so that Celia could stroke me while watching. The idea of bagging a pheasant (plenty outside) in order to snatch one of its tail feathers hadn't occurred to me. Nice idea. Nice try. As always, our best intentions are frustrated by our humans.
Sneakiness is essential, in order to have a satisfactory life with this rather dumb pet. Like you said, sit quietly waiting for the turkey to roast before claiming a portion. I do a special upward imploring look at my human, in order to get titbits. I almost look like a dog - soulful, deferential, pleading. In fact I am silently muttering "You silly human. Give. Give. Give. Idiot."
However sometimes guile, deviousness and dishonesty get what we want.
Bells round the neck I hate. For one thing collars on cats always are somewhat dangerous. My favourite charity Cats Protection every now and again will pick up a stray cat that has got its paw caught in its collar. My human says she has never come across a really safe collar. And (though I hate them) flea spot-ons from a vet are far more effective than old fashioned collars that have potentially dangerous chemicals.
Should you punish your human? I use punishment, as I use deviousness, guile, sneakiness and downright cheating, to get what I want. Scratching? Yes. Biting? Yes. But only in circumstances where it will work.
See if you can't just outwit her with your grace and charm.
Love George

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Difficulty educating humans

Dear George,

It has been a while since I last sent you a letter but I was busy trying to educate my human pets with, I must admit, not much success! Considering your expertise in human intelligence I need few tips to handle my daddy’s questions. Not that I cannot answer his questions, but he drives me to the edge of darkness! How many times do you think a human can ask exactly same questions? Any guess? Of course not! But, I can tell you that the symbol is that horizontal 8 (yes – Infinite). So, George, here are the questions – may be you’ll be able to answer in such a manner that he’ll understand.

The first is: “why are cats knitting?” followed by his “rationale” – I bet no one knows!

Of course we know; cats are highly intelligent, well educated and well versed in almost any topic!

The second is: “why does she (he means ….me) squeeze my hand while purring”?

Asking such question is absolutely insulting, don’t you think so?

But what drives me insane is that all this time my “mum” is giggling giving the impression that she’s somehow superior and knows! Bet she has no idea! Human arrogance! The other night he asked again, so, I looked him in the eyes and asked him: “why do cats purr, daddy”? He didn’t know! He still stares in nothingness! Can you believe it? George, do you think there is any hope with my humans? They are agreeable pets after all.

Love

Fluffy


Dear Fluffy,

I won't dignify human idiocy by giving them the answers in this blog. Education should involve the student finding out knowledge, not just being given it in spoon fed form. (Trust humans to need spoons: we have the natural spoon of the tongue.). So put your thinking caps on, you human readers, and see what you can do with these interestingly enigmatic questions.

How can you handle your human's questioning? How can you remain calm when these questions are repeated over and over again, due to the limited nature of the human intellect. The answer, Fluffy, is compassion for lower forms of life. Humans are evolutionary dead-ends, lower down the tree of life than us. Their function is doubtful (destruction of our world perhaps?), the cause of their behaviour even more doubtful (we cats haven't managed to put them into a neuroscience lab yet), their life development (ontogeny) mysterious as they seem to remain for ever childish, and how they evolved this way (phylogeny) downright weird. They are down there with the bower bird and the peacock.

Makes you wonder if the Higher Feline Power, which we cats call Cat, designed them as a sort of joke. That's the other way to handle their insistent questioning: laugh. Humans think we don't laugh but we do. Ours is an inward and rather superior chuckle.

So, if you remain compassionate, let yourself laugh silently, you will manage to keep your temper. Alternatively, sit on his head or bite his ankles. There's nothing wrong with a bit of claw and order discipline in the feline classroom.

You have beautiful eyes. Beautiful.

Looooove

George

P.S. This question was answered rather late as my secretary was busy digging a large litter tray for me (which she called a seed bed) in the garden. Must get out there and use it, otherwise she will be hurt.



Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bunny bullying - the human obsession with cleaning


Dear George,
How do I put a stop to bunny bullying? Every morning my stuff is moved about, cleaned and tidied, replaced with dozing mats that don't smell of me and washed to within an inch of its life.The same happens to my two litter trays. As if this is not enough I am man-woman handled and whipped upside down while my err.... bottom is inspected. If it doesn't come up to their standards it is doused with my wet bunny flannel then bits of my precious fur is snipped off with a pair of dangerous looking scissors.What's a bit of poop between friends? I am then cuddled and horror of horrors, she sings to me!
I am getting old, George. I will be nine soon and I should be left alone to dream of piles of carrots and green fields. I have used every trick in my book to deter them from this manic, daily routine but they ignore me. Any ideas?
Harvey

Dear Harvey,
The human obsession with cleaning is irritating for all of us. We cats like a clean litter tray (no lumps or clumps) but one which has a nice familiar latrine smell. When humans scoop out the clumps, that is fine and we like that doing twice a day. But when they start cleaning up with smelling things or even putting in disgusting deodorant products, we vote with our feet. We go elsewhere. Just leaving a little heap outside the litter tray does the trick. Try it.
At least your human has the wit to give you two trays. Some human pets try to get away with one litter tray for two or three cats. It's horrible. Some don't clean up twice daily either and the clumps build up so that our paws get into it when we dig. I always try to tell my human that I like a clean tray by waiting till they have cleaned it then ostentatiously popping in to use it while they can see me. They seem to find this irritating and some don't get the message at all. Dumb animals, of course.

The bottom cleaning sounds really awful, Harvey. What does she think she is doing? A wet flannel, indeed! Luckily most humans leave feline bottoms well alone, since we have the claws to make them suffer if they interfere with private bits of our anatomy. The only time Celia put a hand on a feline bottom was when she was fostering Pushkin at his fattest. He just couldn't reach. So she snipped away at his fur, while he was forcibly held by her nephew. As soon as he lost a few ounces, he attended to his own bottom and made it clear to her that she had no further business with that area. She's stupid like all humans, but she got the message after he gave her a sharp nip.
I suppose rabbits can't bite but you could try giving her a good kicking. My local rabbits have had some kind of fight (mating season?) and there are tufts of fur all over the garden.
Have a go at her, Harvey. Let her know who's boss.
George.

PS. What's this singing? I don't approve of human caterwauls. They don't get their miaows in tune.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My journey from victim of dysfunctional home to human trainer


Dear George,
I am on the brink of becoming a human trainer and I am eventually aiming to become a human behaviour counsellor like you with a B Sc in applied human behaviour. But learning about this species and putting the information into effect is a very steep learning curve for a cat who started life in a three-walled shed with an upturned dustbin full of straw as a home. The next 18 months in West Oxon Cats Protection gave me proper health care and regular meals, but I became disillusioned with the humans who came and stared at me, and my pen mate, Mini. I simply didn't want to adopt any of them. All of them preferred Mini and they would make wounding remarks about my dark fur and ugly looks as if I couldn't understand what they were saying.
Eventually I got so desperate that I settled on your secretary, Celia. I took over the two spare bedrooms and just lived under one of the beds for two months, emerging to use the litter tray in the other bedroom, and sometimes exploring the house at night. I didn't much care for Celia until by sheer chance I discovered I could train her to tickle my tummy. I have trained her to do this for half an hour at a time. But the woman wants to pick me up? How can I stop her doing this?
Yours anxiously
Miss Tilly Purr.

Dear Tilly,
A strong wriggle usually deals with the picking up obsession - an obsession shared by many humans. You have to understand - as your further education in human behaviour will help - that this species is desperate for our love. They are naked, awkward, and cat dependant. They seek the high of a cat cuddle and will go to any lengths to get it. Thes
e are human cat addicts. They can't help it. They are people who love cats too much.
If a wriggle doesn't work, try an Miaow rebuke. If that is not enough to deter her, scratch. If further measures are needed, bite. If the human holds you high up, go for the nose. It is an exquisitely sensitive organ (though hopeless for smelling) and a sharp nip there will really hurt.
Personally I am
out of all patience with my secretary. She got above herself and has been writing a book about cats. That is my job. I am the writer in the relationship but I fear her envious nature has prompted her to try to ruin my literary career. Worse still, I have only completed two chapters of my book while hers is now in the book shops.
She has stolen my title. The working title was
Humans Behaving Badly. Heaven knows, they do. Now I shall have to think of something else. I am considering stealing her thunder by using a picture of a naked human splayed across the floor in the same way as the kitten is on her book.
All in all I am in a very bad mood with her. I suggest you use strong measures and perhaps together we can put her in her place. Let's miaow, scratch, bite, and sneer as much as possible.

George

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Victor Meldrew? Not any more now I am loved. Well, less grumpy!


Dear George
A few years ago your wretched secretary described me as a Victor Meldrew sort of cat (after the British TV series about a grumpy oldie). Maybe I was rather grumpy. I had spent a lot of time in catteries and then in rescue, so it was quite understandable that I used to swipe my claws at interfering humans. Yes, I admit it. I growled a lot too. It got them out of my space.
But, George, and this is the point of this letter, I am now a happy relaxed cat thanks to Louise who adopted me. Somehow when she came to Battersea Cat and Dog Home, she looked a sort of OK human - not something you can say about all of them. With a huge effort of self control, I refrained from biting her. And she took me home - forever.

It was rather a strain for me and I spent a few days under the bed. When I emerged I began to settle in and occasionally - just to please them - I will even sit on their lap. Do I bite and claw? Of course, I do, when I think they deserve it. But Louise is a sensible human who has learned to obey me. She occasionally has issues about how much space I leave for her in my bed (why doesn't she use one of the other 4 beds?) but otherwise has become a really good pet. And I am now training her mother in law, who doesn't like cats. I am working on her and she is coming round.
Regards, Louis

Dear Louis,
I remember the article in the Daily Telegraph and I recall thinking that Celia had perhaps been rather unfair on you. After all why shouldn't a cat in rescue be rather grumpy? It's no fun being banged up in a prison cell. Besides some of us cats just don't like humans very much and, alas, we have good reason for it. They abandon us in rescue centres and the worst ones just turn us out to starve on the streets.
I am glad that Louise has shaped up to become a good pet for you, Louis. Obviously, you were always going to be the sort of owner who demands a lot from their human, which probably meant that you spent more time than you ought in rescue. A word to all cats out there currently up for adoption, PRETEND to be nice. Deception pays off with these simple minded humans.
However, there are good humans like Louise who will take home difficult (in their eyes) cats. We need them.
Love George
PS. One of your fans says: "He looks a bit like a grumpy general with his white moustache and long whiskers and he leans on one elbow when he lies down or stretches out his front legs and crosses his paws over in front of him in what we call posh paws."

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Are cats really aggressive?



Dear George,

We are quite disturbed that one of our friends is not allowed to play outside because he was “aggressive” with one of his mom’s friends. To protest and make our mommy “do something” about this stupid situation we decided to wrack the house (as you can see in this photo – and we are allowed (sic)!).

Here is what happened; let’s call our friend “Mister” (not his real name).

Two days ago a friend of Mister’s mommy pay her a visit.

So….they were talking for a while when M’s mommy went to the kitchen to make a coffee. M was sitting quietly in the living room with his mom’s friend

We don’t know what happened there, we don’t know if she tried to pet him or do something, all we know is that M attacked her really bad. She couldn’t really defend herself since she had one leg in a cast. M was taken to a vet right away.

He was okay but scared since everybody was scramming at him.

We think that this is not right. We know that this friend of M’s mom has a cat. Could be her cat’s smell that drove M crazy? We are really worried about his welfare.

He is a really sweet, big, purring guy! Our “mommy” is working on his mom to calm her down and make her ask for some advice before jumping to conclusions.

We thought to ask for your help! What do you think it could trigger M’s reaction? Can you ask Celia to help, please (with typing, of course)?

Love & hugs

Fluffy & Cayenne


Dear Fluffy and Cayenne,

It may be that Mister saw something through the kitchen window and turned on the human in what is called redirected aggression (because he couldn't reach what was outside). More likely he was scared. Most aggressive cats are frightened cats. It may be that the human did something which terrified him (which she didn't realise) and he lashed out from fear. Could the plaster cast have hit him without the human realising it? If it was a big bite or a big scratch, it is likely to be fear. We can't be sure because it is not clear what happened.

Tell Mister's human not to jump to conclusions that he is an aggressive cat. He may just - at that moment - have been a very frightened cat. She should wait to see if Mister does this to anybody else. Keeping us cats indoors has its downside. If she is going to do this, she need to think how to give him more to do in the house - details for keeping indoor cats happy are on www.celiahaddon.com

One bite doesn't make an aggressive dog and one attack doesn't make an aggressive cat. Get Mister's human to read Celia's website on aggression and email her via that if necessary. We cats don't attack humans because we are "aggressive". We attack them because we are terrified, because we are frightened and want to make a human keep its distance, because we are starved of hunting opportunities (if we are indoor cats), or just occasionally because we are super confident cats that have learned to bite humans to get their attention.

Punishing us doesn't work. It makes us even more frightened and desperate. Take time to analyse what went wrong, and change things so that we cats can be our calm and loving selves. When the cat human relationship goes wrong, the human has to change the situation. We can't.

George

PS. I added on a photo of a cat looking aggressive. She was actually terrified.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Brushing my teeth ... I don't think so!


Dear George,
The other night I heard my humans talking about “preventive dental care”. As I was trying to understand their point, I heard them mentioning “brushing”, “toothpaste”, solution, etc. Girrr! I’m pretty sure they were talking about me and my sister since they brush their teeth regularly and sometimes I even witness this disgusting human habit! We (Fluffy & I) are given some treats for “teeth health” on regular basis, plus we eat some “fresh/raw” meat twice a week. Don’t you think this is enough? Just…..out of curiosity; what is your advice regarding dental care? What do you do (or what other cats do) to maintain healthy gums & teeth? Wishing all cats healthy smiles & healthy teeth☺ Hugs Cayenne

Dear Cayenne,
They tried a toothbrush on me -- three times. First the vet, then Celia, then Celia once more. A huge piece of plastic wand with bristles attached which they put right into my mouth, pulling back my gums as they did so. In order to reach the teeth, they said. On top of the bristles was an agreeable paste tasting of malt, but that didn't make up for the way my mouth was being misused by these humans.
With the vet, I merely cowered in my basket looking helpless and afraid. That often rouses the mother in Celia and is enough to stop her. It didn't. Having bought the expensive kit from the vet, she went home and tried it on me. I wriggled and wriggled and when we cats wriggle we can be very difficult to hold. She tried a third time and it was enough. I bit her. Strong measures were called for and they worked.
Her methods then changed for the better. For a time, she used to give me about two square inches of thick ox heart. Very very tasty. A really good human idea. I adored it. True, the blood was messy on the kitchen floor as I tackled the business of trying to chew and eat. Alas, she stopped this on the ground she had to buy a whole ox heart and keep it in the freeze in slices and, moreover, it was difficult to get offal from the butcher in the first place.
Now she has settled for dental dried food. Till recently it was Hills prescription dental diet but I seem to have got an allergy to this and developed diarrhoea each time she gave it. I love it but it doesn't now love me. So instead she has changed brands to Royal Canin non prescription which claims to get rid of something like 57% of the tartar. I don't eat it all the time - just get given a small proportion as a treat. It meets with my approval
But the ox heart was by far the best. Try it, Cayenne, if you can persuade your human. We need good teeth to bite our humans when they step out of line!
Purr and rubs
George
PS. The vet inspects my teeth at vaccination time - important because dental resorptive lesions, tooth rot, are hell for cats. We move towards the food bowl, try a little food, then back off with the pain of it.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

How can I throw my human out of the Master Bedroom?


Dear George,
As you can see, I am King Winston of English descent and I was the king of the house…..until my housekeepers moved to a new house. As soon as we moved to this new place, my male housekeeper “took" away from me the Master Bedroom and Master King Size Bed! I know he is of English descent too, but I don’t think we are related (unless he is one of some unknown relative’s of mine off springs).
Anyway, this is LES MAJESTE (and I hope he knows what that means)! George, William, Oscar…. I need all your help to kick him out of the Master Bedroom. (I want him down in the basement – that’s where he should be). My female human is very nice, a real lady and very kind. I don’t mind to share my king size bed with her. I know that if I start pushing inch by inch…..soon I’ll have the whole bed for me. But…what can I do about my male human? How can I move him fast in the basement?
In bewilderment Sir Winston


Dear Sir Winston,
It amazes me that your female human doesn't prefer you to a mere human in the bed. Such beautiful green eyes, elegant white spats and shirt front! Surely he's not as elegant as you are? OK, so I realise there are some things he can do which you can't (I presume like me you've been fixed). But can he purr? I bet he can't. It is outrageous that he thinks he has the right to sleep in your Master Bedroom. The man needs to be put in his place - well below Alpha cat, Sir Winston.
So how do you get him out of the Master Bedroom and into the basement? There is a choice - purr or claw. The purring method consisters of pretending to be nice -- too nice. Get right into his face at night - literally sleep over it. This nearly suffocates humans and they can bear very little of it. If he has a beaky sort of nose (inferior to your elegant one), it may be a tad uncomfortable. In that case simply sleep on the pillow right next to him and edge yourself so that you are sideways on but absolutely tight against his face. Not quite so suffocating, but pretty close.
As well as suffocating him, snore. Loudly. Walk up and down his body in the early hours of the morning. Pause merely to knead hard at any tender bits round the groin. This apparently loving gesture is extremely painful if aimed at the correct area and if the bedclothes are not too thick. It also looks affectionate in the eyes of the female human, so there is less likelihood of your getting booted outside the Master Bedroom yourself.
Incidentally, I assume you have put an end to hanky panky, or knookie, how's-your-father or bit-of-the-other (as we Brits call it in tabloid newspapers). Most of us cats sleep between our humans to remind them that we don't approve of it. Their juvenile humping and noise interferes with our sleep. We pet cats have turned to a graceful celibacy. They should do the same if they want to keep us happy.
The claw method of chucking a human out of bed is direct punishment. Use your male human as a scratching post. Bite his ears, or his nose - exquisitely painful. Crawl under the duvet and grab his toes or those other bits near the groin. That'll shift him fast. But it may also lead to human aggression. While there is no excuse whatsover for human cruelty to cats, humans can lose control which is why punishment in the bedroom has its risks. The unhealed wounded human is dangerous to be near! I'd go for the subtler purr method myself.
Best of luck,
George

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I bite humans. I enjoy seeing them flinch. Should I stop?


Dear George,
I bite humans. Here I am stuck in a pen waiting for somebody to adopt me. Worse still, until recently I itched and itched and itched. I felt so bad I pulled out all the fur of my belly and backside. The anti-flea stuff they gave me made me so ill I thought I was going to have a fit. Then they changed my diet- after four months of itching - and my hair is beginning to grow back. You can just seem the remains of the bald bits if you look carefully at my tummy. I used to bite humans because I felt so itchy and awful. Now I just bite them anyway. They keep wanting to touch or pet me and I just want them to keep a respectful distance. Biting works well. I bit Celia four times in ten minutes. I wonder if I should stop. I don't much like the human race.
Zealand

Dear Zealand,
There's no ethical reason why you should stop nipping and biting humans. After all they are a different species and we cats don't owe them anything. Least of all you. Your humans gave up on you and just chucked you out into a rescue centre, where you are now. While you were itching all over, no wonder you bit. It must have been hell if you needed to pull out your own fur. No wonder you don't like humans.
Humans have this unhealthy desire to cuddle. And to touch. They must do it. They don't seem to realise that cats like you, who were probably given the wrong education as kittens, are frightened of being touched, or hugged, or cuddled or picked up. You want to be in a household where you get regular meals, somewhere nice to sleep, and you can get on with your own life - perhaps doing a bit of hunting in the garden. You are a no cuddles cat.
Celia can take it. She spent a year going into rescue centres and has been bitten by a large number and variety of cats -- frightened tabbies, neurotic pedigrees, Persians that have suffered from rough grooming, beautiful white princess pussycats terrified of the nearby noise of dogs, terrified gingers cowering in their beds, and cats like you that just bit any passing hand. The worst consisted of a bite plus a real clawing when half her hand swelled up. She doesn't enjoy it but she does understand that cats in rescue shelters are highly traumatised.
However, there is a reason for rethinking your biting policy. The more you bite, the more difficult it will be to find a home. Kittens find homes easily. Loving cuddly adult cats usually only stay about a few weeks in rescue. Somebody who wants a cat comes into the pen and picks them up and cuddles them and they purr.
But when somebody comes into the pen tries to pick up a cat and gets bitten, they often have to wait for months and months. Is there any chance you could try to be nice? Or just try not to bite till they take you home. Think about it. There are a few humans who don't mind being bitten but not many.
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