Follow by Email

Showing posts with label cat territory. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cat territory. Show all posts

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Astrocats..... famous cats, space, and our new territory cyberspace

Dear George,
Did you ever hear about Astrocats?
I'm asking you because I'm thinking if I should consider the possibility (as you can see in the picture).
In the sixties, when dogs were being sent into space, cats had the good sense to avoid the trip.
In 1963, for example, when the French government had numerous cats undergoing intensive training for possible space flight, 10 of the would-be astrocats were “decommissioned” for eating too much! Even Felix, a Parisian street cat chosen to undertake the first mission, managed to escape at the last minute.
On October 18, 1963, his replacement, a female cat named Félicette, blasted off on a 100-mile flight lasting less than 15 minutes and was recovered, safe, but probably mad as hell.
So, George what do you think? Should cats take over the cyberspace?
CAT Victoria

Dear CAT Victoria,
Yes, of course, we should. Cyberspace is different from real space out there. Real space has killed score of animals - monkeys, mice, dogs (remember Laika the first dog in space), guinea pigs and even fruit flies. All sent off in a rocket to their deaths, because humans were happy to sacrifice them for their own safety in space.
Cyberspace is different. Just look at Youtube for videos of cats or I can haz cheezburgher. We have practically taken them over. We are even more popular the Hitler parodies - and that's saying something. Not forgetting the website Cats that look like Hitler or blogs about cats like Jan's Funny Farm or blogs written by cats like Harry Spotter. Harry is so exclusive that you have to ask to be permitted to read his blog, though he did once write a letter to me! Also worth looking at the Cat Blogosphere linkies where many bloggers like me leave their pawmarks. Cats like Mabel the Stroud cat are also taking over Facebook.
So onward and upward Victoria. Forget about space travel. That's yesterdays story. Let's just take over the internet completely.
George.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Why am I clawing visitors?

Dear George,
 My name is Golab and I’m a rescue. I was adopted from a shelter by this wonderful family, my new human parents.  I don’t know how old I am but I can’t be too old as I still remember the abuse I suffered before I was rescued. All is too fresh in my memory. 
I love my humans and they love me. I’m happy and at peace as you can see in the photo attached. I’m treated like royalty. I take pride in my humans and my home.  But, I have an issue; for whatever reasons I claw everybody else visiting my humans.
I know my humans are worried and perhaps upset. I don’t know how to tell them that I’m afraid of other people, I don’t trust other people and each time they have company I panic that the company will take them away from me and I’ll be abandoned and abused again. I’m not possessive or jealous, I’m just scared.
George, the problem is that they will have family from overseas visiting soon and they are thinking of renting a flat just for me so they will come daily to visit me and spend time together. This is very generous of them but I don’t want to live in a flat for three months. George, this is a very serious matter and I need your expertise.
Firstly, why do you think I act like this….clawing everybody visiting them?
Secondly, what should I do? Is there anything I can do or they can do so?
How can we all live in peace (visitors included)?
In distress
Golab

Dear Golab,
Some of us are one-human cats. We love our human pets, but we don't love or even much like any other human. Well, it's natural, isn't it? Those of us who were in animal shelters have often seen the worst side of human nature - humans throwing things at us, humans shouting, and sometimes cats have even been tortured in the microwave by sick human beings. Feral humans can be vile,much more evil than any animals.
I expect it took you time to learn to trust again. Now you do trust your new human pets, which is wonderful. I am sure that they have responded to your growing confidence and love.
Now it is time for them to look after you. Renting a special flat for you isn't exactly what you want. You'd prefer if they rented the flat for these visiting humans! However, that might not happen. Perhaps they would think of a cattery - not much fun for you, but if you have been in a rescue shelter you probably at least know the score.
If none of this happens, find a safe area in your home - under your humans' bed, on a high cupboard in the spare room, in a box cut to make a hidey hole or perhaps on a bookshelf somewhere. Settle in there. If you can, purrsuade your humans to keep the visitors away from your space. Maybe they could even give you a room of your own for a bit with your own litter tray, food and water, and a familiar bed. A Feliway diffuser would help too.
Tell them to tell the visitors to ignore you. If they are staying a long time, you may feel confident enough to come out and take a look at them. 
Yours
George


Friday, October 18, 2013

Cell phones and cool cats. Puss Puss speaks out.

Dear George,
Really, I am at my wit’s end. As you know, my human female has always been a challenging subject—fascinating for research, terrible in the service department. And it’s gotten worse! This past weekend, the time was 5:30—in the morning!—and there was no sign of a forthcoming meal. Naturally, I went to awaken the humans to demand service. I opened their bedroom door, jumped up on the bedside table, and poked, prodded, and meowed plaintively; but I got no response. I was motivated only by concern: I could have starved to death, a circumstance which I find extremely concerning.
While desperately trying to awaken the human female, I noticed her cell phone on the bedside table. I have examined this device before, and find that it changes pictures interestingly when prodded. Also, I have heard the female vocalizing on it in the past, apparently to other humans. In my moment of need, I reasoned that if humans communicate with phones, perhaps I could use this phone to remotely give other humans orders to come and feed me—which would be useful. So, I decided to use my human female’s cell phone to signal for help.
Unfortunately, the bald thumbist prejudice with which these devices are constructed renders them difficult to use by higher beings who lack apelike grip hooks on their limbs. In frustration, I poked at the phone, and I prodded it; and all I succeeded in arriving at was something called a “Facebook page,” where there happened to be displayed an annoying photograph of a cake. But I noticed something: if you don’t like the pictures of cakes or humans or what have you that are on these “pages,” there’s a little button you can poke which reports it as “inappropriate”—presumably to some central authority, which logically must signal some official humans to come and take away the human who put the offending picture there. I was angry, George, and I was hungry, and I have had years of slow and shoddy service from this human female. So I did it. I pushed the “report” button, and then sat back comfortably on the phone to wait for my miscreant humans to be taken away for
neglecting me.
Not only did no-one show up to take these humans away, but the stupid phone has an alarm in it, which makes it vibrate at a certain time. I was sitting upon the phone, awaiting justice, when this alarm went off. You can imagine, George, that my distress was immediate and complete. I later needed an extra meal and a nap in the closet to recover from the shock. And it turns out that all that I reported was the stupid picture of the stupid cake, a mistake which the human female later and with great embarrassment sorted out with the cake’s owner.
So here it is: I am at the end of my rope. I don’t think these humans can be turned into decent servants, years of effort notwithstanding; and reporting the deadbeats I live with to whatever authorities monitor the cake pages proved to be an exercise in futility. George, help me: is there some way I can bend the humans’ technology to my will, use it to re-home the lot of them (two humans, their human kitten, and their ridiculous little dogs), and keep the house for myself? It is, after all, my territory, and I have worked long and hard getting it to smell and look just so. Can I somehow phone in an order for another complete human staff to come to me, instead of me going to them, and have them provide me with meals and regular litter box changes, not to mention an unending supply of tuna-flavored Pounce? There is some Pounce left, in the kitchen, but the supply is down to two full bottles and I think that this is a dangerously low level. Maybe there is a central authority I can
ring up for more Pounce?
George, I rely upon your calm feline guidance to help me determine a course of action. I anxiously await your advice. Time is of the essence! I haven’t eaten in nearly an hour.

Neglectedly,
Puss-Puss
.

Dear Puss-Puss,
I am in awe of you. You are the first cat I know who has successfully used Facebook. And what was wrong with labelling a human cake inappropriate? It surely was. Now a photo of a bowl full of cat food or even a mouse would have been appropriate. Don't give up. Purrsue this excursion into social networking further.
Although we naturally want to rehome unsatisfactory humans, it is usually easier for us cat flap cats to rehome ourselves. But not in a hurry. First explore the neighbourhood, visit various humans, and assess whether they would make better pets than your own. This will involve setting up new territory which is a massive bore.
Why not see if you can progress further. Get on to twitter and start tweeting your dilemma to the outside world. This might shame them into better behaviour. I see you have already purrsuaded your human to post about you on the Cats Behaving Badly Facebook page. Go further: set up your own Facebook page and start letting the world know about your awful humans.
And congratulations on a feline first. Keep poking that mobile phone.
George.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dear George,
My name is Maggie and I’m a 12 years old (and cute) rescue as you can see in the photo.
I was rescued as a kitten with three other cats. We always lived downstairs with our mommy.  Her daughter always lived up-stairs with her human tomcat and their rescued tabby, Ziggy.  There always was a lot of mystery of what was happening behind the door that separated the downstairs from upstairs. I could “smell” Ziggy through the doors but we never interacted. Even in the rare occasions when we tried to pay a visit… his daddy was so protective of this “Prince Charming” that we, the other cats, couldn’t even catch a glimpse of him.
Unfortunately not long ago my mommy crossed the Rainbow Bridge and we suffered very much losing her. I was her favourite and I was by her side until the very last minute.
It was very hard for me and so was for my mommy’s daughter that now became my new mommy! But, I took on…. the mission to be the Alpha Cat in the house.
My new mommy leaves all the doors open so we can have free access everywhere in the house.  George, you probably guessed by now ….why I’m writing to you!
Yes! You are right – my first real encounter with Ziggy was a disaster. He tried to ignore me - as you can see him in the photo - pretending he’s watching TV. It did not end well.
I beat him up! That created a lot of trouble! His daddy was very upset and my new mommy was trying to make peace. But, so did end up the second and third and any other encounter. The others cats are OK; they get along well with Ziggy. It is just me!
I know they are not going to send us to shelters …but…why am I acting like this? Am I jealous? Am I upset at his daddy? Or…am I crazy? I want Ziggy’s dad to love me too!
I wish we all live in peace!
 Yours very sad and confused
Maggie

Dear Maggie
The problem is your humans not you. Humans think that we cats can get on with almost any other cat, like dogs do. Dogs will go to the park and then play with stranger dogs. Our attitude is very different. Some of us are quite social: others are natural loners. You may be a natural loner.
If you are, you naturally try to see off strange other cats. It is just in your nature to do so. And Ziggy is another cat. I wonder if there is any way in which you could have your own space, perhaps with a microchip operated cat flap inside the house to keep Ziggy out? These flaps are a boon. Your human could adjust it so that only you could go in and out (or perhaps the other three cats) but Ziggy could not. Or visa versa - giving Ziggy a safe place of his own.
Now that you have had several fights you are not going to become friends with him. So the best thing your humans can do is try to arrange the house so that you two can avoid each other. Lots of hiding places for him and for you (because although you are fighting him, it is because you are afraid). Cardboard boxes with holes cut in them? High shelves?
Worst come to the worst, get your humans to time share themselves. Ziggy comes into the living room at 6-8pm while you are shut out: then from 8pm-10pm you are in the living room while he is shut out. Make sure both of you have an place in the house which is your den and where you can be separated at night: so both of you can have a period free from stress.
You are not crazy, Maggie. You are just a natural loner cat needing her own space, and doing her best to cope. A Feliway diffuser in the area where you spend most of your time, and another one where Ziggy hangs out might help the general atmosphere. You need two because if you have to share one, fights might break out again.
Finding yourself a new home might not be the worst solution: but at your age it can be difficult to find one.
Yours with the greatest sympathy
George.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Emergency - a vicious kitten and a sadly demented human

Dear George,
My household is completely upset by this small tortoiseshell and white kitten who has the impertinence to harass me
When she first arrived, it wasn't too bad. She was kept in quarantine with an infection so I just lost one room of my territory. Then she expanded her territory into a second room. As the weather has been fine that wasn't too bad either. I spent a lot of time out.
But the other day I slipped in after my human just to check out the possibilities of a second meal (found a few fragments as you can see). At first she just sniffed me then she started biffing me. She ran up and down the room landing small kitten punches as she passed.
It was very upsetting. I had to get the human to let me out. Me who is five times her size had to retreat. How can I get rid of her? She is a rescue foster kitten, but it is me who needs rescuing.
Yours,
Toby, Disgusted of Ringwood.

Dear Toby,
You have a problem and that problem is not the kitten, but your pet human. If she is moving into rescuing kittens, your home won't be your own again. Humans with a pathological rescue tendency fill the home with rescued cats. Sometime, when this human psychological condition gets too overwhelming, the place becomes a death trap - scores of cats, disease, and not enough litter trays.
Act now and act firmly. I suggest you spray along the door which opens into the kittens room. This should get a message to your human that you do not want the intruder in your life. If you do get into the room, do not let food distract you, biff back. You should be able to fight off a kitten without using your claws. Use your weight instead.
If you are lucky, this will be a temporary aberration and the kitten will shortly disappear to a new home. Cross your paws, Toby. And pray to that Higher Feline that looks after the welfare of cats.
Yours with sympathy,
George.
For sad news about Gerry read http://everycat.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/gerry-little-cat-made-of-fun-farewell.html

Friday, July 05, 2013

Hissy Alert..... Intruders into my (our) territory.

 
Dear George,
I was most interested to read your recent blog relating Zoe's problems with overly-protective humans and of only recently being allowed out into her garden without the barbaric constraints of a lead. And that after two years. 
As a kitten I was fortunate enough to be taken to my human's house in a nice suburb of south-east London which was in a cul de sac  (which is a way of saying no through traffic and watch out for human kittens') with a nice shielded garden on his own and backed on to a nature reserve.Bliss! Fun! Heaven!
The house next door had a half-breed wild/domestic rabbit which was loose in the garden and we became quite good friends, scampering around each other, jumping over one-another.

Sadly this friendship was broken as it had to go back to its real owner, who had been in hospital, the mother of the lady next door. Still, I soon had another friend, a sister, as some idiot human had let my mother get pregnant immediately after me and my four siblings. This time it was seven. So I had a younger sister. Then my mummy came, as her human "could not cope". Huh! 
 Anyway, to skip some years, we all moved out to countryside where we had a garden on the edge of real, wild forest. In which we used to go on family walks with our human. We don't do that now, as some nasty mean person closed the direct route and we had to get to it along the side of a road, which none of us liked.
Still, I am now old at 11 human years and I prefer life closer to home. In my own private garden. Shared with family, of course. But not with strangers.
And here is my story relating to Zoe. Some people near-by have a cat which they kept tethered on a lead in their garden for two years. Then they let it off the lead. So, naturally, it explored the area. It is a quiet, fairly shy cat, obviously unused to the wide world.
There I was, checking out the grasses in the wild garden my human has in an attempt to attract bees, butterflies, anything that has not been killed by the pesticides voted for by our local MP and Under Secretary, when Bailey appeared, as I have heard it called.
I resented her intrusion. I told her so. She looked sad and wandered off. I don't mean to be mean, but what is mine (er, ours) is mine (ours). Still, it is good that Bailey can get around and see the world. And I suppose that she may come into the edge of my, er, our garden and sit in the long, long grass.  Just so she remembers where her own place is when it is time to go home. Which is when her tummy tells her it is time. Or I drop a hint.
Anyway, love to all.
Milly

Dear Milly,
I see from the photos that you are coping well with the invader. I suggest one or two further measures in the way of scent messages. If you can (and not all cats do), try spraying on various territorial items such as fencing, tree trunks, shrubs etc. Do a lot of chin rubbing too. Leave a message which tells Bailey "I was here at 5pm."  If it is only 5.10pm, ie only ten minutes later, she will be cautious about intruding further. If more time has elapsed she may feel you are no longer there and can intrude a bit further.
Time sharing. That's what it is all about for us cats. The importance of scent is that we don't have to be there to get the message across. We can make territory arrangements without being face to face - just like our human's emails and letters. Scenti messages are feline texts. That way, we can avoid out and out conflict.
Too bad about your local human MP's attitude to pesticides. Humans don't get it do they? Fewer bees, other insects, and caterpillars (killed by pesticides), means fewer fertilised flowers and grasses, means fewer birds, less corn, which means less food for cats and humans.
They are so stupid.
Yours in irritation
George


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Freedom..... why do humans fuss so much?

Dear George, 
I’m Zoe – remember me? About two years ago (on a sunny Father’s Day) I was rescued from a shelter as my human daddy fell in love with me – I was such a cute kitten! It was love at first sight. Well, I grew up since and I’m very proud to announce that in these two years I trained my humans unexpectedly well and I even got “my human mommy” hooked for life (of course to me). But, all this time I was kept indoors as they were too scared to let me out in the backyard. But now, I finally can claim……VICTORY!
I convinced them to let me out to enjoy my beautiful backyard.
At the beginning they let me out in the garden on a leash and under their strict supervision. Now they start letting me out free, no more leash but I think they are stalking me. If I jump trying to catch a butterfly ….they jump from a nearby bush. If I hide under a bush hunting something….they come to see what I’m doing. I really enjoy the garden - as you can see in the pictures - but how can I make them stop stalking me? I don’t want to call the police on them. Any tips? I’m so happy to be free in the garden!
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers!
Zoe

Dear Zoe,
Looks like you are having a great time in the garden. I can see you are measuring up that fence with the idea of climbing over it. And it's lovely to nap on a bed of flowers, isn't it?
The freedom issue is a tough one for us cats. In the USA veterinary humans (grrrr... how I loathe vets) are in favour of keeping all cats indoors. What do I think of that? Well to me it seems like keeping us captive in a zoo. Not an impossible life but a diminished life - unless humans do a lot to entertain us. And by the way they can get some tips here. I suppose if you have never known freedom, then you don't know what you have missed. The feral cat down the road says this to me when I discuss my lack of interest in sex after the snip.
But you have made your bid for freedom. I suggest luring your humans into a state of relaxation about it. Humans can't help worrying. It is part of their emotional dependence upon us cats. They may seem like adults or father figures; but at heart they are just kittens when it comes to their relationship with the superior species, us. They are neotonised - that's the posh word for it. We are the grown ups.
So don't let them see you eyeing up the fence. Pretend that you are happy just to chill out in the garden. Give them a month of this, and they will stop worrying.
Then you can whisk over that fence for a look at the big world outside.
Love 
George.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Hot cars for cats - bonnets are inviting and safer than car boots

Dear George
I read with interest your advice to Caspar to stay away from car boots. Sensible advice, with which I entirely agree.
However, there is another aspect to cars which is much more cat-friendly than their boots. It is their bonnets. When cars come to rest, the front of them is warm and cosy. 
I live in a Cats Protection cattery, as one of the outdoor cats, and I appreciate the visitors' cars. As soon as one cools down, I move to another one. They are the equivalent of a heated cat bed with a better view .... costing nothing.
What are your views on this issue, brother?
Yours
Tyson

Dear Tyson,
The front of a car that has come to rest is a boon to outdoor cats, especially those whose pets do not supply a heated cat bed. As you say, they are warm, safe from passing dogs, and give an agreeable view of urban surroundings.
There is only one drawback. Some humans are ridiculously possessive of their cars and object to us using them. "Look at those paw marks. I shall have to get it cleaned," I heard a human wail the other day.
Odd isn't it? They used to kill leopards for their spots, and they often wear fake leopardskin dresses, tops, hats and even shoes. They enjoy the markings. Many items are sold with fake paw marks on them. And here we are, decorating the front of their cars for free, and they object. 
Inconsistent and wayward - that's humans for you. I consider their attachment to their cars to be dysfunctional.  But then what would you expect from a dysfunctional species?
You may be free from human abuse, since most visitors to a shelter are going to be cat lovers. But I would warn other cats to take careful note of the human beings that enter these cars and, while they are sunning themselves on the bonnet, move off sharply if these individual humans come towards them.
It's no good telling me all humans look like to you. They don't. That is specieism of the worst kind. Cultivate a more sensitive eye for human differences. Recognise and scarper from the individual car owner.
Yours
George

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Re-homing as an option? Help! I want to stay.


Dear George,
I’m Ginger (as you can tell by my looks) and one sunny day I just showed up at my humans’ door. I knew there were two other cats in the house ….but my problem is that I don’t recall how did I know about them or even about these humans. I don’t recall any other human pets I had and I know for sure that I didn’t live on the streets. I find this “lapse of memory” quite strange and I wonder if I got in some “mind control” program. But, who would show an interest in me? I know I’m handsome but still! Could be the dogs?  Maybe the  humans? Or….the ET’s? I recall I was cat-sited by a gorgeous woman who thought she did not like cats. I mean, she is 100% positive she’s not a cat person….but I can tell you that she’s one nice, purring cat at heart! My problem George is that my current human pets are not happy with me because I’m teasing the older cats. All I want is to have some fun, I don’t mean any harm. But they are in big distress because they are loyal to the older cats? Since when seniority is a priority in the cats’ world? Why humans favor seniority? Why not go for the cutest (which I definitely am)? George, what should I do? Re-home myself and make them feel guilty for the rest of their life or risk to be re-homed by them and live with a broken heart for the rest of my life? Oh, man! I love them so much and I love their leather couches (as you can see in the photo). George, I desperately need your advice! Maybe you can share some tricks I can use and stay with these human patents, I mean pets? PLEASE!
Ginger

Dear Ginger,
At least you are off the street in a nice warm place. Whatever happens next is not going to be nearly as bad as trying to survive outside in the cold without human help. Any human who has taken you in will be responsible enough to rehome you somehow, even if it does mean a stay in a cat rescue pen for a bit.
Humans have an old trades union rule which is First In, First Out. For once, these human pets have the right idea. The interests of older resident cats must come first. When you get older, yourself, and have lived in a home for years, you may appreciate it more. Nothing is more irritating to us middle aged or elderly cats than a manic adolescent feline chasing us and generally harassing us.
I am not sure if it is any use telling you to control yourself, to stop the chasing, to leave the other cats alone. You may not be able to do this. Have they made arrangements to help the other cats avoid you? Time sharing space perhaps. Putting you in the spare bedroom at night so the older cats have time out from you? Adding cardboard boxes for them to retreat to? Making sure there is one litter tray per cat (and one over if necessary), in different locations. Installing two seperate feeding locations so you can't ambush the oldies. Has enough time gone by - ie about 3 months - to make sure it won't come right? Do they give you enough games with fishing rod toys to tire you out?
If all this is done and they rehome you, it won't break your heart. I tell you now cats break their hearts over humans rarely if at all. Humans just aren't worth it. You are so gorgeous you will find another home, hopefully one which you can have all to yourself. As long as the food is good and the house is warm, one human is much like another when it comes down to it.
George.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stressed, unhappy and never off the litter tray... what's going on?

Dear George,  
I am a very troubled boy, and I hope that you can help me.
 I lived in a nice house with my human, and I liked it very much. I had all my things around me, direct access to the garden and I was very comfortable and relaxed there. It was my house – my home!
 Then about 8 weeks ago, there was lots of disruptions all my things were packed away and I was put in my cat basket and taken to another house – a strange house, with lots of strange smells…and none of them my comforting home smells. Obviously I was distressed by this and began meowing continuously to my human and pacing up and down the rooms. My human tried to comfort me by stroking me and talking softly to me. She also put down worn items of her clothing in different rooms so I could smell her everywhere around the house, but it still didn’t calm me.
 As the weeks went on my agitation grew and I just couldn’t settle. My agitation was made worse by the fact that we are now living in a flat, so I have to go out of my house and down a strange ‘shared’ corridor to get outside. And there is another cat who lives next door to us that uses the corridor too, and he didn’t take kindly to me using it and spat at me. Now I am even more upset. My human bought some Feliway plug ins, and whilst they calm me down for a while, my anxiety comes back.
 I have taken to using my litter tray constantly, sometimes as much as every ten minutes, which has given me a very sore and irritated bottom and I sometimes have a bit of blood in my urine. My human is very, very worried about me and doesn’t know where to turn.
 A few months before the move, I got lost for a number of weeks before I was found and re-united with my human. I was a rather traumatised from the experience, but soon settled down back in my home. So I don’t know if this has anything to do with my reaction now at the house move?
 Can you help me George and help my human to understand why I’m behaving like this and not settling down?
 Yours tearfully,
 Thomas.

Dear Thomas,
There is few things more upsetting to a cat than moving house. There you are settled and happy in your territory, when suddenly your pet human stuffs you in a cat box and turns you out into a strange new place. All the smells are wrong. You don't know where anything is. And it feels very very unsafe.
Most of us hide under the bed for a day or two. But some sensitive cats like you suffer from stress-induced illness. All that going to the litter tray is, I fear, a sign of cystitis. Vets (loathsome people) call it FIC, Feline Idiopathic Cystitis.  "Idiopathic" just means "we don't know the cause." But we cats do know the cause. It's stress due to house moving.
The earlier trauma of getting lost will not have helped. That must have been unsettling and probably also very frightening. Then this... poor Thomas. Even loathsome vets know that moving house is stressful for cats and can result in FIC.
Having to share the corridor with another strange cat (who hisses because he is frightened too) is another stress. Perhaps your humans could invest in a cat ladder letting you go outside from the window. Or put several cardboard boxes with entrances in them, where you can hide if the strange cat passes by. Or just keep you safely in the flat till you have recovered. My human's website has some suggestions for how to make indoor life more interesting for you.
Why humans insist on changing their territory is beyond my imagination.  They are a very insensitive species. Your letter makes me feel angry about their ridiculous behaviour.
They must reduce your stress and read the instructions at  http://www.catexpert.co.uk/cats/reasons-why-your-cat-feels-stressed-and-unhappy-and-what-to-do-about-them/
Yours with sympathy,
George.
PS. We hate vets but this is one time when you need their help.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cats on the terrace of my home..where will it end?

 
Dear George:
 Ever since I came to this house -- in a pigfood bag, but I'm not complaining, not for the moment, although I'm not forgetting -- I've quite liked it here. For a while there was a much older cat and he was kind but he wouldn't wrestle. Then he was blind, and then after a year he wasn't here any more. So when this old yellow cat arrived, bits of fur missing, one ear not really attached, I thought he would be a new friend and for a while he was. We used to butt heads and lie in the sun together. But it couldn't last...
The next door neighbour acquired a Siamese kitten and called him Fiel which means faithful which he isn't. This Fiel sat on the roof opposite and screamed, but Siamese do that. Eventually he found his way up the wisteria and came to the terrace and he hasn't really left since then. My staff were feeding the yellow cat out of kindness when they saw that I liked him, even though he only barks or hisses when they bring him food, and they went on feeding him and this Fiel. Now Fiel may be Siamese and Siamese are supposed to like human beings but Fiel just runs away or bounces off the walls or hisses like the yellow cat taught him. He won't leave the yellow cat and the yellow cat won't leave him and now they've moved into the cat house the staff made for the yellow cat and the old cat uses the young cat as a kind of draught excluder - at least I think that's what is going on. I sometimes have to rough up Fiel a bit when he gets in the way, because they're living between the terrace and my catdoor. At least neither one of them knows how to use the catdoor although they've been watching it for ages.
The staff are very clear that I am the owner of this house, the star and the beauty, but they put up with these two on the terrace who are not always respectful and I wonder how it will all end. What should I do and what should they do and how will it end? I know you know, but please tell me...

Your admirer,

Arabella

Dear Arabella,
It is thoughtless of your staff not to buy you a microchip-activated cat flap which will ensure you can come and go but neither of the other two are able. If they can't buy one in Portugal, where you live, tell them that they can get one sent from the UK - Sureflap (which works off a battery) or Pet Porte (plugged into the mains) are the brands to go for. My secretary will post one for them if there are any problems with delivery. A gal like you, photographed for Vogue I am told in this photo, needs her own safe front door. 
Your humans are obviously very cat friendly but in that lies the danger. When will it stop? First the yellow cat, now Fiel (why isn't his humans feeding him?). Goodness knows what will happen next. More starving strays? Then kittens. They will have to call in SNIP, the Society for Neutering Islington's Pussies.
My advice to you is to start being more vigilant. Humans often slip into cat addiction and it may just be that your humans are in danger of this. Moderate recreational feeding of cats is one thing: cat addiction is another. It is an illness which can lead to the horror of 25 cats in the house.
Make your position clear, Arabella. And, should more cats turn up, co-operate with the yellow cat and Fiel to see them off. Enough's enough.
Yours
George.
PS. I am none too keen on Siamese. Miss Ruby Fou, who wrote me a letter made it clear she thought I was just an alley cat. Very nose-in-air,I thought.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

She was trying to make me share my home with a street cat....

Dear George,
I am writing to you with an issue I have which has been tweaking at my conscience.
I appear to have ‘jealously' issues. Over the last 6 weeks there has been a stray cat hanging about outside my home, and every time my human opens the front door he runs over demanding her to fuss him and give him some food (MY food!!!!). He seems to get around her with his pitiful meow and big sorrowful eyes, and she gladly fusses him and feeds him daily. This sends me into a fit of jealous rage and I lean out of the bedroom window and hiss and spit at him furiously.
I know that I should feel sorry for him as he is without a home, is riddled with fleas and his coat is all matted and greasy and he has no one to love him…but I want my human to love ME ALONE, no-one else. I get into such a temper whenever I see my arch enemy, and my human bears the brunt of my fury too, as I nip and hiss at her whenever I know she has fussed him…so much so that she has taken the stray to Battersea Cat’s Home in order to find him a good home (and calm me down!).
Do you think I have a problem George? …Is my jealously out of control?
I look forward to your reply.
Yours guiltily, Sidney Baker
PS – I hope you can read my writing well enough, the crayon kept slipping through my claws.

Dear Sidney,
You do have a problem but it is of your human's making. You should not feel a moment's guilt. It is your human that should feel guilty. She has fallen into the trap of thinking that cats are as promiscuously social as dogs and some humans - though I dare say she would object as strongly as you have, it if you brought a homeless street person into her home. She is completely at fault.
Of course, you hissed and nipped when she walked into the home smelling of the intruder. What decent cat wouldn't! Smell is how we identify friends and foes. How would she feel if her boyfriend came home smelling of another woman? We, cats don't share with other cats unless they are relatives and not always even then.
You have done the right thing. You have expressed your feelings consistently and punished her when appropriate. That is what good human training is all about. Now reward her with purrs and rubs.
You are already generously letting her use your bed at night. Now snuggle up closer so she realises how lucky she is to have an exclusive one-to-one relationship with a cat as glamorous as you.
Yours approvingly
George

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I don't want another cat.....


Dear George,

It’s me Vegas! No, I don’t have a “sister” yet since my human is too busy having company from overseas and I’m teething or what do you call this in cat language?

I’m glad we have company since I have extra hands and toes to bite but I’m quite worried right now! I overheard my human saying something about “having someone moving in with a cat or cats” I personally think this is just terrible. I would like a little sister from same shelter where I came from but, I don’t want any adult cat or cats in my house. They can be mean; they can eat my food, take my bed or shed a lot! I don’t want to sleep on another cat’s hair. Quite so! Why cats shed? And why some shed more then others? Are they sick? Do they lack nutrients in their food? Are they stressed?

Am I going to loose my hair now and become a hairless cat, like a sphinx?

George, what should I do?

Worried

Vegas


Dear Vegas,

You are having trouble with your humans. They are being totally selfish and disregarding your feelings. Of course you don't want another cat, particularly an adult cat who you know nothing about. It was bad enough when they suggested a kitten from the same rescue shelter as yours. Quite bad enough but with great generosity and flexibility you agreed.

I think your selflessness was a mistake. Give humans an inch and they will take an ell (whatever the ell that is!). They have got above themselves. They assume they can do what they like. They think they can just fill the house with cats - adult cats, kittens, visiting cats. It's a disgrace.

You will have to take a stand, Vegas. I suggest a programme of the "silent treatment", occasionally used between human husband and wife. Withdraw all affection. Go further, withdraw all attention. You do not sit on laps. You do not rub their legs. You do not sleep on the bed with them. Or on the sofa near them. If you sit in the same room of them, sit with your back towards them. No eye contact. No miaouws or purrs - that's why it's called the silent treatment.

You might just add vomiting. Projectile vomiting can be a very useful weapon in the armoury against humans. Leave a little heap during the night just where they will step on it, if they get up to use the litter tray.

Any human visitors can be treated with lavish affection - just to make the point that you do not any more love your humans. Make them suffer. Prrrrhaps then they will begin to appreciate you more.

Yours

George

PS. This blog is late because my human's access to the internet failed for 48 hours and because she is rather preoccupied with her (thank goodness not mine) veterinary treatment. Tiresome woman.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Coping with a new dog - train it.


Dear George,
I am nine years old and I have an adopted sister Tilly who came from an animal refuge as a 3 year old, three years ago. It was a struggle for me to adapt to another cat in my territory but I am now OK about it. But my pet human is considering bringing a puppy into the household. Tilly says she doesn't mind but I hate the idea. My pet human has seen a poor little puppy in a glass cage in a Spanish pet shop and she wants to rescue it.
What on earth should I do about this threat to my territory. Am I being specieist in not wanting a puppy in my home? By the way it’s a Bichon.
Yours Bertie.

PS. The intruder has arrived suddenly, as I write this.... help.


Dear Bertie,

Horror of horrors, my previous advice sent privately to you has come too late. I was hoping between us we might prevent your human from being so foolish.
Be strong. I know
you must be tempted just to pack up and leave home but don’t do it. You live in Spain where the chances of another home for a black cat are poor, if not non existent. These humans have soft hearts and, alas, just can’t see things sensibly the way we cats can. We have to help them out at moments like this by reminding them of their responsibilities as pets. I hope you reacted with horror when you saw the puppy – bristling tail, erect hair, horrified cat look. If she's not too dumb, she may get the message.
However intelligence in humans is very limited indeed. When the rescue impulse strikes, intelligence goes out of the window. She has forgotten that puppies in pet shops almost always come from lousy breeders, that they may well turn out to be expensive in vet's bills, and by buying one she is encouraging the disgusting pet shop trade.
Now that it's too late to change things, train the puppy from day one with a series of puppy one-to-one classes. It has to l
earn that you are the head of the household and alpha cat. Be firm, Bertie. Sit on a high place like the top of the sofa and hiss at it. If necessary give it a smart swipe or two. Never ever run from it. A running cat encourages a pursuing dog.
Humans are exceptionally poor at training dogs. Successful human trainers mainly use reward because they can keep treats on their purrson. As we don't have fur with pockets, we can't. Besides, we don't share food. We eat it ourselves. So we have to use punishment in a carefully graduated claw and order programme. When the puppy is a bit older and has learned cat body language, you can reward him by rubs, purrs, and the opportunity to sniff and lick (though not too much of either).
Persistence
will prevail, brother! Luckily, in the photo you set me, it looks small and not too yappy. Tilly has the right idea about getting up on high places and looking down on the intruder, but perhaps you could purrsuade her to look fiercer! You need a united feline front in order to make sure that the power in the household goes like this - Bertie, top cat, Tilly deputy top cat, human pet, and at the bottom - dog.
Dogs are easily trained. My goodness, they are. I mean even dumb humans can train them.
George
PS. If anybody reading this blog has a human that is thinking of getting a dog, make her read my secretary's advice - click here.



Saturday, July 02, 2011

When a handsome tom cat comes calling, should I let him in?


Dear George,
I just came back from a month vacation and WOW! Vegas - the new k
id on the blog. Stanley – the PM’s of Canada new kitten. Blaze & Lea - the gangsta sisters! Wow! Wow! Wow! Boy weren’t you busy! No wonder you are one of the favourite cat bloggers. Congratulations!
So, let me pick your brains on a recent problem I have. Right before we went on vacation a really handsome tomcat started visiting me. At the beginning he was shy and will wait outside for me. Of course we get along very well which, I know, it’s
a bit unusual but, we might even be related (we look very much alike). Later, he started coming in the house; first in the kitchen where he would eat from my plate and then in the living room where we would take a nap. I couldn’t find out if he is homeless (he doesn’t look like), looking to re-home or just lonely. My problem, George, is: how do I introduce him to my humans; especially to my female human? I don’t want her to react like a worried mother when the daughter brings home her first boyfriend!
Love
CAT Victoria

Dear Victoria
Yes, Victoria, he's handsome (see photo on the right). Humans are odd about visiting cats. They just don't think about our feelings. Some humans let in any stray cat, even when we are outraged at having to share our house with them. For, let's face it, most of us cats are very possessive about our territory. We are not promiscuously social like dogs. We don't like intruders, and yet our humans seem to think we won't mind sharing bed and board with a complete stranger. You are an exceptionally social cat, Victoria, in your attitude towards this handsome tom cat.
First, there's the problem of whether he has a home. I expect he's told you the details of why he is visiting, but because humans are so dumb, they don't speak cat language. In order for them to know the details, they should cut a strip of paper like a collar with a message saying "Phone this number". Then put this round the cat's neck with some sticky tape. A paper collar will be safe because if it gets caught in a bush, the paper will just tear. Or they could put up some posters saying "Does anybody own this cat?"
Has he been neutered? Yes, I know
you know, Victoria. But your humans need to survey his backside to see if there are two little furry balls there. If there are none, he has been fixed and probably has, or had, a human home somewhere. If those little furry things are there, then he is a full tom and it's no wonder you enjoy his company. My predecessor, Fat Mog, fell in platonic love with the local stray tom cat but went off him completely when Celia meanly had him neutered.
If he is already sharing meals with you, you are half way to moving him in already. All he has to do is charm your humans. Wind round their feet. Purr loudly at them. Then show them that you and he are friends by sitting close to each other. Do the friendly cat kiss nose to nose. Sleep in each others arms. Most humans will fall for it.
Yours
George
PS. There's a good conference coming up in October for UK cat lovers and cat rescuers. Spread the word to others. Details on:
http://www.eventelephant.com/apbcannualfelineconference

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why does my human keep inviting other humans into the house?


QUESTION; My human keeps inviting other humans into my territory, the house. I don't like it. They turn up at all hours. She encourages them by feeding them cups of coffee and they vocalise endlessly. It seems like hours, and sometimes it is hours, before I get any privacy. It's my house, my core territory, and I wish I could stop her doing this. I don't invite stray cats into her territory. I keep them out. What does she think she is doing?
Ziggy


ANSWER
You have to try and be compassionate, Ziggy. A good pet owner, and I am sure you want to be one, tries to understand the needs of their pets. Human pets are obligate social animals. They have a dominance hierarchy (a loose one normally) and they spend a lot of time interacting with each other. It sounds as if your human lives alone. She will literally NEED other human company.
We cats don't do this. In wild conditions we hunt alone. We don't share our prey (like mice) with other cats, except when we are feeding our kittens. Sometimes we live in groups, if there is enough food going. But even in groups, we stay in little families. Some of us are true loners. But on the whole we are flexible. We can usually live with other unrelated cats, - maybe not as friends but as friendly acquaintances. But we don't need feline friends.
You have got to accept your human as she is. She hasn't got family in the house so she goes out and finds substitute family, brings them into the home, goes through the behaviour pattern of feeding kittens with them, and vocalises. Vocalisation for humans is a bit like grooming. They go in for mutual vocalisation. This motor pattern is part of the human ethogram.
The social company, kitten-feeding and vocalisation motor patterns are hard wired into them, Ziggy. You've got to allow her to do her instinctive behaviour. Just count yourself lucky that she's not seeking a mate. When humans go calling (for sex) it's incredibly difficult and embarassing for us cats! More on that later.
George

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cat Question: What if my humans move house?

Dear George
My primary care giver has been talking about "moving house". This has been going on ages now and they may not get round to it but I'm not sure I approve. I have everything I want here, although the large garden which is mentioned sounds good. What do you think?
I would rather not dump them as I am not going back to the streets and like the regular meals, cat flap, litter tray at this cold tie of year and sit down cuddles/ treats on the sofa. Plus I got tuna for breakfast and a new toy recently - a flat mouse shaped leather tag on a leather string, it came with a "work/documents" file which is useless for playing with so the human got that, I think my end of the deal is best. The flat mouse is good though, and smells nice and animal like, so the humans are worth holding onto.
Smudge


ANSWER:
The human obsession with moving house shows their complete inability to grasp the meaning of territory. "Territory is security" is a well known saying among wise cats. We need core territory, a place to eat, sleep and if necessary hide. We also need the home hunting range. We know the home range intimately - the patch of ivy near the garden shed where a family of wood mice hang out, the box shrub that smells like cat pee so we mark on it, the garden wall next door where we can sit and terrorize next door's smaller cat, the frightening front steps near the pavement where passing dogs leave THEIR marks. We know it. We love it. We feel happy in it.
Moving house just ruins everything for us.
Consider your options. Is there a friendly neighbour you could move in on? Is this the time to develop a huge and very visible series of panic attacks? Run from even the slightest noise, hide under the bed, make strange wailing noises? This might persuade your humans that you are going through a nervous breakdown and should not be moved. Also pee on the property pages of the newspapers NOW. Show them what you think of the idea. When they are consulting websites like Prime Location jump on the keyboard with all four paws to make them disappear.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I am curious about next door.


There has been a total black out of news from next door. Miss Ruby Fou (see a communication from her in a July blog), if she was there, has not been seen at the window nor has she ventured out. The cat flap remains firmly closed. Steffi and Paul no longer invite William and I in for a little snack or even some interesting conversation. Only some oriental smells have drifting out. Tantalising and very irritating indeed. This was our territory once. Now we are locked out.
So when the boiler went wrong next door, I took the opportunity to go in with Nigel Gardiner and take a look round. Nigel Gardiner and Son (Matthew actually) of Witney have put in a new boiler for us and I am familiar with his tall figure and his competant assessment of boilers. Nice man. Fond of cats and respectful of them too. To please him I had a look at the boiler. Lots of wires and stuff. No mice so not very interesting for cats but we cats like to have a look anyway. Nigel seemed to know what he was doing with the wires. William went in too but had less curiosity. He went straight to the plate of dried food that Miss Ruby Fou had left uneaten in the kitchen and ate the lot.
I checked the whole joint upstairs and downstairs. There was definitely a Siamese smell - upstairs on the double bed, downstairs in the kitchen area, and the litter tray had been used - though cleaned by Steffi before she and Paul and Miss Fou had left for London. Yes, Miss Fou has taken up residence at weekends. She is definitely now a neighbour at weekends.
How do I feel about it? I am not sure. She seems rather standoffish. Why not let us in? What is going on in the Paul and Steffi household? Is Miss Fou being held captive? Or is she too snobbish to mix with us?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Boundaries, collars and the famous Mr Lee


Since we got out of gaol, William and I have been checking our boundaries, updating our marks by rubbing our chins against tings, scratching tree trunks, and putting well aimed urine sprays at key points. Boundaries are everything to a cat. With them, we feel safe. Without them, we get very anxious indeed.
Celia is too stupid to know where most of them are. Humans are sense challenged in many ways. They can see but they can't smell anything. All our chin rubs go unnoticed and even our spray marks in the open air aren't strong enough for her. She does notice the scratch marks on the tree trunks. And even though she is visually competant, she loses sight of us very easily. Most of the day she doesn't know where we are. Which is how we like it.
Some humans are crafty. There's a cheeky human who has attached a camera to his cat's collar. Mr Lee is the cat and his privacy has been completely invaded. The camera takes regular photographs showing his every movement - when he sits under the car, his meetings with neighbouring cats, his excursions in the forest, his boundary walks. It's all on www.mr-lee-catcam.de I asked Mr Lee's permission to post his photo on this entry. Here he is. Of course, it's shocking that he allowed his human to photograph his life but it's interesting too.
I wouldn't let Celia put a collar on me. Neither would William. We don't approve of collars ever since we met a thin wounded stray with her paw caught in her collar. And it's a question of pride. Dogs wear collars as sign of their inferiority to humans (if you can believe any species could be inferior to homo sapiens). As cats are superior to humans, a collar would not be appropriate - though I'd quite like to see Celia and Ronnie in one. They'd look sweet.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

No sense of proper territory - that's humans

The trouble with humans is that they have no sense of territory. OK so they have what they think of as home, a core territory in which to sleep, scratch and lounge about without tension. But it's not home territory as we cats know it. They invite other humans right into it, to share the space and sometimes to spend the night. They even invite them to share their meals. Share? No sensible cat does that. We don't share hunting so we don't share the prey either - not if we can help it. We don't share territory either except for relatives.
Once again Celia has shown that her territorial feelings, so necessary for a decent cat, are all awray. She is going away. Not just on a one day hunting trip to London (prey being clothes, shopping, books etc) but a three day hunting trip. This time the prey is even more ridiculous - static, non-living standing stones, often in rows. They just stand there. They don't move. They are cold and inedible and what on earth is the point of them, I ask. Something in her head is very disordered indeed.
This will leave me alone with Ronnie, a good man but not a first class cat wrangler. He can't bend down to pick me up. I don't much care for being picked up, what cat does, but I like the attention. Ronnie can't pick me up and he wobbles alarmingly when I wind round his ankles or his walking stick. I am somewhat afraid I may trip him up. I still rub against him however. It's my friendly nature to do so. He will have to look after himself. I am not a dog for the disabled. He is on his own.
He can, however, throw down food. So he can feed me and William, which is his main duty. This doesn't make Celia's conduct excusable or acceptable. Her duty is to serve us cats and this weekend she is failing in it. It's a disgrace.

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