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Showing posts with label cats protection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cats protection. Show all posts

Saturday, March 12, 2016

I am the thousandth cat..... celebrating a happy ending.

Dear George,
This is the family I have adopted as my pets. I chose a family with a couple of human kittens - just to have some fun with them. I'm that sort of cat: ready to play at any time.
Why am I the thousandth cat? Well, Cats Protection Fareham and Waterloo district branch has rescued 200 unwanted or homeless cats every year since they started up, and I am number 1000. 
I had made a bad first choice of humans. When I got flea allergy they just chucked me out and I spent a long time wandering around looking for a suitable home. It wasn't easy. But by the time I found Fareham Cats Protection, they helped me adopt the right people.
So thank you, all the 30 or so people who volunteered, raised money, and helped us Fareham cats find suitable human pets. And if any cats reading this want their humans to make a small donation to celebrate my new home, they can go to the donation page at www.fareham.cats.org.uk 
Now I must get back to training those human kittens of mine.... they need my help.
Yours thankfully
Erica.

Dear Erica,
I was a Cats Protection kitten, brought up and hand fed by Lou (now of Sunshine Cat Rescue), before I adopted Celia. So it is great to hear of the good work some humans do. Like you I am black and beautiful, with green eyes and a talent for making humans do what I want.
In a world where cats are so often mistreated or abused, it is great to celebrate a happy ending for a change.
Yours
George.






Friday, June 12, 2015

Portrait of a Felix as a cat with eyes - in paper filigree.


Hi George
My female human decorates cards with her own unique designs which includes quilling designs and others mostly as a hobby, she does sell some at craft fairs and on line. She decided to quill me and give me EYES. She is quite pleased with her first attempt at a Pet Portrait and might take it up and see how it goes.
If I am in the mood for ear tickles and a game I don't like her going out and leaving me alone.  If I'm not in the mood and want to sleep she can stay out until I get hungry.
She thought you would like to see the picture of me with EYES.
Best Wishes
 Feely Felix

Dear Feely Felix,
Just to make a good comparison, I have added a photo taken of you all those years ago when you were at Wrexham Cats Protection, before you adopted your human, Janice.  This way the cats reading this blog can compare you with your quilled portrait. I must say I think it is a good likeness.
I have always said that a pet human should have a hobby. Not a full time one, but something that the pet can find to do after it has finished its duties towards its feline owner or owners. We don't want them to become too dependant on us for all amusement. 
It never fails to surprise me how intelligent these pets are. Janice is a bit of a treasure.
Yours
George

Saturday, October 04, 2014

The horror when a human gets a dog.

Dear Mr George, 
Or may I now call you Uncle George, since we are now acquainted by pen if not paw?
I have been assiduously following your excellent advice when I complained about being packed off to prison aka the local cattery, while my staff caroused and gormandised on French cuisine.
You recommended greater attention to enslaving them, so they would no longer wish to abandon me to the company of non-pedigree, or worse, positively mongrel, companions in misfortune.
Just as a mouse has more than one hole to go to (a tiresome habit which causes considerable extra effort on my part), a cat may learn something from its prey. To this end I have been carefully to extend my attentions to more distant members of my staff, namely the next generation of cat-lovers.
Lest my immediate staff ever become too infirm to serve my needs, I have been cultivating their daughter, who comes over to check my mechanical feeders on those occasions when they leave me lonely but provided-for. (Quite unnecessary as I can crack any container before their car has left the drive, but gives me a chance to ingratiate myself.)
I had her down as a confirmed felophiliac, having scraped acquaintance in prison three years ago with her owners, a pair of ruffians if ever there were, though quite good-looking. (One is a lean and rangy tortoiseshell with a bit of Oriental way back, and the other the product of a mesalliance on the part of his Persian mother with the ginger tom from the council estate.)
Oh George, I was so sure of her as a refuge in extremis that I was thunderstruck to see her showing pictures of A COCKER SPANIEL PUPPY to my present staff! My heart goes out to those poor unsuspecting victims of her treachery! But what should I do now about security in my old age?
Yours
Dora, aka Sunantre Stars.

Dear Dora,
My heart goes out to you. How could she? How could any decent human sink so low as to prefer the company of a dog to a cat?  And just go out and buy one, inflicting its smelly presence upon two beautiful felines! This behaviour will upset any cat.
I just hope the poor felines that own her, are managing to turn their training technique upon the dog. Dogs are bred to submit to humans and with some careful management by cats, this tendency to submission can apply to felines too. I just hope that the cats have this cocker under a disciplined training regime from the very start.
Security in old age? It is a real problem for us. It may be time for you to start cultivating some younger humans down the street. Take your time. Stroll down and take a look. Is there anybody in the street who stops and tickles you under the chin? Do they already have a cat?  If you cultivate their company while your humans are out, you may find that they start offering you food.
Two-timing your humans? I suppose so. But a cat is entitled to look out for herself. And if your humans discover your other "owner" (ridiculous word), they may realise they have a ready cat sitter. If not I am afraid your future may involve Cats Protection. It's a kind of halfway house for cats looking for a new home and although it's pretty awful, it's better than being homeless.
Yours
George.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Meeeooooowww ... Black Cat Day is coming up.

Dear George,
I'm stuck at the Cats' Protection Taunton and Wellington branch waiting for a new home. As you can see I am a glossy black with gorgeous green eyes.
The humans here are looking after me well. I was in a car accident and they have paid for surgery for my fractured pelvis. But I've been here for three months and I want to get out.
I keep seeing nearby cats get homes - tortoiseshells, tabbies, and even black and whites. Do you think this delay is because I am black? Is it possible that humans are colour prejudiced? And is there anything we black cats can do about it?
Duke.

Dear Duke,

Yes, they are colour prejudiced. Black Cats are slower to get homes than many of the other colours. The strange thing is that humans have made laws to stop colour prejudice against black humans. They believe that humans of any colour should be treated equally. But it doesn't apply to us felines, apparently.
So we need to support National Black Cat Day on Thursday October 30th. We need to remind humans that black is beautiful. And we need to campaign for Black Power.
Cats reading this can get their human to upload a photo of a black cat onto Cats' Protection Facebook page here. One of us might become the poster cat for rehoming appeals. And any humans who haven't got a black cat yet can get one here. Or if they live in Oxfordshire here.
Alas, the more I know about humans, the more I seriously wonder if they are right in the head.
George.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lil BuB and why special needs cats should be adopted.


Dear George,
You are such a fine expert in human behaviour but I need your expertise on a very personal problem right now. Look at me (photo on left). No, nothing it’s cooking in the microwave…..but something it’s cooking inside me and I simply don’t know what to do. I have the blues! Some sort of blues! I think I’m in love.
The other day I came across a website that read: www.lilbub.com  I opened the page and there was this beautiful cat, Lil Bub, with such a pretty face.
Her story is so touching, so beautiful, so inspiring! She is a rescue and she is lucky to have this special and kind human attending to her needs. I think he takes good care of her otherwise she won’t look so happy. She is very famous which makes me nervous.
No, I’m not jealous of her fame but I’m afraid that being so busy…she won’t have time to notice me. I would really love to spend time with her.
I don’t know what to do. Do you think I’m in love? Is this love?
Freddy.

Dear Freddy,
I hadn't heard of Lil Bub so I looked her up on Wikipedia and found that she has a congenital condition called osteopetrosis, which means her bones don't grow properly so she is small with stumpy legs and a short lower jaw leaving her tongue hanging out. There is one of many videos here. She uses her internet fame to promote good causes - rescuing and adopting unwanted cats and neutering and spaying.
Is this love that you feel? I am not sure, Freddy. Sometimes I am not sure I even know what love is since that operation which deprived me of my tomhood. Compassion, in its best sense, yes definitely. 
If we can teach our human pets this compassion, then many more may go out and adopt a special needs feline. If every compassionate human gave a home to a rescue cat, the world would be a better place. For them, as well as us.
Yours 
George, Cats Protection Rescue Cat.
Of all the internet cats, my favourite is Henri, the cat with existentialist gloom. I identify with him so much when my human is being tiresome. Which is frequently.


Friday, October 25, 2013

A mother worries about the fate of her little black kittens.

Dear George,
I am the proud mother of five kittens - two ginger tabbies, one dark tabby and two black ones. I love them very much even though I know they will have to leave me to go to a new home.
My fosterer keeps coming to look at them and says things like: "There'll be no trouble in homing the tabbies, but the black ones will take time to go."
What is she talking about? I don't think she is colour prejudiced because she took me in when I was just a heavily pregnant stray. And she wouldn't have done that if she really hated black cats. I worry about the fate of my dear little black kittens.
Yours with anxiety
Orchid.

Dear Orchid,
Your kittens will find a human to love but it may take more time. Colour prejudice is alive and well in the human-cat world. Not us. We are not racist. But humans are colour prejudiced about cats. They prefer light shades of fur, nice tabby patterns, and these are the cats that are rehomed first. Cats Protection currently have 1,300 black cats needing homes.
Last week Cats Protection held its Black Cat appreciation day here to remind humans that we black cats are just as beautiful and loving as cats in the other colours. Facebook has its Black Cats are Wonderful page here. Elsewhere national black cat days vary in their dates. Nevertheless some enlightened humans are working for us not against us.
It's not too bad in the UK where black cats are considered lucky. But in the USA superstitious humans think they are unlucky. There is a ridiculous human idea that black cats are connected with Halloween and witches.  They have persecuted in the past. And even today in the USA some animal shelters just refuse to let people adopt black cats around this time because disgusting humans come in, adopt a cat, and then give it back afterwards. They just wanted the cat as Halloween window dressing.
These humans aren't the worst. The worst capture cats, especially black ones, and throw them on bonfires. Well meaning cat lovers, trying to save them from this fate, sometimes collect the black cats living on the street and hand them into animal shelters which then (if they have too many) euthanase them.
We must stop this prejudice against black cats. We are black and beautiful. We are sensitive and loving. It's humans, not us, who are ignorant and colour prejudiced.
In anger
George

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Slow down for cats - a new feline campaign


 Dear George,
I live in a small village in the Cotswolds and metal cats troar through the village at high speed almost all the time. It is really frightening and the worst time is during the dusk, just when we cats are coming out to hunt. 
As far as I know there is nothing we can do about these lethal moving objects. I have sniffed round them, when they are stationery and can report that they are definitely not alive. They have some kind of automatic "life" which roars and makes them go off at high speed with a human inside.
Well, we know humans are not usually very bright but one of our village humans has come up with a good idea. She has put up a sign on the road, warning the cars to slow down. Here is a photo of it. 
I would like to see one of these in every village. If there are no kittens there, then the sign could just read "CATS." What do you think?
Yours
Penelope Purr

Dear Penelope,
I think it is a brilliant idea. I wish we could get more of these. Cats die on the road in their thousands in my country and nobody seems to care. The cars just speed on their way without stopping to see if they can help. These metal things are completely uncaring. Sometimes I think the cats that die outright are luckier than those who crawl away and die in agony in the hedge.
Maybe we could start a campaign for more "Slow Kitten" signs.
Yours
George


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Black IS beautiful.


Hi George,
We are two happy go lucky kittens currently in the care of West Oxfordshire Cats Protection. Our brother Arnie has been adopted. So has our sister Annie. We are the two left over kittens, and as you can see we are growing up fast. Why does nobody want us? We are just as funny and loving and playful as Arnie or Annie, yet we've been left on the shelf.
There are other kittens that are looking for homes - Midnight, Leon, Sammikins, Cecil, Cora, Carissa, Nora , Ozzie, Ollie and Oscar. They look just like us. You can see them on the WOCP
website.

Millie and Lottie


Dear Millie and Lottie,
You've been left on the shelf because you are black. A disgraceful form of colour prejudice still exists in the feline world. People choose lig
ht coloured cats, tabbies, naughy torties and even black and white cats before they adopt black cats. But August 17th is going to be Black Cat Appreciation Day on Facebook. I would like anybody who is reading this to take a look at this Facebook page.
As well as 11 black kittens waiting for adoption (and some more on the way), WOCP has two mature black cats looking for homes - Ella and Pepsi. T
hey are black too and the odds are that they will be longer in the cat chalet than the tabbies, or torties, or even greys. It is so unfair.
Black is Beautiful. I am putting some photos of black cats that have been homed by WOCP below my signature. Starting at the bottom, there's Jasmine, a lady of mature years, then little Moth playing inside a cardboard box, Raven looking doubtfully at the camera, and elegant Holly examining a log. At the top is the photo of you two kittens Lottie and Milly sharing a joke.
About the stupid prejudice of humans perhaps.
Just take a look below. Black cats are lovely. Tho
ugh none so quite so handsome as me.
George.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Kittens, kittens, kittens..... and the recession too.


Hi George.
I'm told you are a cat of knowledge and many friends so I thought I'd speak to you about my humans and their plight. You see they are part of a charity called Lincoln Cat Care that tries to find homes for cats and kittens that do not have human servants. But for some silly human reasons (something to do with money and financial climate I'm told) they have had a huge influx of cats and are really struggling to find homes and look after all us cats and kittens.
My story is a good example. I was what they call a “stray”. I call it free. But cold. And hungry! In my first season I met a big Tom and fell for his charms. Of course he cleared off and come the day when my kittens where due I was scared and didn't really know what to do. I went to the garden of a human who had been giving me and some others some food and had my kittens in the open in his yard on some bricks. That was Sunday 17 April. On the Monday a lovely human came to scoop us all up and take us to her home. She is now our willing servant, totally chained to the power of the meow!
She tells me that she is a new volunteer with Lincoln Cat Care and that I was very lucky as all their foster carers were full up when they heard about me and they would have had to turn me away if she hadn't come forward! Can you imagine that? I would never have found the joy of a good chin rub, and given my size and the fact that I really struggle to care for all four kittens I doubt if all of them would have made to to their two week birthday. A man she knows called Ed Cole is a pro DVD editor and camera man, he offered to put this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_pRK0sDEyw> film together to try to raise awareness of the cats just waiting for the right human to take them home, but now we need people to spread the word!If you search on You Tube for Lincoln Cat Care it's the first one.
Do you think any of your friends could get their humans to watch it and tell their friends? Obviously my kittens aren't up for adoption yet. But many other cats are! The website; http://www.lincolncatcare.com; has details of the majority, or you can call them.
Apparently my kittens have to go with me to something called a V E T. I've had my flea and worm treatment but they were to young, now they are old enough to get the V E T to do it, he's also going to check us all in case the human has missed anything. So I'd best be off to make sure the human gets them all in the basket, I don't know if she can count!
Thank you so much George,
Lots of love,
Sophia
(and, left to right, Gaynor, Oscar, Shackleton and Silent Bob)

Dear Sophia,
Your friend Ed Cole is just what we need at West Oxon Cats Protection, the charity which rescued me off the street in the first place. We are not yet swamped with kittens, but we have far too many older cats needing homes. The human recession is really making life tough for us cats. People are losing their homes and then discovering they can't find rented accomodation which will let them keep their family cat or dog. Other people, without veterinary insurance, are handing in their cats to us. Still others (humans are so cruel) are just dumping their cats on the street. Finally, there are the people who don't have the money to get their cats neutered or spayed and dump cats with kittens on the street. It is sickening.
Please, you cats out there, see if you can influence your humans to give some money to local cat charities. Money is the best thing. Volunteering is the next best thing. That is the single most helpful human gesture towards our species. Many of us cats have been badly let down by our humans: others are just unfortunate. If you look at our West Oxon website you will see elderly Duke, whose equally elderly human became so ill that she could no longer keep him.
My human, Celia, sometimes despairs of humans. But I pass on feline wisdom. "You can't do everything, but you can do something. So what you can do, do it." Let's flood YouTube, Facebook, and all the other networks with cats needing homes and with cat care videos. Get the message, you dumb humans.
Humans can count but with typical arrogance they think we can't. We can - up to about six or seven which is all the numbers any sensible animal (not humans) needs.
Love George
PS. Had a great deal of trouble getting my secretary, Celia, to type the words. She just drooled over the kitten photo. Babies leave her cold: but kittens....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A war between breeders - a stud cat's tale.


Dear George,

My life story is based on lies, sex and money! I was caught in a war between the breeders. My name is Yogan and I am a pure breed. You might wonder what I’m doing here among rescued cats, but, in way, I’m a rescue too. I was born in a breeder’s house being destined, of course, to a life of sex and lies; I mean I was supposed “to produce” many, many kittens who would be sold for big money. Quite before I was supposed to “meet” my first “wife” I was sold to another breeder. I don’t know what exactly went wrong between the two, but I heard something about lies, money and papers. And, that’s how the war between them started. In between the court appearances, the one who bought me decided to neuter me so, if she can’t breed me ….no one ever would! I got “fixed” in “revenge” and not as a responsible, sensible solution to cat overpopulation!

In a way I’m happy I got the snip since I wouldn’t like to know my kittens being abandoned on the streets by some irresponsible humans. But I was (still am) appalled by the breeder’s motivation! That’s just another example of human greediness and irresponsibility. Soon I was up for sale again! But this time I was “rescued” by my “mommy” Jackie. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for more; she is well behaved, well trained in attending to my wellbeing and absolutely lovely. She lives for me! She loves me immensely! I’m writing to you George because I want you to make my story known – may be we all can learn something from it. What do you think?

Still appalled

Yogan


Dear Yogan,

You have had such a lucky escape. Most stud cats are kept in a cat chalet and never come out. If the breeder is ethical, they may have a spayed female cat for company. If the breeder really loves cats, then they will usually only be kept at stud for a year or two before being neutered and homed as a pet. But, in bad hands, the loneliness of the long-captived stud cat is awful. They cannot be kept in the house because they are so smelly. Some of them develop behaviour disorders like pacing walking up and down their small cages like suffering zoo animals.

The plight of the un-neutered tom on the street or in the countryside is different. He does have all the pleasures of freedom and the fun of mating. But with that goes a high chance of disease. Un-neutered toms do more fighting than neutered cats and fatal diseases such as FIV are spread by bites. They also roam far more and are more likely to be run over, lose their homes (if they had one) and end up battered and starving on the street. Many of the male stray cats that we at West Oxon Cats Protection pick up are in this condition. (If you go to the website, you will find Arthur there who needs a home). If their original owners had only had them neutered they would be safe and well at home.

Add to this that there are too many homeless cats, and you will see how important it is for cats to be neutered and spayed if they are going to lead the domestic life. Every single human that breeds kittens is adding to the overpopulation. Frankly, I think it is horrible. And I also think that irresponsibly breeding any animals from a very limited gene pool (mating within relatives for instance) results in some hideous disorders. Don't believe me? look at hereditary disorders in pedigree cats at www.fabcats.org.

You have now escaped the immense boredom of the stud cat's life and come home to live with your pet human. Congratulations. Please try to purrsuade all humans to adopt unwanted cats from animal shelters rather than from breeders. If they want a pedigree cat, they can adopt a rescue from the rescue arm of the relevant pedigree cat club. Or settle for a lovely moggie.

Love George

PS. I only wish we could have a neutering and spaying campaign to stop human overpopulation. This intellectually limited species is difficult to influence.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shocking news about giving animals electric shocks

Dear George

I'm very worried. Brian Blessed, the famous actor, foghorn and national treasure, who I had down as being a real champion for animals, seems to have gone bonkers.
He's touring the UK asking people to sign a petition asking the government NOT to ban Invisible Electric Fences. These horrible fences give an animal wearing a "special" collar, a painful and frightening electric shock on their neck if they go too near a boundary where the electric underground "fence" is laid.
I can see such a device being useful in training our thick skinned, rather slow apes not to go too far from home and be late feeding us, but for the sake of COD no such nasty method would ever work on cats. No ape has ever put a collar on me and this makes me ruddy sure they never will.
George, how can we get our friend Brian Blessed well again and back to being our friend?

Yours in shock

Whicky Wuudler
Here is the link.
http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/news/Brian-gives-blessing-pet-collar-campaign/article-3431420-detail/article.html

Dear Whicky,
I am shocked and horrified too. Animal-loving Brian Blessed has been misled. Readers can tell him so on his Facebook page but be nice about it, as he has done a great great deal for animal welfare. He may have been misled by the fact that a cat welfare charity campaigned in the favour of this cruel fencing system. Giving electric shocks to dogs and cats is cruel and unnecessary. These electric shock fences (they called the shock "mild correction") leave cats exposed to even more danger. If a fierce dog comes into the territory, the cat cannot run away. If it is does run, it is shocked as it passes the invisible barrier. For some cats this will bring on complete breakdown.
The charity, Feline-Friends, www.feline-friends.org.uk, has even placed an advertisement in a cat magazine in favour of this cruel fencing. Electric shock fencing is opposed by the RSPCA, Cats Protection, Dogs' Trust, and many other welfare charities. What on earth is this charity doing? There's a huge amount of space on their website devoted to this kind of fencing. Why? They've even got a petition in favour....
You can find out more about this charity by looking at the government's Charity Commission where you will discover it only started up in 2009, is based in Chesterfield, and is a newcomer to the charity scene. The accounts can be downloaded from this site and the trustees are named. There is a link from the charity's website to an organisation Dogfence. This link can only help Dogfence sales. If you believe that campaigning in favour of these fences runs contrary to cat welfare, you can email the Charity Commission to point this out.
Electric shock collars and fencing are widely used in the USA and Dogfence seems to be some kind of UK offshoot of this company. Similar products are still legal in England but I look forward to the day when they are made illegal. They are no substitute for proper fencing.
Whicky, thank you for bringing this to my attention. We cats need to act together.
George
PS. Apologies if a fencing ad appears under Google ads. It's an automatic thingie. I can't stop it. Ignore it. Do not click on it.
PPS. From a paper reviewing the use of shock collars in dogs:
"With the use of increasingly complex equipment there comes an increased potential
for malfunction. Whilst a solid fence guarantees containment and the exclusion of
people, a boundary system using a shock collar may fail to function due to damage to
the boundary wire, worn out batteries, improper fitting of the collar, problems with
the receiver collar or transmitter or extraneous radio signals (Polsky, 1994). Some
bark activated electronic collars have been affected by ambient noise, resulting in
eventual habituation (Wells 2001)....
There have also been reports of physical lesions on the neck caused by high intensities
of shock (Seksel, 1999), especially in wet weather, although these have been
contended by proponents of the collars. However, when used in boundary systems the
close fitting collars are frequently worn for long periods, leading to the possibility of
skin irritation or contact necrosis (Polsky, 1994)"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A cat is for life. I am a Christmas gift but a lifelong one


Dear George,

Hi, I’m Bentley and I’m a Christmas gift! It is true that I’m last year’s Christmas gift…but I’ve survived the high of holidays without being returned to the shelter! Actually, our human adopted three of us on the same day and we are still together.

One weird thing is that we were named after cars! I’m Bentley ….right as in the beautiful, elegant car!

My brother is Marti…as in Aston Martin! Ah! And my sister is …..not named after a car! (I wonder why?)

Being named after an elegant, luxurious car is not that bad as all I have to do all day is to “show off” and enjoy a pampered life. But, what if we were called Lamborghini or Ferrari? Were we supposed to “race” through the house? Are these people crazy? Can’t they enjoy Christmas? Why don’t they consult with us when it comes to names? I, personally, prefer to be a RR Phantom. Why can’t I?

George, I would like to learn more about cats and Christmas! It seems it’s a very important holiday for us, cats! What is a white Christmas? There are any other colors? And why do we have to wear that red stupid hat?

Merry Christmas

Bentley (a RR Phantom at heart)


Dear Bentley,

I adopted Celia just before Christmas too. I just had time to do so before the local Cats Protection closed down for the holiday. They won't let people adopt over the actual Christmas period - to stop people doing it on impulse and to prevent kittens being confused by too much going on during the day itself. (Incidentally, they have lots of kittens needing homes this year - take a look at the website. There are some lovely photos).

Celia wasn't the ideal Christmas gift for myself but in the long run I was satisfied by my choice. I felt sorry for her as she paraded up and down outside the chalet with imploring eyes. There are younger more beautiful humans I could have adopted, but I have always felt that we cats should give the oldies a chance. You can teach an old human new tricks, even if feline tradition says otherwise. And they are touchingly grateful when a superior species takes notice of them.You don't get that gratitude from the younger ones.

The Naming of Cats is controversial, as a human poet T. S. Elliot says. (Copyright charges are too much for me to quote this but you will find it elsewhere on less scrupulous websites). Human names for us are often quite undignified, ranging from Sooty (as if we didn't keep clean), or Blackie, to Whitey or Snowy (as if we'd let that stuff stay on our fur). It doesn't surprise me that your humans named you after cars. It's the pathetic sort of thing that this inferior species would do. I look forward to the day when all cars are named after cats - Snow Leopard, Felis, Catus, Silvestris, Tiger, Bengal, Persian, Lion, and so forth. But when did humans get their priorities right? Cats before cars is an idea that seems beyond their grasp.

That hat.... I have never forgiven Celia for ambushing me with it. She waited till I was asleep, put it on, stepped back and did the photo. Luckily it is not a very good one. You can see from my expression what I think of that hat. I would like to make a public declaration to all humans. Do not dress up cats. We hate it. It is demeaning and Christmas is no excuse.

I don't much care for Christmas, myself. I make an exception for the turkey. A little plate of turkey meat, carefully taken off the dangerous bones, is an acceptable gift. Take note, humans.

Happy Christmas to all felines.

George

PS. I will report next on Christmas day on the behaviour of my humans and the current status of the white Christmas (so far snow is six inches deep). If comments are slow getting on, it is because internet connection has been lost due to snow.... unbelievable in 2010 but that's BT!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I may be old but I need a home

Dear George,
Help me find a new home. Nobody wants me because I am old. I've been in my cat chalet for months and months waiting for that special person but nobody even gives me a second look. OK so I am a bit thin but I have wonderful golden ginger, white and black colouring. I am friendly and kind too even though I don't want to live with young children or dogs. It's better here than it was on the streets. They just dumped me, probably because I was ill with a thyroid disorder and they couldn't afford the vet bills. Being thrown away at the age of 10 and trying to struggle to survive without shelter or food is rough. Believe me, George, that was the lowest point in my life. Now I've got food and shelter with West Oxon Cats Protection but it is only half a life. Can you put in a word for the elderly?
Vera.

Dear Vera,
Some human beings are the lowest animals in nature. Real low life. Chucking out an elderly cat because she is ill has to be an example of really vile behaviour. Luckily you have survived and, though it's not enough, you have shelter and food and the kindess of your foster mother Dorothy.
Alas, there are too many cats like you. Click on any of the Cats Protection branches and shelters, and it's clear that kittens are adopted first, then handsome younger cats, and then, right at the end of the queue, old cats. Old cats don't want very much - somewhere quiet to live with warm fires and good food. Sometimes the charity concerned will even pay their vet bills. So they are not an expensive pet.
In return they give unchanging love and loyalty. Elderly cats will purr on the bed, stretch out under the radiators, take a sleepy but intelligent interest in the TV, and generally be company in the house. They are ideal pets for people who don't have a garden because they don't want to spend hours outside chasing mice.
So, Vera, hang on in there. You may be old but you sure are elegant with those lovely markings. At least in the UK we have no-kill animal shelters so you are safe where you are. My secretary, Celia, feels a special sympathy for you as she is caring for an elderly husband, currently very ill in hospital. She is hoping to readopt him when he comes out.
Love George

Saturday, January 09, 2010

I'm fat, I'm FIV positive... who will give me a forever home?


Dear George,
Can you help me find a forever home? I am now in the care of Celia, as her temporary foster cat but I badly need a forever home with a very special person because I have special needs.
For one thing I am FIV positive. I came from the home of a cat hoarder and picked up the virus there, where there were so many cats that there were often fights. I nearly lost my life when I was rescued, because the rescue organisation had a policy of euthanasing FIV cats.
Luckily I was passed on to Cats Protection (www.westoxoncats.org.uk) who home FIV cats as indoor only cats. I found a loving home but with an elderly human who could no longer cope with the way I dig so deep into the litter that the bits have a trajectory of three feet! (Well, cats like me enjoy a good deep dig).
Somewhere along the way I got fat. Not just fat, actually. Obese is the term used by the vet. I am so fat I can't reach my backside or the lower half of my tummy to groom. There was a deeply shaming moment on Christmas day when Jess, Celia's nephew held me, while she clipped away the soiled area of my bottom and cut out a lot of knots. Such an indignity, really upsetting experience, but I feel better for it.
Love Pusskin
PS I am helping Celia type this. At my size I can block the computer screen really effectively!

Dear Pusskin,
Thank goodness there are rescue organisations like Cats Protection that give FIV cats a second chance. Humans don't put down humans that are HIV positive, so why should they put down FIV cats just because they have the virus. FIV cats can't spread it to humans and many have good quality of life for a long time. They deserve some happiness too.
I can see that you are visibly on the portly side. I take the view that we cats can be fat if we choose, but (how can I put it delicately?) it looks as if you are too well found, too much
embonpoint, and just too much of you all together. Not being able to groom yourself is a deeply upsetting condition. No cat should be expected to live like that. We need to groom. It is part of who we are.
Has Celia done her duty and put you on an obesity diet? Is she being firm and not becoming a fatty enabler like some owners? And is she refusing your requests for more?
My recommendation to you, Pusskin, is to take more exercise. Don't just sit on that cat gymnasium device. Start jumping up and down on it. Hunt for bits of food all over the house - Celia will try to help with this - don't just eat out of a bowl. Chase flies. Chase bits of string. Make her play games with you as much as possible. Keep running up and down the stairs. Get fit not fat. Oh yes, and when you go to her to ask for more food, let yourself be diverted with a game not a cat biscuit.
Finally, there are people out there who will take on a cat with special needs. Be patient. Somebody will want you for your innate charm, your gentleness with humans. They will look with the eyes of love and not see that fat outer cat. instead they will see past the outside into the essential beautiful inner cat.
Love George
PS. A very helpful comment by Puss Puss below. Thank you, Puss Puss

Saturday, December 12, 2009

La Dolce Vita - the amazing joy and awe of being rescued

Dear George,
I'm one lucky cat who got "to live" not one but two of the late Maestro Frederico Fellini's movies. Well, my life started with my mom being an alley cat. She was rescued by a good woman, Adriana, who took her in her house. My mom was pregnant and had three kittens. Adriana (who already had three cats of her own) kept us until we were eight weeks old. She found each of us new homes. I know she liked me the best.
Anyway, I ended up with a family that kicked me out when I was no longer a kitten (about one year old). I survived for almost a year (and a bloody cold winter) on the streets. Somehow Adriana found out about this and asked the family that adopted me to bring me back to her. Here I was once again in Adriana's house! And once again she was looking to find a good home for me. Right on my 2nd birthday I was adopted by Rita-Mae and Francesco. They were my "angels' - what a wonderful birthday gift!
Oh! I forgot to tell you that my name was Freddy! When Francesco first saw me he said 'We'll take the cat but his name will be Frederico." Destiny! What better birthday gift .?
And so began my "Dolce Vita". I spend most of my time in "dolce far niente"!
First thing in the morning I bite Rita'Mae's toes so she''ll "wake up and serve me breakfast. Later, I read the newspapers with Francesco. Then ... I watch the birds, cars, and all the crazy things you can see outside. Sometimes... I play with Tutu - the house rabbit.
George, isn't this amazing? Quite a journey from "La Strada" to "La Dolce Vita", from "Freddy to Frederico". Do you think I might have a karmic link with Maestro Fellini?
In awe
Frederico.


Dear Frederico (formerly Freddy),
Your journey from suffering to happiness, from pain to pleasure, from human cruelty to human love,
is awesome. That journey is wonderful for all of us rescued cats. At Christmas I think of Lou (www.westoxoncats.co.uk) who took me in as an orphaned kitten, bottle fed me, and gave me a happy home. I also remember all those poor cats on the street (at this time of year in dire straits because of the cold) who need human angels like Adriana.
I looked up the karmic link idea on the web and it says it is metaphysical attraction between different souls, according to their karma. So it is often a kind of link of love that attracts people. I think I have a karmic link to Lou. I hope I don't have a link to the cruel person who thrust my mother out into the cold when she was pregnant. It must be great to have a karmic link to Maestro Fellini, maker of great films. Pity that he is on the other side. We could do with a really really good film about cats - not one where the cat is the baddy.
Dolce far niente is my motto too, with one exception which is hunting. But when the weather is heavy rain and wind, as it often is in the UK, my day goes something like this - woke up, eat food out of bowl, nap, eat food out of bowl, nap, investigate flies on the window, nap, eat food out of bowl, nap.... Of course, if it is a dry cold day I am out there hunting, checking my territory for any change, sniffing at the rabbit poo, seeing if any mice are around. After hunting, I nap and nap well.
Christmas -- I hope there is not going to be any silliness about putting a Christmas hat on me, like some years. I don't appreciate this human stupidity!
Love George.

PS. My housekeeper/butler/cook is back. Keeps talking about statistics. That woman has no sense at all.



Sunday, January 04, 2009

What will 2009 bring for cats?

Dear George,
It's 2009 and here I am sitting in the Cats Protection main rescue centre - The National Cat Centre, in Kent. For me it's a gloomy outlook. I've lost my home and I don't know when I am going to find a new one. I feel disorientated and stressed out. What will the New Year bring? How am I going to cope?
Pumpkin

Dear Pumpkin,
Don't despair. At least you are in the warm and you are getting two meals a day and, best of all, if you are patient you WILL find a new home. Here in the UK we have lots of no-kill shelters that do not put down healthy cats. In the US, where the animal rescue movement is a little behind us, many many cats are just euthanised for lack of a home.
It's much worse for those cats trying to survive on the streets. Or those ones sheltering under the hedges, shivering, who have lost their way in the countryside. Or the cats in towns, who are sheltering in basements, some of them injured from road traffic accidents. Without food. Without warmth. Without human help.
You are a tabby tortoishell and you look beautiful so you will be picked quite early. It's worse for the black cats and the black and white ones that don't look so good. They will have to stay longer. I heard a horrible story about an animal shelter in Ohio where people hand in black cats are Halloween, because they think they will be safer there than on the streets (where they might be used for black magic sacrifices and torture). But 9 out of 10 of these black cats are just euthanised.
Where was I? Well luckily the animal movement bother in the UK and in the USA is working hard on trying to improve the way they find homes. Most of all, they need more animal adopters. The quicker there is a turn-round from unwanted pet to new home, the more animals can be helped. But of course, if they just hand out animals any how, the adoptions may fail. It's quite a dilemma getting it right.
So what do I wish for in 2009? I wish for more people willing to adopt the less attractive cats. Please adopt the ugly ones, the black or black and white moggies, the old, the disabled and the frankly bad tempered. They need help most. Every cat that is given a home from a rescue centre, leaves a pen for a new one. So by adopting a cat, a human is helping two, not one, cats.
Also money helps. With the financial heltdown, all rescues need cash. Cats Protection lost several million pound in the Icelandic Banks disaster. If you can help visit www.cats.org.uk or take a look at my kittenhood home at www.westoxoncats.co.uk If you are very, very lucky, your human could adopt a sleek, shining, and intelligent black cat like me.
George

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mouse deposits - the way to stop financial meltdown?

Dear George,
High finance and the arrogance of merchant bankers, who call themselves the Masters of the Universe, usually don't interest me. We cats are Masters of the Universe. We all know that. We are the most successful species in the world, inhabiting not just every continent but also every small island. However - and it is a big however - I am beginning to worry about the cat food deposit in my human's kitchen. Is it safe? Or will it disappear in the financial meltdown.
Henry

Dear Henry,
Times are worrying. Very worrying. Here in the UK we cats have been directly affected. Cats Protection, the feline charity, has lost 11 million pounds that they deposited in a bank owned by the bankrupt Icelandic Bank. This will compromise their plans to set up more rescue centres for needy felines.
We all need to pull together. We cats can help our humans if we look for creative and useful solutions to the mess produced by this, the most incompetant of species. We can start by hunting our own food, to eke out those vital kitchen deposits. Every mouse, lizard, fly and rabbit caught and eaten by us will make the tinned or dry cat food go further.
Better still, deposit stuff into the food bank. Catch a mouse and store it for later. Currently I have deposited a live mouse under Celia's kitchen cooker. When she shines a torch there, she can see it moving about. The silly woman doesn't realise that this is food. By depositing it live I have ensured that it does not take up room in the fridge. It leaves no carbon footprint at all. This is green food storage.
I also put one in the utility room and, deciding on a 3 am snack last night, I re-caught it. It was fun. Actually I wasn't that hungry, so I just ate the head and deposited the body on the landing just outside the bedroom door. She nearly, but not quite, stepped on it in the morning. Did she congratulate me? Was she pleased at my efforts to help the household budget? No. She swore.
Nevertheless, I am a cat with a plan to put an end to financial meltdown. Help your humans during the stockmarketl crash. Catch a mice and deposit it in your own personal home food bank.
George
PS She's back. Miaowing about cats that barber each other. If you can help her with information, or if you want to send her a photo, contact her via her website, http://www.celiahaddon.com

Monday, November 12, 2007

A real little corker.


"He makes his wishes known," said Lou Tyack of West Oxfordshire Cats Protection. "He's a real little corker, this one." She handed the small black kitten to me who squeaked in protest. He was not frightened, merely indignant. His fur positively bristled with outrage as he realised he was being transferred to an unknown female.
George's early life had been spent with Lou Tyack in a cat chalet at the bottom of her Oxfordshire garden. Four kittens had been rescued as a wild litter and handed over to Lou - two black ones and two black and white. I had heard of them while lying on my back with my legs in table top position during a pilates class. As we drew in our muscles and indented our stomachs to get the second leg up to table top, one of my classmates turned her head in my direction and whispered: "Do you know that Lou has some kittens."
Kittens in October are rare, particularly kittens born in the wild. It's normally too late in the year for kittens to survive the winter and most female cats don't come on heat so late. Nature knows the effort of pregnancy may well be wasted. The only winter kittens are those produced by unscrupulous pedigree breeders or equally unscrupulous low life people who think they can make a few extra pence by selling kittens as Christmas presents. These wild kittens, the tiny black male and his three sisters, would probably have died that autumn. How did they arrive so late into a cold world so unfriendly to wild kittens? Perhaps their mother was as fearless and irrepressible as her son was to be, and just fancied a handsome passing tom that autumn despite it not being the right season for cats living wild.
Her four little kittens, if by some miracle they had survived in the wild, would have grown up feral. Their mother was just one of the many unknown cats who live a hidden life in the wild sheltering in damp hedges, or dusty derelict buildings or creeping into factories at night for the warmth left over from day time work. Some of them, the best survivors, are wild from birth, others are pets that have got lost, still others are pets that are thrown out by owners who no longer want them. Their lifespan is often less than two years, as they scrounge for food among the dustbins or try to keep themselves alive by hunting rabbits and rats in the wet fields. For an entire tom cat, it is a life of roaming in search of sex, caterwauling around the roof tops, or dodging the gamekeepers and their guns. For the un-neutered females it is a desperate and short life bearing litters of kittens. Near starving mothers do their best to rear their offspring but few of them survive.
The tiny black kitten and his sisters were alive thanks to Cats Protection and Lou's bottle feeding. But it was unusual to find unwanted kittens in a rescue centre that time of year and I had thought I would have to wait until Spring. I couldn't adopt an adult cat. A kitten was what I had to have, as in 2006 I was spending part of the week in London and part of it in Oxfordshire. A young kitten could be acclimatised to the car and would grow up relaxed about having two different territories. An older cat would have hated each journey. So, though there were cats more desperately needing homes, I had to have a kitten. and a young one at that.
A black kitten was my choice, because black is the least popular colour. Tabbies, gingers, tortoiseshells, blues and whites are quickly chosen out of the rescue pens regardless of their temperaments. Black and whites are not much desired but are taken eventually. In rescue centres where the public are allowed to walk by looking at the cats, they often fail to give black cats even a second glance. Friendly black cats will walk hopefully towards the passing human only to be ignored. Taking a black kitten was the least I could do, to help Cats Protection and the rescue movement in general. I also wanted a black cat because my last cat, Fat Mog, had been strong minded and black. Mog had been put to sleep with kidney disease about two or three months earlier.
A young kitten, as young as eight weeks, would grow up thinking car journeys were a normal part of life. "I can't give him to you yet," Lou had said a week earlier. "He's eight weeks old and he's eating solid food but he still likes his bottle. I don't want to wean him too early if he wants to continue on the bottle." Obviously the small black kitten, rather me or Lou, had taken charge of the the timing of his adoption.
I named him George because I knew he was valiant and irrepressible, and I hoped he would grow up to be loving and gorgeous.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Is Celia having kittens? She smells of them. Bad, bad, bad.


Celia has been coming home smelling of kittens lately. I took careful sniff the other day and thought she had been handling about four of them. This is bad. Very bad. And her hands smelled not just of kittens but high quality kitten food. (I'd like some of it myself but I normally get adult food, which is not so rich.)
What on earth has she been up to? Fondling alien kittens is not what she is there for. Is she going to bring one home, I wonder. If so I definitely don't want it. I don't want any other cats of any kind at all ever. This is my territory and intruders are not welcome. William agrees with me - for once. He says it would be a second betrayal (what can he mean?) if she brings home a kitten. He hated it last time she did. Only then I realise that he is talking of my arrival in the household in the winter of 2006. Can't he see that this is completely different.
Further daily investigative smelling suggests that the number of kittens is falling, which is encouraging. Today she came home smelling of just one single kitten - Riley. I could tell (scent reveals so much) that he was small, ticked tabby, and quite frightened. Apparently she has been trying to help socialise four feral kittens by sitting in their pen and hand feeding them or playing with them with lengths of string. Riley (he's in the picture) is actually the nicest, but because he isn't as chubby and appealing to look at as the other three he has still not found a home.
I heard her telling Ronnie that after about eight visits, Riley was able to eat from her hand while sitting in her lap. Today she came back and she had been able to pick him up. He had purred loudly and rolled over to have his tummy tickled. She says she almost cried - she was so moved. He'll probaby always be a nervous cat with strangers (unlike me) but he will be wonderful for the human he loves. She promised Ronnie, who is presenting a united front with me and William, that she is not going to bring him home. No more cats are wanted here. Me and William are not dogs. We are not social animals. We don't want a pack of kittens, nor even a single extra one.
Pity the kittens couldn't have been like me. I was socialised by Cats Protection then handled by 24 different people in my first month with Celia - the postman, the man who delivers parcels, the passing farm manager, visitors, Tracy, Paul, Steffi, and many others. As a result I like humans a lot. William who is nervous and standoffish, says that I am like the school tart - I am anybody's. He is jealous, of course.

Monday, August 27, 2007

How the Pope could help black cats


Bad news in yesterday's newspapers. Black cats are being killed in Italy just because they are black. The Italian Association for the Protection of Animals claims that as many as 60,000 cats like me are slaughtered because of the stupidity and superstition of humans. I know we are discriminated against in Britain - Cats Protection find it more difficult to get homes for black cats like me. But in Italy it is much worse.
In Italy people believe that a black cat brings bad luck if it crosses their path. (Only wish we could sometimes!). And that where there is a black cat, the Devil is present too. Thousands of black cats go missing or are found dead every year because of this ridiculous human belief. Apparently the church itself was involved for centuries with priests ordering massacres like a sort of religious Klu Klux Klan. (And in the seventeenth century British authorities searching out "witches" also demonised their pet cats. Only now Brit humans believe black cats are lucky, thank goodness.) I only wish this Pope, who is meant to love cats, could do something to purge this superstition. Could he not have a word with God (whom I consider may well be a Cat not a Human Person - see earlier blogs.)
Why do humans think it is acceptable to torture and kill an animal because of the colour of its fur? And why black? What is the difference between white and black that black should be demonised in this way? Italian humans even kidnap black cats at Hallowe'en and sacrifice them in cruel ceremonies. Why are humans so very, very cruel? They claim we are cruel but are in denial about their own behaviour.
Help stamp out this discrimination, torture and killing. The Italians are going to hold a Black Cat Day on November 17. Watch this space....
PS. This picture is me inside a drawer. What I enjoy is climbing in, digging a sort of hole in the clothes and having a little nap. Do my bright eyes really look devilish? or just kittenish?

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