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Showing posts with label cats train humans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cats train humans. Show all posts

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Of cats training their human pets.... "cat paralysis"

-->Dear George,Last week letter and Tommy’s story inspired me to write this one from my own experience. If you remember about a year ago I was rescued from the streets by this couple with their clear intention to take me to a clinic and treat my many wounds (both physically and emotionally) and then to put me up for adoption. I saw them screening very carefully everybody manifesting a wish to take me in.
Of course in the process they fell in love with me and today I’m running their house! Even more, I didn’t need to train them through the “reward & punishment” cycle as they were quite well trained already but I started training them in what I would call “cat paralysis,” meaning I jump on one’s lap and that person can’t move until I get tired of sitting there so I leave….releasing them to freely move around! For whatever reason it didn’t work well with mummy (she can’t stay still – quite unnerving) but worked wonders with daddy (as you can see in the photo attached). What it’s very rewarding in fact is that I can get as many treats as I want and as often as I want. Why? Because they think they outsmart me and when daddy goes really numb from staying still he’s asking mummy to give me some treats hoping I’ll be tempted to jump down from his lap so he can move! The whole scenario makes me laugh my head off as I get everything I want this way…..being loved, cuddled up and eating treats!
Ah! I love my human pets! So, George what do you think? Maybe we should write a book about this special training program so other cats will benefit from it? With cheers & a good laugh  
Chico

Dear Chico, 
I am always keen to learn about tricks that can be taught to humans and about new techniques for doing this. "Cat paralysis" is a really good idea, not unlike the way humans teach dogs (poor idiots) to "stay." You seem to have cured that particularly irritating human behaviour of shifting around when we are sleeping on them.  Well, at least you have your male pet trained. Now start working on the female.
I wonder if you could transfer this technique to the bed. I suffer from the way my human, whom I generously allow to share the double bed with me, will thrash about in her sleep. I have to keep waking up and moving to get out of her way. If you find you can stop your male human moving around in the bed, please let me know urgently.
Yours
George. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Teenage humans - can they get obsessed with cats?

Dear George,
My name is Schwartz and I have a family of human pets - adult male, adult female, teenage boy and 11-year-old girl. They are all reasonably well trained and depend on me for affection.
It's the teenager who is worrying me. He has always been fond of me but now he shuts himself in his room with his computer and me. He has stopped vocalising to his family and spends most of his time online looking at cat photos and cat videos. Occasionally he looks at photos of naked humans, but seems to prefer cats. Is this natural? And does it matter?
Yours
Schwartz.

Dear Schwartz,
I can reassure you that watching cat videos and photos is normal for a large proportion of the human population. Scientists (I am not joking) have declared that this is good for humans and is particularly valuable for procrastinating with tasks. Your human is probably using cats as a way of not doing his homework. Watching too many naked human videos may be bad for him: so cat videos are preferable.
If you feel that he needs a rest from his computer, you can put into effect an online interruption and deterrent programme. Simply jump up on his desk and interpose your body between him and the screen. Do this is a cute way so that he responds to you with petting and eye contact.
If this doesn't work, then you need to do stronger measures. Walk up and down the keyboard, that rectangle which has small tabs on it. Or just stand motionless on it. You will see that  series of pleasing mouse tracks appear on the screen, interrupting his work there.
Finally if all else fails, lie flat on your back on the keyboard and wave your paws in the air. No fully functioning human can resist this. For me it works every time.
Yours
George.
PS. Scientists have discovered that adolescents get on better with their pets than with their siblings. Look here.. So your teenager is normal.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Is dinner ready?

Dear George, 
We are Ella and Louis – that’s right… as in Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. 
I’m wearing my white coat (as you can see) and Louis (always a gentleman) is wearing his tuxedo.
We are quite like on that 1956 record cover (sorry darling but I forgot the name – we made so many records and shows together).
Anyway, the reason I’m writing to you is because we found out that you are a specialist in human behaviour and we need your help. Our humans got into the “cat homemade food” mania that lately took over the Internet, main stream news, TV, etc. – I mean all media! I’m not complaining about the food, don’t get me wrong – I’m complaining about the timing of our meals! 
See, I want to eat whenever I want ….like a real diva! My Mom is insisting on feeding us twice a day (morning and evening) at precise times. THAT drives me nuts! Absolutely nuts! And to add misery to aggravation….our Daddy is insisting on weighting and measuring everything such as protein, fats, minerals, vitamins, etc. (I think he is a nutritionist but that doesn’t give him the right to delay our meals). George, I’ll be happy with that roast chicken leftover! But, no ….I have to eat scientifically proved meals! 
Phew! So, for now I’m trying to be more vocal (as you can see in the picture attached) and hope my dear Louis will join me. I bet…no matter how much our humans enjoy music…they will give up and feed us right away! 
Any other suggestions George
Meowing on sweet blues notes 
Ella

Dear Ella,
You have got the right idea. Humans are suckers for the cute. Do something cute, like meowing, to get your human's attention. Without that, you can even start training. Once they are looking at you, then you have to "tell" these dumb humans what you want. Try the following:
The Sit Up method of getting food
  •  First cultivate the cute "I'm looking at you, kid" glance upwards - eyes large, whiskers wide, and a little tilt of the head. You may feel frustrated but you need to look cute.
  • Eyes to the food cupboard. Ostentatiously move from looking at him to the food cupboard, adding a little shoulder shift to make it more obvious - humans are not very bright.
  • Get off the table and walk to the food cupboard, then look back towards him. Even a really dumb human usually gets this one.
  • Meow. Follow up by getting off the table and winding round his legs. Then move three steps towards the food cupboard, turn, and do the appealing look. Got his attention? Another three steps towards the food and another look. This form of training by small increments is what is needed for a really dumb human.
  • Finally, when he is moving to get you your food, don't forget the thank you - a very loud purr as you are eating with the occasionally appealing look between mouthfuls. This is to reward him for his trouble.
You can adapt this schedule for being fed human food during human meal times. If you can add a little sit-up-and-beg to it, you may be lucky.
Yours
George.
 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Honeymoons are no fun for cats.


Dear George,
I’m not sure if there are official safety rules in place for cats’ transportation but, I definitely hope so since my Mom managed to cross a busy downtown street carrying me wrapped in a towel – Yes! against all odds - as you can see in the photo (I covered her face as I don’t want to get her in trouble – she’s still my Mom after all).
You see, this summer she got married and for this useless and meaningless event (at least in my life) she took off more than a week leaving me with my human grandparents. When she came back to take me home I was so mad at her that I peed in my carrier bag!
Last night I heard her saying she’ll go on a honeymoon! And now I don’t have a carrier bag anymore as she threw it away! But, George, firstly what is a honeymoon? I’ve heard of a full moon or new moon or, even a blue moon but never about a honey moon?
How far is this honey moon? Secondly, if she plans to take me with her this time is there any special equipment for a cat to travel to outer space? I hope she’ll not take me to her honey moon wrapped in a towel! What do you think George?
A bit worried
Stanley

Dear Stanley,
You are right to be worried about transport. It's not safe for a human to carry a cat like this. What if you just wriggled out of her arms and ran away.You might have got lost in the traffic, or even run over. She needs to get a secure cat carrier.
Honeymoons? Humans really are odd. Their mating habits are varied, ranging from pair bonding to one night stands (so called though this could only be literally achieved by medication!). As a species we do it better. Our female queens come on heat, go out in search of toms, mate furiously with several and have kittens a few weeks later usually from multiple fathers. That way we get the best chance of healthy kittens. If one of the toms isn't up to scratch (so to speak) and sires a weak kitten, there is always others in the litter that are strong.
Honeymoons? Part of the pair bonding ritual, once associated with the chance to have sex; nowadays just a nice holiday after an expensive ritual wedding. Don't go on the honeymoon. Heaving mattresses are no fun for cats that need a decent night's sleep.
Yours 
George.
PS. This blog is late due to the unforgivable absence of my secretary for most of the week.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The cat that eats his broccoli....

Dear George,
It's true... I eat broccoli! And once more I put humans to shame as most of them “hate” broccoli! But not me. Of course I eat a species proper diet (meaning carnivore and well balanced) but I like to snack on broccoli … little bites at a time! My Mom is quite worried but I know it is good for me and it’s not doing any harm! I can even be a “poster cat” advertising for humans to eat their veggies! I’m setting up an example for kids!
Parents should be grateful! What do you think?
Gizmo

Dear Gizmo,
There are many ways that humans can learn from cats. Eating broccoli is only one of them. Humans can learn the value of silence from us, the importance of sleep, the beauty of graceful movement, and ability not to desire material possessions. These are spiritual as well as moral talents.
This all adds up to a spiritual superiority to humans. We have a natural absence of self pity: an acceptance of life as it is without the yearning for things to be different: the courage to live with pain: and a straight forward ability to live in the present most of the time. We don't shop. We don't envy. We don't try to control others. We walk away from, instead of towards, trouble. We keep ourselves clean without being vain about it.
So yes, you are an example for kids who won't eat their broccoli. But more than that. You, and every cat that is alive, sets an example of modest spirituality for humans to follow.
Yours
George.
PS. If you Mom is worried about your habit of eating broccoli she should keep an eye on the litter box. There is a special chart here which will gives graphic illustrations of what poo stools. Grades 2-3 are what should be in the box. grade 3.5 onwards suggests you should ease up on the broccoli!

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Born to be wild.... or perhaps not.

Dear George, 
Is this a valid statement or not so much? We were born of a feral cat but in a human house! Does that make us wild? We are five kitten - seven week old now - and quite social. We are ready for adoption (if anybody is interested). Our mother, who actually let this nice, generous human touch her, is getting to the clinic to be spayed. We heard our “temporary” human mother saying that she won’t release our feral mother back to the wild since she’s quite used to human touch now. But, what about us?
Are we going to be OK? One of the "girls' in the gang is getting used to catnip toys as you can see in the first photo.
Any wise advice George?
In a very playful mood,
The Three Musketeers (out of five)

Dear Kittens,
You are getting the best education you could have for a happy future  - warm shelter,  regular meals, soft beds, and attentive human servants. Train them using rewards (purrs, rubs, and the opportunity to stroke you) and punishments (hisses, ignoring them, and if necessary swipe and bite).
Start as you mean to go on. An intelligent kitten will have trained his human within the first four weeks to feed the correct food, change the litter tray regularly, and play enjoyable games with him. And all this without the human knowing that she has been trained.
Don't be too selfish. Allow them to share the bed with you. They make good hot water bottles.
Love 
George.
 





Saturday, April 09, 2016

Food – such hot topic for cats but still a dilemma

Dear George, 
Since you mentioned my name in your post recently I thought it’s time for an update! 
Well, I’m pleased to report that I totally adopted the couple who rescued me; they make good pets. They are very responsive to my needs and are very well trained. I have quite a clear, simple schedule – wake-up at 6 am for a round of play, eat breakfast by 7 am and then play some more and sleep until evening when I get my dinner! Some more play and cuddling and sleep again! I live a blessed, simple life! But, I have a dilemma when it comes to food. When I was living on the streets I was eating from garbage bins unless people would give me some dry food in their backyard. 
I’m no expert in food or nutrition but I see my human mummy spending a lot of time to carefully prepare my meals. I’m on a raw meat diet (80% meat and 20% organs) mixed with a Healthy Powder (it contains Lecithin, nutritional yeast, kelp, bone meal, eggshell powder, Vit. C and other vitamins and minerals) and raw yolks. Each serving in mixed with a teaspoon of organic gluten free oats (cooked) and 1/2 teaspoon cooked butternut squash. Three times a week I get fish oil/omega 3 and an extra taurine supplement to make up for whatever is lost through freezing the meat. Go figure! She follows the recipes from Dr. Richard Pitcairn’s book and sometimes from Dr. Karen Baker’s book.
I’ve seen her watching videos on www.catnutrition.org too. George, one thing I’ve learned while eating from garbage bins was that humans are completely immersed in toxic food culture.
They are fundamentally wired to prefer junk food as we are fundamentally wired to prefer treats over healthy food. I heard a lot about “dry food is no good”, “canned food it is better” but lately I heard canned food is no good either because the can lining is toxic, carcinogenic, etc. And yet I’ve learned about cats who lived to be 18 or 20 or even 22 years old on either canned or dry food. So, what’s the truth about food? There is no way around that! Or is it?
Purring in content
Chico

Dear Chico,
It's inspiring to read your survival story.
Most humans are just not clever enough to feed their cats a proper home-made diet. So good quality cat food, whether dry or in an envelope, will be the right choice for a cat. Avoid anything which is 'giblet flavoured' or anything labelled 'complementary.' Here in the UK that last label means the food isn't a complete diet. Avoid anything made in China. We cats have strict diet requirements, unlike dogs, and most good quality ready-made food will at least be adequate.
You can read about the dangers of a badly-made home diet here. The other danger is too much liver. We adore it and we would eat any amount of it. But that leads to an overdose of Vitamin A and severe health problems. So my advice to cats is, unless you have a truly well trained human and most are not, stick to good quality envelopes or dried food. Canned food may be OK for most cats, but there is a suggestion that the can lining might be involved in the development of hyperthyroidism. It's a bit of a minefield!
Yours
George
PS. I've just found a new product called Cat Soup. This might be useful for cats on a dry diet or cats that have a history of  cystitis.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Is there a dog in the bag?.......


Dear George,
I need your advice on a sensitive subject. You know I’m a rescue who adopted this odd couple a while ago. My human pets have two human kittens who, of course, adore me! Last night while having supper I heard them talking about getting a dog who would fit in a bag! The truth is that the human kittens go to university and my human pets feel lonely and they need company, so they thought of getting a dog. I’m not getting into details here since it really doesn’t matter the size, breed, etc. All is good….as I’ll have more help to slave for me but, I think I should have some rules set up, don’t I? And, to get the rules right I need your help! Here is a list with what I have in mind. Please feel free to improve my list!
1)    No sniffing (can’t stand a dog sniffing at my behind)
2)     No mix and eat (meaning that the dog can’t have my food)
3)    Sofa time is all mine (dog needs a break…can sleep on the floor)
4)    No crazy running or chasing (I’m not a hound so I don’t race)
George, any other rule you can think of?

Leo

Dear Leo,
The only rule in my household is NO DOGS.  But I have Celia under a firm paw, and so she would not dare to add a dog.
However, it is always more difficult to get total obedience if you have several human pets, so you may have to put up with this invasion. Just thank the Big Cat Upstairs that it is doing to be a handbag dog - small enough for you to bully. (Yes, I dare say you could eat it, but that will really upset your humans!)
The rules you have forgotten are the most important rule of all. 
Rule One. The cat is Top Dog.
Rule TwoAuthority goes like this. Top Honcho, officer in command, is Leo. Humans are other rank, corporals, obeying commands from commanding officer. Dog is squaddy, ordinary soldier, obeying feline commands and human commands.
That's all you need to know. Instigate a claw and order regime from the start. Insolence or disobedience should be punished severely.
Yours 
George.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

I'm learning to trust humans - but worried about a feline bully


Dear George,
I’m a rescue and, of course I live in a multiple cat house. I’m the only girl and very shy.
I’ve always been very shy and not very trustful, especially of humans. One of my “brothers” is a bully and I don’t know how to deal with that. My humans are very supportive of me but they work late hours. Lately I started going to them for an occasional rubbing and petting and they seemed to be very happy. Yesterday, after quite few hours of playing time with them I heard them saying “she’s coming out of her shell”. I got nervous as I don’t know what that means? Am I going to lose my coat? What shell are they talking about?
Nervously
Princess Penelope

Dear Princess Penelope,
Feline bullies are difficult to deal with. Do you have your own safe sleeping area, where he cannot intrude upon you? Doe he block your way to the litter tray? Or have your humans got several trays so that you can always get to one without anxiety? The same with food. You should not have to eat in close proximity to him. There should be several food and water locations. 
I am so glad that you are beginning to trust your humans. I hope that you are able to spend some time with them, without the bully being there to intimidate you by staring or blocking. You should train them to feed you cat treats when you go towards them, so that you are getting rewarded for overcoming your fear. Patient humans will be rewarded by your love.
Yours sympathetically
George
PS.  Celia has taken to taming a feral kitten instead of concentrating her time on serving me. I am fed up. You can see it here.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Of man..... and disappointments.

Dear George, 
Your post last week made me ponder on life in general and, in particular on our lives with humans. Why humans, especially the ones closest to us, hurt and disappoint us so much and all in the name of friendship or love? I agree with Fluffy that just “domesticating them” was not enough. We failed in our training as they never developed a higher conscience or integrity. They constantly sneak behind our back and do things making us look like fools. Don’t they see it? Pondering on human behaviour I’ll quote Carl Jung who said: “I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way”. All I can say is…..Jung was right! The stories from last week are a proof.
What should we do? Give up on them?
Very, very sad
Paco

Dear Paco,
I do understand how you feel, Paco. It hits me hard, when I hear of the humans that slaughter lions, do cruel medical experiments on cats, throw elderly cats out on the street to die rather than pay a vet's bill, or let their children tease or even torture cats. Yes, some humans are vile.
But we mustn't give up on them. We must keep the faith and try to change them, one human being at a time. For every vile dentist that slaughters a lion, there is a devoted person helping cats find good homes, or just beautiful human beings like Michelle and Dan who are kept well and happy by Fluffy.
When I despair, I think of the good humans in our lives. They balance out the bad ones. And every cat who lives in a human home can do their bit - by training their human to love and respect felines. They can be trained. Or, at least, most of them can be. Celia was always a natural cat lover but I helped train her partner, Ronnie, to love cats. From being indifferent he became a truly good cat pet.
So it can be done.
Remember. We cannot change them all, but we can change one.
So that is the human we change.
Sympathies
George 
PS. Michelle has asked me to mention a good source of sensible advice for your human pet's health. Look here

Saturday, May 02, 2015

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


Dear George,

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

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

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

Cheerfully yours

Beau-Beau 

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

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I want to have a career in Feline TV


-->
Dear George
Have you noticed how many cats there are on television these days? From motivational speakers to singing cats, every ad seems to feature a furry feline. It’s got me thinking – how could I get in on this action and start my career on the screen?
I’m a pretty handsome, lively young boy – if I do say so myself – so I think I’ve got what it takes to be a TV star, but how do I convince my human? While I await your reply, I will practice strutting my stuff!
Yours,
Joe x

Dear Joe, 
It is your lucky day. I happen to know of a TV company looking for feline stars in the UK. Chalkboard TV say they are looking for Britain's "quirkiest cat owners."  
Decode that and it means cats with the best trained owners - the sort of owners that give you the biggest side of the bed, that don't mind you sitting on their heads, that let you share the shower, are grateful to be woken up by their toes being bitten under the duvet, and/or generally run the household. If your owner is like that contact lorna@chalkboardtv.com  with a photo of yourself.
Send that email now!!
George 
PS. Let's hope they don't put cat addicts on the show, the sort of people who are cat hoarders.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Training my human -- should I purrsist?

Dear George,
My name is Prudence, like you I am a black cat, and like you I am lively, highly intelligent and insatiably curious. Unfortunately my human Rose went off to university leaving me stuck at home with her rather dim mother, whom I have spent several years trying to train. I have managed to get her to understand a variety of very simple MEOWs: - Get Up its 5am! Open the door NOW! Any nice food in that bag? Catnip NOW! but we seem to be reaching her limit of understanding. 
Any ideas on how to extend her ability to learn would be most useful. I am getting bored of saying the same old meows every day. 
I do rather wish I could have gone to university too, perhaps to study human behaviour and cognition. Or mice.
Best wishes, Prudence

Dear Prudence, 
You have done well to train your older human so effectively. It will not be easy to improve her much more. Do you have the time and the patience to purrsist? You might try training her (if you have not already done so) to buy the right kind of cat food.
This requires self discipline, because it is done by refusing to eat inferior brands or, at least, pretending to eat with great reluctance, then covering the food as if it was something in the litter tray.  (Yes, you can of course eat this on the sly from the food recycling bin once she has thrown it out).  Loud purring when you get the right kind of food followed by a lot of rubbing against her will reward her. Most humans can learn which food to choose on the supermarket shelves.
I am sorry to hear about Rose. Humans that get obsessed with studying often suffer from stereotypic repetitive behaviour. Celia has been particularly trying lately, spending all her time on the computer and showing every sign of being stressed out. At her age she should know better and would do, if only she was a cat.
Many Oxford and Cambridge colleges have career opportunities as the college cat. Register with Felinked in. Purrsonally I wouldn't bother studying human behaviour at university - it is blinding obvious that the species is just thick.
Yours
George.
PS. More details of college cat life here.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Training your human to give you food - Toby shows how it is done.

Dear George,
I have trained a Japanese vet to give me food, when I jump over an obstacle. Altogether an amazing experience and one that I am very proud of. It took several days because she was so slow.
At first she failed to give me any food at all. But she did pay attention to me, so I knew there were possibilities there. When I saw her fiddling about with something that looked like a very small horse jump, I tried several different behaviours.
  • I walked up to it and paused. No food forthcoming.
  • I went for a little walk No food.
  • I walked round it and looked at her. Still no food.
  • Then inspiration struck. I leaped over it. FOOD!!
She was so excited by this, that she made little beep-beep vocalisations. Rather like Celia does after I taught her to give food when I touched her hand.  These humans! With infinite patience, they can learn quite a few amusing food tricks.
Yours
Toby.

Dear Toby,
Congratulations.  It is so worthwhile to purrsist in training your human to deliver food. You are, of course, right. It takes days of effort because human are really not as bright as cats. We have to keep trying and keep our patience.
Food placed in a bowl, even food left available all the time, or stolen food - these are the agreeable aspects of living with a human. But sophisticats go for something rather more cerebral. They train their humans to deliver food on command.
The command you need is not a vocalisation. It is a piece of cute behaviour. Do it and you will be rewarded. You did it. Well done.
Simples.
George

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Big fuss about New Year's Resolutions...

Dear George,
My name is Rocky and, of course, I'm a rescue. I'm the black and white kitty (intentionally) pictured here ...sleeping as I'm always blamed for being up and playing 24/7.  In the picture (attached) you can also see my older brother (a rescue as well) Stanley - who can sleep 24/7. The reason I'm writing to you is to clarify the big fuss about new year's resolutions that human are talking about! For the last two week all I hear is: we should go on a diet, I ate too much chocolate, don't eat this or eat less of that or we should exercise more, etc. If all the commotion is about humans' plans for the coming year ...
I can tell you right here and now that I have just one New Year's Resolution and that is to learn how to open a can! Last year I learn how to open the cupboards' doors and roll out food cans. Now, I need your advise on how to open the cans. In a normal household I wouldn't have to worry about this but ...I don't live with normal people. My human mom is vegetarian but my father is not. That means that I will never attack her rice stuffed cabbage rolls but he might attack my juicy mouse! I know for sure neither one of them will attack my food cans.
So, George.....how do I open them?
Cheers
Rocky

Dear Rocky,
It is not a cat's job to open cans. That is a human's. However there are times when it would be handy to do it. I have tried pushing cans off the kitchen counter - they bend but they don't break. I have tried prizing them open with my paw or even tearing off the labels. None of this works. 
There is a way round this problem. Get your humans to feed you out of envelopes not cans. Start giving canned food a contemptuous look. Instead of eating it, walk round the bowl with an expression of dismay. Then make digging motions as you would in a litter tray. You are showing the human that this particular food is S--T. 
Your evident disapproval and reluctant to eat is punishment for their buying the wrong food. Make them feel guilty and ashamed.
Given an envelope, eat quickly purring as loudly as you can. This is the reward your human gets for buying the right food. Make them feel happy because you are happy. 
You can do it. Millions of cats do. Why are there shelves and shelves of different cat food in a supermarket? Answer - because humans want to please their cats by buying the one they prefer.
Once you have envelopes you can have some fun with them. They can be torn open and by pressing in the middle with a paw, the food will come out. Pulling the "empty" envelopes out of the trash is also a good game. If you tear them further open, you will find a few fragments of food left inside.
This emotional manipulation is the first lesson in human training.  Humans love to be trained by cats. They are happiest when they are doing what we want them to do.
Get training.
George 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My human has gone stark staring mad.... she thinks she is training me.

Dear George,
What do you do about a human pet that has gone mad. Stark staring bonkers. She has started a regime of feeding me on a mat.
OK, you might think there is nothing wrong with this. But there is. It is the way she is doing it.
At first she more or less fed me when I was sort of half on the mat. Then she stopped doing this which upset me terribly. I didn't know why the rules had changed. Now I think I have got it. I have to have all four paws on the mat before the food will be delivered to me.
But she keeps changing things. She moves so that she and the mat are in different positions. So I feel anxious and worried. Will 4 paws do the trick in each new position? Each time I have to experiment to find out. She looks pretty fed up as I gingerly put one paw, then two, then walk away several times before putting all four on.
She is also videoing me and I feel like Len, who earlier complained, that I have no privacy. What I can't work out is why she is doing this. And I get confused because she is rather inconsistent and sometimes gives me some food when I am not doing it.
What on earth is going on?
Toby, the Cross-Eyed Stray.

Dear Toby,
Your human has fallen victim to the illusion that cats can be trained. It's a sad insight into their delusional thought processes.
I suggest that you turn the whole project round. Train her. Four paws on the mat, look up appealingly, food is produced, another appealing look and with luck more food will arrive. This looks like co-operation but in fact is cat training a human to dispense food. What does she get out of it? Nothing except a lousy video. What do you get out of it? Food. It's a no brainer.
Yours George
PS. This YouTube intrusion into our privacy get worse every day.  It's cat porn for cat addicts.

Friday, November 07, 2014

I have trained my human to write novels that help homeless cats.


Dear George,
My name is Lara and I am an amazing survivor of a horrendous dog attack and because my beauty was scarred no one wanted me! That is until a lady at Morley Cat Rescue saw through my injuries and noticed my beautiful nature and playful ways and she rescued me! Now after many years in her care I have regained my lustrous coat and lost all the excess weight I gained through inactivity. I can walk again!
I would really like to say thanks, George, to Morley Cat Rescue and their devotion and I have just seen my dear mum Morwenna Holman writing novels which she hopes to sell to rescue more cats like me so can you spread the word please? Her novels are Westerdale, Heaton and Rainharrow (details here) and she is working on the next one as we speak,( well tea is late again as she is finishing a chapter ) but every penny of royalties is going to be divided among Morley Cat rescue who need a cattery for darling stray little souls like me who get injured by dogs and cannot remain on the streets and AISPA. Morwenna also wants to send money to the cats of Torre Argentine in the Roman ruins as they are a wonderful and devoted bunch of people. They stop cats like me from breeding (babies - yuk - it makes me go cold just thinking about it!).
For every copy of one of Morwenna's books sold each rescue will get a pound so please get humans to help us! Well, I shall now go and position myself strategically over Morwenna's E-book and gaze at her with my beautiful huge eyes. It is a trick I learnt from Celia's book and I flutter my eyelashes for more effect. It works every time!
Miaows and purrs,
Lara.

Dear Lara,
It's a real pleasure to come across human beings who want to help cats. Some of them don't care and even more of them just think they own one of us and don't bother helping the species. This Morwenna human sounds like a really nice pet.
I really do congratulate you on your pet. Mine does a bit of writing but she had a tendency to invade the privacy of the cats she writes about. I wish I could turn her little mind to fiction, rather than fact. So I admire what you have done with Morwenna.
Worse still, Celia put her own name on MY book, 100 Ways for a Cat to Train its Human. A dirty trick, I thought, and it still rankles.
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.


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