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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, June 08, 2019

Feline party time across the pond.

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

Dear CAT Victoria,
In order to get your humans working properly, the easiest solution would be to share barbecued food of the kind they, not you, are used to. Many of the neighbourhood cats will enjoy stealing a hot sausage off the charcoal and levanting over the garden wall. Or just giving that wonderful feline imploring eye, which induces humans to cut off a bit of meat and hand it over.
Most Western humans are still uneasy at the thought of serving insects, reptiles and rodents - though these are on the human menu elsewhere in the world. Locusts in sugar are sold in the Far East and guinea pigs are enjoyed in South America.
If you must have mice, get your humans to buy these from a pet shop where they sell frozen food for snakes. You can choose from pinkies (no fur), fluffies (just a little fur) and big furry ones. My human once served these to me when I was temporarily anorexic and after defrosting they tasted just as good as the real thing caught in the garden.
Yes, mice freeze very well. But, even if you can stockpile mice bringing them into the kitchen, can you purrsuade your human to freeze them? My human just throws them out even before I can eat them! 
Yours 
George
PS. I have added a photo of my friend Tilly stealing a slice of dry bread.
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Saturday, March 09, 2019

Outrage - humans call us psychopaths.

Dear George, 
I’m really pissed at humans! Just because they are incapable to understand us they think they have the right to call us “psychopaths”? How do they dare to judge us based on a human mental disorder? I came across this article (https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/02/cat-psychopaths/583192/) and I could not believe what I was reading nor could I believe that someone created a survey to find out why people think cats are psychopaths! I have to say one thing: if they truly think we are then, this is because of them! We mirror humans! How about this
George, what’s your take on this? Did we so miserable fail in training humans? 
Bijou

Dear Bijou,
It is one of the worst side effects of our campaign for world domination. We have almost completely taken over the internet but we have failed to train our staff (video producers and marketing people) sufficiently. They will post stuff that is offensive to cats because they are blind to reading our body language.
Humans don't understand us. They keep comparing us to dogs - comparing like to unlike. It's not fair and it's not clever. I have booked my human into a TV programme with the ridiculous name of Psycho Kitties. I have instructed her to do her best to put the cat's point of view. It will probably be edited out anyway, but at least we will have tried....
Humans are psychopaths - the ones that neglect, kick, torture or kill cats. Cats are just cats - a species with their own wonderful behaviour.
Yours
George
PS. In the afterlife they will have to explain themselves to the Big Cat in the Sky. She has claws as well as soft paws

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Do they know we love them?

Dear George, 
Last week was Valentine’s Day and my humans gave a cozy candle-light dinner for me. We shared the food less the chocolate cake but that’s all right as I love better my healthy cat treats made with wheatgrass and catnip!
It is true thou that no matter how dummies our human pets are we still love them.
We know, for example, how much you love Celia. And that’s all right too. You let her get away with lots of things out of pure love. I’m sure we all try to tell our humans every single day how much we love them but I’m not sure they all understand. 
Since you are the human behaviour expert what’s your opinion? Do they understand why we head butt them? Or why we purr loudly? Or kneading? Or giving them those little “love bites”? Or cuddle with them with our tummy up? What do you think?
I’ve turned upside down (as you can see in the photo) to understand them and understand their signs of love. How do they tell us “I love you”? What signs should we look for?
Cheerily,
CAT Victoria

Dear Victoria,
How far do our humans understand that we love them? They are pretty dumb when it comes to understanding our behaviour, partly because they are so blind to our body language. They sort of understand purring, head butting and kneading. But how many humans do you know, that can distinguish between the slow blink "I love you" and the fast blink "I am frightened so I am cutting off eye contact?" Not many, I fear.
So what are the signs that they love us? Well, they are very vocal and most of them pitch their voices a bit higher and sort of croon a little when they are "talking" to us. Rather like the way they "talk" to babies. Then there is stroking. The best humans know where we like to be stroked and do not stroke in places some of us dislike - the tummy or the backside under the tail. Then there is food, of course. Humans that love us feed us. 
However even loving humans take us to that horrible smelling frightening vet surgery where we are stabbed by needles....  We have to realise that our human pets are sometimes difficult to understand and accept them with all their failings.
Yours 
George.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Normal service will be resumed on Saturday.

Due to my secretary's shameful absence of mind (she told me I had given her too much work to do), last Saturday's blog entry did not take place. As loyal readers know, I tried to use a computer when I was a kitten (see photo above).
But my paws could not cope with the keyboard, so I am reliant on my human to type.
She let me down.
Yours
 George.
PS. I shall pee on her pillow.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Cats and New Year’s Resolutions!

Dear George, 
I’m a very young rescued kitten! I share my new human parents and my forever home with three little human kittens and a bid dog, named Jake! I must admit as much as my human siblings wanted me in their life….Jake didn’t! He was just an old, grumpy dog who was jealous of me getting all the attention!
It took me about 2 weeks to train Jake to become my best friend and guardian. Now we sleep together – me under his protective big paw! Both Jake and I have received wonderful toys and treats for Christmas! But, last night I heard my mummy asking the human kittens to come up with at least three New Year’s Resolutions! 
I’ve panicked! Would she ask me too? Jake? First of all I don’t know what the New Year’s resolutions are or what their purpose is! Do cats and dogs need to make some?  Or are they only for humans? I’m scratching my head to come up with at least one but I can’t think of anything! George, I need your help.
Can you make some suggestions? New Year’s Eve is only few nights away! I’m sure Jake will benefit too!
Purrlease…some ideas so we won’t be caught off guard! 
Wishing you, Celia, the Feline World and their humans a Happy Healthy New Year!
Whiskers

Dear Whiskers,
Feline new year resolutions should be simple. What does a pet human need? It needs more training and some careful encouragement for good behaviour.  A well trained human is a happy human! The same goes for Jake, your canine companion.
But let's be clear. It easier to train a human if it doesn't know it is being trained. So I suggest that you do not let your human discover what your resolution is. Merely put your resolution into practice from January 1 onwards. The ideal pet human is well behaved and obedient without realising that this behaviour has been trained into it.
Be firm.  Be consistent. Be kind. These are the principles of training an inferior species. 
Yours 
George.

 
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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Who is the boss? Do we need a Mew Too movement?


Dear George,
Good question and quick answer: me…me…and me! I AM the BOSS!
Why I’m wearing “my name” on? Because everybody in my house wants to be the Alpha Cat (and I’m not talking cats here….I’m talking humans).
I’ve learned that the best boss is the one who has sense enough to pick good humans to do what he wants done and, self-restraint to keep from meddling with them why they do it!
My humans don’t understand this simple concept! Whatever I asked them to do they look at me first and they laugh! It is a happy laugh but I don’t need it! For example: I asked them for my treats at “treats time” - what do they do? They bring the treats but, at the same time they want to hold me or pet me or rub my belly! Damn it! I’m the Boss! Just give me the treats – that’s it! No cuddling! I tried to teach them the three “C’s” of leadership which are Cats! Cats! Cats! What did they do? They made a banner reading: Consideration! Caring! Courtesy!
George, what do I do? I’m at my limit of exasperation! Maybe I’ll shred their banner to pieces and replace it with one that reads: “Don’t blame the Boss. He has enough problems”. What do you think?
Yours
Minky, the Boss

Dear Minky,
We need a Mewtoo movement to help stamp out human harassment. Their hands get everywhere. They pick us up, swooping down from a height and literally pulling us high without so much as a "Please" or "May I?" They grab at us like that guy with a hamster on his head (see PS). And like him they seem to think they are entitled.
Keep fighting for your proper place in the family -- top Alpha cat. Start as you mean to go on. It's may become a claw and order situation - your claws to keep them in order.
Of course you are the Boss. That banner, Consideration! Caring! Courtesy! applies to them. Not us.
Yours
George
PS. This photo is Toby being trumped. He did not enjoy being made to look like You Know Who.

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Dear George,
I am waiting to adopt a suitable human pet. This accomodation is far from ideal. I can see them, but I cannot smell them through the glass. However, I can hear their vocalisations, when they come close to look at me.
What kind of human is best to adopt? What should I be looking for in order to get good household staff?
Yours,
Sam.

Dear Sam,
Here are my thoughts about suitable human pets. I can't tell you what to do, but be careful. Consider these possibilities:
  • Oldies. These have usually had staff experience in looking after cats. Now that age has "neutered" them, they are likely to be in a quiet household with nothing much to do except care for you. They stay at home all day with the heating on, instead of leaving home for 8-10 hours a day at "work."
  • Young male/female couples. If you are energetic and confident these can be fun. However, there is the danger of pregnancy, babies and toddlers. This takes the focus off proper cat care.
  • Young male/male couples. These make great pets. Less danger of babies/toddlers messing up your home or pulling your tail.
  • Dog owners. Forget them. You are going to have to share your home with a slobbery subservient dog that looks up to humans....
  • Cat addicts. Avoid these like the plague. One cat per bedroom should be the rough rule. These addicts fill the house with cats, often don't have proper hygeine, can't afford vet fees....
Good luck... Worst come to the worst, once you get out of this pen and into a proper cat home, you can always rehome yourself.
Yours
George.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Lauging at my humans' inability to become Master Mousers.

Dear George,
Looking at my photo (attached) you might think I’m yawning or screaming but I really don’t! What I’m doing thou is laughing out loud… at my human pets! You see, I live in a posh neighbourhood where everybody is minding their own business ….neighbours don’t share too much of a social life! I think my humans are the only ones enjoying the outdoors and once in a while a BBQ! It looks to me that my humans are the only ones eating meat on our street! I don’t know if the others are barbequing carrots but

I decided to teach my humans how to hunt for a fresh, juicy steak, sorry…mouse! 

I must admit I totally failed! When I first came home with a fresh, still alive mouse my mummy screamed so hard that she scared the heck out of me and the mouse! So, I gave up on her. Next I tried my human daddy but I wasn’t any more successful than first time!

When I brought him a little bird to taste he was in such a shock that I really gasped in disbelief and the bird flew away! Phew! Damn it! I said to myself I’m not going to give up on him so easily! Next I brought him a baby rabbit! Do you think he was pleased or grateful? No! He yelled at me! Well, this was too much! Having enough of it I let the rabbit go!  George, why are humans so difficult to train? I’d like to know what I did wrong that I failed so miserably. In the meantime I’m rolling on my back laughing out loud as I let my humans believe that all meat comes from the frozen section at the superstore!

Yours….in disbelief

Bear

Dear Bear,
Humans are so ungrateful. I have over the course of several years presented my human with mice, shrews, rats (dead and alive), a dead weasel (really hard to catch), and several baby rabbits, some of them still alive. Like you, I have suffered from screams, yells and hysteria (over the live rat). It is extremely hurtful.
The live rat was my final effort to teach them to hunt. I left it in the kitchen for Celia to finish off. I thought that its athletic abilities -- it ran up the corner of the wall - would arouse her hunting instinct. Nothing of the kind.  So I had to grab it myself and she shooed me out and shut the cat flap.
The smallest kitten learns to hunt. How can these humans be so foolish. I have repeatedly tried to educate Celia - she just cannot learn.
Yours
George.

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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Blowing a kiss to the cat sitter - punishing humans for "holidays"

Dear George,
Yes, that’s true as you can see in the photo attached! But now I’m in big trouble and I need your help! My intention wasn’t to kiss my cat-sitter good-by, not at all….my intention was to punish my mommy who dared to go on a two week vacation without even asking me or getting my permission! 
See, my mommy rescued me 8 years ago as a kitten and she never went away …not even for a day! But she decided on the spare of the moment to fly across the pond and visit some relatives of hers. She let me home with this live-in cat-sitter, a friend of hers!
Well, considering that they were friends I tried every trick I knew to scare the sitter! I even pretended I ran away from home but in reality I was hiding under a bush in my neighbor’s backyard! I must admit I was delighted to see this lady panicking, calling my name, going from door to door! You might wonder why I did all this! Well I did just to scare my cat-sitter enough to report to my mommy and hoping that….after all this mommy will never ever go away! The cat-sitter is really a nice lady but she didn’t tell mommy anything! 
And that’s why I’m in trouble now; mommy thinks I behaved and I’m a good girl, the cat-sitter thinks I don’t like her and she’ll never come back and in the meantime I’m being left empty paws….no promises from anybody! George, how do I mend my relationship with the cat-sitter?  And most importantly how do I punish my mommy? She must be punished! Must be!
Yours,
Jessica

Dear Jessica,
It's the principle of it, isn't it! How dare humans neglect their duty in this way. Going away on a "holiday" is just not acceptable to us cats. No matter how pleasant the cat sitter, no matter how good the service,  the absence of trained staff is always disruptive.
It could be worse. I get put in a prison cell sometimes for as long as a fortnight. A whole 14 days of sitting surrounded by stranger cats, nothing to do, no familiar humans, horrible smells. The only  thing that keeps me going is planning how to punish my human when I get out.
The so called "silent treatment", refusing to interact at all, is what  I aim at. I  don't rub against them. I don't purr. I move away if they try to pet me. I sleep on the spare be at night. If I have sufficient control, I refuse to eat in front of them, waiting to scoff it down during the early hours. And if a stranger visits, I smother the with affection in contrast to my cold distance towards my humans.
Believe me it works. They get ridiculously upset. Try it.
Yours 
George

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Why do cats surf? Train the humans instead.

Dear George,
I have a question for you! The other night I caught my human pet watching videos with cats surfing! I know cats generally speaking don’t like water or crowded places so my question to you is: what’s wrong with these cats? One of them, Kuli seems to be very brave since she’s one eyed cat surfing in Hawaii. Another (her name is Dinga) was skateboarding on the streets! The youngest of all (Boomer) was water-skiing and jumping up the trees! Phew! Are they so desperately bored? Or are they somehow engineered? You know ….like in being “genetically modified”? I mean…look at me (photo attached) lying down comfortably in my favorite spot on my favorite couch and purring happy purrs! My human pet says I’m a couch potato! I ignore such comments! But, out of curiosity….are there cats that really enjoy these things?Are they bribed with treats or what? I’m sending you the links so you can watch the videos for yourself and give us your honest opinion!
All good,
Marty

Dear Marty,
I think these cats have made a big mistakes. They have let themselves be trained by humans instead of being the trainer and training their humans to do cat-like activities like climbing trees, catching mice or using a man flap instead of doors.
I look forward to the day when we will see these trained humans performing on Youtube. For instance, training Donald Trump to jump through a hoop would be fun. Or training Jeremy Corbyn to catch ducklings in St James' Park like Palmerston the cat. Or training Mrs May to ambush mice in the cabinet room. These would make great Youtube videos.
Yours
George
PS. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Important - what your human must do in an emergency

Dear George,
I’m educating myself by reading the letters posted on your blog lately! I got plenty ideas on how to train my human in areas where she lacks wisdom and experience but, there is one thing I couldn’t find on your blog and it’s kind of bothering me! How do we train our humans in case of an emergency? And I’m not thinking just of the fire alarm going off or a power outage because of a thunderstorm! Of course all these things are good to know but I’m thinking of a health scare, emergency, accidents, etc. The other day I went to visit my dog friend – yes, I befriended a dog since his human mummy is giving me treats every time I stop by and I found everybody in serious distress. My friend’s mummy was in an accident and she’s now badly hurt and in hospital. What does one do in such cases? And, in worst scenario …how do we avoid getting back in shelters?
Can you talk to our human parents and advise them to think of our well being and always have a plan in place for us?
With gratitude
Jimmy

Dear Jimmy,
Such a good question... because most humans have a mental dysfunction which mean they cannot look forward in time for such an eventuality. They deny the possibility that it will happen. They cannot face even the thought of death. Yet they worry about the future all the time -- will I get a raise? will I get fired? will my hospital bills get paid. All things which might not happen. Poor animals. So full of anxieties and so unable to face the truth that 100% of us, cats and humans, will die.
Humans should be putting us in their will, reminding their next of kin about us and - most importantly - carrying an emergency wallet card. Thanks to your letter, Celia (who is my secretary and therefore read it)  has just ordered one which has space for mentioning me.  She assured me that the next of kin will also make sure I am OK. 
This is probably the most important letter I will every write on this blog.
Yours
George

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Human kittens -- strange smells, weird noises. How to cope.


Dear George,
I didn’t write to you in quite some time so, please forgive me! I was busy moving from a flat to a big house! I wanted more space to move around and have more closets for my selected wardrobe so I put my “paw down” (as you can see in the photo) and asked my humans to find a better place.  But, I have learned the move came with a big surprise! 
Apparently I’ll welcome my human sister in the Spring! I’m talking a human kitten!
That’s big time competition to me! George, as much as I love to see my humans so excited about their kitten I don’t want to lose my Alpha status nor do I want to lose my privileges! So, when and how do I start training the human kitten? Before even being born is….too soon? Right after birth…should I start purring to her? George, help!
Mia

Dear Mia,
Disruptive noises and strange smells ... but we have to put up with them, as we cannot (so far) neuter humans.  It will help if your humans help you get used to the noise in advance by downloading this track and playing it very very quietly then slightly louder while you are eating something nice.  They should do this the month before the human kitten arrival so you can get used to the noise.
Your humans should also put in place the new human kitten care routine, before the human kitten arrives, so you can get used to it. That might mean differently timed meals, different places for bowls and litter trays and one room with a door that is shut.
You will find that before the arrival, your male human will come back from hospital smelling odd. If he is a sensible pet, he will bring back something smelling of the human kitten and allow you to investigate it. That way when the wriggling bundle of human fun arrives home, you will be used to its smell. This will help.
Finally, the wise thing to do with a new human kitten is never to investigate it unless your adult human pets are there in the room to protect you. Never share its bed or get too close to its jerky movements. Advice for your humans can be found here. Human kittens are, to be brutally frank, retarded. After eight weeks we can cope with life: it takes years for a human kitten to be sensible enough to train properly. 
Well, it is what it is - you will adapt and even come to love it.
Eventually..... Some Feliway Classic might help too.
Yours
George. 
PS. I am working hard on my new book which will come out in February. 

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Ways for a cat to exercise its human.


Dear George,
As much as I loved reading your book One hundred ways for a cat to train its human, I’m surprised that you never pointed out some ways for a cat to exercise its human.
I’m saying this since I’m in much need of your help in this regard. You know that most indoor cats are called “couch potatoes” but, in my case…the couch potato is my human daddy and I’m really worried about his lack of exercise.
I tried to set up examples for him but I think I must do something wrong since he is not responsive to any… such as:
  • Climbing up the curtains.
  • Climbing up and scratching the door frames
  • Jumping from the book case's highest shelf down on his desk.
I even tried the fishing rod and hanging from the chandelier with no success!
To all these excellent examples (in my opinion) he just stares at me in some sort of amazement! Do you think there is something wrong with him? Am I not clear enough in my intentions? George, please tell me how I can train him to exercise more.
Yours truly
Dumi 

Dear Dumi,
In training any animal, it is important to realise that each species has its quirks and particularities. You can only train humans to do what comes naturally to them. For instance you can't train them to scent or hear the location of a mouse. Their noses and their ears are too weak for that.
Exercise is difficult too, as humans are naturally indolent. They will spend hours staring at a screen and only drastic measures such as lying on the keyboard will successfully get their attention towards you.  So first, you have to get their attention.
Even the stupidest of humans usually notice climbing up the curtains and your other activities. Most will spring into action in a vain rescue attempt (either to rescue your or the curtains!). I fear you may have adopted a human nerd, halfwit or a dingbat, as Oz cats call them. These humans are to be pitied not punished. It is not their fault they lack the ability to understand us properly.
You will have to accept that you cannot change him. Don't cease your activities, as this is good exercise for you. One of my achievements was to rip out all the lining from a pair of curtains: it was a truly satisfying achievement - as you can see from the photo on the right.
Yours
George.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

What the DOG....... cat survival tips.

Dear George, 
I’m convinced now that I’ve completely failed in training my humans! Why do I think so? Because past weekend they came home very happy, shouting from the rooftops - "look, look …we’ve got you a brother” I was totally perplexed as you can see in the picture attached! I was like “what the heck is THAT”? I mean I knew it was a dog but… WHY?   
Are they nuts? How could this puppy be my brother? Were they skipping zoology classes in school? Dogs and cats are VERY different! Don’t they know that? And, what am I supposed to do with this unsolicited “brother” now?
He’s not even good as a “pillow” as he’s constantly running around, it won’t stay still! Plus he’s trying to eat my food and this is a BIG mistake! George, do you think I can train him to be my humble servant? What is the purpose of a dog in a cat’s life?
Yours….totally confused
Pepe

Dear Pepe,
Your photograph shows how upset you are - ears back, feet braced ready to run, body stiff with nerves... Your humans are putting you through a really stressful experience. I only hope they are keeping the puppy under total control - on a lead, in a crate, never unsupervised if you are around. You need to be free to go, or to jump up on to a safe high place, at all times.
That puppy should never EVER be allowed even to think about chasing you...
Why on earth are they feeding you where he can get to the food? Is your litter tray in a safe place where you can reach it and he can't? (Dogs sometimes EAT cat poo - disgusting). Can you get to the litter tray without being ambushed by this excitable canine? Are you safe at night completely away from him so you can sleep without one eye open? Can you choose whether to be in his company or not? I can't see a house-line on this dog, which should be there to make it easy to restrain him.
Keep your nerve. Never run otherwise he may chase. Stand up to him. If all else fails, if you have a cat flap, you can just leave home.... 
Yes, you have failed to train your humans. Now concentrate on training the puppy. Rewards (purrs, rubs and attention) and punishment (swipes with the paw). If you do this properly you will be able to use him as a pillow eventually.
This puppy is not a brother. He is a very junior servant. That's the purpose of a dog in a cat's life.
Yours in great sympathy,
George.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Vacuum cleaners, hair blowers..... we need a safe haven.

Dear George, 
I’m a very, very social kitty! Very friendly (even if I don’t look so at times).
The reason I’m so friendly is because we, the cats, are fearless and sometimes
people or dogs or other animals feel really intimidated and are afraid of us; they can see “the lion” in us! I would say we are as courageous as we are curious! So, I’m trying to “meet and greet” different things and different people. 
But there are these two things I don’t know how to make friends with: the vacuum cleaner and that “thing” my mom uses to blow dry her hair!  Yes, I tried to get close to them but they would just blow hot air back to me! I tried to rub my head against them but they make this terrible, scary noise (which gets louder closer I get)! I tried to meow to them but none meowed back to me! Guess they are not speaking “things”! So, since I have to live in the same house with these two, I need your advice - how I can befriend them? 
Even if I summon the Lion in me ….that lion falls flat as no real lion has ever experienced a vacuum cleaner or blow dryer in the jungle!  So, what do I do now?
The roaring kitty 
Angelica

Dear Angelica,
Summon your pride, congratulate yourself on your beauty,  and remind yourself that these unspeakable devices are beneath your notice. We all hate them. When I see the vacuum cleaner come out of the cupboard or hear the hair dryer being switched on, I make myself scarce. Either I leave the house altogether or find my own safe haven.
What is your safe haven? Every cat needs a safe haven. Mine is on top of a wardrobe in the spare bedroom. It's high up, admittedly a bit dusty, but away from human interference. For some of us it's under the bed: others go and sit in a garden shed: or find a hiding place with the clean clothes inside the airing cupboard.
Humans should never ever disturb us while we are there. There are thoughtless humans that pull us out from under the bed, or harass us while we are on the top of the wardrobe. They should be trained to leave us alone for as long as we need to stay there.
Regaining our composure may take a little time.... But when we feel serene again we can stroll back into our humans' life.
Yours 
George.
PS. One of the compensations for becoming deaf in old age is that these devices become less scary.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Why are these cats pressing a bell? And who's in control?

Dear George,
I’ve been a long time follower of your blog but being very shy by nature I never got the courage to write or post a comment. Lately, as I start coming out of my shell I kind of see the world in a different light – not only more colorful but more playful as well! My humans are more playful and quite happy to entertain me! But what troubles me is one video they keep watching again and again and then…they try to copycat it. Here is the link to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Clm826hHxoA  George, please watch it and tell me ….is it just human silliness or what is it that people enjoy so much that they keep bribing us with treats? What exactly is the purpose? I’ve seen videos with Celia apparently training Toby and Tommy (here and here)! Why? Can you explain this to me?
I don’t get it!
Gratefully yours
Princess

Dear Princess,
They only think they are training us. We are training them. This video shows two cats proceeding to a higher level of training. By doing something silly like pressing the bells, they have trained their humans to give them treats. How good is that? Humans think they are training us: we know we are training them.
Most humans cannot be trained to this level. They are too dumb. They simply cannot credit what we cats can do and so they don't even try to respond. They just give us treats for nothing.... but it is sometimes more fun to do something funny to get a treat. The easiest silly-thing-to-do-for-food is to sit up on your hind legs.  Do this near a meal and there is a very good chance indeed you will get something tasty from the table!
From there it is a short step to doing all kinds of antics that will result of food. Try it. It's good food fun, particularly for indoor cats.
Yours
George 

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.
 

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