Follow by Email

Showing posts with label claw. Show all posts
Showing posts with label claw. Show all posts

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dressing up cats - a vile undignified human desire.

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

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

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Larry the Downing Street Cat is in Danger

Dear George, 
Something very curious happened to me! Since I took up Cat-Yoga (pronounced Catha-yoga) both my energy and conscience expended to an unbelievable level! I’m no longer the sleepy kitten waiting for my Mom and Dad to rub my belly and give me little kisses!
Even more so my awareness of critical situation and injustice developed to such an extent that I became a very active supporter of the “animals’ rights” movement around the globe. Of course I have full support of my mummy and quite often I’ll send her to represent me at different demonstrations and protests!
I became aware of the changes going on in the UK lately and, with no intention to get into politics, I have to ask you one question! What is going to happen with Larry, the cat now? (NB: not to be mistaken for Larry, the tabby - the famous cat of CatCafe in Vancouver, Canada that your very meow-amazing Adele fell in love - or so the twitter world claims). 
So, getting back to our Larry – the cat living at 10 Downing - will he be abandoned once again? Will he be back on the streets?  Or will he continue to serve the nation from 10 Downing? I heard he was limping the other night? Did he get proper treatment? Does he have the full staff to his orders as before? I’m very worried about his fate. Should I start a cat revolution to save Larry?
George, I’m standing tall (as you can see in the picture attached) and waiting for your comments! You are closer to home than me.
Yours…. ready for action,
Beau 

Dear Beau,
Larry has had a tough time lately - but its nothing to do with the new Prime Minister at no 10 Downing St. For a very brief period he was in charge of Number 10 after David Cameron left and before Theresa May was officially in charge. But he welcomed her into his home and all is well between them, as far as we can tell.
No. The danger has come from the Foreign Office. Not Boris Johnson, the Foreign secretary with the Donald Trump hair. But from Palmerston, a dark presence and sworn foe.
Palmerston is named after an expansionist Victorian Prime Minister, and seems to behave like his human predecessor.
He is a black and white cat. In his tuxedo with white gloves, he obviously thinks himself a cut above Larry from Battersea and is expanding into his territory.
So Larry has limped home with a wounded paw and the nation waits to see who will win this cat fight.
Yours 
George.
PS. Another competing mouse looms. Gladstone has joined the Treasury.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Make declawing illegal....

Dear George, 
Mommy signed a petition asking to ban declawing in Canada. You can sign it here. She was very upset and was saying that this was mutilation and vets should refuse to perform it and should educate people instead. Guess this must be something terrible if mommy was so mad!
I can only imagine how painful the procedure must be and the terrible feeling after.
I know I need my claws to protect myself, to strike a chord on my guitar or to strike my brother Stanley (like in the picture attached).
George, can you explain why declawing should be banned worldwide and how can we better educate humans on this issue?
Rocky

Dear Rocky,
Human beings enjoy cutting bits off animals. They used to cut off the tails of horses until it became illegal. They still cut off the tails and part of the ears of dogs in the USA (not in the UK, thank goodness). And in Canada and the USA declawing is still legal. But it's not just declawing. The operation involves cutting off the end joint of each digit (which includes the claw). If somebody cut off the end joint of their human fingers, they would protest.
The operation is painful. Most cats survive all right after it, but they live diminished lives. Cats enjoy scratching and leaving their scent where they scratch. They can no longer do this. Cats enjoy climbing and now they can climb less easily, though they can still jump. There may be neuropathic pain for some of them: and they find some kinds of litter difficult to manage. So for declawed cats, life presents fewer pleasures and more problems. 
But the the so called "owners" of these cats, life presents fewer problems. The furniture is never scratched, neither is the human. In Japan, they go even further. If your cat scratches or bites, you can have it declawed and all its teeth pulled out. Human problem solved. The cat is now defenceless against owners who mistreat it.
"I think humans have reached the peak of cruelty, greediness and selfishness," says Rocky's friend, Michelle. She's right. I'd like to get my claws into the vets that do the declawing.
Yours gloomily
George.

 

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, January 17, 2015

I stuck my tongue out to my human



Dear George,
What my human did to me is outright outrageous! She tried to shame me (see my face in the photo no 2) by calling in an animal behaviour specialist "to assess my destructive behaviour"! It's hard to believe but that's exactly what she did! Ah! about my destructive behaviour? She claims that I destroyed the walls in the flat we live in; she claims that I shred them to dry wall! But, I did not! It is just one corner (of course...a junction between two walls) that I scratched and I'll continue to scratch not because I lack calcium but because I can smell, feel "something" in the walls. It might be a mouse or squirrel or who knows what....but I can smell it! I can feel it! And, she doesn't get it! The animal behaviour specialist's conclusion? That there is nothing wrong with me and she should call in the property manager! Aha! In response to that I stuck my tongue out to her! 
Here! (see it in photo # 1). So, George...did you hear of other cats behaving like me? Any tips? Advice? I really think there are mice running up and down the walls! Her argument against mine is that our flat is in a new, modern building! Have you ever heard of something like this before?
Hugs
Shumba

Dear Shumba,
I scratch therefore I am..... a cat.
It is difficult to remember than humans are smell-blind and nearly deaf. They just don't have the noses, the hearing, and the brain power to notice smells and tiny noises like we do. Of course there was some rodent or other behind the wall. There's nothing to stop house mice making a home in a new building. Many do. Modern buildings are well ventilated and warmer than old ones. Mice, like humans, often prefer them.
I am glad that she called in a relatively sensible human to help out - sensible because this human agreed with you that there was something there. (Poor Celia is studying hard to try to get the level of expertise that will allow her to become a better cat behaviourist. Just a glimmering of understanding cat behaviour may result.... or not.)
I hope your human has provided a good scratching area. Celia bought a nice new armchair two years ago which is splendid for cat claws. I also have a Fat Boy post - nice and stable and occasionally I even use it if I am bored with the chair.
Good job humans are dumb animals. Your human could just have blocked the area with a piece of furniture. Too stupid to think of that, I suppose. Nice for you though. It must be fun to scratch there.
Yours
George.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Why am I clawing visitors?

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

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


Friday, October 04, 2013

Dear George,
This is me among the heather. I think  I look  rather  sweet, but  I swiped  Mummy 's finger  just  after she took this photo. Blood everywhere,she seemed a bit  upset. Humans don't seem to understand that there are times when we need space.
A good swipe usually gets that space but does rather upset the humans. They are sensitive souls. She cooked me coley a couple of hours later, so think  I've got away with it.
But has she learned her lesson? Less likely, I fear. Humans don't seem to able to take in the fact that when we punish by swiping or biting they need to review their conduct and amend their ways.
Love Toby.xxx



Dear Toby,
It's a problem isn't it? Trying to get through to them. You would have thought they might realise that if we purr or rub, we are relatively pleased with their behaviour. Or even that we are encouraging future behaviour (such as putting out more food).
When we scratch, we are displeased. Whatever they have done just before the scratch was bad. I just wish I could miaow in human language 'Bad, human. Bad, Celia"  I do our feline body language but she fails to understand.
Still, they are sweet. Warm in bed. Generous with cat food. As pets go, they are definitely better than dogs. A human is a cat's best friend.
Sometimes.
Yours
George.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Emergency - a vicious kitten and a sadly demented human

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

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

Friday, February 24, 2012


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

Yours anxiously,
Cleo

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

Saturday, November 05, 2011

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


Dear George,

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

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

Worried about us & pissed at humans

CAT Victoria


Dear Cat Victoria,

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

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

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

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

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

Love George.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A hat for the royal wedding!


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

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

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Difficulty educating humans

Dear George,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love

Fluffy


Dear Fluffy,

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

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

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

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

You have beautiful eyes. Beautiful.

Looooove

George

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



Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bunny bullying - the human obsession with cleaning


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

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

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

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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Are you a Purr Tart? Keep your human wanting that purr.

Dear George,
I wonder if you could give me a bit of advice about my brother. In my opinion, a self respecting cat should purr only after the human has put in a fair bit of effort, and even then, a purr is never guaranteed. I am concerned that my brother, Frank, may have a purr disorder. Not only does he purr as soon as he is touched, he often purrs as soon as a human makes a silly kissy noise at him, or even just looks at him. The purring often continues for quite a few minutes after the human has stopped attending to him. I've tried to have a word with him about it, but he ignores me. Is it normal for some cats to be trigger-purr-happy, or could there be something wrong? Is he just a 'Purr Tart' because he's contented?
Thanks,
Bob
PS. I am the
one with the white bib and purring Frank is the one with lots of hair below.

Dear Bob
I agree with you. Indiscriminate purring to humans is not good for discipline. Your brother Frank needs some more lessons in training theory. If a reward (purring) is given too easily, it loses its value. He is devaluing the training currency and letting down the side by being a Purr Tart.
As we all know training is done by reward - purrs and rubs - and by either active ignoring (withdrawing all attention) or punishment (claws and teeth). Human dog trainers have gone all soppy and nowadays (apart from out of date TV stars) train without punishment. We cats believe that punishment is a vital tool in our training strategy. Some of us enjoy showing off our power over humans (just like out of date TV stars with dogs!).
Is there something wrong with Frank? Yes, indeed there is. He is
too easily pleased - a big mistake in a cat.
Talk to him seriously. Spoiling your human is not good for either cat or human. Treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen is my motto. Frank needs to sign up to a claw and order programme. Now....
Love George.
PS. He may be a Purr Tart but he has a wonderful nose - pink with a dark lining.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Scraaaatttching......Are nail coverings safe?



Dear George,

Here we are - Yuppie & Anji – two cute brothers! We are almost 1 year old and share a house in Atlanta with a funny human pet!

We found your blog as being very informative, especially on human training.

Too bad we can’t spend too much time in front of a computer as we get easily exhausted.

Our human pet refuses to act as our secretary! What can we do? How can we train her? We also go for fancy things like…. acrylic nails covers! See, we are at that critical age when we scratch everything and feel the urge to shred everything to pieces.

We think this is fun but our human disagree…so we compromise.

Are these nail covers a good thing? Definitely they are better then declawing, but are they safe? George, we really need some advice and especially…. tips on human training!

You are the expert!

Waiting

Yuppie & Anji.


Dear Yuppie and Anji,

We have to scratch. We scratch to condition our claws, but we also scratch to leave messages - to our selves, and to any cats who happen to be passing by. It's an emotional thing. Scratching marks our territories not just visually but also with scent - which only we can read. We scratch when we are stressed and we want to feel better.

We British cats don't understand how Americans can possibly declaw their cats. In the UK it is a banned operation and any vet who did it would be in trouble with our cruelty laws. We don't much use nail caps here in the UK either - probably because most of us cats have access to outdoors and can scratch the local tree trunks. I think nail covers are safe, but they are a bit of a bore for both cats and humans. However, they are much much kinder than declawing.

Go for the natural kind solution. Instruct your human that you need a proper stable scratching post in every room where you might want to scratch, not just in one room. It must be large enough to allow us to stretch while we scratch. Don't let her get rid of an old scratching post. The tattier and smellier a scratching post gets, the more we cats like it. There is a depth of scent which a mere human will never understand. (Humans have pathetic claws, really pathetic!).

Some of us cats prefer horizontal scratching posts, or slightly angled ones. The surface has to be just right for us. People studying feral cats have noticed that they scratch along the walkways of their territory - but only on certain trees, not on others. Some trees just don't have the right physical surface. Incidentally, some of us enjoy scratching those roughly textured plant containers bought at garden centres (weighted down by a bag of sand in the middle). Some enjoy a tree trunk placed indoors. Others like cardboard scratching pads. Get that human of yours to offer you several kinds of scratching materials and see which you prefer.

Personally I enjoy the creative side of scratching armchairs, wallpaper and the side of the bed (so useful for waking your human up when it is time for an early hours snack). Here is a photo of me in artistic action. But Celia has fought back in a way I consider thoroughly philistine. She buys double sided carpet tape (or Stickypaws) and places this on the side of the bed or on the furniture. It feels really awful and I stop scratching on the site for at least a month, sometimes three months at a time. I had plans to redecorate the whole house with frilled curtains, frilled soft furnishing and really nice catseye-level frilled wallpaper - and she put a stop to it.

Humans.... they don't get it do they? What a selfish species.

Love

George

There's a big Facebook group Claws 4 Paws. Join it to show you are against declawing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

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


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

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

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

Friday, April 09, 2010

Love, celibacy, sex ... and the single cat.


Dear George,
Your comment on the Asian characters prompted me to search out the old comments you had posted, and then, what I could not read myself, I scrabbled out with my poor declawed paws from my human’s collection of dictionaries. She fancies herself a “linguist.” Apparently
humans believe that they can extract some sort of coherent message from their vocalizations, and so waste their time writing it down. I am pretty sure that these literary projects are rewritten by thoughtful cats, as they do eventually make some sense. Since you are unsure of my translations, I provide them to you. These are taken from the blog post of May 2, 2009, and are as follows:
1. Star Beach—Reliable site! Until now, people have been reluctant to play online, but HERE you can get to the ideal HETEROSEXUAL site…
2. Registration is required to meet many girls from all over! Free Free Free dating community!! Participate..;
3. Strongest available horse betting information! Real odds, real grades…
4. If you’re like me, you’re the type who likes the volatile nursery-tale older-brother character….[this one made me a bit ill, George, so I stopped there).
Following my efforts, I required a good rest in the window, to examine the juicy little spring birds, as you can see in the attached photo. The dictionary made as handy a prop as any. I hope this helps…
Regards
Puss-Puss

Dear Puss-Puss,
I have been naive. I have been foolish. I have taken humans on trust - always, always a mistake. When the comments first appeared in these exotic oriental scripts, I was excited. At last, I thought, my blog has become truly international. Cats as far away as Japan and China and other places are reading it. I wonder what useful advice they have been giving for the training and husbandry of their humans. How wrong I was.
I should have known from my studies of human ethology, that humans (or apes as Wicky Wuhdler calls them) are a species absolutely obsessed with sex, a species so unutterably perverse that they have no special season for it, and have invented unnatural ways to have sex without kittens. Truly, an inferior species, without proper feelings and without sexual boundaries.
Do we indulge in "dating communities" or "heterosexual online sites"? We do not. Those of us - and there are not that many in the pet community - who begin to feel a seasonal interest in sexual activity simply go out on to the rooftops and make the yodelling and singing noises that humans term caterwauling. We greet each other, meet each other, and under the light of the moon we make love in the natural way. The kittens are born a few weeks later.
I, like many cats who own humans, am celibate, a state that was inflicted upon me by my humans but one with which I am very happy. As a superior spiritual feline, I feel no need at all to take part in midnight sexual activites. If I did, I would let myself out of the catflap and respond to nature, rather than go online and seek out so called sites. As it is, I do not have sex. Nor do I bet. At all. And I am very upset to find that my blog has been hijacked by these unscrupulous low life humans.
Thank you for your hard work with the dictionary and I hope your declawed paws were not too sore. (For a site about the cruelty of declawing read http://kattaddorra.blogspot.com/ Not your current human's fault, I know). I am immensely impressed by your linguistic skill and scholarship, Puss-Puss.
I cannot seem to find a way to wipe these off, but at least no more revolting insights into human sexuality will defile the feline scholarship and good sense of this blog.
With gratitute,
George
I have added the photo of you resting after emailing me as well as you with the dictionary.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Scraaatch - the way to get attention from these humans

Dear George,
I wish to pass on a good way to get attention from these absent minded humans. I expect, like me, you get irritated by their inability to
concentrate on what really matters - me, my food bowl, my sleeping places and my need for fun. Too often they will spend their time selfishly doing things for themselves - eating (better food often), sleeping, watching TV or even going out shopping without bringing back Whiskers. So get their attention fast - choose an antique chair, look at them, and then while you have that nano second of their attention, scraaaatch.
Love Jaffa

Dear Jaffa,
I can see that you have it down to a fine art. I particularly
admire the use of the left front paw, holding it up as a asign to "collect" their attention, rather in the way a conductor holds his baton just before the orchestra starts with the music. Then the quick swivel round and the double scratch downwards. That shiny covering material - is it brocade? - must have been expensive. All the better to make your mark.
Other good places to leave the sign of the velvet claw include the side of the bed - this is often upholstered with a satisfactory cushion effect. A few downward strokes help wake them up in the morning like a speaking clock. "At the third scratch, it will be 6 am. At the next s
cratch it will be 6.03am." Makes a change from biting their toes under the duvet.
Scratching also has its place in the garden, particulary the rockery. For years dogs have marked and killed small focus conifers planted on rockeries. We can do our part too in improving their garden design either with claw or spray.
Have you tried scratching the carpet? I know that it is rather boring to have to do a horizontal rather than a vertical scratch, but it becomes quite pleasureable once you have broken down the carpet so that the strong hession backing is showing. Masterful horizontal scratches near doors will stop them ever shutting you out again. "We can't shut him out - he just ruins the carpet."
Finally, don't forget curtains. Some cat-wary humans don't have curtains down to the floor, because they know what will happen. Others, in a spirit of optimism and folly, buy long expensive brocade or velvet ones that sweep downwards. Not only are these delightful for kittens doing climbing exercises, but they also have good adult cat potential for scratching.
Let them have it, Jaffa.
Love George

PS. Sign the Canadian petition against declawing at www.petitiononline.com/bandec/petition.html
PPS. Rabbits do it too. Here is a photo of Harvey - read his remarks in Comments below

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Are cats really aggressive?



Dear George,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love & hugs

Fluffy & Cayenne


Dear Fluffy and Cayenne,

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

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

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

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

George

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

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