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Showing posts with label climb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label climb. Show all posts

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, September 02, 2017

I'm bored.... the plight of an indoor cat.

Dear George,
My daily routine goes like this - eat dry food breakfast out of bowl, human leaves for work, nap. More daytime sleep. Human arrives back, eat supper out of bowl. Then, when I am ready to play, my human just sits in front of the television doing nothing.
So I climb on her knee. Sit there napping and purring for a bit. Climb off, have late night snack out of bowl. Then its bed time and we both nap. My only activity, apart from sleep, eat and litter tray, is the occasional bit of human attention on the days where she stays home.
This is dull, dull, dull. What can I do about this lifestyle?
Yours
April.

Dear April,
Yours is a common problem among indoor only cats. Your human needs to give you a climbing frame. She could use shelves or the drawers of an unwanted chest of drawers, like this photo shows. Leaping from one to another will give you some exercise.
Stop using that bowl. Get her to throw the dry food round the house so you have to hunt for it. Or make a food dispenser out of a lavatory roll, a plastic bottle, small cardboard boxes, or an old tennis ball  - examples here here. Hunting for food will be more fun.
And why hasn't she bought a fishing rod toy, so she can play with you from a distance while watching TV. Indoor cats need games. Get that idle human working for you.
Yours
George.
PS. Please comment with some other ideas.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Cat Intelligence Service - Victoria sets up hers.

Dear George, 
I decided to open my very own CIA which stands for Cats’ Intelligence Agency!
In a way it is similar to what is known as CIA by humans only that mine won’t serve any government or state; mine will only serve and protect cats’ goods and territory.
You may ask why I’m doing it. I know it is a lot of work and the job itself requires great skills but I’m tired of having my territory invaded every night and my food stolen.
I’m actively engaged in the task (spying) as I already opened the first office right in my backyard – as you can see in the photo. – and, of course, I plan to expand internationally!
George, what do you think of my idea….spying in the name of and for cats? But what if the intruder is one of our own? How do I punish him or her?
Also, what equipment do I need? A tree house? Camouflage? Undercover? I need all your wisdom to make a solid action plan!
Your advice George?
In camouflage
CAT Victoria


Dear Victoria,
So sensible to watch over your territory.  We all do it. We like high places which we can safely scan looking for enemies and intruders.  Being able to hide but look out is also good - so hiding places high up with a good view. Tree houses (if humans are willing to spend the money) would be ideal. Trees large enough with branches that are horizontal are also great. 
But if our humans won't supply us with watching places we can find out own - roofs, cars, fences.
Pixxi's human (see photo on right) made a little shelf for him so he could sit on it and scan the neighbourhood.
We are natural spies. If the human CIA or MI6 could only recruit us, we would achieve far more than our human equivalents.
We don't need equipment - just our own natural abilities. If you see an enemy just chase him off while making a lot of noise. Fighting is usually unnecessary.
Yours
George



PS. Can't get this blog to make the text bigger.

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, April 04, 2015

Dinner is late.... again

Dear George,
I was blessed with a good family! I always took pride in how well I trained my humans but lately I have my doubts. Between you and me? I think I failed in training my "daddy".
See, I always enjoyed having dinner with him! What can be better than looking in each other's eyes and share a ..... juicy steak? But, he is a workaholic! And, I'm afraid I'll develop "emotional eating" waiting for him every night! Sometimes I climb 50 feet tall trees trying to see where he is but most of the times I'm waiting for him in the kitchen (as you can see in the photo attached). George, I worry about my wellbeing! I read in a book that "emotions" derived from the Latin verb "emovere" meaning "to move" therefore the word "emotion" covers any feeling that moves the mind and my mind it is "moved" towards "eating"! George, what do you know about "emotional eating"? Is it going to make me fat? Most humans manifesting "emotional eating" are fat and depressed.
Should I become a vegetarian and punish my daddy?
Yours in distress
Paco

Dear Paco,
Do not despair. We all of us have these moments when we think we have failed. Failed to train our humans properly. Failed to allow for their little foibles. And it is at moments like this that we need help and support from other felines.  
Yes, some cats do develop emotional eating - from boredom, from stress or from the difficulties of living with a different species (humans). But you do not look to me, as if you would do that. I can tell from the wonderful look of your coat that he has not failed in his grooming duties. And there is a look in your eye which tells me you are more resilient.
You are letting your human control you. That is a big mistake. Make him wait for you. Cut that waiting down by doing more tree climbing. If you have access to the street, start checking out alternative sources of food. Is there a lonely human somewhere who might feed you on the sly? Can you break through a cat flap and steal another cat's food?
That way when he comes home from a hard day's work, you won't be so hungry. Make him search for you. And use that wonderful look in your eye to make him feel guilty, very very guilty, so that you will get more of his steak! Act starving even though you have dined elsewhere.
I have full confidence in your abilities.
George.
 PS. Do not turn vegetarian: it is not a good diet for cats.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Purrfect Kitchen Cleaning Services Ltd.

Dear George,
We are a team of two young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Our business is to clean any food left in the kitchen. We are thinking of registering a company with the above title….just in case other members of the feline community will need our services. Why Ltd. (limited)? Because some people are very bad at leaving any food out or they would leave out junk that we can’t “clean” (like ketchup, garlic powder, chili peppers, etc.) We are fine observers (from higher up levels) of both kitchens and people as you can see in the photo attached.
We inspect any surface or dish in the kitchen looking for bits of bread, meat or any other “people food” that cats may enjoy. However, being so young…we must admit…we don’t have enough experience when it comes to sneaky (please read sophisticated) people who are hiding food in all places.
That’s where we need your help and expertise George. For example – where is the food from the big plate that Jasper is sitting on? We’ve seen the smoke, the vapors and the smells coming out of “this” thing but when we looked to see what’s cooking….nothing was in there (people call this thing a hood?). Myself, Riley, I’m up and above to see what’s up there ….but, there is nothing again and I can swear I’ve seen our human mommy hiding something up here.  Also, how can we open locked cabinets and what do we do with the food we found in the “cold” big box we managed to open? Brrrr! It was cold and full of frozen meat! Ugh!
Waiting for your tips and tricks!
Yours,
Riley and Jasper

Dear Riley and Jasper, 
I have a cleaning routine. First I patrol round the floor looking for anything that fell off the higher surfaces. Next I leap on to the kitchen surfaces and check these out too. You will be surprised at the crumbs and tidbits that you find.  If you are in luck, there may even be a plate to lick. One one glorious occasion I found an open bowl of semolina pudding. I ate - apologies - cleaned up most of it.
I have never mastered opening a closed wall cupboard, but if you look carefully you may find one that isn't entirely closed. Insert a cautious paw and pull it open. Then jump on to the shelving inside. 
For floor level, try another technique. Fling yourself at the cupboards. They may swing open in reaction. The big freezer boxes? If you are strong enough to pull out a frozen chicken take it away somewhere to defrost. The fridge is easy. Plenty there to clean up if your human is unwise enough to leave the door ajar.
And help recycle the trash! Some people have a recycling food box on the kitchen surface. Edge this off and with luck when it falls on the floor the top will open. Recycle this inwardly. For a larger trash can, stand on your hind legs and pull it over with your weight while nimbly leaping to one side at the last minute.
The hood - normally a waste of time, but it is fun to sit there and survey the cooking. As for you, Riley, that high up retreat is fun but usually you won't find much food there either.
Happy kitchen cleaning, boys.
George.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

They're taking away my Christmas tree.... shame on them

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Dear George,
They are taking away the nice small pine tree they put in my living room. It was a joy to me. I climbed up it. I sniffed and rubbed it. I liked the smell. True, it wasn't very stable. It crashed to the ground a couple of times, but that made the climbing more enjoyable.
This year most of the twinkly things on the tree were plastic, too large to swallow. (The tinsel in the photo is last year's. I ate it, which was a mistake, I admit. Yet another visit to the vet, whom I loathe and detest.) I enjoyed pulling them down and batting them round the room. Those are going to be taken away too.
It's not fair, George. Finally they enhance my living space with the chance to climb, tear off stuff, and generally lark around. Now they have deprived me of it.
Any ideas on how to make my humans behave better in 2013?
Lovely Lily.

Dear Lovely Lily,
You don't tell me if you are an indoor-only cat or whether you have access to the great outdoors. If you do live indoors, you need a climbing tree, a climbing frame, or a cat gymnasium. As my photo above this blog shows, we cats need to climb. Climbing will give your physical exercise. And, just as important, it will put you in the right psychological position - looking down on your humans. For some reason humans only give us pine trees to climb at the end of December and they take them away again on January 6. Odd. But then humans are odd.
If your humans are poor but energetic they could go out into the woods and bring back a very large branch. Then install it in the living room for you. Otherwise they should think about putting up shelves and ladders for you. Make them look for ideas at my secretary's new website here.
Yours 
George.
PS. This blog is a bit short because my secretary is still ill. 


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Roof top climbing - it's the life



Dear George,

We are two Burmese cats, Inky and Ellie. We thought we’d let you know that we have invented a new way into our humans’ bedroom. We could simply go through the door but this is a much more interesting route.

We start from the garden and jump up to a ground floor window sill. We leap from there to another sill at a higher level. Then we spring onto the sloping roof of a lean-to. Walking up that roof we can jump on to the pergola. The next stage is to prance gingerly for 5 yards along one of its transverse beams. At the far end of the pergola there's a hop up to the edge of the conservatory's sloping roof. We climb up that carefully. After progressing along the ridge we jump to the bedroom window sill.

Then all we need to do is to mew loudly until one of the humans finally finds out where the noise is coming from and opens the window to let us in.

What next? Well we jump into the bedroom, down the stairs and then out into the garden to start the whole exciting procedure all over again! What do you think of that?

Inkyman and Ellie


Dear Inkyman and Ellie,

I really admire your leopard-like mountaineering. Marvellous photos of you on the top of the roof looking down on the pedestrian world of human beings.

This is the outward visible sign of our species' inward superiority over humans. Don't see many humans high up on roofs - except those poor souls that have to put up a ladder to get there. If only we had cat olympics we could show the world what we can really do.

Climbing allows us to practise a particularly good game. We climb up trees and then stay on a high branch mewing with apparent distress. The poor old humans come up, stand under the tree, and make distress noises themselves. Out come a ladder and up climbs a shaky human.

Then, just before he/she reaches up to grab us, we jump down with ease.... game, set and match to us felines.

Simple. So simple. They always fall for it.

George

P.S. Due to shocking absence of my secretary Celia, my comments were a day late... I am thinking of firing her. It's just not good enough.






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

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Bold from the beginning


George took charge of William from the beginning. He spent many happy hours pouncing on unhappy William who was much too gentle to tell him off. He, William, had been smacked round the face by Fat Mog who simply hated having another cat. She hd put William firmly in his place from the start. But poor William just couldn't do it to George.
George enjoyed himself greatly near water. He jumped in to the lavatory pan, luckily when I was nearby to fish him out before he drowned. He tried to get into the shower with me or Ronnie on all occasions. He ventured out on the ice of the pond and fell in. I rescued him with a big fishing net. He shook himself and promptly jumped in again. This time, I rushed him into the house for warming up. He clearly felt this was a bit of a fuss. A week later, when the ice had melted, he jumped in for the third time. This time I waited to see if he could swim. He could and came safely to shore. Oddly enough, perhaps because I hadn't rescued him with the net, he never jumped in again.
Instead, he waded into puddles. He enjoyed this greatly. He liked it when I laughed, so he would do it when I was near him. But I could also look out of the window and see him - in my absence - carefully walking into the biggest puddles. He liked dripping taps, of course. And he enjoyed swishing the water in his water bowl with his paw. That habit continued all his life.
His other favourite activity was climbing. He climbed up my leg levering himself up with his claws on my jeans. I let out what was to him a very satisfactory yelp. He climbed up sofas and beds, of course. He didn't climb up curtains, perhaps because ours are not posh enough. We wouldn't have minded and so perhaps it wasn't worth the effort for him. He climbed up chests of draws, up piles of linen in the linen cupboard, up bookshelves artfully posing near serious books such as the Memoirs of Creevy, and up the hedge.
His most startling exploits were when he climbed up the huge double trunk oak tree in our garden. The first time he did this, I got a step ladder and retrieved him from one of the lower branches. This was a staid end to his adventure. A little while later on a frosty freezing day, he went for the summit, ending up about 100 yards near the top. He wasn't mewing. He just sat there watching the birds in the branches. He was in no hurry to come down as he was clearly enjoying himself. Every now and again he would look down at the garden and climb a little higher just for fun. I spent an hour ringing the RSPCA, the local tree surgeon, friends, and builders who might have long ladders. I couldn't wait for him to come down. It was too cold for such a small animal.
Luckily John Holcroft, a handsome young man on a tractor, was passing by and saw this tiny kitten up in the high branches. John climbed up to the top and with wonderful skill climbed down again with one hand on the trunk and one gripping an indignant George. George was not at all grateful. He was not pleased to be back at ground level.

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