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Showing posts with label computer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label computer. Show all posts

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, February 13, 2016

Internet down – Panic attack! Humans suffer cat withdrawal symptoms.


Dear George,
I almost had a panic attack tonight! I tried to connect to your blog to see what’s new and exciting and I realized that even if my computer wasn’t sick ….I still could not connect to you. My mommy explained to me that the Internet was down! I didn’t really understand what that means nor did I really care but, she told me that there are computers’ doctors called “nerds” and she’ll call one to the rescue. George, I know from your letters that Celia has a lot of trouble with her computer which is always sick and in the hospital. But, if my computer is healthy why the Internet will be down? What is the Internet? 
Mommy is trying to convince me that internet is like living a virtual life and that my real life is “here and now” with them, down on earth and in the kitchen. But, I don’t agree!
When my humans are coming home late and my brother Beau is hunting far away from home if I don’t have the internet I feel lonely, abandoned and disconnected. My real life is in the cyberspace, of course within the feline community. My humans tell me I’m addicted! Addicted to what? George, what is a good “escape plan” in case of Internet failure? I need a survival kit! Please advise. 
Yours…..definitely futuristic
Paco 

Dear Paco, 
You may have panicked, Paco, but that is nothing compared with human panic. I have seen Celia, with head on hands shoulders heaving or in a fury swearing at the computer. And once I saw Ronnie actually punch the computer. When humans lose it, they lose it.
The internet is quite simply a device to spread cat pictures, videos and information across the world. Cat blogs, cat jokes, cat photos and cat videos take up most of the space, even putting porn into second place! (And with extraordinary sexual carrying ons of humans, that really is saying something.) 
Cats rule in cyberspace. The Google Artificial Mind, 16,000 computer processors in a neural network, constructed a ghostly abstract model of a cat as its first project in artificial thinking. What else would it do? 
The Google Artificial Mind
Cats addicted? No, as much as humans. We do blog a lot - see the cat blogosphere here - of course.We have more or less taken over Cheezburger photos here and Youtube here. Do you know why? We are doing it to HELP humans. Watching cat videos actually contributes to their emotional health? Yes, really. Read the science paper in my postscript if you don't believe me. 
When the internet is down humans suffer from cat withdrawal symptoms, a serious human disorder. So no wonder you panicked - your concern was for your human. 
Yours George.
 PS. Myrick, J. G., (2015), 'Emotion regulation, procrastination, and watching cat videos online: Who watches Internet cats, why, and to what effect?' Computers in Human Behaviour, 52, 168-167.



Saturday, November 16, 2013

I conquered the Key to ….the Board!

Dear George,
Here it’s me again… Maggie….this time reporting a big victory as I conquered the key to the board or “tastiera” (yes, I’m of Italian descent and that’s what we call this thing)!
As you recall, I am in a big competition with Ziggy to win over his daddy.
So here is what happened! The other day Ziggy was “searching” my main quarters while I was all alone upstairs watching his daddy working on something that looks more like a frying pan to me than anything else.  Anyway, when he went to have his dinner…I just jumped over the frying pan and all I heard was: “Oh! No! She’s on the keyboard (as you can see in the picture) and I’ll lose everything I saved. Where is that damn mouse? The cordless mouse?!”  Now, that doesn’t make any sense to me. If I had the key to the board…how could he lose anything? I was (literally) over and holding all his savings.
I was all over the tastiera!  And what a mouse without a tail has to do with this or with his savings?  George, honestly…I have nothing to do with that tailless mouse! I didn’t see it, didn’t eat it …didn’t find it! Do you think that ….maybe Ziggy ate it trying to set me up? And how on earth a tailless mouse could save his fortune? 
Very confused,
Maggie

Dear Maggie,
This mouse thing that humans have is very odd. Mine has got one too. It's got quite a large tail which Celia has tied in some way to the keyboard (tastiera?). To stop it running away probably - except that it is disabled by having no legs at all. Underneath it glows red? Blood perhaps?
Yet it doesn't smell of mouse at all. It smells unpleasantly of plastic. It's got no fur, no whiskers, no tasty crunchy little feet. It's hard all over and the red under its body isn't liquid and doesn't smell right either. Even the tail isn't right. I know a mouse tail doesn't have fur, but this is sort of smooth instead of scaly. And I can't eat it - though I have tried. Not crunchy just hard. Difficult to swallow, I would think.
Obviously your mouse is disabled too if it hasn't got a tail.Can't believe Ziggy would have stolen it - what true cat would bother with such a tasteless scentless hard object. I am sure your human is to blame - so he is blaming you instead. They do this all the time. Blame us for things we haven't done or if we did do them, it was a reasonable thing to do.
So, Maggie, forget the mouse. Instead concentrate on the keyboard. If you lie on top of it or walk over it, you can make nice little mouse tracks on the screen. I favour xxxxxx. Or zzzzzzz - which looks like a nice long sleep. But $$$$$$ is a challenge to the ambitious cat as you have to stand on the capital key while poking at the $ key.  If you get this wrong it comes out just as 444444 which is fairly boring.
It's best to start this when he is using the keyboard himself. Leads to amusing human frustration!
Cheers for online cats
George


Saturday, September 28, 2013

My snooper human is invading my privacy and exploiting me

Dear George,
It’s me CAT Victoria! What am I doing under a garden table?
Well, I’m “watching” my human mom! As she behaved really strange lately I knew she was up to something.  I found out what she was up to and now I’m really upset!
I’m seeking legal counsel as I think my privacy was broken by her.
I caught her snooping around when I was sleeping and taking photos with me sleeping in different positions (some quite innocent others less – you know what I mean).
I caught her stalking me in the garden on many occasions spoiling my hunting or bird gazing! I was wondering what was wrong with her – was she losing it and becoming a nut case? Well, not at all!
My dear mommy was “using” me (without my consent) as her “muse” for her latest art show! Even worse…..she’ll have her “grand opening” this weekend quite far from home so I won’t be able to attend and see her paintings!
George, is this fair? Is this legal? How can I protect my privacy in a media invaded world? Knowing her…..I’ll soon be on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Horror!
Should I sue her since I won’t benefit from her art show profits?
And above all…..should I crash her grand opening? What do you think?
Yours, but very frustrated
CAT Victoria


Dear CAT Victoria,
Humans never seem to respect our privacy. They take photos all the time. Mine even does photos of me when toileting under the pretence that she needs it for her website or lectures. And they interfere when we hunt. They insist on stroking us when we just want to nap. Some even interrupt with strokes while we are eating.
As for Facebook and Twitter they are now crawling with cats and my human is one of the worst for putting on photos. Never asks my permission. Never gets me to sign a paw on a copyright or release document. Just puts them on. The only cheerful though for me (and perhaps you) is that they haven't yet started posting videos on YouTube. But it can only be a matter of time, I fear.
One of the more subtle ways of interrupting photography is to walk straight towards the camera and rub on it. Unless your human is a professional, they will find this makes it difficult to get the shot. Or, if the human is crouching or lying down to take the shot, jump on them. And jump hard.
Legal redress? Well we haven't got the chance to do this yet - though there is a movement towards this. If all else fails remember claw and order tactics - walk towards and instead of rubbing, just bite or claw the human. And after the photo session is over knock the camera off the table. I have killed two cameras that way - smashing a lens once and once just making the whole device stick fast. 
Best of luck
George.
PS. Don't crash the opening. You won't like it. It is full of humans getting high on their version of catnip. They are shudderingly boring when high.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Interrupting human computer behaviour


Dear George,

My human housekeeper, Jilly, is failing in her duties. Her time should be spent caring for the four of us, keeping the wa
ter bowl clean and filled up, renewing the dry food in the kitchen feeding bowl, heating the house to a tolerable level for cats, turning down the beds for us, providing a warm lap at all times and providing emotional support at all times. It's not much to ask. She doesn't have specifically to cook for us. Although we appreciate it when she shares her meals, we don't demand cooked food for every one of the 12 or so meals we like to take through the day and night. However, her care is substandard. She is spending a lot of time staring into a square lighted box, where a series of mouse tracks appear. I think it may be obsessive compulsive disorder or a kind of stereotypy. Any ideas of how to prevent this stereotypic behaviour in humans?
Blaireau.
Dear Blaireau,
There are several stereotypies or obsessive disorders in humans. As you say, one of them is the compulsive vigilance associated with the square screen of a computer, across which mouse tracks are seen. I am told that 30 years ago, this kind of behaviour was almost unknown, as computers were not found in the territory that humans share with cats, ie the household home. Such installations, with their ability to turn humans into computer addicts, were only found in the human hunting territory, ie the so called office, and then rarely.
However, for many years, there has been another square screen. This can be black and white or nowadays in a black and white version with some semi-coloured green and red version. (Humans appear to see a wider range of colour than us as they describe this as "coloured" TV.) The screen has a series of very small flickering dots through which we can see vague shapes and the humans appear to see as definite shapes. Humans also watch this obsessively.
The human obsession with TV is relatively easy to live with. First, the screen emits interesting noises such as mouse squeaks, bird song and occasionally (on Animal Cops Houston, my favourite programme where very large women rescue very small kittens and cops turn up armed to the teeth to help subdue animal hoarders) cat noises. There are also snoo
ker games with moving coloured balls, just about clear enough for us cats to follow. I take an intermittent interest in TV programmes, myself, though obviously I am not an obsessive watcher like my human.
However, we can also use TV-watching time for my own interests. Humans have an unfortunate habit of being busy around the house doing displacement activities when they should be cat caring. A human watching TV offers an inviting lap and, even though humans are not as intelligent as cats, they are capable of doing two things at once - stroking us at the same time as watching.
TV watching can be interrupted by jumping on top of the set and looking cute. Angling a tail across the screen, attacking the screen, sitting in front of the screen and mimicking the human compulsive viewing. This activities will often distract the human and make them attentive to us again. I have added a photo of myself on top of the TV to show the sort of thing.
These can also be used to interrupt a human at its computer. Other possibilities involved the keyboard, a device which seems to influence the mouse tracks on the screen. Press this with your paws. Anywhere will do.There will be a satisfying change on the screen. If you simply stand immobile on the keyboard, a series of identical tracks will appear from left to right continuing downwards in ever increasing lines.
Then there is the "mouse". I have not mastered feline use of the computer mouse. Any suggestions for this or other TV games?
George.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Documents - for sitting on


Documents spew out of Celia's printer all the time - white paper with little tracks on them rather like the markings left by very very small birds only far less interesting. Their use to a cat is to sit on. I learned this pretty quickly as a kitten and I might add that I have left my muddy paw mark on many of Celia's documents.
Why are they useful for sitting on? For one thing the paper is smooth and gets nicely warmed up with feline body heat. Unlike carpets there is no static electricity even if it's not quite as warm as carpet. But mainly documents are useful as a way of catching your human's attention.
As most of you cats reading this will know, humans spent an inordinate amount of time staring at a screen or watching paper come out of the printer. Mildly interesting as it is not unlike something coming out of a hole. I sometimes poke the printer when the paper is coming out and Celia says that Fat Ada (my black and white predecessor) used to sit on the printer in the days when they were big rectangular devices. Usually the printer ground to a halt, suffocated by the sheer weight of cat. Ada was large, very large.
I don't sit on the printer much. It's sort slanted and not very comfortable. I sit on documents. This never fails. Celia looks at me and laughs, or swears sometimes. Then she leans over and picks me up and gives me a cuddle. She can't resist.
It's so easy.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The human mouse


They've got no idea, humans! Celia's "mouse" (so called) is oval, white with a transparent coat, marked with the sign of an bitten apple. It smells of nothing except plastic and only moves when she puts her hand on it. Anything less like a mouse would be difficult to find. The only thing it has in common with a real mouse is the white tail that comes out of its end and fixes into the keyboard. Once again this is hard and cold where a proper mouse tail would be warm and soft and waving freely. The only thing that can account for this massive misnomer is wishful human thinking, the desire to be more like a superior species, us cats. The poor dears aspire to be feline. It's really rather charming. And I suppose one way is to give human things feline names. I've written before (9.12.06) about musmalfunction, the way humans can't do real mice. They can't smell them. They can't see or hear of them most of the time. If they do, they can't pounce properly. And, as I've remarked, they can't grab them with their mouths. Nor do they eat them. Not a nibble. Even when a mouse is put on their keyboard.
Instead they play for hours with this plastic "mouse". Pathetic but sweet.

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