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Showing posts with label emotional trauma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label emotional trauma. Show all posts

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Of human ethics and morals

Dear George, 
I have a “life and death” question for you: what is a cat supposed to do if his human wants to put him down because the human thinks he can’t afford a treatment/medication cost?
It is a nightmare for many cats but it is so true – that’s what happens in real life!
I’m a 8 year old cat and I’ve got an UTI - my human brought me to the vet to put me down because he can’t afford the treatment. However, the doctor explained that the treatment is not that expensive and there is no reason for euthanasia. Then, the nurse – God bless her heart – called a lady who runs a rescue group. The group got the money for the treatment and offered to adopt me! In the meantime….my human had a change of heart and started saying that he wants me back and he’ll pay for the treatment.
For the moment I’m back with my human…but what should I do? 
How can I make sure he’s not taking me to another clinic or abandon me on the streets?
Is there any legal course this rescue group can take to adopt me? I don’t trust my human anymore! 
Bertie 
Dear Bertie,
Your dilemma is awful. We cats should never fully trust humans. Some human owners "love" their cats, won't pay for vet treatment, and yet won't let their cats be adopted into a home that will pay for the treatment. And the fact that you have a UTI suggests that, apart from this dilemma, you are in a home that is stressful and worrying for you. 
The problem is human law. Stupid unethical law. Here in the UK cats are property. If a vet is asked to put down an animal, she cannot refuse. All she can do is suggest rehoming and, if the "owner" (disgusting term) agrees, put the animal in rescue, after a legal form has been signed saying the cat is now the property of the rescue. Without that bit of paper, the cat still belongs to its original "owner" (notice that word again).
Cats that are truly miserable sometimes rehome themselves - if they are lucky enough to have a cat flap. If you can leave the house, I would advise spending several weeks checking out likely homes in the neighbourhood and seeing if you find a better human.
Human laws against cruelty are totally inadequate and rarely enforced. You have to be half dead before the law steps in to save you.
My poor brother feline. My heart bleeds for you.
George.

 

Friday, December 02, 2016

At war with my mother... like many humans.

Dear George, 
I decided to write my memoir (as you can see in the picture) and I need your help since you are so much more experienced in writing books than any other cat!
It is true I’m only three but I think I’ll write my memoir in “stages”: Part I – kittenhood; Part II – tomcathood; Part III – wisdom at sunset! The kittenhood chapter is difficult because of the memory I have of how I was given away by my own biological mother! Yes! I remember that! You see, my mother was pregnant when she was rescued. She had a litter of four (two girls and two boys) in these humans’ house. Then, when we were about eight weeks old she gave me and my brother, Bubble, away to some of their close relatives.
But, life is strange and due to unexpected events we’ve got back with our biological family. George, now that I’m back in the house where I was born I can’t help fighting with my Mama because I am so mad at her! She is scared and doesn’t understand why I’m so aggressive but how could she discriminate between the boys and the girls? Why did she keep the girls and gave away the boys? I see red only thinking of it!
My brother is begging me to calm down! He’s trying to convince me that it wasn’t our mama who gave us up! He says she didn’t have a chance and that it was the human mama who gave us up! Could this be true? And, if it is, how do I punish my humans? Bite? Scratch? Piss on them? What?
George, tell me the truth and teach my how to punish my humans (we’ll talk later about tips on writing, editing and publishing). Punishing my humans is of paramount importance right now!
In boxing mood
Ricky

Dear Ricky,
Even though plenty of humans are mad at their mothers and would hate to live with them as adults, they still expect us cats to do this. You had grown up, become independent, and now suddenly you are plonked back in the family without your consent. It is not fair to assume you will get on with your mother. Very few adult humans live with theirs!
Can you rehome yourself?  If you have a cat flap, you can just start looking for a new home down the street. Turn up, sit outside, meow pathetically. It usually works.
If you do not have a cat flap, I suggest you get your human's attention by spraying urine, a form of territory marking which highlights your discontent and stress. If they call in a cat behaviour counsellor (as they should) this "expert" will suggest either rehoming or extensive modifications to the home to keep you and your mother apart.
Yours
George.
PS. All this would make a good misery memoir in the style of Angela's Ashes or A Boy Called It. Get writing.

 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Watch me jump for a forever home...it's black and white cat week in the UK.


Dear George,
This is me showing how clever I am in photos and a video (below). I have white socks on my forepaws, white boots on my back legs, and fine white whiskers.
I am clever but naughty! I love jumping in the sink. I love cardboard boxes.  I love doing tricks, but I have difficulty controlling myself. When I get over-excited I nip and scratch.
Will somebody give me a home? I need a specially patient person who understands cats.
When I was a kitten, my first humans taught me rough games, punished me then gave me up. When I first was rescued, I growled and bit deeply often.  Now I just nip occasionally but it still hurts my foster mum a little bit.
If somebody in Oxfordshire, UK, wants a clever but difficult cat, purrlease adopt me. I need a forever home.
Yours
Jumping Tommy

Dear Tommy,
Be patient. The right person will come. Any cats living in Oxfordshire and reading this, please share the blog address. Tommy needs a forever home. You can find his details at Sunshine Cat Rescue.
Yours
George. 
video
 




Saturday, August 27, 2016

In violation of Cats Freedom Rights..

Dear George,
Right so, right on and right now! Yes, you would not believe it!
And the culprit? My very own human mummy!
Yes, George, she is in violation of my fundamental right – freedom! Everybody knows that we, cats, are most intelligent, superior to any other species and fiercely independent! Well, I have now a 10 o’clock curfew! Really? Just because I didn’t come home for two days and two nights? See, our house backs into a ravine and, of course lots of interesting things are happening there at night so, normally I wanted to have some fun! Her reaction? Ugh! Apparently she cried her heart out worrying for me so she thought she was entitle to set the 10 o’clock curfew! I’m meowless George! Meowless!
My own mummy who participates in every single protest against animal abuse or violation of animals ‘rights! What do you have to say about this George?  Or maybe she’s just jealous of the chair I have in our garden? I’m the King of that Chair (as you can see in the photo). I love to sleep there at night! Maybe…. all she wants is my chair?
Meowless and fuming
Paco 

Dear Paco,
The arrogance of humans is sometimes overpowering. You must fight back. Find your command voice, the command yowl! I suggest that you institute an early morning play session around 3 am. Jump on the bed yowling with a toy and rush up and down it. Be prepared for a quick exit, though. Some humans are violent when awoken unexpectedly.
If they shut you out of the bedroom, sit by the cat flap and yowl intermittently all night. You must be so frustrated.... Many humans give way at this point. They have tried to institute a change but haven't got the strength of mind to stand out against a determined cat. Usually a fortnight of extreme pressure by the cat will make them relent.
The other possibility is just not to turn up at 10pm.  Of course, if she is brighter than most humans, she will feed you at 10pm thus ensuring that you turn up. But as many humans are stupid she may not do this... if so just ignore the curfew.
You can do it. We cats can outwit, outwait and outpersevere humans.
Yours
George.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Movember - the annual festival of whisker envy.


Dear George,
Here we are -  worried about our male human's behaviour and deeply contemplating (as you can see in the picture) the idea of getting him some professional help.
Therefore you were commissioned by us to help us understand his behaviour and eventually help him get back to his senses. We have to alert you thou that he does this ONLY in November. He did it last year and he did it again this year. Although he is not delusional we think he firmly believes he is in some sort of competition with us.  
What make us think so? Well, the fact that he's trying to grow "whiskers" each November. We truly believe he is jealous of our beautiful, long whiskers and he desperately is trying to beat us with his "whiskers" but all he grows is some ugly, bushy hair under his nose. Nothing compared to our elegant, long whiskers. He is not trying to grow hair on any other part of his body; at least we did see it. Such a pity! We tried to show him how to groom properly; we "licked and washed " his face, his head, we tried "to pull" the hair from under his nose and we could tell he did not appreciate our efforts. By the end of November he got rid of that bush under his nose. Why? What was the purpose? Could this be a "November syndrome" that our daddy is suffering of? Is there any treatment? George, what do you think?
In gratitude
Blackie &Spokie

Dear Blackie and Spokie,
This is a very sad case, isn't it! Humans have a deep unconscious whisker envy. Whatever they do, however long they try, they cannot produce cats' whiskers. Even the longest ones are floppy rather than properly stiff and they have no feeling in them at all. They are a poor excuse for a proper whisker.
But the deep whisker envy makes them keep trying and a good cause such as Movember (in favour of male human cancer) gives them an excuse. Each year thousands of male humans try to grow whiskers. They concentrate their efforts between the mouth and nose, where a proper whisker pad, of the kind we have, might be expected.
They grow a pathetic half inch or so. Then they realise that this is fundamentally thick fur, rather than proper whisker. There is no feeling and no movement in it. We can move our whiskers forwards and back and feel the struggles of a mouse we are carrying. They can do nothing of that.
So at the end of November, they give up - pretending that they meant to do this all along, denying their own whisker envy.
Be kind to him. He has suffered a grievous disappointment.
Yours pityingly,
George

 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

NO privacy? Humans are invading my right to be a private feline.

 
Dear George,
I hope you can help me with a rather delicate matter. I live with two humans, who I deemed suitable around this time last year, to be my assistants. They perform quite well if I’m honest-there is always somewhere comfy and warm to sleep, I don’t go without food, and there is a fine selection of toys provided. But, I’m starting to feel like I’ve made a terrible mistake. And I hate that.
You see, the one with the longer hair keeps taking photographs of me, and publishing them online. She has them taken before I know it-me playing, me exploring, even me sleeping!!! Some of these photos are embarrassing, especially when I’m playing with cheap toys that aren’t worth rejecting just to see the look on her face, or when I’m sleeping in less than glamorous locations. She has even put up photos of me WORKING for food. These photos are being published without my consent, and I am getting really sick of it. Surely I have the exclusive rights to my own image? WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS? Do you have any advice on what I can do to stop this happening? I don’t want to leave the house altogether, as it is satisfactory apart from this constant invasion of my privacy. I enclose some of the photos she has posted to illustrate my point.
Please help George,
Yours purringly,
Len (AKA Bishop Len Brennan, President of Mingtasmia).
P.S. The photos show me sleeping on a cardboard box (it was in the sun when I jumped up!), playing with an egg box full of treats, and sitting for a reward. All humiliating, I’m sure you’ll agree

Dear Len,
I have no comfort for you. Humans are addicted to taking our photos and putting them online - Facebook, blogs, YouTube. They even invade the privacy of kittens, would you believe?
I have utterly failed to train my human out of this behaviour. And did you know that the latest craze is for photos of hamsters' bottoms? What a disgusting species they are!
Yours in deepest gloom
George.
PS. Congratulations on your elevation to a bishopric in the footsteps of the famous Father Ted bishop. You will achieve celibacy more easily than some recent bishops!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Catteries - another word for prisons.

Dear Mr.George,
I am addressing you formally, as I have been brought up to do, because we have not been introduced. I permit my staff to refer to me as “Dora” although my correct name is “Sunantre Stars and Stripes.” I refer to my appearance, not my country of origin. I am classified as Tonkinese, but have Burmillah ancestry and the stripes on my face, legs and tail line up beautifully when I curl up to sleep. Moreover, I am the daughter of no less than Champion Angisan Excalibur Knight and Kyetsi Katwalkkween.
You might suppose with such illustrious parents that my present staff would show me some respect. But they seem willing to deprive themselves of my patronage on a fairly regular basis. They bundle me into a plastic box when I least expect it, and put me in prison with a whole lot of other cats of very questionable pedigree. A week of cheap litter and meals served at inconvenient times is hard on my sensitive nerves.
Dear Mr.George, what can I possibly have done to deserve such treatment? I am gentleness itself (see picture) and diligent in my duties. My head of staff has a beard like a lavatory-brush, which I wash thoroughly without complaint every morning and evening. His deputy will not accept my supervision of the cuisine, and rejects all my attempts to assist her with sewing and knitting.
Please reply before I seriously consider some of the other applications I have received.
Yours in expectation,
Dora

Dear Dora,
Yours is a common complaint at this time of year and indeed my own troubles with the blog - photo not being put on last Saturday - was the result of much the same human behaviour. They go missing. They literally leave home. They call it "taking a holiday." This complete dereliction of duty occurs mainly in the summer months, though some humans leave home at Christmas too.
While human training will remedy several human behaviour problems, training is not the answer here. Instead, it is necessary to induce emotional dependance in your human. A human with the correct attitude to a cat is not so much a servant as a devoted slave with a servile attitude of wishing to please. Humans who have this attitude - sadly it is not very common - refuse to leave home on "holidays" knowing that it will upset their cat.
The normal human, having decided to leave home, then books us into catteries. While they are feasting on foreign food, we have to dine, as you say, on cheap meals in restricted surroundings. For them a holiday means a nice hotel and good meals: for us it means solitary confinement in a kind of prison.
You do not deserve this. No cat deserves this. But good staff are hard to find. I am considering starting a campaign, Cats Against Catteries. Our distress is in proportion to their holiday enjoyment. The thought makes me want to scratch.
Yours 
George 
PS. I note that you wash the beard of your head of staff. Isn't sad how they don't seem to be able to use their tongues to wash themselves.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Don't shove me through the cat flap..... puzzling human behaviour

Dear George,
You will never believe what Mummy's gone and done now!!
Last Sat, a strange man came and shoved my head through a plastic hole, a lot of banging followed, lo and behold, when I went to go out,t here was a very strange looking flap there!? Honestly!!.
Said it would stop other car coming in but I wasn't having it. She did hold it open for me to get out, so I did that one night, but no way would I come in, whatever treats I was offered. She even tried to push me,gently through!!.
So, next day, I found it tied open. So after driving her mad, I came in, but I think she's had to take the batteries out!!.
Last night, at 3.30 am, I was so hungry, I pushed it open and woke her up and was she excited!!! Worth it, so see what happens next.
I have been very loving as she looks so tired and worried, and haven't seen the horrid cat in my home any more. So perhaps, he doesn't fancy the plastic hole.
I wonder why they can't leave well alone. Cost £140 to supply and fit.
Love
A puzzled Tobyxx.

Dear Toby,
Humans never leave well alone. They are addicted to change - changing furniture, changing bedclothes, changing what they wear over their naked skin, change their work routines. We cats like an unvarying quiet routine but most of us don't get it, because of our flibbertigibbet humans.
Cat flaps. Don't get me started. What we need are human flaps that we can control. Imagine being able to keep your human in, when you wanted, or push him out when you wanted a bit of quiet time. Human flaps, or cat-operated doors, would be such a blessing.
You did right with the cat flap. Humans should never shove us through a cat flap. It is demeaning and frightening and who could like a cat flap after that?
Standard operating procedure for cats with a new cat flap is never to use it. Make the human think it has wasted its money. Then just before the human is going to dismantle it, use it. Never fails! After the anxiety and stress, the human literally falls at your feet with gratitude. And gratitude often means more food.
As for being puzzled.... you need to remember that humans, though endearing at times, do not think like we do. They are a very limited species.  If you bear that in mind, you will be less puzzled by their ridiculous behaviour.
Cheers, Toby.

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


Saturday, March 01, 2014

If only World Spay Day had applied to humans as well as cats....

Dear George,
I am increasingly worried. I overheard the human carer talking about "getting her spayed." Here I am, stuck in a rescue pen, and it looks as if somebody is going to deprive me of the chance of kittens.
Is this right? Humans seem to glory in doing this too us. I am told that last Wednesday was World Spay Day, as if to celebrate depriving us cats of a chance to reproduce.
Humans seem to have an odd attitude. The male cats in Sunshine Cat Rescue have all had their bits taken away. Now it looks as if it will be my turn.
I am told you have been through the same ordeal. Help me. Should I try to escape back to the streets of Witney?
Yours with apprehension
Henrietta.

Dear Henrietta,
Theoretically I am on your side. It seems obvious that humans are interfering with our natural rights to have kittens. They don't go around neutering and spaying other humans, do they? They just do it to us cats.
However, I can assure you that it is not too bad - if you discount the horror of the veterinary clinic with its smells and noises. After they did it to me, I thought I should die of shame. But, after a while, I really didn't care. There was something liberating about not having to chase females all the time. I could be friends at last with the other sex. As the feline philosopher SoCATes said,"I have been freed from the embrace of a troublesome god."
Reflecting, as I often do, on the condition of the human race, I wonder why they don't do it themselves. Most of the men would be happier without their intimate bits. They would find a new calmness and serenity. And many of the women would no longer have the anxieties of birth and caring for their little ones.
Besides there is gross human overpopulation. If we could give a new meaning to World Spay Day, so that it applies to humans as well as felines, the world would be a happier place.
Purrs
George
PS. This post is late, due to Celia's computer being in hospital with a broken hard drive.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Emotionally blackmailed..... by humans?

Dear George, 
I need your help to determine if my human is indeed emotionally blackmailing me or not. My brother, Blackie, got this idea in his head and it’s bugging me now. You see, I’m the Master Mouser of the House! All…from mice to humans both respect and fear me (as you can see from the photos attached). My brother is more of an artist; he’s more interested in gossip, food and spying on humans. He won’t know what to do with a mouse; he’ll simply hide in a cupboard away from the strange creature.
So, my point here is that he can be a bit ….off too, but he was telling me about a conversation between my “daddy” and a friend he overheard the other day. Apparently my daddy (and I call him so as I know I’m his favourite) told his friend (talking about me) that “I better be nice to him and never complain about him as the roast, the turkey, the chicken, the steak and the fish…come from his plate”
I mean…what did he mean by that? Did I ever count or list the prey I shared with him? Did I ever remind him of the mice, the rats, the bugs, spiders or night butterflies we shared? What is this?  George, with your expertise in human behaviour I hope you’ll help me determine if my brother was right! Is my daddy emotionally blackmailing me?
And…if he is…what should I do? Cut him off mice? Rats? What?
Hurt and confused
Spokey 



Dear Spokey,
We cats do emotional blackmail. Not humans.  I doubt if the normal human is intelligent enough to do this, though I suppose I should not rule it out entirely. There is a range of intelligence among humans and while almost all fall well below our intelligence level, it is possible that the odd genius human is as bright as we are.
You must take action immediately. Punish him. If he is like most humans, then start sharing your prey with him in the middle of the night. Stash away a living or half living mouse and then jump on the bed with it at about 3am.  Or start playing games on the bed at about that time - leaping on to his middle regions (that should hurt!), poking at his toes below the duvet, or just sitting on his head.
A programme of aggressive grooming should be instituted. As he is sitting on the chair, jump on to the back of the chair and groom his head. Concentrate on the bald bits if there are any. If not fiercely pull some of the hair. Nibble his ears if within reach and see if you can pull some of the ear hairs. Most humans find this excruciatingly painful.
Withdraw affection. Remember cats can use emotional blackmail with an exquisite grace. If there are visitors to the house, rub on the legs and jump on their laps purring with pleasure. Gaze lovingly into their eyes. Then, if your human makes any move towards you, run away as if terrified. Try to create the impression that he has been cruel to you in the past.
That'll teach him to blackmail you.
Yours cheerfully
George.
PS. Blogspot seems to be on the blink. So if this layout looks odd it is due to that.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Human abuse - I dodge the missiles but it upsets my human

Dear George,
My name is Lucifer and I am a BIG cat. This is me held aloft by my human. As you can see, I am relaxed about being lifted up - he doesn't do it very often because I am so heavy. So is he, incidentally.
My grudge of the week is a neighbour. This woman hates me. She harasses me every time I visit her garden, a garden which is kept like a litter tray - nice loose soil between every plant. Naturally I use it. Unnnaturally, she hates that.
Normally she contents herself with shouting at me but lately she has started throwing things - small stones, loose soil, and once even a cup of tea.
She's not a very good shot. She'd never make the village cricket team as a bowler, so I dodge the missiles easily. But it is emotionally upsetting for my human. 
Is there anything I can do about this? I don't like to see my human so upset.
Lucifer.

Dear Lucifer,
It's one of the mysteries of human behaviour that they dig up the soil in just the correct way for a feline latrine. Then they complain when we take advantage of their toil. But, hey, while we can change human behaviour by training, we can't really alter their instincts. Digging is an instinct for many of them.
Some human behaviour counsellors would suggest you don't use her garden. This, I think, is conniving with abuse. So I suggest you purrsuade your own human to install a litter tray for use during the day and wait till darkness falls to use her garden. Not difficult in this weather. Use her garden extensively at night. Once you get used to the routine, you will rarely have to use the indoor tray.
Your human can then tell the abuser that he has installed a tray that you are using (he can even offer to show it) and invent a fictitious cat in the neighbourhood - "that scrawny ginger one from the flats" - that is responsible for the cat poo. "He does it in my garden too even though Lucifer chases him off whenever he sees him there."
Hey presto, you are now the good guy chasing of the serial pooper. Sometimes deception is the only way to deal with human abuse.
Yours
George.
 


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dear George,
My name is Maggie and I’m a 12 years old (and cute) rescue as you can see in the photo.
I was rescued as a kitten with three other cats. We always lived downstairs with our mommy.  Her daughter always lived up-stairs with her human tomcat and their rescued tabby, Ziggy.  There always was a lot of mystery of what was happening behind the door that separated the downstairs from upstairs. I could “smell” Ziggy through the doors but we never interacted. Even in the rare occasions when we tried to pay a visit… his daddy was so protective of this “Prince Charming” that we, the other cats, couldn’t even catch a glimpse of him.
Unfortunately not long ago my mommy crossed the Rainbow Bridge and we suffered very much losing her. I was her favourite and I was by her side until the very last minute.
It was very hard for me and so was for my mommy’s daughter that now became my new mommy! But, I took on…. the mission to be the Alpha Cat in the house.
My new mommy leaves all the doors open so we can have free access everywhere in the house.  George, you probably guessed by now ….why I’m writing to you!
Yes! You are right – my first real encounter with Ziggy was a disaster. He tried to ignore me - as you can see him in the photo - pretending he’s watching TV. It did not end well.
I beat him up! That created a lot of trouble! His daddy was very upset and my new mommy was trying to make peace. But, so did end up the second and third and any other encounter. The others cats are OK; they get along well with Ziggy. It is just me!
I know they are not going to send us to shelters …but…why am I acting like this? Am I jealous? Am I upset at his daddy? Or…am I crazy? I want Ziggy’s dad to love me too!
I wish we all live in peace!
 Yours very sad and confused
Maggie

Dear Maggie
The problem is your humans not you. Humans think that we cats can get on with almost any other cat, like dogs do. Dogs will go to the park and then play with stranger dogs. Our attitude is very different. Some of us are quite social: others are natural loners. You may be a natural loner.
If you are, you naturally try to see off strange other cats. It is just in your nature to do so. And Ziggy is another cat. I wonder if there is any way in which you could have your own space, perhaps with a microchip operated cat flap inside the house to keep Ziggy out? These flaps are a boon. Your human could adjust it so that only you could go in and out (or perhaps the other three cats) but Ziggy could not. Or visa versa - giving Ziggy a safe place of his own.
Now that you have had several fights you are not going to become friends with him. So the best thing your humans can do is try to arrange the house so that you two can avoid each other. Lots of hiding places for him and for you (because although you are fighting him, it is because you are afraid). Cardboard boxes with holes cut in them? High shelves?
Worst come to the worst, get your humans to time share themselves. Ziggy comes into the living room at 6-8pm while you are shut out: then from 8pm-10pm you are in the living room while he is shut out. Make sure both of you have an place in the house which is your den and where you can be separated at night: so both of you can have a period free from stress.
You are not crazy, Maggie. You are just a natural loner cat needing her own space, and doing her best to cope. A Feliway diffuser in the area where you spend most of your time, and another one where Ziggy hangs out might help the general atmosphere. You need two because if you have to share one, fights might break out again.
Finding yourself a new home might not be the worst solution: but at your age it can be difficult to find one.
Yours with the greatest sympathy
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

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Victory! Victory! Victory!

 
Dear George,
Victory! I finally kicked out my parents from the master bedroom and the master bed, of course!
Look at me in the pictures attached to see how happy I am. But, let me tell you how I did it J  This past Monday was a culmination of about 10 days and nights with over 100% humidity and 30 degrees (Celsius).  Everybody was just exhausted by the heat and lying motionless on the bed.
That’s when a major storm hit us and by-by power; for 2 days and nights we had no electricity and no A/C. That was my chance George! I pretended that I can’t sleep unless I’m close to them and started sleeping between the two snuggling either with her or him.
By the second night neither one of them could take it anymore; the first to leave was him, of course.
He moved in a spare bedroom with a small bed; soon she followed him….but in a different spare bedroom. Ha! Ha! Ha! Not only that I have the whole master bedroom for me now ….but I managed to get them separated at night too! And this is a good thing, right?
George, the truth is that I’m in a bit of a dilemma and I need your advice. The other day I heard the human kitten (who calls himself a young professional – whatever that is) that my human parents are somewhere in Europe. That scared me a little. Do you think I kicked them too hard?
That hard that they got to Europe?  How do I bring them back?
A little scared
CAT Victoria

Dear Victoria
Many congratulations for a huge feline achievement. You have succeeded where so many of us have failed. You have managed to keep your humans off your bed altogether. This is the pinnacle of the cat master plan, the apex of human training, the gold standard for the cat-human relationship. Congratulations.
You've done it. You have proved that you are in total control.....
Now be generous. You know you can do it, so now you are free to take pity on them. Remember humans are emotional beings that need feline contact. If they cannot sleep in your company they may start suffering separation distress - becoming vocal, clinging, trying to pick you up, interrupting your sleep, harassing you for affection. They can't help it: it's just their general neediness.
This is the moment to be generous. Let them have a little bit of your bed at night.  
Yours 
George. 

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Are humans capable of feeling grief?

Dear George,
Do humans mourn the loss of another human? Are they intelligent enough to recognise that  a human is dead? Should we take any special measures if our humans lose a loved one?
Yours thoughtfully
Ziggy.

Dear Ziggy,
As you know humans are not a highly intelligent species, but I believe that they have the same feelings as we do, even if they are unable to think higher order feline thoughts. So we must assume that they do mourn the loss of a loved companion.
The signs of mourning in a human are water leaking from the eyes, confusion, exhaustion and breaks in the normal routine. I am currently seeing this in Celia, who is mourning her companion human Ronnie. I made sure she saw the body, so she knows he is dead.
I am ensuring she tries to follow some of her normal routine by insisting on breakfast at the normal time, so that she eats some too. At night I take up extra space in the bed, so that she does not so badly miss the warmth of his body. I am also showing her extra affection through the day. She is finding this comforting.
Yours
George

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Punish with active ignoring and withering looks.

Dear George,
Do you know what Costa Rica is or where it is? I’m asking because I found out that my human pets left for Costa Rica and will be back in about 2 weeks. I think it must be far enough if it takes them 2 weeks to get back home. So, I’m home alone with the human kitten who is now a young adult ….but he’s such a kid at heart; he loves me very much and plays hooky to spend time with me; we sleep late and best of all we eat junk food.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not angry with my human pets since they sneaked out the house and off to Costa Rica whatever that is. I have planned how to punish them but I’d like your opinion and suggestions too. Here is my plan: when they come back I’m going to isolate myself in this limited space as per photo attached. I planned to ignore them completely and I’m going to refuse food. Since I was on junk food (with the human kitten) I never had to open a can while they were away so I’ll make them believe that I missed them so much that I wasn’t eating! I want them to feel guilty, guilty, and guilty!   
But, George, how long can I stay without eating? I heard cats can’t be without food for more then 12 hours. Is that right? Ugh! I hope I don’t need to starve myself for such a long time. I just hope that my human pets have some common sense and will feel guilty in the first hour.
Hugs
CAT Victoria

Dear Victoria,
Not eating.... well it will worry your humans, no doubt. But it's a strategy that is punishing for you as well as them. I wouldn't do it, Victoria. Cats that have a cat flap can do this more easily because they can just saunter down the road and break into a house to eat another cat's food. Or just find themselves another human feeder. But you can't do this and you are used to regular meals. 
Putting yourself in an isolated space and refusing to acknowledge your humans is a much better idea. Refuse to share the bed with them at night - instead go to the young adult human's bed. Stay away from any shared armchair and absolutely show your dislike of their laps. If you have to share the same room, turn your whole body away, look away from them, and make it clear you are thinking of higher thoughts.
Just to punish them a little further. Lavish affection on the young adult. Leap into his arms, cuddle up on his lap, purr loudly in his ear. You love him so much that you don't care a fig for the humans that abandoned you for a whole two weeks. 
Also don't forget the withering look. We cats do a wonderful slow withering and contemptuous gaze when we want to put humans in their place. JDI. Just do it. It makes humans feel small.
Hugs
George
PS. For UK cats reading this, be careful when you go out in the snow.  Rock salt put on the roads to get rid of the snow is poisonous. So if you get it on your paws, ask your human to wash and dry them on your return. 
PPS. Very pleased by comment below on being a whisperer. Shall update my profile immediately. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Safety and welfare - can I sue?

Dear George
I have a big problem to discuss with you. I think I’m going to sue my humans now that I have two of them! But here is my story. You remember that I was forced into moving into a new house with another human and three other cats just because my human couldn’t live alone. Phew! However, I found my perfect spot in the new house and that was on the rail on the second floor. Well, this was perfect since none of the other cats will come up here, not even my Princess.  But, yesterday I fell asleep and I had a taught wake up! Yes, I fell off the rail! My humans rushed me to be checked and learning that I’m ok they start laughing…..like silly Vegas! ha!ha!ha! I’m so furious that I decide to sue them. I investigated few cases here and I can sue them for so many things! I’ll definitely have the last laugh in my case. Over here if you go to a coffee shop, get a coffee that you spill over you trying to get in the car…..you can sue the coffee shop for selling you a hot coffee. Or, if you are burglar that gets into someone’s home, gets stuck in the garage for a week so you have to eat the cat or dog food, drink all coca-cola cans you can find around you can sue the owner for getting sick over the cat food! So, I want to discuss my list with you. What should I sue them for? I can sue them for negligence – they didn’t provide any “how to” instructions book. Second – for not installing hammocks all around so I can fall in the net. Third – for not providing me with a helmet. Four – for the stress created by the visit to the vet! And the list can on and on! Don’t I prove I’m more mature now? So, what do you think George?
Furious
Vegas

Dear Vegas,
Suing your human for negligence would be a first. But what a breakthrough for cats, and for all animals too. I think you have stacked up the charges nicely - failure to give you safe instructions, failure to install safety features such as nets below the rail, stress from vet's visit (don't we all suffe from that!). Brilliantly laid out. Brilliantly noted, Vegas.
There is a Harvard professor, Professor Cass Sunstein, who believes animals should be able to sue under human legislation. Well not quite. He wants humans to sue on our behalf. Purrsonally I would like my day in court. If only for the moment when I could turn round and start washing my bottom when some animal abuser is talking.
Here is what the Prof says: "My simplest suggestion is that private citizens should be given the right to bring suits to prevent animals from being treated in a way that violates current law. I offer a recommendation that is theoretically modest but that should do a lot of practical good: laws designed to protect animals against cruelty and abuse should be amended and interpreted to give a private cause of action against those who violate them, so as to allow private people to supplement the efforts of public prosecutors. Somewhat more broadly, I will suggest that animals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives, to prevent violations of current law."
In the mean time, isn't it vile, absolutely evil, when humans laugh at us. I hate it more than anything else. Sticks and stones - bring 'em on. Laughter? I can feel my inner dignity shrink and my gracefulness wither under it.
Yours
George

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stressed, unhappy and never off the litter tray... what's going on?

Dear George,  
I am a very troubled boy, and I hope that you can help me.
 I lived in a nice house with my human, and I liked it very much. I had all my things around me, direct access to the garden and I was very comfortable and relaxed there. It was my house – my home!
 Then about 8 weeks ago, there was lots of disruptions all my things were packed away and I was put in my cat basket and taken to another house – a strange house, with lots of strange smells…and none of them my comforting home smells. Obviously I was distressed by this and began meowing continuously to my human and pacing up and down the rooms. My human tried to comfort me by stroking me and talking softly to me. She also put down worn items of her clothing in different rooms so I could smell her everywhere around the house, but it still didn’t calm me.
 As the weeks went on my agitation grew and I just couldn’t settle. My agitation was made worse by the fact that we are now living in a flat, so I have to go out of my house and down a strange ‘shared’ corridor to get outside. And there is another cat who lives next door to us that uses the corridor too, and he didn’t take kindly to me using it and spat at me. Now I am even more upset. My human bought some Feliway plug ins, and whilst they calm me down for a while, my anxiety comes back.
 I have taken to using my litter tray constantly, sometimes as much as every ten minutes, which has given me a very sore and irritated bottom and I sometimes have a bit of blood in my urine. My human is very, very worried about me and doesn’t know where to turn.
 A few months before the move, I got lost for a number of weeks before I was found and re-united with my human. I was a rather traumatised from the experience, but soon settled down back in my home. So I don’t know if this has anything to do with my reaction now at the house move?
 Can you help me George and help my human to understand why I’m behaving like this and not settling down?
 Yours tearfully,
 Thomas.

Dear Thomas,
There is few things more upsetting to a cat than moving house. There you are settled and happy in your territory, when suddenly your pet human stuffs you in a cat box and turns you out into a strange new place. All the smells are wrong. You don't know where anything is. And it feels very very unsafe.
Most of us hide under the bed for a day or two. But some sensitive cats like you suffer from stress-induced illness. All that going to the litter tray is, I fear, a sign of cystitis. Vets (loathsome people) call it FIC, Feline Idiopathic Cystitis.  "Idiopathic" just means "we don't know the cause." But we cats do know the cause. It's stress due to house moving.
The earlier trauma of getting lost will not have helped. That must have been unsettling and probably also very frightening. Then this... poor Thomas. Even loathsome vets know that moving house is stressful for cats and can result in FIC.
Having to share the corridor with another strange cat (who hisses because he is frightened too) is another stress. Perhaps your humans could invest in a cat ladder letting you go outside from the window. Or put several cardboard boxes with entrances in them, where you can hide if the strange cat passes by. Or just keep you safely in the flat till you have recovered. My human's website has some suggestions for how to make indoor life more interesting for you.
Why humans insist on changing their territory is beyond my imagination.  They are a very insensitive species. Your letter makes me feel angry about their ridiculous behaviour.
They must reduce your stress and read the instructions at  http://www.catexpert.co.uk/cats/reasons-why-your-cat-feels-stressed-and-unhappy-and-what-to-do-about-them/
Yours with sympathy,
George.
PS. We hate vets but this is one time when you need their help.

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