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Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Indoor life is boring... I want to get out and about.

Dear George,
I’ve heard it’s safer for a cat to be indoor (even if it’s soooooo boring) but is it better?
I mean considering the cat’s emotional and mental health? George, I’m asking for your opinion since my humans decided to not let me go in the backyard. See, I was rescued few months ago when I was a tiny kitty and until now I wasn’t interested in the outdoors…but one sunny Sunday I sneaked outside and discovered the trees and the bushes and the ravine behind our house! My humans got really worried and started looking for me frantically. I was hiding under a bush and I just didn’t want to come out. Apparently this upset them very, very much and now I’m not allowed outside at all. I don’t think it’s fair! I want to go out! Any ideas what I can do to be safe outdoors?
Yours….desperate for fresh air!
Minky

Dear Minky,
I like the great outdoors but I live down a cart track near fields where it is not too dangerous (except for foxes). And I come in at night for my last meal, so that I don't stay out too late - which cuts out some of the risks of being run over or eaten by a fox. Most cats would like this kind of lifestyle.
But it is safer indoors, definitely. Safe from predators like stray dogs, coyotes, foxes. Safe from traffic. Safe from disease caught by fighting with other cats. If indoor life is boring it is the fault of your humans. You should have lots of toys, a different one every day, lots of games with fishing rod toys when your humans are watching TV, and you should hunt for your food.
Hunt? Well hunting is what we cats do and it is what I do outside in the garden and fields. You can hunt too if your humans stop putting any food into a bowl. They should put it into food dispensers (look here for ideas), or scatter it so you have to run for it, or hide it round the house.  Or build a feeding pole! Or by the Funboard - video here. That way you can keep busy hunting for food even when they have gone off to work.
I hope you have chosen rich humans... If so, they could build you a catio or even just fence in the whole garden - ideas here. There's a photo of a catio here. That would keep you safe and give you some fresh air.
So if they won't let you outside, get them to start doing what humans should always do - make you happy with an active lifestyle. It is their job to make you happy.
Yours
George

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Do I look fat in my fur? Do I need to diet?

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Dear George,
I don’t want to see anybody (as you can tell by the photo attached) - I’m mad!
I’m angry because my mummy dared to “body shame” me last night calling me “fat”.
Well, I don’t think I’m fat - I’m a big boy! I’m a large, well-built cat as my daddy said. 
I mean what’s the point for her to make me homemade food based on Dr. Pitcairn’s recipes and measure everything to be nutritionally balanced, mostly raw and mixed with some organic cooked vegies (1 tsp per meal) and then call me fat? I eat 3x a day small portions and that’s it! I don’t eat junk and I can’t open that fridge on my own!
But, there she goes calling me fat! Even more she said “obesity” it’s a pandemic in North America in both humans and pets! I didn’t understand exactly what she meant by this but, by the tone of her voice, it must be something really bad! Am I in any danger?
What is a pandemic? I didn’t want to ask her because I’m not talking to her now! George, is it really bad? What is the difference between being fat, overweight or obese? It must be a difference! How can one tell? Please look at my photo again and tell me I’m OK!
Yours ….in stones (won’t tell how many)
Chico

Dear Chico,
You may be a bit overweight but you are not obese (30% above the proper weight, which your owner can check with the vet). Here is a photo of really fat cat, Boomer. He was obese and he was suffering because of it. You couldn't see or even feel his ribs and he was so fat that he couldn't reach his backside to groom it, so he had mats there. He lived with a slightly demented elderly owner, who couldn't remember if Boomer had been fed. And because Boomer was bored - he was a young indoor-only cat - he kept asking for food.  And getting it every time.
We cats need exercise. I am lucky. I can leave the house through a cat flap and go hunting. When I am not doing that, I am patrolling my territory making sure I know where everything is and if there have been any changes in the garden or down my cart track. I do a lot of walking around. So I don't get fat. And I don't get too many treats either. Just three meals a day and nothing in between - apart from what I steal off the kitchen surfaces.
So get your owner to buy a fishing rod toy and play games with you using that. She can do it while watching TV. Play is good for her and play is good for you. Being obese can give us cats diabetes and arthritic pain. Just like humans.
Yours
Slimline George
PS. They eat delicious and varied meals but they expect us to eat the same bought cat food over and over again. It's not fair. At least your human cooks properly. Mine doesn't.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Backyard plants for cats....

Dear George,
I need your help urgently! Maybe Celia’s help as well (assuming she knows about plants). My Mom is planning to do some gardening this weekend and I heard her saying she wished she knew more about plants - what should she plant for me?
George, please, please, please say catnip and catnip and catnip - of course unless you know of some other plants as enjoyable as catnip.
What other cats like beside catnip?
In haste,
Leo 

Dear Leo,
Obviously catnip is a must for us cats and it looks lovely to humans too. My friend Toby can be seen enjoying it here. Don't confuse it with catmint, which doesn't have the same delicious scent though it looks good to humans. Valerian, another herb, is also enjoyed by cats and is easy to grow.
Why not have a small area, or a pot, devoted to cat grass? Ordinary wheat, the kind grown in for bread, or oats, the kind grown for porridge, will grow nicely. Or there is a special kind of grass, Dactyitis glomerata or cocks-foot grass that is sold as seed for cat grass. You will enjoy munching on any of these. A list of plants that are poisonous can be found here. As well as avoiding lily of the valley,  avoid lilies themselves  - if a tiny bit of pollen falls on your coat and you lick it off, you could die. 
What else? Well, why not purrsuade her to give you a water feature with a little fountain or trickling water for you to drink. And think about putting  a walkway, or a ledge, or a shelf on walls or fences. We like to sit up and look down on others. One of my friends, Pixxi (right), has a little shelf just on the corner of the fence so that he can sit and survey his territory.
Yours
George 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Déjà vu roast chicken….even if …it never happened?


Dear George, 
I know we have a great 6th sense and we can feel and see energy that humans can’t perceive with their naked eyes but, I’ve never realized that in fact I could be so, so, soooo psychic! I mean how else would you explain my experience? You see….I had a déjà vu of an event that never happened. What would you make of it? But, here is my story! Last night I’ve seen my human placing a nice chunk of roasted chicken (leftover from their dinner) on the kitchen table. You see, I’ve never been interested in sharing dinner with my humans and so, I never did! But for whatever reasons when I’ve seen that roasted chicken on the table ….I had a déjà vu ….of the future if I may said so!  I’ve literally seen a good chunk of it “disappearing” into my mouth and down into my belly.
I HAVE SEEN IT!  So, when my human turned around and said “now, be a good boy”…I just ignored her as I knew what’s going to happen next! 
So, George….help me understand! Do I have paranormal abilities? Is it because I spend so much time in nature (as you can see in the photo attached).
Beau

Dear Beau,
Treasure that chicken deja vu (my paws can't do the accents!). It WILL happen and in my opinion, the sooner the better. Check out the kitchen table regularly. I always do. And you will be surprised what you find there, particularly if your human is absent-minded or just disappears for a moment to check her computer.
I have developed the psychic gaze. I use this to convey to my human that I would like a bit of chicken (or similar goody). Silent.  Intense. Yet conveying by 6th sense what I want her to understand. Humans, dumb creatures though they are, have more of a 6th sense than they know.
I also do the psychic garden trick. When she is out there, I just appear from nowhere. Silently, of course. So one moment she thinks I am not there: and then in a few seconds she sees me. This is a psychic trick that almost all cats play. I love doing it. Those hosta plants on your right would make it easy for you.
Yours
George.
PS. The thought of that roast chicken has made my mouth water, so I am just going to check out the kitchen table... you never know.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Look what my human has made - an outside litter tray

Dear George
My human does make me laugh sometimes. She is always getting the builder to do stuff in the garden relating to me, or the squirrels. She enclosed the garden knowing how important it is for me to keep in shape and have great fun as I chase the many fascinating creatures and leaves in it, and of course to sunbathe on my castle. By the way, she only enclosed the garden as I am FIV positive.
The neighbour’s gardens have therefore become unavailable for doing my business, and this year she has vegetables and herbs growing which are great and convenient toileting locations as the soil is lovely and soft, but she has decided to offer me an alternative. A pit was dug today and filled with gravel and soft sand. I assume she wants me to use this instead. Doesn’t the contraption remind you of Dalek? I’ve had a wander inside, and may use it to shelter from the rain. Whether I’ll use it as a toilet remains to be seen. Do you think I’m being too much of a tease?
Yours in collusion for making our pets work really hard for us,
Diamond
P.S. I'm sending you my human pet's blog on how I inveigled myself into her life in case it might provide ideas to some of your readers. Read it here. And her website here.


Dear Diamond,
I love the way you have trained your pet to be so active on your behalf. Special fencing in the garden instead of an indoor-only life. I bet the neighbour is pleased! For some reason humans are very disgusted by cat poo in their gardens.
I love the idea of sand too. Just what our ancestors in the desert would have used. Is she prepared to make sure the loo is kept clean enough for you - solids cleared daily and urine flushed with water every two days or so? Otherwise it can get very smelly - even by feline standards. 
I've just got the news that Celia has taken on another difficult kitten.... apparently one that attacks the face! Luckily she (Celia not the kitten) wears glasses. I quite admire these feisty kittens but they need to learn how to train humans with rewards not punishments. Claws should only be used in an emergency.
Yours
George.



Saturday, June 11, 2016

Grass eating - why do we do it and what we cats need.

Dear George,
I’m writing to you to ask a favor! One or two years ago there was a post on your blog about “gardens for cats” and to be more precise about grass grown in pots for cats to lay down in it and enjoy! Mommy said that there was a beautiful cat from Australia who wrote to you bragging about it. She also said that there was a link either in your response to that cat or in someone’s comment – a link to a website or youtube of a couple in the States showing how they created a “cat’s garden” and what grass they grew for their cats. I don’t know how to use the computer to search for things and I’m too young to remember the post even if mommy read that letter to me at the time.
So, here I am ….begging you George (as you can see in the photo) …to please post that link again! Mommy wants to create a garden for me and I worry she might plant the wrong grass!
With many thanks
Gizmo

Dear Gizmo,
We love grass that is grown from wheat, oat, rye or barley. It's safe and it's enjoyable. Why do we eat it? It's not because we have stomach trouble, nor because we need it to vomit (I can very easily vomit without grass!). It's probably because in millions of years of eating mice, we ate their stomach contents which included some vegetation, which may have helped reduce internal parasites. So you could say that evolution has predisposed us to enjoy nibbling on grass.
Be careful, Gizmo, not to nibble on other things. Nibbling lilies or tulips, even those in a vase, can kill you or give you stomach problems. Some house plants can be dangerous to cats, so get your human to consult International Cat Care's list of poisonous plants here.  Just don't let silly humans have them in the house. It's not worth the risk.
Get your human to look here and here for tips on creating a cat-friendly garden. 
Yours
George 

Saturday, June 04, 2016

A “Cat proof house” - what does it mean exactly?

Dear George,
I’m Pepe! I’m now 11 weeks old and, of course brilliant; I was featured on your blog before (I’m one of the cute kittens born to a feral cat rescued by a nice human). 
I must admit I have a very happy kittenhood being loved and nursed by my biological mother, playing with my other four siblings and being taken care of by my foster human mommy. But! And there is a big BUT ….it looks like I’ll be adopted soon and I’ll go to my forever home which I’m sure it will be very nice! At the moment I’m totally confused and I need your help George to sort this out! I heard my foster mommy saying that she won’t let me go until the people have a “cat proof” home and prove their abilities and capabilities to take care of me and obey my orders! Hooray! I like that! So, it is my understanding that a “cat proof” home it’s something very safe for cats. My foster mommy worries so much about our safety that I had to mastermind a “cat safe” game which actually means playing with a ping pong ball in the bathtub (as you can see in the picture). But, my confusion come from the fact that I’ve heard one of our neighbours saying that she “burglar proof” her house when another neighbour said that were some “cat burglars” lately in the area! Just by listening to their chatting it made me think that I will never be able to get into my new home since it will be a “cat proof” house! That’s scary!  George, can you explain please? 
Totally cute….and confused 
Pepe 
Dear Pepe, 
A "cat proof" home? It could be that your foster mummy is looking for the ideal owner - a human who will serve you well, make sure you stay healthy, play games with you, give you proper health care no matter what the cost.....
Or it could be that she is looking for a home where you cannot roam and get lost. Here in the UK that can mean a home where you will always be indoors, not allowed to go out at all. If so, you will need plenty of things to do - places to climb, food dispensers to roll around, toys for play (ping pong balls are great) and humans who will play games with you every day.
Protectapet fencing
 

The other kind of cat-proof home is one where people have fenced in the garden properly. There are instructions how to do this at International Cat Care  There's also a good website which sells DIY fencing or who will come and fence your garden here.
So a cat proof home should be a good one. Have faith in your foster mum. She's doing a good job.
Yours
George
PS. There is only one kind of fencing to avoid - electronic fencing which gives an electric shock if you go over it. That kind of fencing doesn't stop dogs or predators coming into your territory: it just stops you going out of it. It's not safe for cats.

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