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Showing posts with label hair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hair. Show all posts

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Of humans, cats and hair hygeine

Dear George,
As you can see I'm all packed to go to the groomer. I personally don’t think I need to go anywhere as we, the cats, are the cleanest species on Earth. We groom ourselves daily for hours not like some humans who don’t shower for years (or so I’ve heard). Mommy told me that this is the latest trend for humans to not wash their hair or clean themselves for months. Phew! Stinky!
Anyhow, my mommy goes to the other extreme! She goes both mornings and nights behind a certain curtain and lets “the rain” run all over her. She is extremely clean and she always smells soooo good! Yummy! But, I think she goes a bit too far when come to my grooming. Now she wants to buy me a “grooming machine”! I have no idea what that is but just the name of it makes my hair raise. I can only think of something similar to a “car wash” where you get in dry and you have all these huge brushes spitting all over you water and shampoo making you fluffy but scared. George, is there a grooming machine for Persians? How does it work? Is it scary? Isn’t the classical brushing enough? On daily basis? I love to be brushed! George, help me stop my mommy from buying that machine! Give me some basic hygiene rules so I can convince her.
In you I trust   

Dear Punbukh,
You need grooming daily - with incredible care, gentle kindness and a lot of food rewards throughout, stopping if you are showing signs of fear. Otherwise your fur will mat up no matter how much you groom yourself. Humans have "designed" Persians like you to have unnaturally long hair which cannot be kept in order by the cats themselves. if your human cannot groom you daily, you need regular appointments with a professional groomer. Make sure your human stays with you while you are groomed so that she can see if the groomer is being rough or painful. (Some are.) There's a useful video here.
Grooming machines? In principal, these are basically like the machines that humans use to groom horses or to cut their own hair. But they vary. Some of the cheapest ones come from China and may not be reliable. ALWAYS get your human to read the reviews before they buy. It probably pays to buy a more expensive one. They should be silent so as not to worry you.
Finally, using a grooming machine also takes patience and skill. It might even be a good idea to get a lesson from your local vet nurse or groomer first. Your human should start by giving you treats when you are on table.  Further treats should be delivered at regular intervals so that the experience is a good one.
Purrsonally I feel sorry for Persians. I have a natural face shape, short fur, and a normal shaped body. It makes me much healthier.
Yours with sympathy
PS. Read about hereditary diseases in Persians and other pedigree cats at    

Friday, November 11, 2016

Of human arrogance..... and genes.

Dear George, 
I’m fed up with human arrogance and here it is why! You see, when I was very young I adopted a human family who later betrayed me and dumped me into a ravine to live with a colony of feral cats. I was hurt and confused but soon I became the Alpha Cat of that colony. We were doing fairly well until this woman start feeding us daily and actually claiming ownership of the colony. She did register with a rescue group and soon after she started behaving like she was the Alpha Cat! I was fuming but I had to go into hiding since she started trapping us and taking us to be neutered and spayed. In most cases she did end up keeping most of the cats to live with her. All was good over the summer and I was able to come out of my hiding. But now I have this funny feeling that she is looking for me! George, why would she be looking for me? I heard her saying that out of the four kittens she had rescued one was mine and the other three were some other tomcat’s kitties. 
How can this be possible? All four came from the same litter! Maybe she wants to ask me for kitty support? I still don’t understand how can a short hair kitten be mine when I’m long hair and gorgeous (as you can see in the picture) and the other three (which happens to be long hair) be somebody else’s? It doesn’t make sense!
George, hope you have some knowledge about kitty genetics and you can explain this to me.
The Wild Alpha

Dear Alpha
My answer takes us into the jungle of cat sex and cat genes!  When our females are allowed to mate with whom they like, they often mate with more than one tom. This means that their litter of kittens may well have more than one father - which may explain why most of the kittens were short haired. (This happens with humans too, only they produce young one at a time!).
The other explanation is genetic. The gene for long hair in cats is a recessive gene, and can be carried by cats that have short hair (the dominant gene). This means that long hair will only show itself in kittens if both male and female parents carry the long hair recessive gene. The short haired gene always wins out otherwise. Only if you have a double dose of the long haired gene, you are long haired. Your female mate (if she is short haired) probably has one short haired dominant gene and one long haired recessive (hidden) gene. 
Some of her kittens will have inherited her short haired gene which will make them short haired. Some of the kittens, however, will have inherited her long haired recessive gene and together with your long haired gene - a double dose of long haired genes - this will make them long haired.
This IS complicated. If you want to know more you can find it here.
Yours George
PS. Think about getting the snip. Neutering will prolong your life and perhaps help you find a new human to adopt.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Will L-Lysine help with cat 'flu? And a footnote about Toby Trumping.

Dear George,
Why do rescued cats get sick with upper respiratory infections even when they don’t live outdoors anymore? I live in a house with some rescued cats and it seems that their health problem won’t go away! They have been rescued for almost six months now, have been spayed and neutered, checked and treated by good doctors and yet, once in a while the problems reoccur: fever, eyes’ stain/tears, loss of appetite, etc.  Someone suggested to give them L-Lysine? Is this safe? Or do you know if there is some kind of vaccine for this? Like the “flu vaccine” for humans?
I’m not worried about me getting it from them but it’s painful to see them suffer.
Any advice George?

Dear Sophie,
If the rescue cats are suffering from the kind of cat 'flu which is Feline Herpes Virus, then even after treatment, the virus doesn't go away entirely. It stays dormant but can flare up when the cat is stressed. And although it is wonderful that the rescued cats are now warm and safe, the change of routine and living quarters will be difficult for some of them at first, possibly leading to a flare-up.
Yes, L-Lysine has often been offered as a treatment and the first studies looked promising. But since then, further studies suggest it is not much use and the latest scientific research suggests that it doesn't do any good (the summary of the article is here). So your human can save her money.  
What is important is that when the cats catch FVH for the first time, they are very infectious. You, Sophie, should be kept away from them, not share any of their dishes, or litter trays till the infection is finished. There is more information about FHV at International Cat Care. It is also worth asking the vet whether temporary flare ups of the disease make the cats infectious again: I got Celia to google and it wasn't very clear. 
PS. I am worried about my friend, Toby. He has started wearing his hair like Donald Trump. Is he going mad? Or does he just want to get online with Cats That Look Like Donald Trump?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pedigrees and moggies - equal in the eye of the Feline God (and sensible humans).

Dear George,
I ask you: what is the difference between me and a moggy? I see none! Do you?
To me… we (and I mean all cats) are beautiful, intelligent; superior to any other species! 
If this is true then why do human try to “create” differences between us based only on their biased opinion? Why do humans try to judge us based on color, breed, pedigree, sex, age, etc.? I’m 17 years old and I was named after Ricky Martin by my euphoric human after attending one of his concerts! Do I look like Ricky Martin? I don’t think so! Do I judge Ricky Martin based on his cuteness, hair, clothes or preferences? No!
If I look (at me) in a mirror I really think my human could have very well named me Snow White! See what I mean? But …would I be a different cat from who I am now? No! That’s what humans don’t understand and that’s why I was in hiding for years as I didn’t want to be part of my humans’ social life! Until last night… when I literally came out of the closet (see the photo) because we had guests: a moggy and her family.
I love that moggy! And she loves me! Nothing else matters!
George, you know her – you know her name and you know how cool she is!
I don’t want my humans to discriminate against her because of her origins!
What do I do?
In love with a moggy

Dear Ricky, 
Somebody told me it was CAT Victoria with whom you are hopelessly in love.... Her photo can be found in her post a week go but I am going to add it here. Just to remind myself. What she didn't tell me when she wrote to me, was that she was in the tree looking out for you. Just in case you passed by.
There isn't anything much different between you and her - only that you have a differently shaped face and longer differently coloured hair. Unfortunately human beings have stupid notions about class.They think pedigree cats are different in other ways from ordinary moggies. They are wrong. Persians like you enjoy hunting and playing and need all the same things that moggies do.
Just because you look different (and to human eyes more beautiful) doesn't mean you are not a cat like any other cat. And that means that pedigree cats and moggy cats are equal in feline eyes and in the eyes of sensible humans (alas, too few of them).
Long live moggies. And pedigrees. They are equal in the eyes of the Feline God (Blessed Be Bubastis).
PS. Some colour prejudiced humans don't even like black cats but I say "black is beautiful."

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Swimming in a lake or mousing in the forest wilderness?

Dear George,
No, it’s not what anybody would think looking at the photo attached! I’m not practicing a roll, nor am I doing yoga or meditate. I’m simply stunned (and speechless) by my mom’s somehow irrational behaviour! Last week she wanted to take us (me and my brother Rocky) to a lake for a mini-vacation! Who would take a cat to a lake?
Cats don’t swim; at least I don’t! But my mommy doesn’t either! She thinks she does but ….no-no, she’s not; I’ve seen her in the bathtub – she just stays in here doing nothing. I've never seen her swimming across the bathtub (which definitely is not the size of an Olympic pool)! So, what’s the point going to a lake? But, this was last week! This week she wants to go to a cottage up in the mountains but she doesn’t want to take us with her! Now figure out why! George, you won’t believe this! Because ….we shed! Is this for real? Doesn’t she know that cats love the forest? We love the endless hunting opportunities! What if a wild animal will attack her? We could protect her. And who cares if we shed in the forest? No one is going to choke on our hair. Who would be disturbed by a hairball or two in the wilderness? George, how do I tell her that she’s completely wrong? Even worse; she arranged with a cat sitter to come and stay with me and Rocky. But, I don’t want any cat sitter – I want to go with mommy!
Too stunned by my human to say any more!

Dear Stanley,
Human "reasoning", so-called, is a mystery. Shedding? So what?  We have this wonderful ability to shed or grow hair according to seasonal temperature - unlike humans. They are stuck with the same hair (and not much of it) all year round.
Envy. That's what it is. Humans hate shedding because they can't do it themselves. 
What's a bit of cat hair between friends? I have an idea on how to revenge yourself on her. Rub furiously on her best clothes in the wardrobe or when she is wearing them. Leave fur on her pillow at night, on the kitchen surface, inside her handbag if possible.  Be creative and think of amusing places to leave it.
And barf up hairballs. Best place for these is on the floor just near her bed, exactly in the place she puts her bare feet first thing in the morning.
Will it change her mind about the forest? Not sure. But teasing humans in this way is always fun.

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,


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,

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.
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.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Naked but not as nature intended.... these humans!

Dear George,
Look at me (and please don’t laugh)! Who did this?
Believe it or not ….ME! Yes, I did this to myself. Hard to believe but it is true! How did I manage to get this hairdo? Very simple!
By training my humans too well. See, I never thought there was such a delicate balance within the human brain between ignorance and willingness to please.
Don’t get me wrong; my humans are extremely nice and love me very much. They try to please me in any way they can; they attend to all my meows and needs day and night.
But, please allow me to introduce myself; my name is Mojo and, of course, I was blessed with beautiful long hair. A while ago my humans decided to get a new brush which I totally disliked. Each time they try to brush my coat I would cry and meow and cry again.
When they stopped brushing me I thought I’m living up to my name and use my magic power to make them do whatever I want them to. Well…the rest is history as you can imagine my coat got so matted they had to give me a shave instead of brushing.
But, don’t you think they should have got more knowledgeable about brushes first? Couldn’t they see that horrible little brush won’t work on my long hair?
George, do you think I fail in training my humans? What do I do now?
I can’t even go outside – I feel naked.
Very upset

Dear Mojo, 
Would a human being like it if their hairdresser pulled their hair, or scraped their scalp with a comb, or hurt them in every way? Of course, they would not. They would never go to that particular hairdresser again. So why expect us cats to put up with this? 
You didn't fail to train them. You trained them not to brush you! Brilliant bit of training, I agree, but not such a good idea.
You should have been training them to groom you daily in the right way. They should combine the brushing with a delicious treat and never brush too long time. They should lure you with the treat to a place which suits them, where the brush is ready, and then brush for two or three minutes, finally giving you the treat. And then they should stop. If more brushing is needed they can start again after half an hour.
They need the right equipment. Zoomgrooms are gentle and most cats enjoy them, but they don't do a good job on lots of hair. Slicker brushes, used with care, are more effective as are metal combs (fairly wide ones). The cheap small human hairbrushes used for permed hair can be useful too.
Then, having given you a break, they can start again.  If they as gentle as possible, generous with the treat, and always patient, you will find it easier. They should (for the time being) cut out any knots rather than try to brush them out. Most cats dislike being brushed, because their humans tug at the hair impatiently, don't leave enough time to brush little by little, and pull out knots forcibly. Knots should either be cut out, or (for show cats) teased with the fingers gently, gently, and brushed a tiny bit at a time.
If you are now severely phobic about being groomed, there are some instructions dictated by me to my website secretary here   Get to work with those purrs and claws to help them learn this new trick.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Brush addiction - it's her problem, not mine

Dear George,
I must admit I got inspired by Jake’s letter last week and I started paying more attention to my human’s behavior. I truly believe that humans use “us” as excuses for their addictions, emotional and psychological problems! We, cats, are not “psychologically” handicapped or damaged….but humans definitely are! Let’s me give you just one example and you’ll be the judge! George, if you remember I took up meditation as a way to cope with being home alone for long periods of time and to avoid knocking down THAT vase that my human loves that much. Being an indoor cat and being bored it’s no fun! A week ago my human came home with a special brush – it is called a “kong brush” (you can see it in the picture) – and start brushing me. Of course I liked it and I liked the attention I was getting….so I start stretching giving her “meows” of approval.
But soon I realized that my human has a “brush addiction” if this is possible.
Guess she can’t sleep just thinking of that brush and brushing – I can’t explain otherwise why she’s up at 6 in the morning brushing me and then in the evening and before bed again. I heard her telling someone that “her baby” (that’s me …for your records) is “addicted to this brush” and that I’m drooling with pleasure when brushed!  Way far from the truth!  As I said before, I like the attention, I like to be brushed but far from being addicted. George, she doesn’t realize that IT IS more her need than mine but what can I do since she has no hair and I can’t brush her! Any advice?

Dear Shumba,
Psychological projection is a known attitude among human beings, as all human behaviour experts like me will confirm. Humans cannot face their own inadequacies, their own faults, and their own ridiculous attitudes. By pretending that these belong to us, not them, they are able to stay in a state of denial.
I have no difficulty in believing that your human is suffering from brush addiction, a example of codependancy in which she needs to brush you more than you need to be brushed. The act of brushing will satisfy her caretaking needs and (more healthily) give her the pleasure of seeing your pleasure. By pretending it is you who are addicted to brushing, she does not have to examine her own need to be needed.
Women who love cats too much are common in our society. Personally, I do not bother to put in place a behaviour modification programme for them, unless the welfare of their feline owners is suffering. For example, women who dress up cats, put them in prams to take for a walk, or collect a house full of cats, are showing pathological altruism. Do they need help? Yes, but normally projection and denial will mean they are not willing to change. Thus help must be focussed on the suffering cats.
Your human does not fall into this category, fortunately. The human need to be needed by their cat can be quite pleasurable for the cat - better quality food, more of it, new cat beds appearing regularly, human body warmth in the bed during cold nights.
Just let her keep brushing. If you get fed up with it, just rise to your feet and sit looking dignified. If need be get high up. But usually a dignified sneer will put a stop to what has become human harassment.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Individuality, fat cats and judgemental humans

Hello George
I’m Rakishi (photo attached), a woolly black cat with a famously large tail. ( My male human says my father must have been a squirrel – that’s his idea of a joke).
I used to hang out with my friend Woody. We’d potter about the garden and sometimes have a nice lie-down near each other in the flowerbed outside my humans’ flat. I was sorry when he died. My humans said it was because he was so fat. He was only 10 kg.
I turned my attention to his flatmate Squawk, hoping he would be my pal instead. But I didn’t realise he’s a really awkward customer. No matter how hard I try he just won’t socialise with me, and sometimes he’s quite aggressive. When he’s angry and does his slow motion avoidance walk, I wait a minute and then go after him. I don’t like to give up, you see.
My humans are a cynical pair, and say he’s trying to take over my territory as he did with Woody’s, and that I don’t know the meaning of rejection (which is gobbledegook to me). They say that normal cats mostly keep themselves to themselves.

George, do you think I’m odd?
Happy mousing,

Dear Rakishi,
I don't think you are odd. I just think you are you. We cats are all raging individuals. We have different personalities (even human scientists, poor limited souls, admit that). Much of what we do in later life is affected by what happened in our kittenhoods. (If Freud had only studied cats and been less obsessed with sex, he might have had better insight into humans.)
Yes, cats can be very solitary by nature. Some really are the cats that walk by themselves. Others are quite sociable, particularly if they grew up in a home with lots of other cats.
I am a natural loner but my companion cat, William, now alas passed away, liked other cats. He would hang out with next door's Siamese, Miss Ruby Fou. She was probably attracted by his beautiful long hair and elegant tabby and white colouring.
Squawk seems to be one of those natural loners. He may even be aggressive about his territory so I advise you to give him a wide birth. Even your elegant bushy tail may not be enough to make him change his mind. As I said, some cats are just like that and nothing much will change them.
You will have to make do with socialising with your humans. I admit that this isn't as good as the company of other cats. The poor dumb creatures have no idea of how to behave in a proper feline manner. I noticed in a photo that Celia showed me that it looked as if your female human had been influenced by your hair style - hers looked dark and sleek too. The male, alas, hasn't got enough hair to keep up with you.
But they do value you, Rakishi. They do. Put up with their faults and defects.
Remember that kindness to humans pays off, usually with a bigger helping of cat food.
Happy mousing indeed.

PS. Your humans seem rather judgemental about fat cats.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The latest New York hairstyle - should cats shave?

Dear George,
Your blog is getting better that any fashion magazine. Better then "In Style" or "Vogue"! I like to think of myself as a fashionista ....always interested in the last fashion trend!
Blue hues, hats, nail covers, etc. Really impressive! How about hairstyle?
But..let me introduce myself! My name is Bondocella and I live in New York! And ...look at my picture....THAT'S hot & trendy in NY!
What do you think? I personally would love to be a little more of a "shaggy cat" but my human thinks that this is cool (or hot...whatever). What do you think? What is trendy in UK?

Dear Bondocella,
Your photograph without the fur took me by surprise.
You look pretty good to me, Bondocella. I like the way that the beautiful fur round your face emerges from the shaved body - very very hot. Or rather, as we used to say, cool. Your human has been really thoughtful in making sure you don't suffer from heat stroke.
In the UK, where it is cold and wet most of the time, the only cats that need shaving are those who have neglected matted fur. So cats don't shave in this part of the world. Only humans shave. (You can see why. Their facial hair is so bristly and odd - neither proper whiskers nor proper fur.)
However, I do acknowledge that some cats need to shave, particularly if they are living in hot climates and have too much fur. Is it possible to have too much fur? I fear that in hot climates it is. Long fur, of the kind humans cannot grow for themselves, is extremely helpful for cats living in cold climates, but difficult for cats in hot places.
Once again, the fault lies with humans. If they had left our species alone, we would all have naturally adapted to whatever climate we live in. My ancestors in England might have grown slightly longer hair, while cats in Finland would be very furry indeed. New Yorks cats would be sleek and short haired.
Humans have stopped us breeding naturally and have invented all kinds of breeding programmes that result in long fur, snubby faces, weird coloured fur, strange ears, and even stumpy legs. Frankly, it is not right. Some of us now suffer serious health difficulties because of a limited gene pool.
It is moments like this that make me feel it was a mistake to domesticate humans. That we have domesticated monsters who now have too much influence in our lives. I mean, it isn't as if they have good pedigrees, is it? Celia is just a mongrel. There's no class there. So why should cats have to have pedigrees? I am happy to say that I don't. I wouldn't like to have so much hair that Celia had to shave me. On the other hand, I might look rather cool like you if she did.
PS. It's important not to let shaved or hairless animals to spend too much time in direct sunlight, according to a vet that works in Spain. They can be sunburned very easily.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

More on Christmas gifts and should humans dye their hair to match our fur.

Dear George,
Talking about fashion, Christmas gifts and human behavior!
I think I got my humans well trained, especially my mom. She is very “fashionable” and wants the same for me.
See, I got a blanket to match my eyes’ color and a little “snowman” mouse to play with. I have to mention that the mouse’s hat is blue too!
I know that actually she’s so much in love with me that she had her hair done to match my eyes too (I’ve seen some blue highlights on it) Now, how cool is this?
George, do you think I should ask my male human to have his hair colored blue as a token of love for me?
In wonder

Dear Tom,
Here in the UK the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals has taken a firm line when humans dye their pets to match their clothes or their furniture. They don't think it is ethical to do this, as they fear it makes animals into fashion objects. So I consulted the feline equivalent organisation, the Imperial Society for the Protection of Humans, (note that it is a bit up the social scale from the mere Royal of the human organisation), and their view was that it would be unethical to require your male human to change its hair colour.
Of course, we do keep humans as pets for our amusement, as well as love. Their funny little ways can be really entrancing at times and I, for one, much enjoy playing with them. They seem to appreciate the attention so much. It is sometimes quite pathetic to see their disappointed faces, when I show my disapproval by withdrawing attention. But how far should we cats go in adapting humans to our requirements?
After very careful consideration, my opinion is that you should fully enjoy the compliment of your female human. She is really showing her devotion by changing her hair colour to match your eyes. However, it would be going to far to make this a requirement by the male human. If he chooses, of his own accord, to make such a touching gesture, then naturally you will respond with purrs and rubs of the highest quality.
But, if he falls short of female devotion, and does not change his hair colour, then this must be accepted with a good grace. Forcing him to do so would be wrong. There is a move among the feline intelligentsia to admit that humans do have some rights. Of course, as a species lower down the evolutionary scale of things, their rights do not supercede ours. But we should allow them a few minor freedoms and I think hair colour probably falls into this category.
Happy New Year.
Love George.

PS. I have just heard of the death of Angel. For her obituary read:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Do books make me an intellectual?

Dear George,
I have decided to become an intellectual cat and the reason is that I’m fed up with my female human. I can’t stand her any longer telling everybody that my sister Cayenne is “the intellectual one” and that I’m “the frivolous” one that needs to be entertained. Well, since Cayenne decided to find her “inner kitten” ….I decided to become an intellectual and teach my snotty female human
a lesson!
Firstly, I started sleeping on books as you can see in the picture. It’s a bit “tough” but I hope this way I’ll accumulate more knowledge quicker.

Secondly, I think I should “shred” some curtains, art, something in the house…just to tell her that I don’t like it. Why can’t she have a normal painting, something like a big, fat mouse next to a piece of cheese? Even that chubby, smiling woman (the one who smiles, no matter from what angle you look at her) would do it! But no, she likes “melting clocks” or men flying hangin
g on umbrellas. And her favorite?…that guy looking in a mirror and seeing his back! See what I have to put up with?
George, I badly need y
our help to punish this snob! Or should I do something to impress her? What should I do next?

Dear Fluffy,
Sleeping on books is a good idea. It's high up which gives an immediate impression of superiority. Its draught free. Looks good, looks very good, and if the books are large enough it is not too uncomfortable. But the big question is - which books? I can't read the titles so I am not sure.
In an ideal world the books we would choose would be Purrsuasion, Scratch 22, Mouse Catcher in the Rye, The Cat of Mounte Christo, Great Catsby, The Cat is a Lonely Hunter, Bleak Mouse, Plain Tails from the Hills, Tail of Two Kitties, Goodnight Mr Tomcat, Middlemog, The Brothers Catamazov, Zen and the Art of Mog Maintenance, and The Purrsuit of Love. Just one fully human book - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, because in it Mark Twain suggests installing a royal family made up of cats.
Shredding, as you can so plainly see, an art form
in itself. Most of us favour the downward scratch at the back of loose covered armchairs, but several have experimented with wallpaper and report a really beautiful effect. Curtains can be more difficult, as they swing loose, but with experience a completely frilled effect can be achieved. Finally, do not forget carpet. There's lots of it, and horizontal scratching, once you get used to it, can play its part in Home Decoration.
Finally, the litter tray. The philosophical and beautiful patterns of a Japanese gravel garden can be achieved in most litters, though wood and paper litter refuses to co-operate. Dig deep. A pleasant scatter effect can be achieved from an open litter tray. Performance art - think about digging, using the tray then rushing round the house scattering litter as you go. It's
the litter skitter.
Happy Scratching. Happy Digging.
Love George.

Please suggest some more book titles in the comments. There are some that have made me laugh out loud already. Puss Puss has contributed this photo of himself on the book by Churchill, the country's leader and a good inspiration for all cats anxious to take their place as leader of their household.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I bite humans. I enjoy seeing them flinch. Should I stop?

Dear George,
I bite humans. Here I am stuck in a pen waiting for somebody to adopt me. Worse still, until recently I itched and itched and itched. I felt so bad I pulled out all the fur of my belly and backside. The anti-flea stuff they gave me made me so ill I thought I was going to have a fit. Then they changed my diet- after four months of itching - and my hair is beginning to grow back. You can just seem the remains of the bald bits if you look carefully at my tummy. I used to bite humans because I felt so itchy and awful. Now I just bite them anyway. They keep wanting to touch or pet me and I just want them to keep a respectful distance. Biting works well. I bit Celia four times in ten minutes. I wonder if I should stop. I don't much like the human race.

Dear Zealand,
There's no ethical reason why you should stop nipping and biting humans. After all they are a different species and we cats don't owe them anything. Least of all you. Your humans gave up on you and just chucked you out into a rescue centre, where you are now. While you were itching all over, no wonder you bit. It must have been hell if you needed to pull out your own fur. No wonder you don't like humans.
Humans have this unhealthy desire to cuddle. And to touch. They must do it. They don't seem to realise that cats like you, who were probably given the wrong education as kittens, are frightened of being touched, or hugged, or cuddled or picked up. You want to be in a household where you get regular meals, somewhere nice to sleep, and you can get on with your own life - perhaps doing a bit of hunting in the garden. You are a no cuddles cat.
Celia can take it. She spent a year going into rescue centres and has been bitten by a large number and variety of cats -- frightened tabbies, neurotic pedigrees, Persians that have suffered from rough grooming, beautiful white princess pussycats terrified of the nearby noise of dogs, terrified gingers cowering in their beds, and cats like you that just bit any passing hand. The worst consisted of a bite plus a real clawing when half her hand swelled up. She doesn't enjoy it but she does understand that cats in rescue shelters are highly traumatised.
However, there is a reason for rethinking your biting policy. The more you bite, the more difficult it will be to find a home. Kittens find homes easily. Loving cuddly adult cats usually only stay about a few weeks in rescue. Somebody who wants a cat comes into the pen and picks them up and cuddles them and they purr.
But when somebody comes into the pen tries to pick up a cat and gets bitten, they often have to wait for months and months. Is there any chance you could try to be nice? Or just try not to bite till they take you home. Think about it. There are a few humans who don't mind being bitten but not many.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Why does my human pull my hair every day?

Every day I have to run and hide behind the fridge. My human then hauls me out, dumps me on her lap, and starts pulling out my hair with a metal implement. Why does she do it? It hurts? Of course, I try to wriggle free but I can't. So I freeze with misery and just let her do it. Why do humans torture cats in this way?

You have to assert yourself, Jasmine. It's not enough to run and hide. Take back your power as a cat. Have pride in yourself. This is a claw and order situation. Claw her. Bite her. Hard.
Why does she do it? She thinks she is grooming you. Have you bothered to look how she grooms herself. She uses the same metal implement or something like it. She pours water on her head. She then puffs hot air on it. Some humans even use hot metal combs. Then they hiss sticky stuff. It's almost unbelievable, except for the fact that they haven't got hair in the right places. They can't use their teeth and tongue on themselves. Can't reach those pathetic few tufts of hair, you see. It's really very sad for this highly dysfunctional species.
But if they had any consideration, they would use tongue and teeth like we do when they groom us. They could easily lie on the floor and lick our fur. Use their teeth to tease out a few knots. Why don't they? It's just too much bother. The servant problem for us cats is really difficult. Humans are lazy creatures. I don't know that I have ever heard of a successful training method for this problem.
Which is why I recommend use of teeth and claw.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why don't humans have proper hair?

And another thing. Humans don't have proper hair. They are, to put it baldly, more or less bald. If you look at them they look a bit like Chinese hairless dogs. There's a top knot of kinds, a bit of hair between the back legs, some under the front legs or armpits, and then a tiny scattering on the chest with the males. Males have a bit more body hair but their top knot goes manky in old age and sometimes vanishes altogether. Human hair also fades with age and eventually goes white. It seems to me absolutely mad to wear your hair at the crease where the leg meets the body. Most of us cats have a less hair there rather than more.
We cats vary, of course. There are the sleek short hairs like me, gleaming black all over except for a very tiny two or three white hairs on the chest. Then there are the long haired beauties like Catherine in the photo. And the semi-beauties like elderly William my companion. He is semi-longhaired with shorter tougher hairs on his back. Finally there are cats like Dragonheart (see last blog's comment from her domain at who have no hair at all. She doesn't have ridiculous tufts of hair in her armpits. The result is far more beautiful than the bald but tufty humans.
The way feline hair varies is due to humans. They have selectively bred us for long, or no hair at all. They do this by restricting our right to choose partners over several generations. They bang up stud cats in a chalet to make them service females which are not chosen for them. Sounds good? Well it isn't because most of the stud cats sit around in their pens with nothing to do but occasional sex - no hunting, for instance, little human contact. It's a deprived life. They'd get much more sex, with partners they chose, if they were allowed out onto the tiles like the feral toms.
If humans can do this to cats, why on earth don't they selectively breed themselves for better hair? They would look far more attractive if they had short glossy fur all over their bodies like me, long hair like Catherine's or even be properly hairless all over like Dragonheart.
instead they have these pathetic tufts. They fuss endlessly about the tufts on their head. They brush, comb, fluff out, shave it all, cut it, dye it, condition it. But they're not willing breed selectively in order to develop nice glossy all over fur.
No sense at all.

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, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online