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Showing posts with label human pets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label human pets. Show all posts

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Microchipping - what's the use and why can't we microchip our humans?

Dear George,
I'm Ricardo and Bubbles is my twin brother! Look at the photo attached! Bet you can't tell us apart! No one can; not even our humans!
And what's most exciting about us is that we do everything together -like really good brothers often do-  we cuddle together, we hug while sleeping, we eat together. We are inseparable. I know it's rare in the feline's world but that's what we do.
George, I'm writing to you because I have a question and nobody else to ask! I heard my humans talking about micro chipping us!
I don't understand why? We are indoor cats; what is the chance to "go missing"? None!
Then, why am I supposed to suffer an "open skin" surgery? Who will benefit from it? The vet? putting more money in his pocket?
My humans? Finally getting a easy way to tell us apart? Who? Cause I don't see any benefit to me or Bubbles.
Oh! Yes! I've heard about that "run away" cat from California who ended-up in a shelter in Canada!
But, let's be serious! Do we look like the type to gang-up with truck drivers and have an escapade?
I don't think so! Then.....why?
Yours .....quite confused
Ricardo

Dear Ricardo,
There are many ways a cat might get lost . You might jump or fall out of an open window: the cat carrier might break open as you are being taken into the vet surgery: you might just sneak out into the road as your humans open the door to leave for work: you could be cat-napped by a burglar: or just let roam by a negligent cat sitter or even a negligent cattery owner. I have heard of all these accidents. Without microchipping, your human pets might never be re-united with you. 
I have been thinking of how I could microchip my humans. It would be useful for when they desert me for a"holiday." They could be found and returned to me early.
Yours 
George,
Interesting that you look so alike. Most litters of kittens have more than one father, so often kittens don't look at all alike. We cats are sensible. We don't do jealous. We queue up for a chance to mate without any inter-male violence! So unlike humans.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Honeymoons are no fun for cats.


Dear George,
I’m not sure if there are official safety rules in place for cats’ transportation but, I definitely hope so since my Mom managed to cross a busy downtown street carrying me wrapped in a towel – Yes! against all odds - as you can see in the photo (I covered her face as I don’t want to get her in trouble – she’s still my Mom after all).
You see, this summer she got married and for this useless and meaningless event (at least in my life) she took off more than a week leaving me with my human grandparents. When she came back to take me home I was so mad at her that I peed in my carrier bag!
Last night I heard her saying she’ll go on a honeymoon! And now I don’t have a carrier bag anymore as she threw it away! But, George, firstly what is a honeymoon? I’ve heard of a full moon or new moon or, even a blue moon but never about a honey moon?
How far is this honey moon? Secondly, if she plans to take me with her this time is there any special equipment for a cat to travel to outer space? I hope she’ll not take me to her honey moon wrapped in a towel! What do you think George?
A bit worried
Stanley

Dear Stanley,
You are right to be worried about transport. It's not safe for a human to carry a cat like this. What if you just wriggled out of her arms and ran away.You might have got lost in the traffic, or even run over. She needs to get a secure cat carrier.
Honeymoons? Humans really are odd. Their mating habits are varied, ranging from pair bonding to one night stands (so called though this could only be literally achieved by medication!). As a species we do it better. Our female queens come on heat, go out in search of toms, mate furiously with several and have kittens a few weeks later usually from multiple fathers. That way we get the best chance of healthy kittens. If one of the toms isn't up to scratch (so to speak) and sires a weak kitten, there is always others in the litter that are strong.
Honeymoons? Part of the pair bonding ritual, once associated with the chance to have sex; nowadays just a nice holiday after an expensive ritual wedding. Don't go on the honeymoon. Heaving mattresses are no fun for cats that need a decent night's sleep.
Yours 
George.
PS. This blog is late due to the unforgivable absence of my secretary for most of the week.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Dear George,
A few weeks ago, you advised me on my career. I have taken your advice, and rather than becoming a feral cat, I have decided to adopt a human and take up the career of being a human companion.
But it's so difficult. My foster parent, Celia, has put my photo on Sunshine Cat Rescue in Oxfordshire, England, but they are swamped with cats needing homes. I can't compete with some of the other kittens, as I am still very nervous. 
I love my own foster human (video here) but I am still frightened of strange noises, unfamiliar humans and dogs. So I am looking to adopt a very special person, which may take time.
I have been spayed, vaccinated and microchipped?Is there anything else I can do to find the right human?
Yours
Abby the Silver Tabby.

Dear Abby, 
It's a fact that there are thousands of cats in the UK and millions worldwide seeking to adopt humans from good homes. All of us want the same thing- a human who will become a loving pet, who will stay with us all our lives, and will be dutiful, caring, and generally lovely. They can be young or old, rich or poor, fit or disabled - we don't care about any of that.
We just want love. And you, Abby, need a human pet who will be very patient. Which means you yourself, must stay patient. And try to learn how to be picked up (which I am told by Celia you don't like at all).
Hang on in there for the happy ending.
George.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

I'm learning to trust humans - but worried about a feline bully


Dear George,
I’m a rescue and, of course I live in a multiple cat house. I’m the only girl and very shy.
I’ve always been very shy and not very trustful, especially of humans. One of my “brothers” is a bully and I don’t know how to deal with that. My humans are very supportive of me but they work late hours. Lately I started going to them for an occasional rubbing and petting and they seemed to be very happy. Yesterday, after quite few hours of playing time with them I heard them saying “she’s coming out of her shell”. I got nervous as I don’t know what that means? Am I going to lose my coat? What shell are they talking about?
Nervously
Princess Penelope

Dear Princess Penelope,
Feline bullies are difficult to deal with. Do you have your own safe sleeping area, where he cannot intrude upon you? Doe he block your way to the litter tray? Or have your humans got several trays so that you can always get to one without anxiety? The same with food. You should not have to eat in close proximity to him. There should be several food and water locations. 
I am so glad that you are beginning to trust your humans. I hope that you are able to spend some time with them, without the bully being there to intimidate you by staring or blocking. You should train them to feed you cat treats when you go towards them, so that you are getting rewarded for overcoming your fear. Patient humans will be rewarded by your love.
Yours sympathetically
George
PS.  Celia has taken to taming a feral kitten instead of concentrating her time on serving me. I am fed up. You can see it here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dear George,
I need some advice. I am here with my brothers and sisters at Sunshine Cat Rescue.  I am looking for a home.
Every now and again a human, or sometimes two humans at a time, turn up and take a look at us kittens. How am I going to choose the best human?
What should I look for? They all look rather the same to me - very little fur except at the top of their heads, loud voices, and strange smells. The women seem to have scent coming from their bodies, while the men (at least the ones with bald chins) have scent coming from their faces.
What is even stranger is that none of them can purr. They can't even miaow properly. And they are awfully clumsy.
Which one should I choose? And how to I make it clear to a dumb animal that he or she is the chosen one?
Yours anxiously
Riley.

Dear Riley,
How wise of you to get advice before making your choice. Choosing the right human is probably the most important thing you will ever do in your life. And there are ways to make sure you get the best one.
Don't judge on looks. Judge them on temperament. Humans that are middle aged or even disabled can sometimes make the best pets. While young humans are fun; they are a big commitment. And they are more likely to be badly behaved.
The ideal human pet speaks quietly, moves slowly and handles cats gently. It doesn't matter if they are rich or poor, but it matters how loving they are. If they love cats, the more vocal ones may make noises like "Aahhh" or "Isn't he sweet."  Or they will just look longingly at you.
So how do you make your preference clear? Walk up to the human and rub against their legs, if you can. If you are in a cat pen then walk right up to the bars. Gaze upwards to the human. Humans, unlike cats, find a long gaze irresistible. A glance across a crowded room  often starts a human love affair.
So look long, purr loudly, and (if they come into your pen) climb on to them! That usually does it. Almost every human loves a kitten!
Yours
George.
PS. And start training them as soon as you get into your new home. A well trained human is a purrfect pet.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It takes two to tango - a cat and a human!

Dear George, 
I got so encouraged and inspired by your answer and, of course by the comments made by other feline friends in reference to my last letter that I felt it was my duty to up-date you on the latest development of training my humans.
Between your advice to train them without them “knowing” and CAT Victoria’s mentioning of “Dance me to the end of love” (which, by the way…it is a Leonard Cohen’s song) I came up with this brilliant idea…I’ll teach them “tango”!
Why tango? Because it’s passionate! It’s dramatic! It has the “wow”…the “joie de vivre”! I’ll teach my female human how to tango! She’ll love the passion. She’ll love the rose between my teeth (as you can see in the picture). I’ll make my male human jealous! I’ll make him forget about Bach! I’ll make him change the “tune”. I’ll make him love tango! Good plan? What do you think George?
Tango…..anyone?
Lenny

Dear Lenny,
 After a bad week, having lost my cool with Toby's boast about his whiskers, your letter came like an inspiration. What a caring cat you are. And what a truly wild idea - teaching your human to tango. And that photo! So romantic!
Do you in Canada by any chance have a TV programme called Strictly Dancing? We do and it shows human celebrities competing for a dancing trophy. If your idea catches on we could have cat celebrities teaching humans to dance? Here in the UK we could start with Larry the Downing St cat teaching David Cameron to dance human cheek to feline cheek. 
Over the pond it's probably too late to get Socks, the former White House cat, involved. He retired from politics altogether, though I always thought that President Clinton would have avoided a lot of trouble if he had spent more time with Socks and less with interns.
But there is one problem. Are humans capable of learning a pas de deux with cats? I have my gravest doubts about President Clinton or David Cameron. Nor do I think your Canadian mayor Rob Ford would manage too well: he'd probably fall over.
Keep us informed on our progress, Lenny. This could be the beginning of something big.
Yours
George



Friday, January 24, 2014

I was a purrfect size 11....


Dear George,
I’m in a bit of confusion and I need your help. Maybe you’ll be able to explain to me what happened. I was a perfect size 11 (North American size system) before holidays and now, look at me (photo attached) I barely fit in the box. Of course I share things with my human; he’s getting the shoes and I’m getting the box.
Or, he’s getting the French fries and I’m getting the steak. Not bad at all how we share things!  But, what could have happened to my human that he’s no longer a size 11?
Could his feet shrunk because of too much snow? Or maybe he’s just playing games with me? Maybe he brought in a smaller box just to fool me? The other day he made a comment that I indulged beyond ….whatever….this holiday season.
George how could I…. when I’m on a diet? I’m on a carnivore diet – no carbs.
Is steak or turkey fattening? What is he talking about?
George, why do you think I no longer fit in a size 11?
Vegas

Dear Vegas,
It's ridiculous, isn't it, that fat humans seem to be so judgemental about cat body shape. They don't stint themselves. They dine on roast turkey, leg of lamb, fried chicken, battered fish, steak tartare, creamy cheese sauces, ice cream ..... Yet they expect us to eat the same dried cat food or wet cat food in envelopes every single day. Sometimes they feed us the same flavour for years at a time. It's just not fair. 
Purrsonally I like a nice tight box. There's something very pleasurable about squeezing into the space and relaxing into sleep. I think that box fits you nicely. It shows off your beautiful striped back and nice white whiskers against the red cardboard.
I'm glad your human shares. So many humans don't. Mine keeps putting ideal boxes into the recycling area instead of leaving them around the house for me to jump into when I feel like it. Sometimes she decides she will leave me a box and she cuts a little entrance into it for me. I never use these. I just look at them with a sneer. Humans should not be indulged too much.
Yes, I like a carnivore diet too. But when I want to wind up my human I steal all kinds of food - buttered crumpets, crumpets without butter, bits of old bread, chicken skin(I get this out of the trash can by overbalancing it. I tried banana the other day - didn't like it.
Just ignore your human. If you are happy with your shape, who is he to criticize? Who's the boss? Not him.
Yours in sympathy
George.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I conquered the Key to ….the Board!

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

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


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dear George,
At the respectable age of 17, I should not be pushed into learning new tricks or languages and I hope you’ll agree with me. I think I deserve all the respect on earth as I deserve complete obedience from everyone. The reason I’m telling you this is that I need your help. My problems started after my human pets took off to have fun in Italy and left me with a couple of cat-sitters that don’t speak either Italian or English. I mean….they speak both languages but broken. Now, George you tell me “how can I convey my message to them”? Sign language? Meow
language? I tried it all with no success. They stare at me in amazement and all I’m trying to tell them is “I want to go out on the front lawn. I want to take a nap on my chair on the porch”! Damn it! They just don’t get it!
In a way I pity them since they try to make up for the language barrier with extra food and rubbing, brushing and petting.  Between them, they speak a strange language I never heard. But, the other day I caught them reading my “Cat Ten Commandments” that I hung on my bedroom door. They seemed rather amused and this was very up-setting.
I’m not sure if they’re just pretending to not understand my commands. They spend lots of time with me in the backyard (as you can see in the photos) but I’m confined to scratch the trees in the backyard and not the trees I like on the front lawn.
What do you think? What should I do besides punishing my human pets once they come back?
Yours and very up-set
Graf

Dear Graf,
As you say, you will be punishing your humans when they return. It's routine, really. Just giving them the silent treatment, the looks of lofty disdain, the back turned towards them, the refusal to notice them, and so forth. We all do it. But, as you say, is it enough for this particular situation?
Here you have two humans who cannot communicate. But they do give you extra food, and brushing and petting. If you think of them as silent slaves, rather than sentient servants, you may feel a kind of pity for them. Besides, if you do punish them too much you might not get the extra rations. So I would treat them with the kindness that should be shown by an aristocat to the inferior and dumb humans. Noblesse oblige, Graf.
If your pets are going to come back while the two dumb substitutes are still in the house, you can hurt them further by sucking up to the dumb ones. Ignore the returning humans. Wind round the other humans' legs, lie on their laps, lick them, purr loudly and totally ignore your usual pets. This clear message - that you prefer the new staff to the old servants -- will make subsequent punishment routines all the more hurtful.
It will also keep them on their toes. I have added the cat ten commandments below my signature. In my opinion, they don't go far enough.
Yours
George

1. Acknowledge that I am Cat - no other is above Me. Not even you.
2. Anyone who says I am "just a cat" is not worthy of your time and attention.
3. My affection is mine to dole out, it cannot be forced. Don't try.
4. When people visit, remember I have teeth and will defend myself if necessary. If I flee, do not reveal my choice hiding spots.
5. The fur I shed is my gift to you, so I am with you wherever you go. It is not my fault when you choose garments that do not match my fur color.
6. Did you know my sense of smell is 12 times better than yours? So as much as you hate a smelly litter box, it bothers me 12 times as much! Please help keep it clean, and we'll both be happier.
7. I have a mind of my own. Please do not be upset if I like the packaging better than the expensive toy you just bought me, or the bag your brought it home in. Just be grateful I like something.
8. Pay attention. I am not going to be able to tell you if I am not feeling well, and besides, I don't like showing weakness. I am a cat, the top of the food chain and social order. But if you notice a big change in my behavior, that may mean a trip to the vets is in order.
9. If you leave it on a counter, it's fair game. Ditto that small trash can. If you treasure that pen, or piece of paper or or knicknack - hide it away. After all, I keep my best toys hidden, you should, too. But the spot under the refrigerator is mine, find your own spot.
10. Please have me spayed or neutered. Remember how hard it was being a hormonal teenager? How'd you like to have to live through that several times a year? I don't want to, and believe me, I will let you know!

 

Friday, August 02, 2013

Dear George,
I have a lot of fans in the old peoples home where I live. They all say I am very beautiful . I am, of course, not a vain individual, but pride myself on my cuteness. I am thinking of becoming a model .
Can you advise if this is at all energetic ? Like the human Ancients, I like to take things easy .
Yours with dignified cuteness 
Jake xx

Dear Jake,
A career as a model is not too energetic, as long as you get the right photographer. Most human pets absolutely adore photographing us and much enjoyment can be had from making difficulties. Wait till they go off to find the camera and then scram. Wait till they focus, then turn your head away fast.
"The only cat that is easy to photograph," said my own human pet Celia, "is either fast asleep or dead." This remark struck me as being in very bad taste indeed. But then one doesn't expect good taste or dignity from a mere human.
So it is easy to be a model for your human. And enjoyable too. The pleasure of thwarting the inferior species is not to be underestimated.
However, there is a BIG problem with becoming a model to a professional photographer. You have to be skinny. Looking at your delightful form, I feel that there is a certain embonpoint, perhaps a quarter kilo, that would have to be lost.
So forget it, Jake. Cats never ever go in for slimming. Only sad humans do that.
Yours with disdain for the human condition
George
PS. Just bought Henri, le Chat Noir, the Existential Mewsings of an Angst-Filled Cat. Highly recommended

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Dear George,
Should I marry my human?  This is the issue of the day, now that Karl Lagerfeld the fashion designer has admitted that he wants to marry his cat, Choupette. He has fallen in love with her.
Nothing surprising about that, you might say, - the falling in love. We know that humans can become almost entirely emotionally focussed upon their cat or cats. Some refuse to go on holiday or even away for the day, because it will mean an absence from their loved one. 
But marriage? This isn't really a feline relationship. We do friendships but not marriage. I wonder if it would just make the human even more hopelessly dependent. What do you think?
Yours doubtfully
Beauty.

Dear Beauty,
Marriage between a cat and a human would not be a good idea. Sure, humans might want it and might enjoy it. But it will put an awful strain on the cat. We felines like our freedom - freedom to walk down the road for a second breakfast, freedom to sit by another person's fire while our humans are out, freedom not to come when called. Marriage would be the union of one person and one cat for life - no two timing.
Besides, it is unnatural.There, I have said it. We don't do that sort of thing. Those of us lucky enough to have kept our sexual powers, go out on to the roof tops to mate. Most litters of kittens have more than one father. We queue up for it! It makes perfect sense, in an evolutionary way, to have a diverse litter so that more kittens may survive. That's not the way of marriage.
You have also spotted the other major problem. Humans can become hopelessly dependent on us - Karl Lagerfeld is a good example of this. We need to help them be a little more adult about their love for us and a little less needy. Marriage won't help: it will harm these pathetic humans.
Yours sincerely
George.
PS. I wouldn't want to marry Karl Lagerfeld or even have a civil union with him. He's too old for me.

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, February 23, 2013

Re-homing as an option? Help! I want to stay.


Dear George,
I’m Ginger (as you can tell by my looks) and one sunny day I just showed up at my humans’ door. I knew there were two other cats in the house ….but my problem is that I don’t recall how did I know about them or even about these humans. I don’t recall any other human pets I had and I know for sure that I didn’t live on the streets. I find this “lapse of memory” quite strange and I wonder if I got in some “mind control” program. But, who would show an interest in me? I know I’m handsome but still! Could be the dogs?  Maybe the  humans? Or….the ET’s? I recall I was cat-sited by a gorgeous woman who thought she did not like cats. I mean, she is 100% positive she’s not a cat person….but I can tell you that she’s one nice, purring cat at heart! My problem George is that my current human pets are not happy with me because I’m teasing the older cats. All I want is to have some fun, I don’t mean any harm. But they are in big distress because they are loyal to the older cats? Since when seniority is a priority in the cats’ world? Why humans favor seniority? Why not go for the cutest (which I definitely am)? George, what should I do? Re-home myself and make them feel guilty for the rest of their life or risk to be re-homed by them and live with a broken heart for the rest of my life? Oh, man! I love them so much and I love their leather couches (as you can see in the photo). George, I desperately need your advice! Maybe you can share some tricks I can use and stay with these human patents, I mean pets? PLEASE!
Ginger

Dear Ginger,
At least you are off the street in a nice warm place. Whatever happens next is not going to be nearly as bad as trying to survive outside in the cold without human help. Any human who has taken you in will be responsible enough to rehome you somehow, even if it does mean a stay in a cat rescue pen for a bit.
Humans have an old trades union rule which is First In, First Out. For once, these human pets have the right idea. The interests of older resident cats must come first. When you get older, yourself, and have lived in a home for years, you may appreciate it more. Nothing is more irritating to us middle aged or elderly cats than a manic adolescent feline chasing us and generally harassing us.
I am not sure if it is any use telling you to control yourself, to stop the chasing, to leave the other cats alone. You may not be able to do this. Have they made arrangements to help the other cats avoid you? Time sharing space perhaps. Putting you in the spare bedroom at night so the older cats have time out from you? Adding cardboard boxes for them to retreat to? Making sure there is one litter tray per cat (and one over if necessary), in different locations. Installing two seperate feeding locations so you can't ambush the oldies. Has enough time gone by - ie about 3 months - to make sure it won't come right? Do they give you enough games with fishing rod toys to tire you out?
If all this is done and they rehome you, it won't break your heart. I tell you now cats break their hearts over humans rarely if at all. Humans just aren't worth it. You are so gorgeous you will find another home, hopefully one which you can have all to yourself. As long as the food is good and the house is warm, one human is much like another when it comes down to it.
George.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

I'm a Bristol kitten - elite, special and very important indeed

Dear George,
I'm one of a group of elite kittens.... very special indeed. I've been enrolled in the Bristol kitten study. This means that experts will be checking up on my progress as I grow older. They will be able to tell if a good kitten education helps protect me in later life from stress and perhaps even disease. 
They need about 600 more kittens from the UK by the end of the year, so if anybody reading this has a new kitten get in touch with them. They'd love to hear from you.
We Bristol kittens are proud to be helping with important human research.
Love Tootles.

Dear Tootles,
Congratulations. Anything which helps Homo sapiens understand cats better is to be welcomed. I recommend that all UK kittens sign up here now. Humans need all the help we can give them, poor old things.
The human species is odd. Mine spends a lot of time on "research" at her computer when she is actually looking up Facebook and generally wasting her time when she could be tickling my tummy.  In short bursts - I only like about 30 seconds then I swipe her.
So don't let this human research fool you into thinking that humans are more intelligent than cats. We have innate and instinctive knowledge which far outweighs human wit. 
We know humans are stupid because they demonstrate it daily.
There you are sitting near the open cat flap. You make a polite meow to your human. There is no response. You make another one. "Why can't you use the cat flap?" they say.
No way is it worth dignifying that with a response. Why don't I use the cat flap? Because, you pathetic human, I don't choose to. You make a third meow. Finally the human servant does its duty and opens the door to you.
Don't spoil your human, Tootles. Train him or her in obedience from the very beginning. A good human pet should have the following duties - open the door on command, feed on command, get out of bed on command, leave the armchair for you on command, move over in the bed to give you more space on command..... and so forth.
Start as you mean to go on.
Yours
George

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Human kittens and how to react to them.....

Dear George,

I’m completely confused! This morning I woke-up in a little quirky noise or maybe it was giggling? I don’t know! All I know is that I woke up suddenly and what did I see? This little human kitten staring at me and trying to reach me (as you can see in the picture)! Hm! Who WAS he in the first place? And how did he get into my house?
Groggy and confused I looked around to make sure that I was still in my house and yes, my humans were around. So, who could he be and how did he get into my house? Definitely he wasn’t a rescue – too well dressed and fed! I heard my humans saying something about a plane! George, I don’t know what a plane is or if it can bring babies, but I was under the impression that it was the stork that brings the babies! But, we live in the 21st Century and maybe the planes (whatever they are) are bringing babies now.
Anyway, my dilemma is: should I adopt the human kitten and make him one of my own or just ignore him? I have to admit that I like him – he’s soft and smells good. I rubbed against him and I rubbed his belly – he was giggling and giving me big kisses. George, what do I do?
Zoe 

Dear Zoe,
Don't panic!  You just have to make allowances for their clumsiness  and the way they lag behind feline kittens. Our kittens grow up in about 8-12 weeks. They can manage their own toilets, wash themselves and feed themselves well within that period. Human kittens remain helpless much longer. They are - I have to say it - very slow compared with our feline kittens.
That doesn't mean they can't be trained. I can see from the photo that you have made a good start in teaching him that he must ask permission before he touches you. Your paw is ready for a quick pain-free swat and your ears are back. Yes, the sheer size of these slow developers is worrying as is their pathetic clumsiness and lack of gracefulness compared with a true kitten. But it is not their fault.
Just put the normal training programme into being. Calm gentle behaviour is rewarded by rubbing and closeness. Excited or rough behaviour earns either a tap from the paw or (better still) you remove yourself altogether. Getting high up, where the human kitten cannot reach you, will ensure some peace and quiet during the day.
And yes they do smell good!
Yours
George

 


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Humans judge by looks, ability and colour: we cats don't

Dear George,
Have you noticed how odd humans are. I am three legged. I lost my right hand back leg in a road traffic accident. It was hell at the time and to begin with I found it difficult to cope. Now I can manage perfectly well. My other three legs enable me to do most of what I want - leaping on and off the bed and chairs, hunting mice, keeping warm by the Aga, rubbing up against my human, Jilly.
Yet humans have this odd attitude to me. "Poor little thing," I heard your human say. "She looks so odd without one leg. Does she manage all right?" All through this blather was a note of pity. Why are humans so obsessed with what we look like? Why pity?
Yours disgruntedly
Figgi

Dear Figgi,
Humans are visual animals. They can't hear very well and they find smelling almost impossible. The only smells that get through to them are urine, poo and sweat. Those fine smells that distinguish one cat from another, or a cat on heat from a neutered cat, or even the smell of an anxious cat.... they can't get it.
The result is that they rely too much on their eyes. Add to that they have an odd culture. (Yes, I call it culture though some cats argue that humans can't think and therefore don't have culture at all.)  They prize youth over age, the perfect body over the imperfect body. This means they discriminate among themselves against the elderly, the ugly, amputees, or those of a different colour.
They go to huge lengths to hide imperfections with injections of a poisonous substance in their faces, they have noses cut and reshaped, clothes that squeeze their shape, prostheses to hide amputated limbs etc. Among humans imperfect or disabled specimens are judged and found wanting.  They even try to do the same to us by inventing cat shows.
Cat wisdom show how foolish they are. Figgi, you are fine in my eyes. Just another cat. And I still love my pet human despite her now imperfect shape and wrinkles. She smells right which is what matters. I am sure you love Jilly, even if she is no longer a breeding human. They all look fine to us.
We really are the superior species.
George.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Make your human feed you - a new method


Hello George,
It’s me again, Rakishi.
I thought I would share with you a ploy I’ve been developing which gets my humans to give me extra food without any effort at all on my part. The idea may not be entirely original, but I’ve been refining it with some remarkably good results. It utilises the Making Guilt Work principle which you explained so well to Natasha.
In between what they call my “mealtimes” ( I ask you, would you catch a mouse or vole only at specific times each day?), I often get a bit peckish, so I go into the kitchen and sit silently by my empty bowl, facing the doorway, putting on a sad expression. This is a room they go in and out of quite often, so I usually don’t have to wait too long until one of them comes in. I get almost immediate results. They feel so sorry for me that out comes something, usually tasty enough.
They have tried their own trick of giving me something they think I’m not fond of, with the female muttering about my not getting fat. But I eat it any way, as it’s important to keep the pressure up. And, if I think they’re slipping, instead of sitting by my bowl, I lie down next to it. This is nice and restful, and I find I’m tempted to doze off – but I have to keep alert so as not to spoil the effect. This is a real winner. The female in particular gets quite bothered, and gives me extra tuna, which I love. (It’s always served with lots of tuna-flavoured water which is really yummy; she thinks it’s good for me to drink more liquid and I’m happy to oblige.)
So you see rather than expending energy hanging about them and nagging for food, I have a nice rest while at the same time getting them to do what I want. Lord, what fools these mortals be, as a great cat poet once wrote.
Hope you are keeping well and the hunting is good. Personally, I don’t bother much. I don’t really feel the need.
Rakishi

Dear Rakishi,
Thank you for another helpful training tip. I shall mention this in my forthcoming monumental and much researched work,
A Cat's Guide to Humans. This particular method of training humans to give food is, as you say, marvellously effortless. Feline indolence, I once read in a science paper, has to be taken into consideration when studying cats. Many hours of observation or of videoing merely result in a human watching or recording a cat sleeping.
You are quite right in thinking that humans fail to feed us properly. We cats like a mouse-sized portion about 10 to 15 times in 24 hours, depending on the size of the notional mouse. What we often get is a large meal, equivalent to about six mice, twice a day. Or, if we are lucky, food left down all the time - easy to eat but somehow not very exciting.
Celia decided to feed my friend Tilly, the ugliest cat in the shelter, ad lib. She put down a huge bowl of food, equivalent to at least a day's grub, and Tilly ate it all immediatly. So she put down a similar amount, which Tilly had finished about three hours later. Celia, now alarmed, put down another similar amount - and that too was eaten up. All in all, Tilly ate three days food in approximately eight hours. The experiment ceased and Celia went back to feeding Tilly twice a day with proper portion control.
It is always satisfying when cats outwit human plans in this way.
Thank you for your valuable contribution to knowledge of the cat-human relationship. Good hunting.
George



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Friday, April 06, 2012

It is better to arrive than to travel.... crossing borders


Dear George,
My name is Bowie and even if I came before Easter ….I’m not a bunny, I’m a stray cat from the streets of Mexico. A kind family vacationing in the Mexico found me looking for food near a resort. They took me in and alerted all their friends trying desperately to find me a house before their return to their country. I understood they have a rescued cat home as well. One of their friends who lives in Mexico adopted me already and took me to some man (they call him a vet) who checked my whole body like I was crossing the border!!! And then he gave me a shot. Nothing was painful but I was scared and didn’t understand why all this was necessary. I didn’t ask for a visa….I just asked for food!

Anyway, I’m now a happy camper, with plenty of food and attention.

But, I worry because I don’t know if this nice lady will keep me for good (I wish she would as I like her a lot) or I’ll be heading soon to another country to live with the family who found me and their other rescue? What do you think? How can I find out?

Happy Easter to all!

Bowie


Dear Bowie,

Yes, we cats usually aren't too keen on travel. We are natural home bodies. We like nice safe core territory in a human house, and, if we can get it, a hunting range outside in the neighbourhood's gardens. So it is natural that you must feel rather worried.

Will you be settled for life? I hope so. There are lots of cats here in the UK who discover that their home is being broken up -- divorce, moving to rented accomodation that won't allow cats, getting lost, or just sheer bad look. Then they need homes all over again.

Some cats, however, find their own homes. Magic, a Maine coon, went missing in Kingston on Thames and so his human pets knocked on the door of every house in their street. They found Magic on the sofa on one of the houses. He had been regularly eating and sleeping there in the daytime for several weeks. And, three other humans in the street, admitted that he popped in regularly to them for a snack.

So it is not all one wway, Bowie. Humans like to think they are in charge, but more often they discover they are not. You may find that you can re-home yourself if you don't like the accomodation offered by your current pet. Or, just add another human home or two for extra petting and food when yours is absent.

A beautiful white cat like you will never be short of humans to adopt. If you like the one you are currently with, just make sure you give her plenty of attention. Humans are suckers for a cat that purrs, nuzzles and rubs up against them. Make yourself indispensable to her happiness. Charm her. Schmooze her.

Love

George.




Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pain - how do you tell if your human is in pain?


Dear George,
I am looking after an elderly human who has some health problems. I am finding it difficult to know when she is in pain. Obviously when we cats are in pain, we hiss, scratch or bite if somebody tries to pick us up. She doesn't do any of this when I crawl up the bed and sleep close to her. However she does make odd noises - sort of intakes of breath, wimpers and yowling noises. Is this pain?
Yours worried
Annie

Dear Annie,
Humans show pain in a different way to us. Apart from scratching or biting when being picked up, we stay silent. We don't make crying noises when in pain. That's because Nature has designed us to stay quiet in case a predator hears us and kills us. Look at it this way, a cat who cried loudly after a car accident would pretty soon be eaten by a fox here in the UK.
We are much much more stoic than humans, who really are pretty wimpish - another sign of their innate inferiority. We usually just go very very still - stay in our beds quietly resting, may not eat, and possibly have to pee outside the litter tray if it is too far away or too difficult to get into.
Humans are noisy and show their pain in their faces. You will see her face sort of twist up. She may have an intake of breath, as you have noticed. Some humans even shout, swear, yelp or cry. Poor creatures. Just not brave enough in the face of adversity.
There's not much you can do for her anyway, Annie. Go carefully on the bed, so that she isn't tempted to push you off. Purr loudly. That really helps a human who is lying unable to sleep. Purring acts as a kind of therapy for them. We have a responsibility to our pets so try to be helpful, even if you despise her lack of courage.
Love George

Friday, February 11, 2011

What do I look for in a human to adopt? Should I get a pedigree?

Dear George,
I am between homes at the moment. I have a home where they feed me but they have added a dog and I am not happy about that. I have been patrolling the streets looking for better accomodation. Obviously, I have to make sure there are no resident dogs and, in my case, I don't want another resident cat either. I am a singleton by nature. Those two requirements I can manage. But how should I choose the human? Do I just go for the first one that feeds me? Should I think of adopting a pedigree?
Love Whiskerette.

Dear Whiskerette,
When choosing a human, go for function not form. Humans come in all shapes and sizes but it is a mistake to choose them for looks. What you need is a human that functions well - one that is generous with the cat food, has time for you when you want it, and in the UK good central heating is an absolute must. I suggest you make a home check visit before adopting one.
I don't recommend a pedigree. In theory cats and pedigree humans have hunting in common. Posh humans often have the view that "It's a nice day, let's go out and slaughter some wildlife." Not unlike us. But unfortunately some of them shoot cats or employ gamekeepers who do. Also you've got to think of the inherited disorders among pedigree humans, due to inbreeding (see Debretts studbook). Some people believe that the shooting stick was invented because so many toffs have hip dysplasia.
I think you will be better off with a humbler mongrel (or moggy) human. They have kinder hearts.
May I put in a word for elderly humans. They look rather manky but they have the advantage of not going out to work any more. They will be at home, when you want them. They will keep their heating on (at least in one room) all day during bad weather. They sleep a lot - which means you have a living bed warmer more often available.
Most of them have a routine not unlike ours - eat, nap, eat, nap on sofa or bed, eat, nap in front of TV, eat, nap with more TV, and then a long nightime nap. Most of them don't over indulge in human-catnip, ie alcohol, so they don't get rowdy, silly and noisy. Many of them no longer have children or partners at home, so they can concentrate on indulging and enjoying your company.
True, some oldies don't have much money but, in my experience, many of them will buy good quality cat food and if necessary go without treats for themselves. Of course they may not be able to afford vets fees but that is an advantage. We hate vets.
Just be careful about winding round their legs - you don't want them to fall over.

Love George.

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