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

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Of humans, cats and exercise!

Dear George,
I’m totally puzzled by the amount of money, time and attention humans spend on such “non-sense” as exercise or work-out (if you wish)! I look at my human mommy and wonder about her sanity! She gets the latest fashionable sport gears, she’s getting up at 6 in the morning to run her 3k like a maniac, she’s obsessed with cardio, aerobic, yoga, etc. – you name it and she’ll be right on! I no longer know what to make of her! I really think I like my human daddy better! Not that he’s lazy but he doesn’t do all these crazy things! I think he’s a great cat at heart! George, my problem is: how do I convince my mommy that following the cats’ path to wellbeing is better and safer that the crazy things she does now!  How do I convince her that getting up late, being late for work, staying in bed with me and just doing the stretch I do (see the photo attached) is much more fun and much safer than running outside in cold weather! So much more joyful and peaceful!
Are most humans actually incarnated dogs? Definitely dogs will do these crazy things!

Puzzled, lazy but… happy
Stanley

Dear Stanley,
Humans would be so much happier if they imitated us cats. We know how to relax and we also know how to minimize effort (which isn't quite the same thing!). And we don't spend money on sports clothing. Indeed, we are purrfectly happy even though we don't spend money at all. Not a cent. Not a penny.
How do you convince a human to slow down? Impossible, I fear. They are a restless species unable to lead a sensible life. My latest book, 100 Ways to be More Like Your Cat, (alas published under the name of my human pet, Celia, and available here) tries to bet through to humans. But I don't think it working.
Yours gloomily
George
PS. Don't get me started on dogs and their craziness.
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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Dear George,
I am waiting to adopt a suitable human pet. This accomodation is far from ideal. I can see them, but I cannot smell them through the glass. However, I can hear their vocalisations, when they come close to look at me.
What kind of human is best to adopt? What should I be looking for in order to get good household staff?
Yours,
Sam.

Dear Sam,
Here are my thoughts about suitable human pets. I can't tell you what to do, but be careful. Consider these possibilities:
  • Oldies. These have usually had staff experience in looking after cats. Now that age has "neutered" them, they are likely to be in a quiet household with nothing much to do except care for you. They stay at home all day with the heating on, instead of leaving home for 8-10 hours a day at "work."
  • Young male/female couples. If you are energetic and confident these can be fun. However, there is the danger of pregnancy, babies and toddlers. This takes the focus off proper cat care.
  • Young male/male couples. These make great pets. Less danger of babies/toddlers messing up your home or pulling your tail.
  • Dog owners. Forget them. You are going to have to share your home with a slobbery subservient dog that looks up to humans....
  • Cat addicts. Avoid these like the plague. One cat per bedroom should be the rough rule. These addicts fill the house with cats, often don't have proper hygeine, can't afford vet fees....
Good luck... Worst come to the worst, once you get out of this pen and into a proper cat home, you can always rehome yourself.
Yours
George.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Rules for sharing the bed with humans....

Dear George,
 I have been wondering whether I have been spoiling my humans. I allow them to share the bed with me? Will this give them ideas above their station and make them think they are my equals?
If letting them sleep on my bed at night is a bad idea, what alternatives are there? The sofa? Or perhaps just the carpet in the living room?
Please advise,
Yours
Coco

Dear Coca,
This is a dilemma common to all cats. It's good to be generous to our humans and, to be realistic, they wouldn't fit into those odd little beds that they bought for us. So share the bed, but do so in the right way. 
Here are my rules for bed sharing with humans.
1. Get on to the bed first and choose the position which suits you. They can fit themselves round you. The middle of the bed is yours. The edges are theirs.
2. Insist that they sleep without moving. If you own a couple of humans, discourage any thought of human sex by walking up the bed, sitting firmly near their heads on the pillow, and staring at them with utter disdain.
3. Make sure they do not take up too much room. By gently but firmly leaning against them, you can imperceptibly move them to the edge of the bed without even waking them.
4. The bottom of the bed is yours on hot nights, when their bodies give out too much heat. Spread yourself over their toes, which will be withdrawn giving you more space.
5. The top of the bed is yours if you enjoy waking and petting your human. A strong purr and some careful grooming of their fur will ensure they give you enough space.
6. The space between two human bodies is yours during cold nights. Too bad if they want to cuddle: they should have thought of that before they got a cat.
Sleep well.
Yours
George

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Hot nights and how to enjoy them safely.

Dear George,
I’ve been in quite a lot of trouble lately. These long hot summer days are ideal for wandering the local neighbourhood. I’ve been raiding the birds’ nests, stalking moths in the middle of the night, and I even had a bit of a face-off with ‘Teddy’ who lives over the road. I love to get him riled up but, on this occasion, he bit me and pulled out some of my precious fur.
The staff (my humans) were in such a state of worry when I returned at dawn that morning. They kept me indoors for a week! I was so desperate to get outside that I climbed out of an upstairs window in protest.
Good news is that we’ve found a solution we are all happy with – they have cat-proofed the garden with fence top brackets that I cannot jump over. Now they are happy for me to come and go as I please, so I can stalk moths all night long!
Yours,
Darius.

Dear Darius,
This is a good solution for a worrying problem. I live surrounded by fields (killing fields for me) down a cart track, so I am free from most dangers except foxes. Even so, I am called in every night at about 10pm for a last meal, which means I miss lots of hunting in the long moonlit summer nights.
Other cats face the dangers of road traffic accidents, feral dogs, coyotes, railway engines and feral young humans. They are therefore made into indoor-only cats, which is fine if they are given enough to do. Ideas here. But without proper feline arrangements, it can be devastatingly boring!
Your Protectapet fencing is the ideal half-way house. Well done for having chosen relatively intelligent humans! These are rare!
Yours
George
PS. For those outside the UK who cannot buy this go to Icatcare for alternative ideas.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Of cats and official jobs in government

Dear George,
I was using Google to find out what happened to some high profile cats when I stumbled upon your blog. I must say….your blog is cool! Oh boy! So much information:  I keep reading and reading and reading! But, the last two letters kind of scared me! The one about cats and noises and the other one about cats and cars! You see, I live in the countryside, on a beautiful and rather large domain with lots of trees, flowers, bushes, greens and even some sheep, hens and other little creatures! I love my life but, somehow
I’ve always dreamed of a life in a big City! Well, this opportunity came in a form of employment for my human. She is supposed to take on an important job in a big city!
Now, what do I do? Follow her in the big city or stay back home in the countryside and see her only over the weekends? I must mention that I will have full staff attending to me either way (staying back home or joining her in the big city).
George, another question came to my mind! What happened to the 10 Downing Street cats – I’m thinking of Humphrey? Gladstone? Palmerston? Larry? Oh boy! Wasn’t Larry famous? What happened to them? Are they still in the big city (hopefully not abandoned) or did they retire with their humans? I mean ….if I join my human in the city is there any possibility for her to leave me behind when her mission ends? I don’t want to end up in a shelter!
That’s where I came from in the first place!
Anxiously ….yours
Bijou
Dear Bijou,
The biggest danger for cats anywhere is traffic. In cities there are many cars but in residential areas, these are often slower. And sometimes the little side roads, where cars drive fast late at night have more cat casualties. But there's danger on all roads. And if you are enjoying country life, being stuck in an apartment might be very frustrating. Can you rehome yourself to a reliable country dweller?The famous government cats survive because of their privileged lifestyle. Gladstone the Treasury cat known as a cold-blooded killer for his mousing prowess is confined to the buildings. Palmerston, the Foreign Office cat, and Larry, the Downing Street cat are based near the relatively safe St James Park, and all of them have security men and police who open and shut doors for them! You have conscientious staff, but not the sheer number of them available to these three privileged cats. Look at their photos below (from Wikipedia).
Actually, one other danger are the fights between Larry and Palmerston. I have written to 10 Downing St to suggest various peacemaking changes to the street - high cat ledges, multiple resources etc - but received no reply. They believe human security comes before feline security showing how wrong their priorities are.
Yours
George


PS. Read Larry's twitter feed here
Gladstone
Palmerston


Larry the Downing St cat


Monday, April 23, 2018

What to do? I am bored alone in the house.

Dear George,
I live alone in a small house and I am not allowed out at all. I don't mind that too much, as I am frightened of the great outdoors.
I try to keep interested by chasing flies on the windowsill, zooming around the house after using the litter tray, and watching birds the other side of the glass - though this is a bit frustrating. My humans give me toy mice but I get bored with them rather quickly. Why don't my humans import some real mice and birds for me to hunt. That is what I would really like to do with my spare time.
Yours
Schwartz.

Dear Schwartz,
For some reason humans always refuse to give us live prey. And they think that a stuffed mouse is enough. Well it isn't. This is what your humans need to do....
  • Throw away the food bowl and feed you from food dispensers. Here's an easy one to make - watch here. Lots more home-made ideas here.
    Me trying to get food out of the box
  • And here is one that takes wet food. Watch here
  • Or just scatter dry food on the kitchen floor.
  • Or hide dry food round the house.
  • Lazer light toys are fun but can be very frustrating for cats - so no more five minutes maximum and each chase should finish with a treat (like catching the mouse!).
  • Have a whole box of toys and put out different ones every three days.
  • Lots of cardboard boxes, stable cat trees, and tunnels.
  • Give you 30 pounces with a fishing rod toy daily. They can do this while they are watching TV. 30 pounces a day is more or less what a hunting cat would do. 
Yours George.
PS. Some of these food ideas might lead to competition and conflict in a household with more than one indoor only cat.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Hunting.... what do indoor-only cats do instead?

Dear George,
This is one of my best fun occupations - hunting mice, then playing with their dead bodies. Sort of like hunting them a second time.
I toss them about and make them move. Moving targets, not still ones, are what turn me on. I do this as often as I can.
But what about indoor-only cats? How do they manage? I feel deprived when I can't do this...
Yours
Toby

Dear Toby,
I know... I know. The sheer concentrated fun of play hunting.  This is what I live for too. And I don't need my human to help as I can just go out doors, find me a mouse and do it.
Alas, indoor-only cats need human help. Just leaving small toys (they must be small) around the house isn't enough. They are so boring.  Even changing them daily only helps a little. We need moving targets.
Good human servants should give their indoor cats 30 play pounces a day - that's the number cats would do if they were wild. (They wouldn't catch a mouse on each pounce.) Fishing rod toys are best as even the idlest humans can wave these around while they are watching TV. Laser lights are good too, but can be very very frustrating if they are used too often. A treat at the end of the game would help the frustration a bit - like finally catching the laser mouse! There are lots more ideas here.
I only wish humans would put in a bit more effort about this.
Yours
George

Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Year feline wishes - and news

Dear fellow cats,
I was going to write a New Year Message, full of good hope, goodwill, and optimism. Instead, I have both good and bad news.
The good news is that at last the world will be able to read my words of wisdom. A book is coming out in February with the title 100 Ways to be More Like your Cat. Feline Wisdom for Happy Humans. Here at last is my attempt to enlighten the human, not the feline, race. I think all cats would agree that humans would be happier if they imitated us.
The bad news is that my name is not on it. In order to purrsuade humans to buy it, the publisher said, it must have a human name. So once again, my secretary's name is there on the cover, not mine. 
Purrsonally I am extremely upset by this. It is not the first time she has indulged in outright plagiarism of my ideas. But for the good of the human race, I had to accept this. 
I shall make her pay.... I am thinking of ways of getting my revenge.
Yours with very mixed feelings,
George.
 

Saturday, September 02, 2017

I'm bored.... the plight of an indoor cat.

Dear George,
My daily routine goes like this - eat dry food breakfast out of bowl, human leaves for work, nap. More daytime sleep. Human arrives back, eat supper out of bowl. Then, when I am ready to play, my human just sits in front of the television doing nothing.
So I climb on her knee. Sit there napping and purring for a bit. Climb off, have late night snack out of bowl. Then its bed time and we both nap. My only activity, apart from sleep, eat and litter tray, is the occasional bit of human attention on the days where she stays home.
This is dull, dull, dull. What can I do about this lifestyle?
Yours
April.

Dear April,
Yours is a common problem among indoor only cats. Your human needs to give you a climbing frame. She could use shelves or the drawers of an unwanted chest of drawers, like this photo shows. Leaping from one to another will give you some exercise.
Stop using that bowl. Get her to throw the dry food round the house so you have to hunt for it. Or make a food dispenser out of a lavatory roll, a plastic bottle, small cardboard boxes, or an old tennis ball  - examples here here. Hunting for food will be more fun.
And why hasn't she bought a fishing rod toy, so she can play with you from a distance while watching TV. Indoor cats need games. Get that idle human working for you.
Yours
George.
PS. Please comment with some other ideas.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Vacations for humans but not for us. Making guilt work...

Dear George,

Big debate in my family! My humans plan to go on a two week vacation but they feel guilty for leaving me home! I must admit I enjoy very much their “guilt feelings” as they are extra nice with me now and shower me in presents and treats!

But….the big debate remains….what’s the best solution for me? In a cattery? In someone else’s home? A cat sitter who can visit twice a day?

I personally prefer to stay home, in my house and have a very nice “live-in” cat sitter! 
So, what do you say? What other human pets do? Or they never take a vacation? I’ve heard of some who never go together because of the cat (who is their master and, of course runs the house). Your ideas are most appreciated! I still have a month to find the best solution!
Cheers,

Didi

Dear Didi,
How right you are to make guilt work for you. It is one of the best human training technique and all it requires is a soulful look of unhappiness! Yes, vacations for humans can be stressful and unpleasant for cats and the best humans do not go away at all.... wish my human didn't.
No doubt in my mind. The live-in pet sitter, if reliable, is best. Humans that call in once a day are not good enough: twice a day is far better, though even this may not be enough care if one of us disappears outside through the cat flap and is not seen for 24 hours. Cat boarding establishments may be the safest option but from our point of view they are just imprisonment.
Month long human vacations are a dereliction of duty. They have no right to inflict this on us. Make your human stay at home, where it belongs. Or stroll down the street and see if you can find a better pet.
Yours
George.
 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Cookies for cats?

Dear George, 
You might wonder…..cookies for cats? You bet! Yummy, fresh, homemade as you can see in the photo attached! Made fresh by my Mommy using fresh eggs, sardines and sometimes tuna! Mmmm! Sooo yummy! And the best part? I can eat as many as I want as I don’t have to worry if I’m a size 2 or 4 or 6! I can be size 10 – what the heck! At my age? I’m 18 years young! I grew up with my Mommy, I mean we grew up together.
She is the most beautiful, lovely, fit mother any cat may wish for. But, between you and me, George? I think she sneaks in the kitchen at night and steals some of my cookies. I don’t mind; we share so much love that few cookies here and there it really doesn’t matter. One thing though! She plans to add some catnip to the next batch and I worry …is this going to affect her behaviour (in case she sneaks in the kitchen again)? 
What do you think George? Any suggestions?
Yours… a cookie lover
Angel

Dear Angel,
I am delighted to hear that you have acquired a good cook, devoted to producing fine feline food. I have the misfortune to employ only one household servant, who is incapable of cooking for me. She insisted that I eat take-away food out of envelopes or dried pellets from a large bag. Meanwhile she cooks herself delicious dinners of chicken, fish, and even sometimes beef. 
Theft among household staff is always a worry but there is little that we can do about it. When you adopt a human, you have to put up with their funny ways.  So I think your attitude is sensible.
Catnip in your food? A small amount should do no harm. Unlike humans who use and abuse their drugs of choice, such as alcohol and weed, we are always moderate in our appetites. When I sniff catnip, it is true that for a moment or two I may behave in a relaxed roll-about fashion: but humans become drunk or stoned for hours at a time. Catnip will make no difference to your human: it's not strong enough.
I think you have a real prize. If she steals a little, so what.... just enjoy the cookies that are left.
Yours enviously,
George

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Hello, 
My name is Teddy .. I am 3 years old and the most adorable long haired ginger male cat . I have a brother called Dolly he's very thin and unattractive (we are true brothers and came to live with our mum at the same time ) as soon as we arrived our human mother completely and utterly adored us .. Me probably more than dolly .. We were very spoiled well loved kittens .. Our human Mother's Day revolved around us... We had the best of everything. 
My problem is I cannot stand my human mother. She tries to pick me up and I push my paws into her to get her away . I stay out of the house as long as possible only popping in once a day for food , then I leave as quickly as I can. She always gets excited when she sees me. Because I am so very big fluffy and beautiful. I never want to spend time with her or in the house. Where as my skinny brother adores her and stays in the home all the time and even dribbles when he's on her lap! Yuck.. So my question is why do I hate her so much? Have you got any tips on how I can be like Dolly and love my human mother.
Yours perfectly 
Teddy-Bear

Dear Teddy,
Let's face it. Some of us just don't like our human pets. We have them because they are useful - for feeding us, providing warm beds (though they take up too much room), and a house for when it is bad weather. That's just how it is.
I wouldn't bother too much about your feelings. Remember, we are the superior species. Humans are lucky that we want to spend any time with them at all. But there are moments when it would be worth faking love - before feeding time and at night when it is cold and you want to sleep next to her for her warmth.
So try to fake a purr now and again. It could pay off. She will probably be so pathetically grateful for any attention, that more food will come your way.
And if she harasses you for a cuddle just give her a little nip.
Yours George
PS. Dolly can't help being a creep. It's just her genes. You've got the lone gene and she's got the snuggle gene.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Making Food into Fun - get your human servant to do DIY.

Dear George,
I am an indoor only cat and I am getting fat. The truth is that I am bored. There's not much to do in the house, as both my humans go out to work. So I eat. It passes the time. It makes me feel better. And when I have eaten, then I sleep a lot.
Every now and again my humans reduce the amount of food they give me. I hate that. It makes me feel hungry all day.  I miaow for food. I stand up on my hind legs for food. I wake them up in the early hours for food.
The diet never lasts long: they just give in.
None of us are very happy. I hate the diets. They worry about my weight. Any ideas?
Herbie

Dear Herbie,
There is a lot your humans should be doing for you. They shouldn't be putting food down in a bowl. They should make it into active fun. They should be hiding it around the house. Or putting it in cardboard boxes, or in little play balls where you have to move the ball around to get the food out.
I have helped my human develop a series of home-made food fun toys - you can see them here.And check out the IKEA cat tower below made by Waltham for their cats.  Indoor cats that live in groups would really love this one. We need to get our humans to do more DIY to give us more activities and make food into fun.
Yours
Copyright WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, Mars Petcare
George


PS. She never gave me credit for my work on "her"website.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Travelling with my family or staying at home?

Dear George,
My family planned a short ten day vacation to visit some relatives and last night they were debating if I should go with them or not! Well, I don’t know! They have a big car called a “van” and I’ll have my bed, litter box, water and food all in the car but still…it’s a 12 hour drive! Plus we’ll cross the border…which makes me very nervous! What if they quarantine me? What if I get lost? I heard their relatives have a huge house which I like to explore but what if I’ll be “placed” in just one room?
The alternative …if I’ll stay home …is to have one of their friends coming once a day to clean the litter box and feed me! Yes, I would be home alone and lonely but, at least I will have my little paradise (as you can see in the photo).
Ugh! George, there are so many pro and con! I really don’t know what to do; one part of me wants to go and one part of me wants to stay home! I know some cats are good on road trips but some are not! Do you think I’ll miss my humans? Or will they miss me more and that’s the reason they want to take me with them?
I have such mixed feelings!
Yours….at a fork
Leo 

Dear Leo,
The van with bed, litter box, water and food sounds good to me - assuming that you are traveling in a temperate climate. In really hot weather you would need air conditioning or fully open windows all the way. Dogs can die of heat stress and so can cats - though most people don't realise it. Staying just in one room while you are in a strange house is probably a good idea - many cats are very freaked out in a new home because of different smells, noises, people and unfamiliar territory.
But having somebody visit each day at home is equally good, if they are reliable. If your family is going to be away for a long time, it would be safest to make sure you are confined to the house, not allowed out of the cat flap. Because if something happened to you outside (road accidents, being chased by a dog etc) the daily visitor wouldn't know about it or might not be able to rescue you.
Celia puts me in a cattery each time she goes away for more than 3 days. I hate it there but it is the same cattery and the same pen each visit. So it is familiar territory and I know all the cattery workers. She feels I would be physically safer there if I have a health problem or the house burns down while she is away.
Purrsonally I think humans should stop taking holidays. It's selfish. Their duty is to stay with us....
George.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

No New Year feline resolutions.... purrfect as we are.

Dear George, 
Hope everybody had a safe and happy holidays season! My Christmas was very merry indeed with lots of treats and toys!
On New Year’s Eve I shared the turkey with my human family! That was a super bonus! I’m quite content and in a very relaxed mood (as you can see in the photo). So, I decided to have “No New Year’s resolutions” in 2016! Why would I? I have no desire to eat less or lose weight; I have no desire to exercise more or to change myself to a better cat!
I think I’m fine the way I am; I think I’m a cool, fine cat.  What do you think?
Do you have New Year’s Resolutions? Would I miss something by not having any?
May 2016 bring to every cat health, a warm home and a juicy mouse and to their human families health and joy!
Happy New Year to all!
CAT Victoria

Dear Victoria,
What a wise cat you are. And cool. And fine in every way. Don't let a few fragments of turkey change your decision. We felines should not buy into the human obsession with weight control. And why would we want to change ourselves in any way. We are purrfect as we are.... unlike some humans.
Humans need to make New Year resolutions. My secretary is one of these. Due to poor purrformance over Christmas by that plastic thing she called a "mouse", there was no internet access. I walked up and down the keyboard as much as I could, and it made no difference. I was cut off from the feline world of internet cats....
So my New Year Resolution is made on her behalf. Be more assiduous in your duties, woman. Put more effort into service to me, rather than ridiculous studying. You are failing in your duties.
Yours
George.
PS.  And don't think that small portions of goose make up for lack of service, woman. I cannot be bribed by just a few fragments. It would take a whole side of breast.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Cats, castles, and microchipping - is it safe for me?

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Dear George,
I’m Tomi von Ineu and a wanderer at heart! Like in any aristocratic family, when the parents don’t live together, the father’s family has rights to a kitten. And, since I was the only one willing to leave home ….there I went full speed towards new adventures, my new castle and my new domain Ineu. But, it seems that I misbehaved from the very beginning as I escaped through (or under) the gates of the castle. I heard my little human kitten, sorry, my little princess crying but I didn’t bother thinking that I’ll make up to her later. I got lost. Fortunately, some good human kittens found me and took me back to my castle. As a corrective action …I’m now locked in the tower! Plus, I heard them saying that I’ll be microchipped. God, hope they won’t electrocute me! I send a letter to the Elders in the village to ask what a microchip is. They said my humans will put a GPS in my head so they can track all my moves. George, is that true? Can they put some computer in my head and then watch me on their security cameras/monitors?
Yours
Tomi von Ineu

Dear Tomi
I am so impressed by your status.  Your own castle. And locked in a tower, just like Rappunzel in the fairy tale. She escaped and so will you, once you have that microchip. I promise you, microchips are safe. I have one. It's to help if we get lost. Ordinary microchips just stay in the body, and if someone finds us when we are lost, they can get a vet or a rescue charity to scan us, read the microchip, and find our owner.
There are GPS devices for cats but these have to be mounted on a collar. Here in the UK most catflap cats don't wear a collar, because of worries about safety (for a discussion of this, go here) GPS collars may present difficulties for some of us smaller cats, as they add a bit of weight - though there are very light ones used for tracking small rodents. GPS microchips are on the way (a patent has been filed) but I am not sure how far they are widely available. These would be a small implant not requiring a collar.
Most of us cats get a microchip when we are neutered and spayed, so it is no big deal. Don't worry Tomi, a microchip is a very good thing to have.
Yours reassuringly
George

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Of man..... and disappointments.

Dear George, 
Your post last week made me ponder on life in general and, in particular on our lives with humans. Why humans, especially the ones closest to us, hurt and disappoint us so much and all in the name of friendship or love? I agree with Fluffy that just “domesticating them” was not enough. We failed in our training as they never developed a higher conscience or integrity. They constantly sneak behind our back and do things making us look like fools. Don’t they see it? Pondering on human behaviour I’ll quote Carl Jung who said: “I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way”. All I can say is…..Jung was right! The stories from last week are a proof.
What should we do? Give up on them?
Very, very sad
Paco

Dear Paco,
I do understand how you feel, Paco. It hits me hard, when I hear of the humans that slaughter lions, do cruel medical experiments on cats, throw elderly cats out on the street to die rather than pay a vet's bill, or let their children tease or even torture cats. Yes, some humans are vile.
But we mustn't give up on them. We must keep the faith and try to change them, one human being at a time. For every vile dentist that slaughters a lion, there is a devoted person helping cats find good homes, or just beautiful human beings like Michelle and Dan who are kept well and happy by Fluffy.
When I despair, I think of the good humans in our lives. They balance out the bad ones. And every cat who lives in a human home can do their bit - by training their human to love and respect felines. They can be trained. Or, at least, most of them can be. Celia was always a natural cat lover but I helped train her partner, Ronnie, to love cats. From being indifferent he became a truly good cat pet.
So it can be done.
Remember. We cannot change them all, but we can change one.
So that is the human we change.
Sympathies
George 
PS. Michelle has asked me to mention a good source of sensible advice for your human pet's health. Look here

Saturday, February 14, 2015

To Toby ....with love!

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Dear George,
I'm quite disturbed by Toby's last week letter and the fact that these young kids, sorry kittens, might get the wrong message! For their sake I want to set the record straight and I need, of course, your help! What was most disturbing about the video Toby posted was the fact that these kids might get the idea that "they have to work" for food which you and I know it's a nonsense! So, I'm going to list some rules that hopefully all kittens will follow. And, you my dear friend are more then welcome to complete my list as you are the Master!
Rule # 1: Never ever sweat the small stuff! You do not need to jump over any bar to get food. It might be fun when you are young and full of energy but think about older cats that might not be able to jump over and over. Then...what? Are they going to starve? No! Here is all you need to do - see my photo # 1 (that's how I ask for food).
Rule # 2: Never show your human you liked the food! Even if you like the food and want more....don't show it. Instead, pretend that you did them a favour by eating some (make sure you leave a bit in your bowl) and then....ignore them, look away (my photo # 2). I can guarantee you they will worry about this; why you didn't finish your dinner? maybe you didn't like it? maybe you want something else? Guaranteed....they will open another can :-)
Rule # 3: Never ever follow or obey to any of their instructions! You can have infinite fun by fooling them giving them the impression that wow! they trained you! The minute they brag about ...act completely dumb! This will confuse them to no end and make them look stupid in their friends' eyes:-)
Rule # 4: Make sure YOU RUN the house! Make sure you got them wrapped around your little paws first.... before following these rules especially if you are a rescue. This way you avoid re-homing!
Now, I would let George to share his wisdom and give the young generation some solid advice!
Happy Valentine's Day to all cats (and their humble humans)
Lovely purrs
Fluffy

Dear Fluffy,
I cannot add to your letter. You have laid it out on the line. I have always said that every kitten should start as they mean to go on - training their humans into willing and eager obedience.
Obviously your method works. Your splendid Rubinesque figure shows that beyond doubt.
I bow to your superior sense.
Yours respectfully
George. 
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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.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cell phones and cool cats. Puss Puss speaks out.

Dear George,
Really, I am at my wit’s end. As you know, my human female has always been a challenging subject—fascinating for research, terrible in the service department. And it’s gotten worse! This past weekend, the time was 5:30—in the morning!—and there was no sign of a forthcoming meal. Naturally, I went to awaken the humans to demand service. I opened their bedroom door, jumped up on the bedside table, and poked, prodded, and meowed plaintively; but I got no response. I was motivated only by concern: I could have starved to death, a circumstance which I find extremely concerning.
While desperately trying to awaken the human female, I noticed her cell phone on the bedside table. I have examined this device before, and find that it changes pictures interestingly when prodded. Also, I have heard the female vocalizing on it in the past, apparently to other humans. In my moment of need, I reasoned that if humans communicate with phones, perhaps I could use this phone to remotely give other humans orders to come and feed me—which would be useful. So, I decided to use my human female’s cell phone to signal for help.
Unfortunately, the bald thumbist prejudice with which these devices are constructed renders them difficult to use by higher beings who lack apelike grip hooks on their limbs. In frustration, I poked at the phone, and I prodded it; and all I succeeded in arriving at was something called a “Facebook page,” where there happened to be displayed an annoying photograph of a cake. But I noticed something: if you don’t like the pictures of cakes or humans or what have you that are on these “pages,” there’s a little button you can poke which reports it as “inappropriate”—presumably to some central authority, which logically must signal some official humans to come and take away the human who put the offending picture there. I was angry, George, and I was hungry, and I have had years of slow and shoddy service from this human female. So I did it. I pushed the “report” button, and then sat back comfortably on the phone to wait for my miscreant humans to be taken away for
neglecting me.
Not only did no-one show up to take these humans away, but the stupid phone has an alarm in it, which makes it vibrate at a certain time. I was sitting upon the phone, awaiting justice, when this alarm went off. You can imagine, George, that my distress was immediate and complete. I later needed an extra meal and a nap in the closet to recover from the shock. And it turns out that all that I reported was the stupid picture of the stupid cake, a mistake which the human female later and with great embarrassment sorted out with the cake’s owner.
So here it is: I am at the end of my rope. I don’t think these humans can be turned into decent servants, years of effort notwithstanding; and reporting the deadbeats I live with to whatever authorities monitor the cake pages proved to be an exercise in futility. George, help me: is there some way I can bend the humans’ technology to my will, use it to re-home the lot of them (two humans, their human kitten, and their ridiculous little dogs), and keep the house for myself? It is, after all, my territory, and I have worked long and hard getting it to smell and look just so. Can I somehow phone in an order for another complete human staff to come to me, instead of me going to them, and have them provide me with meals and regular litter box changes, not to mention an unending supply of tuna-flavored Pounce? There is some Pounce left, in the kitchen, but the supply is down to two full bottles and I think that this is a dangerously low level. Maybe there is a central authority I can
ring up for more Pounce?
George, I rely upon your calm feline guidance to help me determine a course of action. I anxiously await your advice. Time is of the essence! I haven’t eaten in nearly an hour.

Neglectedly,
Puss-Puss
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Dear Puss-Puss,
I am in awe of you. You are the first cat I know who has successfully used Facebook. And what was wrong with labelling a human cake inappropriate? It surely was. Now a photo of a bowl full of cat food or even a mouse would have been appropriate. Don't give up. Purrsue this excursion into social networking further.
Although we naturally want to rehome unsatisfactory humans, it is usually easier for us cat flap cats to rehome ourselves. But not in a hurry. First explore the neighbourhood, visit various humans, and assess whether they would make better pets than your own. This will involve setting up new territory which is a massive bore.
Why not see if you can progress further. Get on to twitter and start tweeting your dilemma to the outside world. This might shame them into better behaviour. I see you have already purrsuaded your human to post about you on the Cats Behaving Badly Facebook page. Go further: set up your own Facebook page and start letting the world know about your awful humans.
And congratulations on a feline first. Keep poking that mobile phone.
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