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

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
.

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.

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!

 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Difficulties with household staff - litter tray training

Dear George,
You know my humans, Merrie and Robin so I am writing to you for advice.  With the very cold winter they provided me with an indoor lavatory in the garage and at night moved it into the kitchen as I sleep in the breakfast room. They won't allow me on their bed any more as they say I fidget and wake them up.  When it got warmer and I was able to come and go more easily and visit my house next door without being carried because it was cold, snowy or wet, they had the cheek to remove the tray at night from the kitchen.  They thought as I was peeing in the garden again, Robin didn't want the bother of carting the tray from the garage into the kitchen.  Naturally I piddle in one corner when I wake up in the night or morning.  Why should I go out through the cat flap in the early morning when I am nearly nineteen years?  The staff have no consideration. They are putting disinfectant down  but I am continuing. 
Yours in disgust at human failings,
Lily.

Dear Lily,
We all have problems with staff. Incompetence and lack of intelligence are common human failings. There are so many human idiocies here, that I hardly know where to start.
First, the litter tray.You are an elderly cat and like other oldies (human as well as feline) you need to be able to get to the loo in time.  You should not have to struggle out in the frost in winter and the rain in the so-called British summer. So, you need a loo indoors in the warm - not too close to the food bowl. Do they have a utility room or  downstairs human lavatory that would be suitable?
Secondly... the disinfectant. Your staff are obviously totally untrained in proper cleaning. I love the smell of disinfectant and I expect you do too. Stupid humans who are smell blind think disinfectant smells of lemon or some other scent. We know that it smells of cat pee. So naturally, we pee on top of it. "Cleaning" cat pee with disinfectant is like putting up a notice "Pee here" for us cats. Tell your human to contact Celia's website on how to clean up.
In general, Lily, I wonder if your humans need more training. Human intelligence is severely limited and household staff really can't cope unless they are properly trained. Put more effort into this. 
Yours George
PS. Reclaim your bed. If you fidget, they can always sleep downstairs on the sofa or in the spare room. What is the world coming to when humans think they can take over our beds.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Is she training me or am I training her?

Dear George,
My human has started behaving very strangely. She has purrchased a stick with a large red bauble at the end of it. When with a natural curiosity I walk towards it, she says "beep beep" and gives me dried cat food. This happens twice a day and I am naturally quite happy about this extraordinary way of getting extra food.
But.... an awful thought struck me. Is she training me? I noticed a rather smug look on her face as I succeeded in winning some cat food by putting my face near the bauble. While I am quite happy to play this rather boring game, I am not at all happy to think that I am being trained.
I am not a dog. Cats are never trained. We train humans.
Yours anxiously
Toby.

Dear Toby,
Your dilemma is easily solved. She is not training you; you are training her. You have found this relatively easy way of getting more food, so JDI, Just Do It. Humans have mysterious behaviour patterns, and this red bauble on a stick is just part of their unbelievably ridiculous way of life. Don't despise it. Use it to your advantage.
This odd bit of human activity may be connected with something called clicker training. In your case there is no clicker but instead the word "Beep beep." We cats respond relatively well to clicker or beep activity because it is a transaction in which we win. We get the food: the human does not. The folly of the human is their thinking we are being trained by them.
Just to keep her on her toes, be intermittent in your compliance with this game. Occasionally, when you see the bauble walk out of the room. Or find something to scratch. Or have a good wash. Ignore it altogether. Intermittent response makes the human try harder and may well result in a bigger food reward. 
Oh yes, and sometimes look as if you are going to do it and then do nothing. It's a good way to tease your human.
Yours
George.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Punish with active ignoring and withering looks.

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

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

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Horror story that turned into a happy one ☺

Dear George,
I’ll be very short as 
I’m exhausted after putting up with my human’s craziness lately. Last week I was quite devastated as I learned that my human decided to move in with another human. Phew! Not only that moving is, generally speaking, very stressful but, I found out that “this special someone ” has three rescued cats! That means….me….moving out from my house and into a new one ….where I will live with three other cats? Impossible! Do you think my human is crazy? Do humans suffer from some kind of eclipse of the mind? Absolutely yes! I can’t tell you how many horror stories I was envisioning. I can’t stress enough how many bad dreams I had and how many sleepless nights!
Finally last week I got to my new destination. The house seems to be very cozy and “the significant, special other half” seems to be a very kind and nice human, well trained in attending to our needs. I was welcomed into my new space by two hissing older cats (both males) and a cute, little girl, called Princess. Princess immediately sided with me and we are inseparable now. We share the sleeping space, the grass, the food, the TV (as you can see in one of the photos attached). I’m happy now that I have Princess but, George, you must admit that not always is a happy ending to such a move.
I’d like you to explain and make me understand why people can’t live alone, why can’t they be just happy working to serve us better, be our obeying slaves?
Still wanting to punish my human!
Vegas 

Dear Vegas,
Your desire to punish your human is absolutely natural and understandable.  We really ought to get our humans neutered and spayed to prevent this sort of upheaval. They are slave to their hormones. Worse still, instead of going out for a night on the tiles and getting it out of their system for several weeks like we do, they take it all so seriously. They pair bond. Not usually for life but often for months and years at a time.
Most of us can live with the truly promiscuous human. They stay out late at night, sometimes only coming home in the morning. Some of them bring back a date, but we can often sabotage that by the simple method of jumping on parts of their anatomy or even interfering with what they are doing. Sitting on the pillow with a fascinated sneer on one's face often puts the males off their business altogether. Gentle patting of bare flesh also has an off-putting effect if you pat the right bit. The date often does not come back for more!
You have fallen victim to the pair bonding aspect of human relationships. And luckily for you it has worked out fine. You have a new friend and you have probably improved her life by giving her emotional support against the older cats. 
But it's a question of luck. Sometimes these horrific moves do not work out well. These humans are grossly irresponsible beings. In an ideal household, the staff have no right to relationships. A proper servant does not waver in putting the cat first.
Yours with sympathy
George

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year

Dear George,

My name is Kiki and I’m an 11 years old aristocratic and cute girl. I’m generally speaking in good spirit and everybody spoils me as no one can resist my charms.

My family took a short vacation before Holidays (of course they came back to spend Christmas with me) and …..for the first time ever they left me with a cat-sitter at her place. Well, this cat-sitter (she is a family friend after all) got to my nerves and I didn’t really need any emotional up-set! Again…..generally speaking… I’m well balanced and calm as you can see in the photo attached but this woman was way too much for me!

Here is a short list of complains against this creature: she won’t let me sleep in her bed!  Yes, that’s true but I will never sleep on the floor or carpet so I had to sleep on a sofa in the living room. In the morning I will stretch waiting for her to rub my belly! What was she doing? She would say “good morning Kiki – such a glorious morning.” Who cares about the bloody morning if I won’t get my belly rubbed? Then ….she would have her coffee before she’ll serve me breakfast. Where on Earth did she learn her manners?

I think she’s nuts but can’t tell my family since they are friends. However, I made it my New Year’s Resolution to teach this “bad manners” cat-sitter proper manners!

So, dear George I need some good advice! What should I do? It seems that she enjoys being ignored so I won’t give her satisfaction but I don’t feel getting too close to her either. Should I shred her skin (maybe just a bit)? Should I bite her? How can I take revenge but teach her something?

Yours truly and lovely

Kiki


Dear Kiki,
Call her a cat sitter? More like Mrs Danvers in Rebecca (the movie) in my opinion. Of course, it is partly the fault of your pets.  What gives them the idea that they can leave you anyway? And why did they fail to leave proper instructions. A good human pet leaves the equivalent of a small booklet, taking the live in carer through every moment of the day. These are the topics that should be covered in depth:
  • Food. Exactly when, how much, and any additions like sprinkles, treats, etc. It does no harm for the human slightly to expand the amount of food offered. As a gesture to make up for their irresponsibility in leaving you in the first place.
  • Strict routine. All cats are fed first in the morning. Most human pets know this. It is essential not just because we like it, but because it helps keep the human in their proper place low down the pecking order. Cats eat first.
  • Beds. Of course, it is not acceptable that you have to sleep on the sofa. She should sleep on the sofa. After all, it's your bed, not hers.
  • Doors. Cats go through doors first.If you have a cat flap, the carer should nevertheless let you in and out by hand. It is part of proper human domestic duties.
These difficulties occur when untrained domestic servants are put in charge. A sharp nip or two might be in order but your aim is not to discipline or train this human. She is beneath your notice. What you do need to do, is to show your extreme displeasure and distress when your humans come home. 
Refuse to talk to them. Sit with your back to them. Ignore them. Give them the silent treatment for several days. They deserve it. If any visitors arrive, be all over them just to make the contrast more vivid.
You must feel a sense of having been let down badly. You were.
Better luck in the New Year.
George.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Am I psychologically damaged?

Hello George,
My name is Jake, Shakey Jake and a girl – don’t ask; that’s another story. My slave keeps suggesting I’m ‘damaged’. Me? You should see some of the things she gets up to! Anyway I am concerned she may be right but to understand why I think this you need to understand where I have come from. This is me at about four weeks old. ‘Where is your mother?’ I hear you ask; well I’d like to know that too! I was found in a metal fright container by a man; my slave calls him ‘dad’. I went to the vets who believed I was about 2 days old. I had fleas and a flea allergy to boot, this left me with no fur. 
This is me as a kitten
When the aforementioned ‘dad’ opened the box slave asked ‘what the hell is that?’ but I was asking myself the very same questions. I forgave her this indiscretion when she woke up every two hours to feed and help me do my business. She treated my fleas and when I went back to the vets 2 days later he thought I was doing well – naturally. The vet then made the suggestion they sneak me in with dad’s dog that had just had puppies. Sneak me in? Like that would work, but alas it did!
When I was 5 weeks me and the slave moved. I like to think this was all for me but apparently it was planned. So I left the dog and the brute, Rufus (big feral ginger tom – you know the type), it was just me and the slave. She’s a reasonably good slave. I have a good vocal range with an impressive volume which is hard to ignore and have mastered the art of knocking things off surfaces to get her attention.  I have a pillow and she knows it, if she tries to sleep on it I sleep on her, she soon moves! 
Now this brings me back to my concern. I have a habit or more of a compulsion. I still like to suckle, suckle my slave to be precise. She wears a fab purple fleece dressing at times which is great but failing that I will suckle her nose, collar bone, I don’t even mind a toe. Everyone thought I would grow out of this but I’m three now and still love it – I just can’t help it!
Jake x

Dear Jake,
I have to admit that needing to suckle your human's dressing gown or body parts can be classified as a little eccentric. But really it's quite natural. It's a kitten thing. Your human brought you up, fed you, cleaned you, and generally acted as your mother. So she is your mother. 
But.... your real mother would have pushed you away when she had decided it was time to wean you. You would have learned that further sucking would result in a fed up mum. Humans can't teach us all the stuff we need to know.  Your slave should start gently pushing you away each time you do it and turning her back on you or leaving the room immediately afterwards, withdrawing her attention. In a word, she must try to wean you.
I don't usually recommend too much co-operation with humans. They get above themselves too easily. But this is a rare exception when you should try to co-operate, Jake. What you don't want is to develop a real eating disorder and become one of those cats that starts eating the dressing gown rather than just sucking. I don't think this will happen to you, unless your biological mother or father were Siamese. It seems to be a breed thing. But it might.
I also think too much affection or dependence is bad for humans. They should not be given the impression that we need them (except for food and shelter). Cultivate a little distance from her, Jake. Don't become a cat who loves too much. Keep your pet in her place. She may be your foster mother but remember she is your intellectual, social and physiological inferior.

George.
PS. Don't get too worried by this. Cats that persist in suckling their humans usually come to no great harm. It's the dressing gown, not the body parts, that worries me!

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

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