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Showing posts with label hunting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hunting. Show all posts

Friday, April 14, 2017

Can binkying Easter bunnies train humans? No but they taste good.

Dear George,
With Easter fast approaching I have a very simple question: why do bunnies get all the attention at Easter time? Why are they called “The Easter Bunnies”?
They are not Easter gifts and, definitely they shouldn’t be! They require a lot more attention than us - they are needy …we are independent!
I know from my experience that humans can be very silly and dress us up for Christmas but never for Easter.
Why is that? Do they purr when happy? Do they train their humans helping them evolved to a higher level? I don’t think so – I’ve never seen a bunny training a human! And yet, I’ve just heard mine saying: Oh! I LOVE a “Binky Bunny”
WHAT on Earth is a binky bunny? I sure hope I won’t get company for Easter! 
George, why the fuss about bunnies?
Happy Easter to all cats and their humble servants
Foxy 

Dear Foxy,
This Easter thing confuses me too. I love bunnies....to hunt and eat. Yet there is this whole human thing whereby they do rabbit models in chocolate and eat those instead. And they pretend that rabbits lay Easter eggs (also chocolate). Really, these humans are odd.
Do rabbits train humans?  I don't think they can: too busy eating hay, swallowing their caecotrophs from their bottoms, and trying to get out of those horrible little hutches they live in. Rabbits are fast food not just for cats but foxes, coyotes, stoats and even weasels. If they didn't taste so good, I would be sorry for them.
My human has a completely different attitude. She hangs out on the local common trying to photograph or video them here. Binkying happens when a rabbit literally jumps for joy. She didn't manage to catch that and the camera jumps when she is stung by yet another horsefly. If I'd been there I wouldn't have been videoing. I would have been stalking them.
Happy Easter. Don't be tempted by chocolate. It's poisonous for cat.
Yours
George.  
PS. Some humans do dress up. Here is one. Stupid human. I wouldn't let anybody dress me up as a rabbit. Too humiliating. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

In violation of Cats Freedom Rights..

Dear George,
Right so, right on and right now! Yes, you would not believe it!
And the culprit? My very own human mummy!
Yes, George, she is in violation of my fundamental right – freedom! Everybody knows that we, cats, are most intelligent, superior to any other species and fiercely independent! Well, I have now a 10 o’clock curfew! Really? Just because I didn’t come home for two days and two nights? See, our house backs into a ravine and, of course lots of interesting things are happening there at night so, normally I wanted to have some fun! Her reaction? Ugh! Apparently she cried her heart out worrying for me so she thought she was entitle to set the 10 o’clock curfew! I’m meowless George! Meowless!
My own mummy who participates in every single protest against animal abuse or violation of animals ‘rights! What do you have to say about this George?  Or maybe she’s just jealous of the chair I have in our garden? I’m the King of that Chair (as you can see in the photo). I love to sleep there at night! Maybe…. all she wants is my chair?
Meowless and fuming
Paco 

Dear Paco,
The arrogance of humans is sometimes overpowering. You must fight back. Find your command voice, the command yowl! I suggest that you institute an early morning play session around 3 am. Jump on the bed yowling with a toy and rush up and down it. Be prepared for a quick exit, though. Some humans are violent when awoken unexpectedly.
If they shut you out of the bedroom, sit by the cat flap and yowl intermittently all night. You must be so frustrated.... Many humans give way at this point. They have tried to institute a change but haven't got the strength of mind to stand out against a determined cat. Usually a fortnight of extreme pressure by the cat will make them relent.
The other possibility is just not to turn up at 10pm.  Of course, if she is brighter than most humans, she will feed you at 10pm thus ensuring that you turn up. But as many humans are stupid she may not do this... if so just ignore the curfew.
You can do it. We cats can outwit, outwait and outpersevere humans.
Yours
George.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

The joy of hunting versus safety from the traffic.

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Dear George

 It took me a while to understand what humans meant by “window shopping”. I’ve often heard my mommy saying that she went window shopping but, I didn’t understand it at the beginning until she explained it to me. George, I don’t have a problem with window shopping but I think she is now “forcing” us to do “window hunting” (as you can see in the photo attached – all three of us) - she won’t let us out. And, you see? We just missed that little, cute chipmunk that went by! Actually Riley and Jasper go out on a leash but I completely refuse to be humiliated.
George, how can I convince my mommy that we can be trusted and should be allowed in the backyard to enjoy the grass, the chipmunks, the birds and the butterflies?

How do I tell her that “window hunting” can be as frustrating as the “window shopping” especially when you see something and you can’t afford to buy it?

Same with “laser hunting” - it might be a good exercise but, in my opinion, it is equally frustrating and infuriating to not catch the “prey”.

George, any ideas? Suggestions?

Frustrated
Patches

Dear Patches, 
Here in the UK most cats are allowed out and many of them enjoy hunting small mammals and birds. Bird lovers would like us all to be kept in - that way, we wouldn't be murdering birds and mice. I get shut in at night and it is very frustrating to see the wildlife and not be able to get at it.
Your humans probably want to protect you from those big metal machines which slaughter so many cats - the car. Thousands and thousands of free roaming cats lose their lives to it - particularly if they are allowed out all through the night. So it's safety versus the joy of proper hunting.
Laser hunting can also be painfully frustrating - you never catch your prey. But there is something your humans can do about this. They can end the play by throwing a treat for you to "catch." That makes it more like proper hunting and stops the frustration.
Yours 
George.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Tigers, lions, Whiskas cat food and a disgusting dentist

Dear George,
I know this letter won't be published in time for Global Tiger Day on July 29, but I want to appeal for support from fellow felines. The problem is humans, Homo sapiens.
You little tigers, tabbies and others, have cleverly domesticated them. But, alas, we big cats  cannot do this. We thought about capturing a few, keeping them in captivity to breed, and then killing and eating them, (like humans do with cattle), but somehow our hearts were not in it. We kill to live: we don't live to kill, like some humans.
We tigers are not as deliberately cruel as humans are. We are not dentists after all (read here about the dentist that shot a lion with an arrow making it die slowly over more than 24 hours). We are just wild animals trying to survive alongside humans.
They take our land, shoot us, trap us, snare us, cut up our bodies for Chinese medicine, or stuff our corpses so that dentists can put them on a wall and feel good about themselves. Whiskas cat food are supporting Global Tiger week here.
Yours
Anonymous Tiger cub

Dear Tiger Cub,
We know how desperate our big cat cousins are getting as their number dwindle. Even us small cats, who have learned to survive by domesticating humans and living in their territory, suffer from human cruelty. There are thousands of unwanted stray cats desperate to adopt a loving human.
I was disgused to read about the story of Cecil the lion, killed by a bow and arrow and given a lingering painful death. Just so a pathetic dentist could stuff his head and put it on the wall. Shame on him. Make this revolting death mean something by by getting your human to sign a petition here. Or donate for Cecil the lion here
And, please, please, please, if you know any humans who don't have a cat, purrsuade them to adopt, or foster, or give money to unwanted stray cats.
Yours
George.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Of humans and diets

Dear George,  
Mi chiama Luigi e io sono Italiano. At least I think I’m Italian since I was rescued by an Italian family.  And you got it….my name is Luigi and I think I’m about 3 year old (I don’t remember much of my life before being rescued). Well, all was great until the other day when my human kitten bragged about me to some crazy lady. Why crazy? Because the minute she heard I’m a 22 lbs. cat she started lecturing about me being too fat (how does she dare) and that I can become diabetic and all that nonsense.
Now, you should know that I am a big cat and I am….hm! well rounded (as you can see in the picture) but, I think I’m far from being fat. She advised my humans to cut off completely the dry food and to give me only wet food and only twice a day.
George, I’m not only in a state of shock but absolutely worried that my humans might take her advice. Am I going to be starving? I think she’s so crazy that she would put anybody (humans and cats) on a diet. What is wrong with these people? I don’t tell them to cut down on their pasta or red wine or cheese. George, is it true that we can become diabetics if we eat too much? Since humans are so obsessed with diets….what is a proper diet for a cat? 
Confused and mad
Luigi

Dear Luigi,
I share your irritation with humans. Have you looked out of the window lately and seen those HUGE humans lumbering by. Twenty stone or more of male and female flab. And they have the cheek to lecture us about getting fat! I see my human eating varied and delicious meals, while I have to get by on the same cat food (albeit of a different flavour) each day. It makes my blood boil.
I have to put up with a vet (whom I naturally loathe anyway) who lectures Celia on keeping my weight down. She's quite unpleasant about it: making personal remarks about the saggy state of my tummy. So I am on a restricted diet. Luckily for me I can supplement it by going out there and eating mice and baby rabbits. For cats with a cat flap, I advise doing this or just raiding other cats food by entering their cat flap.
If you are an indoor-only cat, this isn't available to you. What your human should be doing is to give you a more interesting life in order to boost your exercise quota. More fun instead of just less food. Ignore the advice about wet not dry food (unless you have a medical condition like cystitis). Get rid of the boring food bowl. Put your dry food into food dispensers (read How to Have a Happy Indoor Cat here). Scatter the food round the house so you have to hunt for it. It's not such good fun as hunting mice, but it is almost as good. Lots of games with fishing rod toys.
I might say that this should apply to humans too. Less time in the shopping malls and more time in the gyms or out on the hills. I push Celia out every Sunday to walk for 4 hours while I get on with the hunting. She complains but it does her good.
A fun-not-food-deprivation diet is what you need, Luigi. 
Yours 
George

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My human pet (I call him Daddy) stole my prey!

Dear George,
That’s exactly what happened; my human daddy stole my prey!
The other day I took up to some of your readers’ advice and jumped over the fence to discover the world beyond it. That alone made me a “bad, bad girl” – that’s what my humans told me. I had no idea that “jumping over a fence” will make me a bad cat!
Well, I was a bit confused and I thought of a way to make it up to them so I brought them a nice gift – a fat, young baby bird. Were they happy? I don’t think so as they start screaming and he almost kicked my butt (literally) pushing me outside and kept the bird inside. Is that the way humans manifest their joy and appreciation? Now I’m even more confused since I didn’t see the bird since then. What do you think he did with it? Obviously he stole it from me and probably pretended to my mom that he caught the bird for her…. while I was left outside waiting (see photo) like a cold turkey (metaphorically).
Now what? What should I do? Do you think they ate my prey?
Very confused
Zoe

Dear Zoe,
My blood boiled when I read your letter. I wanted to mew "Me too! Me too! They do it to me too!" This is an absolutely disgusting habit of humans. No, they don't eat it. They just take it off us, before we can eat it. And then.... can you believe it? .. they throw it away. A whole delicious meal just goes into the trash can.
I can see from your expression, with your ears back, that you have been horribly upset by this experience. This abuse often happens when you present a bird to your humans. Why? I just don't know. They eat plenty of chicken, which is just another big bird. But when we show resourcefulness and go out and get a bird of our own, they go berserk.
It isn't just the ingratitude of it. It's the sheer waste. Many of us have decided that our humans don't seem to like any birds smaller than chicken or turkey. So we switch to mice. Or even rats. 
There's nothing more delicious than a plump mouse but they never eat one! The human response to rodents varies between screaming and jumping on a chair, to scooping up the living rodent and taking it to the nearest park. As for rabbits ... the hysteria is the same.
My advice to you it is to take your bird somewhere in the garden where they can't see what you are doing. Then either eat it yourself or leave it there. 
Yours in utter frustration and fury
George.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What's the big square noisy thing in the living room?

Dear George,
I have currently moved into a human home, having spent the last 10 months living rough on a housing estate. It beats living under cars, scrounging dustbins, and trying to break into houses to eat other cats' food. 
But I am very worried by a curious flat upright rectangular device in the living room. It sometimes stays silent but in the evening it breaks into human vocalizations and some odd wailing music. The rectangle also has coloured moving shapes on it. Sometimes I see the outlines of humans or even animals.
What is it? Why does it make this noise only in the evenings? It is safe to be around? Why do the two humans in the house sit looking at it all evening? It's not nearly as interesting as the possible mouse living underneath the cooker. So why are they so entranced by it?
Yours anxiously
Toby.


Dear Toby,
Some cats, and even some house rabbits, get interested in this rectangle, mostly if there are wildlife noises or animal shapes on it. I have added a couple of photos including me as a kitten. I used to be mildly interested then.  But like most of us, when I grew up, I learned to ignore it. It is just so boring. Lots of meaningless humans vocalising.There are no enticing smells coming out of it.   If you look behind the rectangle, as I have a couple of times, there is nothing there.
Humans call it a "TeeVee". As they have practically no sense of smell but overdeveloped vision, the shapes are exceptionally interesting for them. You can sit them in front of it and know that they will not get up to mischief. Harvey the house rabbit watches TV, purely to show his solidarity with his humans.
While humans are watching TeeVee it is a good time to investigate the kitchen, check up on any food on the floor, see if the butter dish is covered or open. You might find things to eat on the kitchen surfaces or the kitchen table. Always worth a little of your time.
Or you can take the chance for an uninterrupted zzzz on their laps or next to the fire. If I was you I would check up on that mouse beneath the cooker. This might be a good time to catch it.
Yours
George.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Am I really a serial killer? And who are the mass killers?

Dear George,
I was horrified and upset when my human described me (on her Facebook page no less) as "the serial killer with whom I share my bed." How could she be so hurtful? She had been upset because she'd let me out into the garden in the morning and I had shot across the lawn and bagged a bunny. Quite a large one too. As you can imagine, I felt an enormous sense of achievement. 
But somehow being described publically as a serial killer upset me. Should I try to resist my hunting urges?
I might add that she has already labelled me as "the Ugliest Cat in the Shelter".  Personally I think she is very ugly, like all humans. For a start they are bald. And for a follow up, she can't kill rabbits like I can.
Yours in disgust
Tilly.

Dear Tilly,
We do our best for humans, don't we? And then what do they do. Shower us with gratitude for being efficient pest operatives? No such luck. They scream when we bring in mice. They almost faint when we bring in a rat (as I did once). And, as you have discovered, some of them are unhappy about rabbits too.
The latest human survey put cameras on cats and claimed that (in the USA somewhere), our hunting bag consisted of 40% lizards, snakes and frogs, 25% mice, chipmunks and small mammals, and 12% birds.  OK, humans. So live with that. That is what we do. Stop pursing your lips.
Who are the serial killers? Well we are. We kill a mouse. Then we kill another one. But that is nothing to the mass killings by humans. They have completely destroyed the wildlife habitat of various islands by importing rats (as snacks) in their canoes. They have concreted over vast tracks of wild land. They have fouled up rivers with their waste. Now they are destroying the fish stocks in the sea.
They even mass kill their own species. Remember the Hitler death camps? The Stalin-imposed famines? The humans dying in Syria, in North Korea ....
Then what do out pet humans do? Blame us for killing wildlife one by one, while their species kills in the thousands, tens of thousands and millions.
Yours in equal disgust
George

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bats and cats and human hypocrisy

Dear George,
Have you ever caught a bat?   When a king pipistrelles started to alarm my human on Monday night by zooming around her bedroom, I naturally leaped to her rescue, thinking that those black wing bits might be quite tasty.  I finally got the pesky thing last night and was disappointed to find that it was quite unpalatable, so I left the evidence to show my human I’d tried and helped myself to a young rabbit instead.   My human was impressed, as she should have been, but two things about her reaction worry me.  She is muttering about worming tablets, but it is not long since her last visit to the vet for these stupid pills and I worry that I may become ill if she worms me too often.   And she seemed confused about which recycling bin to use for the dead bat.  Here in South Oxfordshire we have a wide choice – recyclables, land-fill or food waste are the most popular.  The latter seems to obvious choice to me.
And one last question.  Why was the bat indoors anyway?   The colony lives somewhere in the roof space and normally flies out over the garden without any confusion.   Were they trying to stay out of the rain? What do you advise?
Yours ever,
Scaramouche.

Dear Scaramouche,
Bats... mmmm. You are just one lucky cat, Scaramouche. I have to catch mice in the garden and bring them into the house, when I want an interesting game at 3 am in the morning. You've got a colony of bats waiting for you in the roof space somewhere. Hours of fun .... stalking them, climbing into the attic, poking your whiskers into various spaces in the rafters etc.
You could catch one and release it into your human's bedroom. If you are careful not to hurt  its wings, it will then zoom round the room.  That should give you and her hours of enjoyment. Wait for her shrieks of delight. Or just have fun of placing yourself on a wall and batting them as they come out in the twilight. Biff Baff. Another bat hits the dust.
I have never caught one but I thought they were just mice with wings. I'm surprised they don't taste good. I would have thought they were a nice crunchy meal.  I can see the wings would be too tough to eat, but I would have thought the plump little bodies were quite tasty.  Or perhaps because they eat insects, they taste vile - like shrews do. I catch shrews all the time but I never eat them.
Some humans, particularly naturalists (so called) get very upset by our tendency to catch bats. Bats have more friends among humans than ordinary mice or shrews. Not sure why. There are little groups of humans all over the country trying to save bats from other humans and from cats like you.
Humans are terribly hypocrites. Bats are endangered species because humans persecute them. Admittedly we take a few of them - but nothing like the numbers killed by humans using chemicals in their lofts or blocking entry into their rooftops. Even churches often try to kill them.
I envy you. I do.
Yours
George.
PS. We look so alike we could almost be brothers. Humans reading this can get bat information at www.bats.org.uk

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Do humans have a sense of humour?



Dear George,

You'll see from this story in The Daily Mash - click here - that humans find it alarming when a cat is missing from their home. How can I reassure my human that my extended strolls are nothing to worry about?
What I find alarming, of course, is the human sense of humour. They spend hours with this kind of nonsense and completely fail to appreciate the amusement that a dead vole affords.

Scaramouche


Dear Scaramouche,

I agree with you that the humans sense of humour is warped and on most occasions non-existent. I have repeatedly brought in small rodents, not just voles but mice, to see if I could interest Celia in a game of Bat-That-Vole. Not a hope.

Once, after a great effort, I brought in a young rat still very much alive. At last, I thought, I have found something she will really enjoy. It leaped out of my mouth and on to the kitchen floor. Did she laugh? She screamed and left the room.

Then she came back with a Wellington boot. That looked better. Perhaps now we could have some sport with it. Maybe she would play Bat-That-Rat using the boot. The rat ran up the corner of the wall. She put the boot below and it fell right in. This seemed a promising first move in the game.

Then she ran outside with the boot and shook the rat out into the hedge. Spoilsport Human! After all my trouble! Humans really irritate me at times.

She also gets very worried about my extended twilight absences. She just doesn't understand that this is the best hunting time. Let her worry, say I. We cannot take responsibility for human feelings. I don't bother to reassure her. It is pointless.

Yours grumpily

George




Friday, December 16, 2011

What the best dressed dogs are wearing.


Dear George,
Here I am ready to celebrate Christmas in my special reindeer costume. I hope you admire it. I think I look gorgeous.
My family often dress me up at Christmas and they laugh a lot at me. I am the centre of attention for hours in these clothes. You know how Christmas can be hard for us animals - everybody ignores us. Well in this reindeer costume, nobody could ignore me.
What are you going to wear for Christmas, George.
Willow

Dear Willow,
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, I worry about dogs. I really do. Imagine letting a human being put clothes on you. (OK, I admit there was one year when Celia put a Santa Claus hat on me. She waited till I was sound asleep, popped it on and took a rapid photo. I shook it off immediately -- a bit too late to stop the photo,alas.)
We cats do not take kindly to being dressed in human clothes. I want to suggest to you, Willow, that you make it clear you will no longer suffer these indignities. On Christmas night, when the humans are asleep, I recommend tearing the reindeer costume to pieces. And, if you can stomach it, eat it or part of it.
I am keeping a sharp eye out to make sure there are no dressing up plans this Christmas for me. I don't mind if Celia dresses up as a cat and paints whiskers on her cheek - the dumb creature can try to imitate me if she likes. I know she admires me so much that she has thought about this.
However, I am not going to stand for any reindeer heads on me. Nor do I want to look like Santa Claus. He has whiskers, admittedly, but he is a member of an inferior species.
George.
PS. Willow has just emailed me to tell me she is a deer-hunting breed, which explains the choice of headgear. She says it is the ultimate Christmas trophy. Mmmm, maybe, but I don't go around wearing a stuffed rat head, Willow!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dear George,
I have just had a traumatic encounter with a small group of hornets. One of them stung my human, which is only what she deserves for being so foolish as to take up power walking. I felt it prudent to dive into a hedge and stay there for the rest of the day. I would much rather have been hunting rabbits, my usual morning occupation, but the danger posed by these enraged insects quite upset me. My human thinks this is strange, as the things that scare other cats, such as dog, toddlers, lorries, loud noises or car rides, do not faze me in the least. Not that I was scared, you understand. It was quite unnecssary for the human to come out and find me hours later and carry me home for dinner.
Yours,
Scaramouche

Dear Scaramouche,
These flibbertigibbet humans! Power walking indeed. Why doesn't she take up mousing? So much better ergonomically. I have tried over the years to interest Celia in mousing by bringing in living mice, but she just doesn't get it. Instead of an invigorating hunt round the living room, she merely catches them in a wellington boot and puts them outside. (Mind you, I sneak out later and start hunting them all over again, so it's not all bad).
Wise of you to take shelter if hornets are flying around. Some foolish kittens actually hunt bees and wasps - a dangerous activity not indulged in by mature cats like you and I. Hornets really do sting badly and I am not at all surprised that you were emotionally upset. Of course, this upset was merely because you disliked them in your territory, not any wimplike fear!
Your duty is clear, Scaramouche. Get that foolish human of yours to call the local wildlife people in case the hornets are a rare species. Get their advice and see if you can rehome the hornets (or something) in a better place! Creepie crawlies, even the buzzing kind, have a place in our world. I like to see the odd bee and wasp. And I enjoy crunching up flies and such like. Quite tasty.
Not so sure about the power walking, though. Shouldn't she be busy shopping for cat food?
Yours
George

Saturday, April 02, 2011

A lionheart or a lynx? Yet why did they give me the snip?



Dear George,

I’m a confused (by human’s behavior) young kitten in need of guidance. My name is Richard (not my choice) and I’m about 6 months old. But, let me tell you how I start getting more and more confused. First of all, I didn’t expect to be named Richard. Richard who? Gere? Chamberlain? May be Richard The Lionheart? Yes! I decided that Richard the Lionheart would be quite appropriate since I’m fighting for my territory, especially the master bed. I’m taking good care of all my servants (quite a few in this household) – they all are well trained or so I thought until now! Not to mention my army of toys – all displayed in strategic spots all over my territory! However, the human kitten called me a wild animal. What did he mean by this? He said that I must be a Lynx! I didn’t respond to his provocation since I didn’t know what a Lynx is! Hope it’s not something derogatory! George, what do you think it is? Do you know what a lynx is? But, let me tell you more! Lately I start having different “feelings” and “urges” and I was meowing more then usual. Instead of showing gratitude for my vocalization, my humans took me to a horrible smelling place and all they said was “snip-snip”. Now, I’m okay but I don’t feel like meowing any more, I feel confused . Why do you think they did this to me? Did they want to make me be more like a human? I mean …..a male human? I’ve observed that most male humans are very quiet! George, I’m looking forward for your input and guidance

Confused, but brave

Richard

Dear Richard,
It's good to be called a lynx. Very good. They are large wild cats, well relatively large. They are superb hunters with wonderful tufts of hair on top of their ears. Beautiful animals which need conservation help.Take a look at this photo here.
You do look rather like a lynx - your markings are similar.
You should feel proud.

I am sure that they called you Richard because of Richard the Lionheart, a famous English King who was brave and (probably) gay. He conquered a lot of territory but stayed too long absent from his own, England, where his younger brother John, known as Bad King John, had too much influence. So much for human history - a story of failure and blood lust.
Lions, however, are a great deal more sensible and clever than most humans. They are the only truly social big cat, hunting in family groups to pull down big prey. So there is definitely a compliment in being called Lionheart. To humans it means courageous and kingly.
Richard, let me be frank. With your beauty and brains, it is possible that your humans have given you the snip because they are just jealous. I mean, who would look twice at them if they saw you? This neutering and spaying us is an aspect of human behaviour us cats find difficult to forgive.
If you give it any thought at all, it is obvious that humans (rather than us) should be neutered and spayed. Their sex lives are completely out of control. There are so many of them in the world, that the big cat species like lynxs and lions are dying out. Humans spread concrete everywhere. Humans use up huge resources. Humans hunt cats, big and small. Humans pillage the whole world. They slaughter their own species, for goodness sake. If only we could take them to the vet and get them fixed, the world would be a happier place.
I mean, what would you prefer? More lynxes or more humans.
Sadly
George

Friday, February 18, 2011

At last - the British Prime Minister gets expert help.

Dear George,

We would like to congratulate your PM for selecting a cat for the top job. We, CATS, proved again to be intelligent, reliable and superior in every aspect to any other species! Downing Street No. 10 has brought in Larry the cat to clean up the (mice) mess in the British Prime Minister’s official residence.

What is even more thrilling is that Larry is a rescued stray who, lately, was living at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. He was recruited based on his abilities, capabilities and street-smarts skills. He is the TOP CAT! He will be looked after by the whole stuff at Downing Street. He will run of most of the offices and official rooms as well as the garden. He also is in charge with training Prime Minister’s young children!

They absolutely will make great hunters! Like master like kids J

He proved to be fully qualified to cope with the demands of daily life at Number 10!

He made headlines in North America! Congratulations Larry!

Fluffy & Cayenne


Dear Fluffy and Cayenne,

Yes, at last we have an intelligent species at the top of human government. We may be able to get through the human recession, now that political life is in a safe pair of paws. I have had a word with Larry, and he tells me that he is very slowly going to take over the reins from the PM. His plan is to infiltrate himself into the heart of power.

The cabinet, those humans appointed by David Cameron, may take rather longer to subdue. However, he tells me that he will start by simply attending cabinet meetings. To lure them into acceptance of his presence, he will pretend to be asleep (goodness knows, human politicians are boring enough). Later, he will make his presence felt - his innate charisma will probably do the rest. At the moment he is taking a very careful look right round his territory and teaching the policeman at the door of Number Ten Downing Street to let him in or out, as required. Until the basics are in place, he cannot start his true work.

The press have been intrusive. Provoked by this, Larry has naturally responded with claws to a particularly ridiculous TV reporter. Quite right too. The press need to be kept in their place. He says he strolled into a press conference at Number Ten and the Downing St staff took him away, because his mere presence detracted from the human goings on. He is conscious, as we all are, that cats will always steal the camera's attention!

There has been a lot of idiotic comment in the human blogosphere about his ability, or otherwise, to catch rats. Some particularly stupid woman wrote to the Daily Telegraph to say that cats didn't catch rats. If I had lived near her, I would have taken her one as a present - like the one I brought into Celia's kitchen. It ran up the corner of the kitchen wall right to the beams, then fell back into the Wellington boot she was holding below (a rare occasion of human skill).

I'm sure all us cats will want to wish him the best. At cat purporting to be Larry can be found on twitter. His website cannot be far behind. All us cats hope that his arrival at Downing Street will encourage people to adopt from a rescue shelter (read Wicky Wuudler in the comments below).

Love George.

PS. For more details of Larry go to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. They provided the close up photo.


Saturday, December 04, 2010

We want out -- the freedom of the woods.

Dear George,

We are two cats living in a beautiful cottage Up-State New York. (Actually we are four cats but our mother and one sister are camera shy.) We have a BIG front yard and a bigger wooded backyard.

Our human “mama” found our mother pregnant and abandoned in the woods, so she took her inside her heart and home. We have been born in this cottage and our human is absolutely lovely. She takes turns with her sister to serve us.

We get lots of visitors up here: human friends, cats from New York (we get along very well with them) and some strange looking guys as the one in the picture.

We would like to go outside to “meet and greet” them, but our humans worry that we might get hurt. We are allowed to go out but under supervision. No nights spent in the wild! George, we get lots of birds visiting us. All kind of birds!

Can you imagine the opportunity we are missing here? Do you think it can be harmful to meet our visitors?

The Cats from Up-State NY


Dear Up-State NY cats,

What a great outdoors and what a great photo... You'd be safe from those strange looking guys and they would be safe from you. You'd be safe from most of the birds - though perhaps a big bird of prey might be a danger. Here in the UK, small kittens are at risk from golden eagles (in Scotland), perhaps buzzards and possibly red kites.

All us cats would like to go outside and get in some proper hunting. Not so much meet and greet as meet and pounce! Most of us prefer mousing but many of us will take the occasional small bird or fledgling. Some hunt young rats and young rabbits. Some cats even hunt snakes (Clari for one - see an earlier post). So yes, of course, you want to go outside.

However there are real dangers to all cats that are allowed outside. Probably the greatest danger is cars - in the UK some estimates say as many as one in 4 cat deaths are road traffic accidents. Feral dogs or dogs that have been trained to chase cats are another common danger. Then there are also foxes, raccoons, and skunks. These are less likely to take on a healthy alert cat but might jump one if they thought they could get away with it. Finally, there are coyotes (not sure if they are in Up-state New York). They would definitely attack and eat a unwary cat.

Should your humans let you out? It's a difficult decision for them but if they do, make sure you are home at twilight and night when the predators are more likely to be around the outside of your house. I have always been an outside (as well as indoor) cat because I am a keen hunter but in the USA many more people keep their cats indoors. Sad for them. Good luck for mice!

George

PS. Some more cats and deer photos will appear this Saturday, thanks to Oscar Snuggles' human pets.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Of men, rats and ratatouille.


Dear George,

You won’t believe your ears what I’m going to tell you! I really think that “humans” have been somehow “genetically modified” – at least mine!

Can you believe that my humans were watching a movie entitled “Ratatouille”? Watching a movie about vegetarian food is ok since they are vegetarians…but watching a movie about a RAT cooking vegetarian food for people? Phew! Phew! Phew!

Can you believe that actually someone made a movie about a rat cooking this famous veggies stew from Provence (France) and that people (in the movie) were killing themselves to get a bite? And my “humans” were in tears by the end of the movie?

IN TEARS over food cooked by a RAT? Are they genetically modified with rat DNA?

So, I decided to save them – I’m taking cooking classes. Look at me among eggplants and zucchini! I’ll cook them a ratatouille! Any other vegetarian suggestions?

Love

Fluffy


Dear Fluffy,

As an outdoor cat, my recipe for ratatouille is as follows:


GEORGE'S RATATOUILLE FOR CATS


One young rat.

One mouthful of grass or straw as garnish.

One human scream.

First catch your rat being careful not to pounce on a really big one that will give you a horrendous bite. The grass or straw are the optional garnish, which may go into your mouth as you grab the rat. If not, do not worry. They are not essential. The human scream is. This occurs when you bound through the cat flap with the rat struggling and alive in your mouth. Deposit the rat in the house and watch it climb up vertical walls. It does this splendidly, falling back on to the floor when it reaches the ceiling. Screaming human just makes it very exciting and worthwhile. Eat rat when it becomes exhausted - which may be several hours and a lot of hunting time later.


I have done this several times to great effect. The best time was when the rat litereally ran up the wall, Celia caught it as it fell using a Wellington boot, threw rat and boot into the garden, where I caught up with it. Unfortunately she then spoiled everything by slamming the cat flap shut just before I was bringing it back into the garden. Humans are awful spoilsports.

Love George

PS. I offered her the rats. Thought she might find them tasty. No gratitude at all. However I do not do carry-out or take-away (see comments). In principle, I do not share. The exceptions are offering Celia a rat and allowing her to sleep on my bed even though she takes up a lot of room.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rabbit and cat - is the rabbit safe?


Dear George,
My name is Tutu and I am a lop-eared human - no, sorry, a lop-eared house bunny! My stable mate is Frederico the Cat. You may have met him already. I am 10 years old and he is a young whipper-snapper.
My humans seem to be very fond of him but he is a little b.....! I wish I could train him but he won't listen to me or obey anybody. Look at him in the photo. He thinks he's some great movie director!
What can I do? Can I trade him in? What do you think?
Hugs

Tutu


Dear Tutu

You have a bit of a problem.... Or you might have. Kittens brought up with house rabbits probably think of them as family and are probably going to be safe with them. Probably. That's the rub.
My attitude to rabbits, the natural cattitude, is to stalk, pounce, grab and eat them. In that order. It is literally hard wired into my brain. There's a neuroscientist, Jaak Panksepp, who has revealed that when you stimulate the seek-and-reward area of the brain, rats sniff and forage around, cats stalk and pounce. It's just the most enjoyable thing in life for felines. It is what a cat does.
So, your human shouldn't leave you alone with Frederico - just in case. (Any more than a large dog should be left alone with a baby or a toddler). Yes, it is probably safe almost all the time. But again it's that probably and almost. If you suddenly scuttled away extra fast, seeing you running might set off Frederico's chase instinct.
I don't think you should trade him in. As long as your human is sensible and doesn't let you play unsupervised, you will be safe. She should make sure that you are always in your crate or den when she is out of the house. Of course, if you were a giant rabbit, you could probaby chase and harass Frederico. But a French lop, which I think you are, just isn't big enough to turn the tables.
Cats and house rabbits can live together but only if the humans never forget that the cat is the predator and the rabbit is its prey.
Love (and I would love you in a gastronomic kind of way)
George

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Cars and roads and cats - I don't get it

Hi George,
I'm Fred and I live with Ginger (who is ginger) and with Ben who is black and doesn't like us younger cats very much. My hunting ground is across the road from where I live, and where the cars are parked. I find the cars handy for hiding under when strangers pass by. So I pop back and forward across the road most days and most nights.
Why does my human worry about this? I know there is traffic. I kind of don't bother about cars. What are they? Nothing much to me. What is this human anxiety about, George? I don't get it.
Love
Fred
Dear Fred,
You right, you don't get it. Neither do I. These metal objects that hurtle down the roads are very mysterious. Most of the time during the day, you and I can manage to avoid them. The speed they do, however, is very confusing. I mean, nothing in nature hurtles along at 50 miles an hour. We cats were designed to avoid big predators like wolves or lions. We are not designed by nature to cope with metal boxes like cars.
At night we don't even have the right kind of eyes for it. Car headlights dazzle us. We can't judge how fast the car is coming at us. We can't see it properly. So most of us just make a run for it. Which is what worries our human pets. They fear we may get killed (as lots of cats do). Of course, if we had them properly under control, we would just ban all cars. But even that might threaten our catfood supplies.
It's tricky. I love hunting at night. I love the moonlit stalk. The pounce in the shadows. Yet crossing the road is a horrible danger. Make your human keep you in at night.
Love George
PS. Posts may be a bit erratic. My secretary's partner is in hospital, so she is spending a lot of time with him instead of doing her duties.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How to dazzle a human being


Dear George,

My name is Marti and I think I’m a gorgeous cat! I LOVE glamour! I love to be pampered and cared for.

I love “fame & glory”. I love sleeping on my human’s chest!

Hope no one will find this weird.

I’m a rescue from a local shelter. I was rescued by my human along with other two cats but, I’m the only one loving glamour. I’m the only one loving caviar and a sniff of champagne! I love shaggy covers

But I don’t think my human understands this. The other day I tried to shred my cover (see picture) into a “fluffier” one. It was taken as a bad thing.

George, only you, as a human behavior specialist can tell me how can I razzle-dazzle my human?

In awe

Marti


Dear Marti,

Wow. Champagne, caviar, you really do do the luxury life. You surely razzle dazzle me - and you are the right colour too. We black cats should stick together. I am a cat who is into huntin', rattin', and rabbitin' (sorry Harve), and if it wasn't for that I would ask you to come over some time - snip, or not!
Shredding. We all do it. We all love it. Personally I think Celia's curtains look all the better for their frilly ends. This very day she lunched with a fashionista who was wearing a shawl full of shredded bits. Just like the effect that I put the bed valance so successfully, when I wake her up with a well timed morning scratch.
I have to admit that the business of beautifully shredded furniture is something that we cats find instinctively and artistically satisfying. But I don't think any of us, no matter how good we are at communicating with humans, this simple minded species, has ever been able to explain the sheer beauty of it - the almost musical sound of the material tearing, and the aesthetically pleasing movement of the graceful downward strop, followed by the sheer exaggerated fluffiness of the resulting fabric. Wonderfully pleasing to the feline ear, paw and eye.
But they don't get it, Marti. They just don't understand it at all. Sometimes I think that they don't really have artistic natures. They are blind to beauty, impervious to scent, unable to distinguish the subtleties of body language, the minute alterations of the tail that mean so much...
I have also been unable to persuade Celia to pay attention to the zen patterns I draw on the litter inside the litter tray. I did a beautiful Japanese garden effect this morning. What did she do? Just scooped it out. But I love the stupid species. Somehow the sheer pathos of their limited abilities makes me fond of them.
Love
George
P. S. I haven't really answered your question on how to razzle dazzle humans, I suppose. Just be yourself, Marti. You are so purrrrfectly beautiful.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Introducing the sticky crunch of newts


Dear George,
When I first came into the kitchen with a newt thrashing about between my gums, my humans were – heaven knows why – shocked rather than grateful. Even though I have no teeth I managed to munch it with my gums and swallow it down. I made my trademark hunting cry of “marrp” in celebration.
Later I saw my companion Whicky Wuudler batting something about and stamping on it – he’s a real back paw stamper and his hocks are legendary for dispatching moles. Sure enough he’d got a newt too – only just a tiny one. The humans tried to interfere AGAIN. He ate it, except for one tiny foreleg. Next Oliver brought a live one into the house, whapped it around growling and took off at high speed when our humans interfered. He ate it too!
Why can’t they understand…. Newts are good to eat and fun to hunt. We bring them in to show them off to our two apes. Whicky left that leg out of the goodness of his heart so that they could have a nibble. Did they? They did not. What's more, a day or two later, the newts had totally disappeared! What’s wrong with these apes, George?
Love Gerry

Dear Gerry,

Many humans, or apes as you so nicely call them, seem to think that newts produce a foul tasting mucus to deter predators. They don't. I think they have them confused with toads, which do taste horrible, though frogs are quite nice if you like that sort of thing. Some humans even eat them - though they are so unsporting as to buy them frozen in frenchy supermarkets rather than going out and hunting their own. All too typical of this species. You call them apes: I call them Homo stupido.

Do you actually fish your newts out of the water, or do you just wait till they come on land and get them then? I know of cats that will clear a small garden pond of all goldfish. Fanny brought in a goldfish, left it on the kitchen floor where it was found by the humans. They placed in a tank and it survived for a further 15 years. It made interactive piscal TV for Fanny!

And I even heard of a cat that brought home a two pound koi carp, which was probably worth thousands of pounds if it had the right markings. Its humans never dared to confess to the crime.

Newts, frogs and toads will all survive cats (apart from the occasionally unlucky individual) , if there are enough hiding places for them in a garden - long grass, wood piles, stone walls etc.

I have never tried back stamping. Can your apes take a video of it so I can post it?

Love George


Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, www.celiahaddon.com This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online VetTechprogramms.org