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Showing posts with label kitten. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitten. Show all posts

Friday, December 09, 2016

A Christmas gift for all cats

Dear George,
The other night I was watching this video with this kitty whacking her human’s fingers.
Immediately I realized the potential of getting rich quickly by intelligently marketing this game as well as mass producing these cardboard boxes ready to use (something like “pret-a-porter” in fashion world). I really like this cat game: it is entertaining for us and educational for humans – our human pets will perfect their skills and we, the cats, enjoy the interaction with them! I shall call this “spending quality time” with your human. 
So, late at night I was sitting on my favorite counter and contemplating my sketch (both my photo and my sketch attached) planning the business venture, suppliers, insurance (what if a kitty literary “kills” her human’s finger – the game is meant only to whack not kill), shipping….you know…all that boring stuff coming with any successful business.
And, on second thoughts, I decided to post the sketch and the game on your blog free! 
Why not? It’s Christmas and in the spirit of giving ….I give the game free!
Any human can reproduce my sketch and make some holes in a cardboard box and have fun with his/her kitty.
Merry Christmas to all
Diego

Dear Diego,
Thank you for sharing this. Yes, it's a good game but only for adult cats. We can control ourselves and not injure our humans too badly. Personally I prefer fishing rod games, as humans can play them with us  while watching TV. But this finger game is fun too particularly for cats that live indoors.
It's not for kittens. Kittens enjoy it but it can make them too scratchy to humans. Let me tell you the cautionary tale of Tommy (still waiting for a home).  His humans played fingers games with him as a kitten, then when he got a bit bigger they punished him for biting their fingers. And so he bit harder. And they punished harder.....  So they then threw him out of the house for being "vicious." It wasn't his fault - he was just playing.
He had to go into rehab with Celia and learn to be gentle. 
I love the way your fur colour matches the kitchen.
Yours
George

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Rescued - severely hydrated, starving, tiny and very ill.

Dear George,
This is me, Merlina. Somebody picked me up at a farm where there was a feral colony of cats. I was so ill that I couldn't run away like the rest of them did.
Everything hurts. My eye is swollen and raw where I scratched it. My right leg is almost hairless and inflamed from where it touched the eye. It's hard to breathe with all the phlegm nearly choking me
After a vet's visit, I arrived at Sunshine Cat Rescue who put me in a kitten pen with a water bowl. I was so thirsty I drank for a whole minute. Eventually I started eating too.
Now I am settling down to a regime of food, eye drops and antibiotic pills. I'm still scared.
Yours Merlina.

Dear Merlina,
Welcome to your new life. You will now live to be a happy loving pet cat. Your beautiful grey markings and the fact that you will learn to trust humans means that from now on, it's going to be a thousand times better than it has been so far.
Your photo shows how vaccinating cats is so important. Millions of kittens die from cat 'flu ever year and the ones that survive often have long term health issues. And if only the farmer had allowed his cat colony to be neutered and spayed, there wouldn't have been kittens dying of cat flu all over the barn. It could have been a healthier happier colony.
A message to all other cats - make sure your humans vaccinate you if you are allowed outdoors. Help the local cat lovers who are trapping, neutering and returning feral cats in established colonies.
Because I was originally a rescued feral kitten too, I support Sunshine Cat Rescue in Oxfordshire with regular donations. If you'd like to help pay Merlina's vet bills, go to their website here. The donation button for PayPal is on the right, at the bottom of the page.
Yours George.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Four weeks old - abandoned twice, but now in a safe home

Dear George, 
My letter will be very, very short as I’m a four weeks old rescue and I can barely reach the keyboard! I desperately need your advice! I was abandoned on a front lawn when I was less than four weeks old. The home owner or rather said the front yard owner said she’ll keep me but later changed her mind. Luckily the next door neighbour (a very nice and loving lady) volunteered to take me in (even if she already has a rescue cat)!
So, I was abandoned twice in my young life so to speak!
My new good mommy never had to take care of such a young kitty and even if she’s trying her best we both need some solid advice! She takes me to work with her (in her purse) so she can bottle feed me but what else does she need to know or do?
George, please help!
Franklin 

Dear Franklin, 
Thank goodness you have finally found a human pet who can be relied upon.  If your new pet needs to be up to speed on bottle feeding, she can find advice here. How wonderful that she takes you to work in her handbag (or purse as you say in Canada). She must have a great boss. What a great way to socialise you to other human beings.
If you are now four weeks old, it's time to think about weaning and there is good information here.  Slowly introduce kitten food.  Because kittens need the right food ingredients, it's best to feed ordinary over the counter kitten food made by a reputable manufacturer. They've done a lot of research into growth rates over the years. Later, if you want to, you can switch your adult cat to organic or ethical diets. At the moment some of these are not reliable (because of libel I can't name names) and therefore should not be used for the first year. Home-made diets can also lead to stunted growth or even bone deformities. 
You look really good - unlike the little kitten handed into Celia last week, which had infected eyes, cat flu, hair loss on two feet, and a belly swollen with worms. 
Yours 
George
PS. Remind your human not to play games with her hands with you. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Was I weaned too young? Will I have behaviour problems?

Dear George,
I’m sitting here, on the stairs (as you can see in the photo) and left to ponder over my human’s words “that I was way too young” when I was rescued. It seems that my human mummy has this obsession about who could abandon me at such a young age.
The truth is that I can’t remember how old I was but probably I was about 4 weeks old when I “landed” into my humans’ backyard. How did I get there? No one, including myself, has any idea! Based on the comments I hear it seems that I lack some skills that only the biological mother can teach the kittens. Well, I purr-sonally don’t think I miss anything! Actually I think I’m purr-fect! And I live a very happy life! 
So George, why four weeks is “way too young” and “12 weeks is a bit old”?
Is there such a thing as “an appropriate age” for adoption?
A bit confused but otherwise Purr-fect!
CAT Victoria 

Dear Victoria,  
There are two reasons why cats should stay with their mother for about eight weeks minimum (if possible).  One is food. Mother's milk is the best way for them to grow big and strong, though they can take solid food as well from 4 weeks. If they are orphan kittens, most shelters will supplement solid food with special formula milk. 
But cats are very adaptable. If there is no mother, and they are put on all-solid food at four weeks, most will survive.  Feral kittens, that lose their mother, often start hunting earlier than those that still have a mum. They have to, if they are to survive.
The second reason is behaviour. Kittens learn a lot from the mother and siblings. They learn how to play without being too rough. They learn what is good to eat. Kittens brought up with a mother but without siblings may be less sociable towards other cats (we think). They may be more aggressive to other cats. 
If they are bottle fed by a human, it is said that they think they are human. They have difficulties mating. The other possibility - and research is under way on this - that they cannot tolerate frustration.
A mother cat starts pushing her kittens away from her when it is time to wean them: but human bottle feeders often don't do this. So the kitten doesn't learn how to tolerate not getting what it wants. 
None of this matters much, Victoria, if you have a good home, have been neutered, and have learned to be gentle with your humans. Yes you are Purr-fect!
Yours
George
PS. Going to your final home at 12 weeks, which is what most pedigree breeders suggest, is OK as long as you have had a proper upbringing with the breeder, met other cats, and met lots of humans. If you were born in a chalet and not handled enough, 12 weeks is late to learn about humans. But it is not impossible - look at Abby's progress here.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

A “Cat proof house” - what does it mean exactly?

Dear George,
I’m Pepe! I’m now 11 weeks old and, of course brilliant; I was featured on your blog before (I’m one of the cute kittens born to a feral cat rescued by a nice human). 
I must admit I have a very happy kittenhood being loved and nursed by my biological mother, playing with my other four siblings and being taken care of by my foster human mommy. But! And there is a big BUT ….it looks like I’ll be adopted soon and I’ll go to my forever home which I’m sure it will be very nice! At the moment I’m totally confused and I need your help George to sort this out! I heard my foster mommy saying that she won’t let me go until the people have a “cat proof” home and prove their abilities and capabilities to take care of me and obey my orders! Hooray! I like that! So, it is my understanding that a “cat proof” home it’s something very safe for cats. My foster mommy worries so much about our safety that I had to mastermind a “cat safe” game which actually means playing with a ping pong ball in the bathtub (as you can see in the picture). But, my confusion come from the fact that I’ve heard one of our neighbours saying that she “burglar proof” her house when another neighbour said that were some “cat burglars” lately in the area! Just by listening to their chatting it made me think that I will never be able to get into my new home since it will be a “cat proof” house! That’s scary!  George, can you explain please? 
Totally cute….and confused 
Pepe 
Dear Pepe, 
A "cat proof" home? It could be that your foster mummy is looking for the ideal owner - a human who will serve you well, make sure you stay healthy, play games with you, give you proper health care no matter what the cost.....
Or it could be that she is looking for a home where you cannot roam and get lost. Here in the UK that can mean a home where you will always be indoors, not allowed to go out at all. If so, you will need plenty of things to do - places to climb, food dispensers to roll around, toys for play (ping pong balls are great) and humans who will play games with you every day.
Protectapet fencing
 

The other kind of cat-proof home is one where people have fenced in the garden properly. There are instructions how to do this at International Cat Care  There's also a good website which sells DIY fencing or who will come and fence your garden here.
So a cat proof home should be a good one. Have faith in your foster mum. She's doing a good job.
Yours
George
PS. There is only one kind of fencing to avoid - electronic fencing which gives an electric shock if you go over it. That kind of fencing doesn't stop dogs or predators coming into your territory: it just stops you going out of it. It's not safe for cats.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

How to avoid getting an "unsolicited" brother

Dear George, 
How much I wish you had never posted the letter about the kittens born to that wild cat!
Ugh! The minute my mommy read your post I knew she’s up to something!
It seems that I’m getting an “unsolicited” little brother! No, no, no! Of course my mommy is not pregnant but now….she wants to adopt the little tabby! He even got a name: Pepe! Well, Pepe is totally unsolicited (by me); he is not welcome in my territory!
What am I going to do with the little bugger? Being born to a wild cat probably he has no manners! Definitely he knows no etiquette!
George, any tips on how to be properly introduced? I don’t want him to step on my paws! Any rules to be set up? Any specific language that he’ll be responsive to? I mean …something simple as, mind you, he doesn’t come exactly from aristocracy! Or….teach me how to make my mother change her mind.
I’m royalty after all (photo above). Can I share my house with a pauper? Should I take him in my life?
Yours with apprehension
Princess   

Dear Princess,
You can't stop them, alas. Why do humans think we cats want another cat? They want another cat. It is not natural for cats to share, except with close relatives. Myself I have had to adjust to another cat in the household but I would have preferred to be the only cat. The centre of all attention. The focus of all eyes. Second, or even third cats in our territory just mean there is less human attention and less human service for me. No wonder you are apprehensive.
A very slow introduction is best with Pepe in a cat crate or a carrier or a separate room (Details here). You need to get used to his smell. Feliway Friend, a new product designed to encourage intercat friendship, will help here. Get them to plug in a diffuser where territory will be shared.
I recommend avoiding Pepe as much as possible at first. Make sure your humans feed you in different locations, not in row. Close-up feeding bowls look sweet on Facebook but are stressful for cats. In nature we are solitary eaters and solitary hunters. Make sure there are plenty of beds - human beds, cat beds, sofas, armchairs. You need a place to sleep undisturbed by a kitten.
Although it will be irritating to watch your humans playing with the kitten, at least it will mean that some of that kittenish energy will be soaked up and he will be less likely to harass you...
Best of luck. 
George
PS. Celia is helping Muriel Brasseur next year put on a course, Companion Animal Behaviour: Listening to and Understanding Animals. Animal Communication (Dogs, Cats and Rabbits) Day and Weekend Course at the University of Oxford on Fri 26 May 2017 to Sun 28 May 2017.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Born to be wild.... or perhaps not.

Dear George, 
Is this a valid statement or not so much? We were born of a feral cat but in a human house! Does that make us wild? We are five kitten - seven week old now - and quite social. We are ready for adoption (if anybody is interested). Our mother, who actually let this nice, generous human touch her, is getting to the clinic to be spayed. We heard our “temporary” human mother saying that she won’t release our feral mother back to the wild since she’s quite used to human touch now. But, what about us?
Are we going to be OK? One of the "girls' in the gang is getting used to catnip toys as you can see in the first photo.
Any wise advice George?
In a very playful mood,
The Three Musketeers (out of five)

Dear Kittens,
You are getting the best education you could have for a happy future  - warm shelter,  regular meals, soft beds, and attentive human servants. Train them using rewards (purrs, rubs, and the opportunity to stroke you) and punishments (hisses, ignoring them, and if necessary swipe and bite).
Start as you mean to go on. An intelligent kitten will have trained his human within the first four weeks to feed the correct food, change the litter tray regularly, and play enjoyable games with him. And all this without the human knowing that she has been trained.
Don't be too selfish. Allow them to share the bed with you. They make good hot water bottles.
Love 
George.
 





Saturday, March 26, 2016

Farewell my lovely Abby the Tabby.

Dear George,
I am distraught. I have lost my playmate, Abby the silver Tabby. We spent hours and hours with each other - chasing each other through a tunnel, poking each other, rolling around on our backs, biffing each other, embracing each other in a rough way. It was such fun.
Now she has gone. I am betrayed by Celia who packed her into a cat carrier, handed her to two strangers, who drove off down the track with her. I shall never see her again and there is nobody to play with.
Tilly, my tortoiseshell companion cat, dislikes me. I try to play but she just runs away. Would you believe it? She lay on her back on the concrete outside the house and rolled in pleasure once she knew Abby had gone. She's a real loner and I can't see what Celia sees in her.
Here are some of Celia's videos with Abby and a photo of me and Abby counter surfing. My heart is broken.
Yours sorrowfully
Toby.

Dear Toby,
Life is full of greetings and departures. You were Abby's mentor. You helped her grow from a frightened kitten (here) to a domesticated pet. She owes her happiness, in large part, to you. Try to remember that and be glad you could help her.
Now she is setting out on a new and happy life, in a home she will never have to leave, with a young human couple who will make good pets. She is young. They are young. She can live to be 20 years old with them: something she couldn't do with your older pet, Celia. 
Yours sympathetically
George

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Who's my father? Try the armpit test or quit worrying and be yourself

Dear George, 
Hope you can help as I’m living a big dilemma. I know who my biological mother is, I know who my adopted mother is, I know who my adopted father is but how would I know who my biological father is? When humans are looking for child support they do a DNA test and the “bad guy” ends up paying until the human kitten finishes university or is 21 years old. Well, in most cases we don’t get to live that long so our biological fathers won’t have to supply a daily fresh mouse for the next 21 years!
However, I don’t think it’s fair not to make them bring a mouse once in a while! 
My biological mother was rescued when she was very young and very pregnant! I was one of the kittens in the litter. The human who rescued my mother kept all of us so I had a very happy kittyhood! But, I wonder ….could that stray coming for dinner in the backyard be my father? Should I approach him? Ask him for a DNA test?
George, what cats do in such situations?
Eager to hear from you
Speedy

Dear Speedy,
It's a wise cat that knows its own father. I don't. A fair number of humans don't either: they only think they do. The joy of feline sex is that two or three different toms father a litter. It's nature's way of ensuring diversity. Humans have to have rules about this: we do it naturally. Gingers, blacks, black-and-whites, grey (all shades of) tortoiseshells and tabbies are all brought up as equals.
Forget your father. It's only boring humans care about paternity, and get DNA tests, and worry and upset themselves. It's mothers that count for us. They feed us and teach us. There's no kitten support from our fathers.
Yes, if that stray cat in the backyard looks like you, sniff the air and see if you can recognise a familiar scent. It's the armpit test and some believe cats can recognise their relatives. But that might just be catlore.
Purrsonally I never give my father a second thought. I am Glorious Me and that is all that matters.
George.  

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Is it play or is it fighting? Toby reveals his play technique.

Watch this on video here
Dear George,
I am trying to help Celia train her foster kitten, Abby the Tabby, to behave well towards other cats. It can be tiresome and sometimes downright embarrassing. She whizzes up to me, rubs against me, and shows excessive affection. Then she plays...
And plays and plays. And she is very rough. She body slams me. I pounce on her but I never have my claws out. How am I going to teach her to play less roughly?
Yours exhausted,
Toby.

Dear Toby,
I can tell that she is having a great time because there is no hissing, spitting, claws out, no tufts of hair and no blood.  It's play not discipline - thanks to your good manners. You are twice her size and would really beat her up if you chose to. And you don't, even when she jumps on you at speed.
Human pets don't understand us and sometimes think we are playing when we are fighting. So thank you for posting this video. It will help humans recognise play from fighting.
I am not sure if you will succeed in teaching Abby to play less roughly, Toby. But playing with her may help her to live with another adult cat when she finds her forever home.
Yours
George
PS. If you live Oxfordshire and can give Abby a home go to Sunshine Cat Rescue.




Saturday, May 30, 2015

Never trust a handsome stranger!

Dear George,
About two months ago I was inspecting my territory one more time before retiring for the night when I’ve seen this handsome stranger wondering around my alley. He looked a bit confused and hungry but irresistibly handsome so, I invited him in for dinner. Now, 60 plus days later…look at what happened to me! But, I’m neither upset nor ashamed; I love my babies and I think they all are beautiful, little miracles! Actually I had to hide them away from my humans as they constantly wanted to hold them, pet them, and kiss them. That’s a perfect example of why human kittens don’t behave later in life. My human mommy is so excited about my babies – she thinks they are Godsend but she’s not the one breastfeeding or teaching them mouse-ing! Anyway, since she wants to keep us all I made her promised me that we’ll all go through the “snip-snip” phase once my babies are old enough. In the meantime…I wonder where did the handsome Casanova vanish? Probably to more exotic places? Another alley? Another dinner?
Anyway, if anybody sees him…please catch him and….. fix him!
Any other suggestions George?
With loving purrs
Kitty-Kitty 

Dear Kitty-Kitty,
It's the  tom's that get the pleasure and it's the mums that get the kittens.... That's feline life, I am afraid. I am posting a photo here of some other kittens near me that are the result of a single night of pleasure with a tabby-and-white!  
Will you ever see that gorgeous hulk of tomcat  again? Probably not. You have to accept that a one night stand meant more to you than him. But being neutered (as I am) will allow you to swap the hurly burly of a night on the tiles to the restful pleasure of the sofa.
As soon as your babies get older, after about a week, you should encourage your humans to handle them.  It will help the kittens learn how to manage humans in later life - how to be relaxed with these large pets and how to train them.  
Yours restfully,
George
PS. There's a nice link to kitten advice here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

NO privacy? Humans are invading my right to be a private feline.

 
Dear George,
I hope you can help me with a rather delicate matter. I live with two humans, who I deemed suitable around this time last year, to be my assistants. They perform quite well if I’m honest-there is always somewhere comfy and warm to sleep, I don’t go without food, and there is a fine selection of toys provided. But, I’m starting to feel like I’ve made a terrible mistake. And I hate that.
You see, the one with the longer hair keeps taking photographs of me, and publishing them online. She has them taken before I know it-me playing, me exploring, even me sleeping!!! Some of these photos are embarrassing, especially when I’m playing with cheap toys that aren’t worth rejecting just to see the look on her face, or when I’m sleeping in less than glamorous locations. She has even put up photos of me WORKING for food. These photos are being published without my consent, and I am getting really sick of it. Surely I have the exclusive rights to my own image? WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS? Do you have any advice on what I can do to stop this happening? I don’t want to leave the house altogether, as it is satisfactory apart from this constant invasion of my privacy. I enclose some of the photos she has posted to illustrate my point.
Please help George,
Yours purringly,
Len (AKA Bishop Len Brennan, President of Mingtasmia).
P.S. The photos show me sleeping on a cardboard box (it was in the sun when I jumped up!), playing with an egg box full of treats, and sitting for a reward. All humiliating, I’m sure you’ll agree

Dear Len,
I have no comfort for you. Humans are addicted to taking our photos and putting them online - Facebook, blogs, YouTube. They even invade the privacy of kittens, would you believe?
I have utterly failed to train my human out of this behaviour. And did you know that the latest craze is for photos of hamsters' bottoms? What a disgusting species they are!
Yours in deepest gloom
George.
PS. Congratulations on your elevation to a bishopric in the footsteps of the famous Father Ted bishop. You will achieve celibacy more easily than some recent bishops!

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.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Online Cat, George's Christmas message - snow, turkey and a new home for Blossom.

Dear Readers,
It's Christmas again. That time of year when humans are particularly irrresponsible and try to dress us up in Santa hats, tied tinsel round our necks or think it is funny to offer us champagne. Do not, I repeat, do not co-operate with any of this. It's downright dangerous to eat Santa hats, tinsel or drink alcohol. I know of a Siamese (not Miss Ruby Foo next door) who drank some champagne from a mantlepiece glass, got dizzy and fell off the mantelpiece and broke her leg.
Tilly
My advice to you is to find a warm corner in the spare room and avoid most of the festivities. There is one exception. Turkey. Good cooks start cooking this early in the day and there may be interesting bits of skin or gristle thrown away at the start. Pull down the trash can and have a look inside.
Just before lunchtime, this huge bird is usually taken out of the oven and put on a kitchen surface while your human makes gravy, checks on the roast potatoes and puts on the sprouts. While a raw sprout makes quite a good toy for the kitchen floor, the cooked ones are of no interest.
Toby
Focus on that turkey. This is the one moment in an otherwise unpleasantly human-filled day, when they may be so distracted they do not notice your presence on the table or kitchen counter. If this is so, get stuck in. There's something called the Pope's nose on the back of the bird which you might be able to tear off and run off with.
The second chance of turkey occurs later when they have finished eating that course, and the dirty plates are set aside. Then greedy humans eat a Christmas pudding, and it is while they are busy with this, that you may be able to help clean the plates.
Blossom needs a home
Snow? Well there's talk of it this Christmas so I am illustrating this blog with some snow filled photos. Personally I like a little stroll in the snow after the Christmas dinner, but only a short excursion. It's too cold to be left outside too long.
I want to thank Fluffy for her contributions this year, and also to mention Blossom, a kitten currently taking up space in my house. She was born on the street, just like a famous human who was born in a manger. She was picked up starving and is still nervous of strange humans. She wants to adopt a kind patient human who can give her a quiet home in 2014. That's her on the right .
Happy Christmas all you cats out there
George.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Slow down for cats - a new feline campaign


 Dear George,
I live in a small village in the Cotswolds and metal cats troar through the village at high speed almost all the time. It is really frightening and the worst time is during the dusk, just when we cats are coming out to hunt. 
As far as I know there is nothing we can do about these lethal moving objects. I have sniffed round them, when they are stationery and can report that they are definitely not alive. They have some kind of automatic "life" which roars and makes them go off at high speed with a human inside.
Well, we know humans are not usually very bright but one of our village humans has come up with a good idea. She has put up a sign on the road, warning the cars to slow down. Here is a photo of it. 
I would like to see one of these in every village. If there are no kittens there, then the sign could just read "CATS." What do you think?
Yours
Penelope Purr

Dear Penelope,
I think it is a brilliant idea. I wish we could get more of these. Cats die on the road in their thousands in my country and nobody seems to care. The cars just speed on their way without stopping to see if they can help. These metal things are completely uncaring. Sometimes I think the cats that die outright are luckier than those who crawl away and die in agony in the hedge.
Maybe we could start a campaign for more "Slow Kitten" signs.
Yours
George


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Emergency - a vicious kitten and a sadly demented human

Dear George,
My household is completely upset by this small tortoiseshell and white kitten who has the impertinence to harass me
When she first arrived, it wasn't too bad. She was kept in quarantine with an infection so I just lost one room of my territory. Then she expanded her territory into a second room. As the weather has been fine that wasn't too bad either. I spent a lot of time out.
But the other day I slipped in after my human just to check out the possibilities of a second meal (found a few fragments as you can see). At first she just sniffed me then she started biffing me. She ran up and down the room landing small kitten punches as she passed.
It was very upsetting. I had to get the human to let me out. Me who is five times her size had to retreat. How can I get rid of her? She is a rescue foster kitten, but it is me who needs rescuing.
Yours,
Toby, Disgusted of Ringwood.

Dear Toby,
You have a problem and that problem is not the kitten, but your pet human. If she is moving into rescuing kittens, your home won't be your own again. Humans with a pathological rescue tendency fill the home with rescued cats. Sometime, when this human psychological condition gets too overwhelming, the place becomes a death trap - scores of cats, disease, and not enough litter trays.
Act now and act firmly. I suggest you spray along the door which opens into the kittens room. This should get a message to your human that you do not want the intruder in your life. If you do get into the room, do not let food distract you, biff back. You should be able to fight off a kitten without using your claws. Use your weight instead.
If you are lucky, this will be a temporary aberration and the kitten will shortly disappear to a new home. Cross your paws, Toby. And pray to that Higher Feline that looks after the welfare of cats.
Yours with sympathy,
George.
For sad news about Gerry read http://everycat.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/gerry-little-cat-made-of-fun-farewell.html

Saturday, June 08, 2013

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

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

Saturday, November 03, 2012

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

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

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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

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

Dear George,

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

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

 


Saturday, March 31, 2012

I'm only a kitten but....

Hi George,
I am just a kitten but I want you to know that I am learning fast in a human home. My mother had me in a cardboard box and me and my three other siblings have been romping round this human cottage from the moment we left the box. The two humans here handle us and play with us and pick us up, and generally make much of us. As a result we are learning how live with this other inferior species and how to deal with their behaviour.
But what about other kittens? What about the ones that are born in shelters? How will they learn?
Love
Susie.

Dear Susie,
They won't learn very well, is the answer. Too many rescue places are still putting mothers and kittens into cat pens - often in a "quieter" part of the shelter. So they grow up only meeting a few humans and only for a little part of the day.
So when they get outside into the wide world, it is a struggle for them to know how to train and live with their new humans. It's like meeting an elephant for the first time, or even a whole family of elephants, and having to work out how to make sure these huge animals do what you want..... not easy, Susie.
Luckily you have had a good start in life. Some of the better rescue charities in the UK are beginning to realise that kittens do better if they are fostered in a human home. That way, they learn to live with humans from the start and begin at a very early age to pick up the basics of human training.
Love George.

PS. This blog entry is late due to my secretary, Celia, going away for the day for a "college" reunion. She didn't learn much there when she was an adolescent and her absence from her duties this Saturday has sorely tried my temper.

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