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Showing posts with label litter tray. Show all posts
Showing posts with label litter tray. Show all posts

Saturday, January 07, 2017

New Year.... New life.... .. and training a human

Dear George,
 I am Lila (the fluffy) and my sister is Angel (the tabby). We came from same litter and we are about 10 weeks old now. Before being rescued we were living under a deck but now we live in a mansion!  We spent our first Christmas with our new family and their relatives and sure enough people can be fun! At some point they all were talking about New Year’s resolutions. We don’t fully understand what that is but it seems like a good plan to follow in the year ahead! Our list would be very short: sleep, eat, play and getting lots of love from our humans. I also understood that in cats' ‘world it is a MUST to train one’s humans. I’ve heard you even wrote a book on the subject, is that so George? Then, we definitely need your help! Where do we start?
Gratefully yours,  
Lila

Dear Lila,
Start as you mean to go on.  Help your humans settle in to a sensible regime - regular meal times and regular times for sleep. Train them with reminders. Reminders include rubbing, loud purring, winding round feet, walking to the food bowl, even nipping toes under the duvet if they show signs of wanting to lie in at weekends rather than get your breakfast. 
Establish petting boundaries. Some humans are cat harassers. They want to kiss and hug and stroke for hours. Or they insist on petting in no-go areas like the lower tummy. A sharp nip will usually train them to stop. Punishment teaches them what is acceptable. Be humane - just a nip, rather than a bite which draws blood.
Litter trays (one for each cat) should be cleaned twice a day. If your human is idle about this, show them what you want. As soon as they clean the tray, use it. This makes the point that you were waiting for it to be cleaned. If they still don't get the message, and the tray is filthy, pee outside the litter tray. 
You can learn more about rewards and punishments in my book, One Hundred Ways for a Cat to Train its Human. Celia pretended she had written it but her role was purely secretarial, as I cannot type. I was the real author.
Yours
George, the real author. 


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mini Me - I have found my new home all by myself.

Dear George, 
I literally woke up the other day in front of a gate! I don’t know how I got there! 
 All I recall is that I was sleeping in my human kitten’s room the night before. 
Why was I left all alone in front of this gate I had no idea! Have I been dumped by my humans? It looked like it! But why? Well, I puffed up my chest and pushed the gate open! Wow! To my complete surprise I’ve met (behind that gate) “my maxi size me” (as you can see in the photo attached). Well, this “Maxi size me” was confused too as he was staring at me like I was his “mini size him”. At this peak of confusion his humans appeared and after few laughs they absolutely adopted me on spot! I felt immediately welcomed into their lives! I soon learned that there are two other cats and a dog living in the house. Everybody is very nice to me so far! But now…what? What should I do?  
What should I expect? And how do I secure my place in their hearts so I won’t be dumped again? 
ME (just “Mini Me”….I don’t have a name yet)

Dear Mini Me, 
Congratulations on a successful pet human adoption. You have chosen your new family all by yourself, as many cats do. You need do no more for the time being - just settle in and relax. Enjoy the food and the warmth - it's cold out there without a house to live in.
Once you feel at ease, it is important to start training your humans and, of course, the dogs. Successful training (of dogs that are used to cats) means standing up for yourself, never retreating, and being ready to give a sharp scratch on the nose if a dog is being difficult. It is essential that the household cats are at the top of the family hierarchy.
Next training the humans. First, work out what you want - do you want to sleep in a lap? is there room on the bed you share with humans or would you prefer the warmth from sharing with one of the dogs? Can you keep your food bowl to yourself without dogs or larger cats interfering? Are there enough litter trays (one for each cat and perhaps one extra)? 
When you get what you want, purr as loud as you can. If that doesn't work, then do something cute. Laughter is always a good human response to cats. So, if your humans have done something you like, reward them with cute behaviour to make them laugh. 
They won't even realise they are being trained. That's the beauty of training humans. They have no idea that we are doing it. Dumb animals indeed!!
Yours
George 

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Look what my human has made - an outside litter tray

Dear George
My human does make me laugh sometimes. She is always getting the builder to do stuff in the garden relating to me, or the squirrels. She enclosed the garden knowing how important it is for me to keep in shape and have great fun as I chase the many fascinating creatures and leaves in it, and of course to sunbathe on my castle. By the way, she only enclosed the garden as I am FIV positive.
The neighbour’s gardens have therefore become unavailable for doing my business, and this year she has vegetables and herbs growing which are great and convenient toileting locations as the soil is lovely and soft, but she has decided to offer me an alternative. A pit was dug today and filled with gravel and soft sand. I assume she wants me to use this instead. Doesn’t the contraption remind you of Dalek? I’ve had a wander inside, and may use it to shelter from the rain. Whether I’ll use it as a toilet remains to be seen. Do you think I’m being too much of a tease?
Yours in collusion for making our pets work really hard for us,
Diamond
P.S. I'm sending you my human pet's blog on how I inveigled myself into her life in case it might provide ideas to some of your readers. Read it here. And her website here.


Dear Diamond,
I love the way you have trained your pet to be so active on your behalf. Special fencing in the garden instead of an indoor-only life. I bet the neighbour is pleased! For some reason humans are very disgusted by cat poo in their gardens.
I love the idea of sand too. Just what our ancestors in the desert would have used. Is she prepared to make sure the loo is kept clean enough for you - solids cleared daily and urine flushed with water every two days or so? Otherwise it can get very smelly - even by feline standards. 
I've just got the news that Celia has taken on another difficult kitten.... apparently one that attacks the face! Luckily she (Celia not the kitten) wears glasses. I quite admire these feisty kittens but they need to learn how to train humans with rewards not punishments. Claws should only be used in an emergency.
Yours
George.



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 19, 2016

Mia the Cat, a true world traveller with a Scandinavian sweater.

Dear George,
I’m a world traveller! I have travelled, first class of course, to many places, some far away and some closer to home.  I’ve travelled by car, by ship, by train and by plane. All was fun – I enjoyed every single trip! I’ve even learned of a famous cat in UK who is a train station chief – I don’t know if she travels too but she got a very nice station manager suit! Well, my story is a happy tail! I was rescued when I was just few weeks old by this nice (and good looking) human who found me abandoned in a carrier with no food or water on a sidewalk near a newly demolished house. I was scared and hungry and too young to know what to do! I think at the beginning he was scared too; he didn’t know what to do with me so he start taking me with him on his trips (some for business and some for fun). He even got me a nice warm sweater for when we go up north and it’s a bit chilly! I love my sweater – it feels so cozy (see photo attached). Last month we went for a short vacation to the Caraibes! No, I didn’t get a swimsuit – I went “au naturel” since I preferred to spend my time inside the hotel room and not on the beach!
George, I’m so grateful for having such a wonderful human pet! Who could ask for more? However, last night he told me that he no longer will take me with him on his trips because he read somewhere that static electricity and the EMF (whatever is that) are very bad for cats’ health.  George, is that true? What is static and what is EMF?
Or maybe he plans to bring in another kitty and can’t afford two extra tickets?
What do you think? I know he’s looking for a cat sitter right now!
Mia 

Dear Mia, 
It's difficult to know what to suggest. Electromagnetic fields are created by almost anything we plug into the mains - fluorescent lighting, TVs, computers, mobile (cell) phones, microwave ovens, Wi-Fi, powerlines..... Our homes are full of these devices, so if he is leaving you at home, you won't be protected against them. Even if he turns everything off, there will still be the field coming from your neighbour's devices.
Perhaps he just thinks you will be happier in your home surroundings. Outgoing cats can enjoy travel - camping, caravanning, etc.  Others find it too stressful.  
Below is a photo of the Japanese station manager cat at Kishi train station in Wakayama. Nitama had previously served as a stationmaser at Idakiso Station but her new job is a promotion to a bigger station.
Purrsonally I don't want to be a station manager. I hate wearing the Santa hat Celia once put on me. And I don't want to travel. I enjoy having my own territory. Just make sure that your human gets the right kind of cat sitter - one with a heavy hand when it comes to putting out food and a light touch with a fishing rod toy. Oh yes, and purrlease a cat sitter who keeps the litter box very very clean.
Yours
George.



ia, a tru

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Waiting for George’s message…..a miracle happened!


Dear George,
You might recall that I had to (I was forced to) move in with three other cats just because my human decided to move in with someone. And, of course, my silly human couldn’t find a single, lonely and boring person; my human had to find another human who had not one but three cats! We asked ourselves many times “What is wrong with humans?” and my guess is that we’ll never find out! I wasn’t too happy about the situation but we, the cats, found ourselves each a favorite spot in the house and tried not to interact with each other too much! My favorite spot is the bed in the master bedroom where I’m trying hard “to push out” the intruder (I mean…the other human who now claims my human). However, a miracle happened George! Waiting for your Christmas message we found ourselves lying down together peacefully and happily (as you can see in the picture)! For one thing George I’m happy that Celia failed in her duties to you this time.
Now I need your advice on how to keep the momentum going?
Yours truly,
Vegas

Dear Vegas,
The failure of my Christmas message (due to human incompetence and a dead router) had one good effect then! What a happy and relaxed scene. Moving in with other cats can be so stressful, particularly if for cats that are natural loners. But you four felines seem to have integrated well. Just make sure that the new cats don't move in with you. Four is enough, I feel. 
Keep the momentum going by natural feline courtesy. Accept the fact that some cats do not want intimacy and would prefer agreeable acquaintanceship rather than close friendship. Make sure your human servants don't force you to eat from the same food bowl. If they do, it should always be full so that you can take it in turns. Better still, they should feed you at a decent cat-preferred distance from each other. Humans can be mean about litter trays. Four or even five litter trays, so that you don't have to share and they don't get dirty too quickly, would be ideal. We like litter that is generously two and a half inches deep!
I have had a quiet time since the end of the Christmas holiday. She, my pet, has been hunched over the computer studying for her exam. She has also asked me to point out that one of her ebooks (co-researched by me but without any acknowledgement of my part in it, shame on her) is available FREE from Monday January 11 on UK amazon here. She is not sure if it will be available in other countries!
Yours
George.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

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


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

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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pussy's Potent Pee Plunges Power Plug to Phut!

Dear George,
The other morning I went to use my large and frequently-emptied litter tray and to my slight surprise found that the back wall had been covered with a sheet of thick blue plastic. Indeed, this blue stuff had been brought down to floor level and my tray was sitting on a larger sheet of it.
I am not bothered by its presence, but I just wondered why it has appeared and wondered if you had any knowledge of such additions to a perfectly normal tray?
Sororital purrs
Milly

Dear Milly,
I am afraid that I have no idea whatsoever as to why your human changed the local décor, so I gave up trying to think about it and sent him a message via the Cat Ethernet. I do not usually bother to ask the inferior species for information: but this was an exception.This is his reply.
Your kind purrs returned.
George

Dear George,
As if I had dreamt it, I feel the need to write to you to explain a necessary modification to my cat's toilet area. In the small hours of one morning I was awoken by the wind and rain and did what I usually do at such times, turned on the BBC World Service for a news catch-up.
The clock/radio went dead. That week my area had suffered from a lengthy string of power cuts, mostly lasting for just a few minutes or even seconds as the local grid network automatically rerouted itself so as to by-pass a damaged power line. Usually very effective.
However on this occasion I noticed that there were lights on outside. It seemed that only my house was 'out'. So I took it that one of my circuit breakers had tripped. Indeed, the master breaker, as none of my light or power circuits worked.
This was bit of a nuisance for although I have a modern breaker system it is on an outside wall and a previous owner had placed a garden shed in front of it, although with the shed window against the electricity box door. So I had to put clothes on, go outside, reset breaker. Which promptly tripped again. Back inside to find the cause. Which was the power socket on the wall behind Milly’s tray. Where she had done a large pee while standing up. All over the power socket.
I removed the plug and patted the area dry. Went out and reset the breaker, which stayed on. Went back to bed.
Looking at the power socket it was obvious from corrosion of the brass plating and electric contacts that it had all been 'dampened' on a number of occasions. Replacing the socket took but a few minutes and as neither I nor Milly wish to relocate the tray the solution was to use a waterproof cover (wooden floor underlay) over the wall and indeed beneath the tray as a catch-all.
I have since seen Milly do the occasional pee while standing more-or-less upright; she has no problem with her waterworks nor stiffness in her joints, so I put the poor aim down to having other thoughts on her mind, such as "when will it stop raining".
Hope this explains the matter and you can go back to sleep.
Fond strokes to you and all at George Parva.
Jeremy

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Human abuse - I dodge the missiles but it upsets my human

Dear George,
My name is Lucifer and I am a BIG cat. This is me held aloft by my human. As you can see, I am relaxed about being lifted up - he doesn't do it very often because I am so heavy. So is he, incidentally.
My grudge of the week is a neighbour. This woman hates me. She harasses me every time I visit her garden, a garden which is kept like a litter tray - nice loose soil between every plant. Naturally I use it. Unnnaturally, she hates that.
Normally she contents herself with shouting at me but lately she has started throwing things - small stones, loose soil, and once even a cup of tea.
She's not a very good shot. She'd never make the village cricket team as a bowler, so I dodge the missiles easily. But it is emotionally upsetting for my human. 
Is there anything I can do about this? I don't like to see my human so upset.
Lucifer.

Dear Lucifer,
It's one of the mysteries of human behaviour that they dig up the soil in just the correct way for a feline latrine. Then they complain when we take advantage of their toil. But, hey, while we can change human behaviour by training, we can't really alter their instincts. Digging is an instinct for many of them.
Some human behaviour counsellors would suggest you don't use her garden. This, I think, is conniving with abuse. So I suggest you purrsuade your own human to install a litter tray for use during the day and wait till darkness falls to use her garden. Not difficult in this weather. Use her garden extensively at night. Once you get used to the routine, you will rarely have to use the indoor tray.
Your human can then tell the abuser that he has installed a tray that you are using (he can even offer to show it) and invent a fictitious cat in the neighbourhood - "that scrawny ginger one from the flats" - that is responsible for the cat poo. "He does it in my garden too even though Lucifer chases him off whenever he sees him there."
Hey presto, you are now the good guy chasing of the serial pooper. Sometimes deception is the only way to deal with human abuse.
Yours
George.
 


Friday, August 09, 2013

What's wrong with using the bathtub? It's easy for them to clean up...

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Dear George,
What is a bathtub? And what is its purpose? I'm quite perplexed by my humans' behaviour. Recently we moved again. Yes! I don't expect you to remember how many times we moved so far but, YES, we moved again.  First we moved into a new flat which was ok since I made it my own. Then, we moved in with the "other" human (who had 3 cats - at least we all came from the same shelter) and I had to share everything including my human.  Now we moved to a bigger house which is fine except that I can't find a damn thing anymore so I started using what humans call a "bathtub" as my litter box.
Wasn't this a brilliant idea? Do you see anything wrong with this? I don't but they're making such a big fuss about it. The other cats go to the basement. Well, I don't want to go there. So, what's wrong that I turned the bathtub into my big, comfortable litter box? I like it! It has a nice touch! And I like the color! The other day I heard one of them saying " again? he did it again? what do we do now; how can we use it"?  George, do you think they want to use it as their litter box as well? Are they trying to steal it from me? What should I do?
Yours perplexed
Vegas

Dear Vegas,
Perplexed? I am not surprised. They are just so odd.  In the room with the bathtub, there is a second device know as a lavatory which they use as a litter tray. The only difference is that this contains water. I have sometimes wondered if humans expect us to wait till the bath is full of water (like the human litter box) and then relieve ourselves. But something tells me that they wouldn't like that either. Humans are so unreasonable.
So I think you have to purrsuade them to do something about the litter boxes. Obviously you are trying to get a message to them. There should be one litterbox for each individual, and then one extra just so we cats have a choice. Have they put down enough of them? Just putting them all in the same location is also not at all pleasing for us. They need to be spaced out in different locations. We don't want to have to use a litter tray with another cat standing by, or have to queue for entry. Humans don't like queuing for the chance to eliminate: why do they think is it acceptable to ask us to do so? 
They could put a litter box in the bathroom for you, or in the utility room, or somewhere nice and secluded and then cover the bath with something like netting. Just expecting you to use the basement when you don't feel like it or feel anxious about the other cats, is unreasonable.  What they probably don't understand is that we cats get used to a certain feel under our feet: now you are getting used to the bathtub feel. If they don't act soon it will be too late.....
If all else fails, use their bed. Then, with a bit of luck, they will call in a cat behaviour expert....
Yours in sympathy
George.
PS. Some cats teach themselves to use the human litter tray but it is very awkward to balance on the seat.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stressed, unhappy and never off the litter tray... what's going on?

Dear George,  
I am a very troubled boy, and I hope that you can help me.
 I lived in a nice house with my human, and I liked it very much. I had all my things around me, direct access to the garden and I was very comfortable and relaxed there. It was my house – my home!
 Then about 8 weeks ago, there was lots of disruptions all my things were packed away and I was put in my cat basket and taken to another house – a strange house, with lots of strange smells…and none of them my comforting home smells. Obviously I was distressed by this and began meowing continuously to my human and pacing up and down the rooms. My human tried to comfort me by stroking me and talking softly to me. She also put down worn items of her clothing in different rooms so I could smell her everywhere around the house, but it still didn’t calm me.
 As the weeks went on my agitation grew and I just couldn’t settle. My agitation was made worse by the fact that we are now living in a flat, so I have to go out of my house and down a strange ‘shared’ corridor to get outside. And there is another cat who lives next door to us that uses the corridor too, and he didn’t take kindly to me using it and spat at me. Now I am even more upset. My human bought some Feliway plug ins, and whilst they calm me down for a while, my anxiety comes back.
 I have taken to using my litter tray constantly, sometimes as much as every ten minutes, which has given me a very sore and irritated bottom and I sometimes have a bit of blood in my urine. My human is very, very worried about me and doesn’t know where to turn.
 A few months before the move, I got lost for a number of weeks before I was found and re-united with my human. I was a rather traumatised from the experience, but soon settled down back in my home. So I don’t know if this has anything to do with my reaction now at the house move?
 Can you help me George and help my human to understand why I’m behaving like this and not settling down?
 Yours tearfully,
 Thomas.

Dear Thomas,
There is few things more upsetting to a cat than moving house. There you are settled and happy in your territory, when suddenly your pet human stuffs you in a cat box and turns you out into a strange new place. All the smells are wrong. You don't know where anything is. And it feels very very unsafe.
Most of us hide under the bed for a day or two. But some sensitive cats like you suffer from stress-induced illness. All that going to the litter tray is, I fear, a sign of cystitis. Vets (loathsome people) call it FIC, Feline Idiopathic Cystitis.  "Idiopathic" just means "we don't know the cause." But we cats do know the cause. It's stress due to house moving.
The earlier trauma of getting lost will not have helped. That must have been unsettling and probably also very frightening. Then this... poor Thomas. Even loathsome vets know that moving house is stressful for cats and can result in FIC.
Having to share the corridor with another strange cat (who hisses because he is frightened too) is another stress. Perhaps your humans could invest in a cat ladder letting you go outside from the window. Or put several cardboard boxes with entrances in them, where you can hide if the strange cat passes by. Or just keep you safely in the flat till you have recovered. My human's website has some suggestions for how to make indoor life more interesting for you.
Why humans insist on changing their territory is beyond my imagination.  They are a very insensitive species. Your letter makes me feel angry about their ridiculous behaviour.
They must reduce your stress and read the instructions at  http://www.catexpert.co.uk/cats/reasons-why-your-cat-feels-stressed-and-unhappy-and-what-to-do-about-them/
Yours with sympathy,
George.
PS. We hate vets but this is one time when you need their help.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How can I deal with a bully?


Dear George,

My brother Marti is a bully and it seems that my human either doesn’t realize it or doesn’t know how to deal with it. If you remember we are the three cats (Marti, Bentley and Princess Penelope) rescued from the same shelter. Marti has this crazy idea that he is somehow special and can bully the rest of us. I personally think he’s having an identity crisis. I think he’s having some self-confidence issues and that’s why he behaves like some “diva”. But, he can get away with pretty much everything!

He managed to stress Penelope to the extend that she won’t use the litter box properly.

He’s constantly stressing me by “pushing” me off the sofa or eating my food.

I’m very calm by nature and don’t like to put up a fight unless absolutely necessary.

I don’t like the idea that Princess P or myself will be taken back to the shelter because “we don’t behave”! I’d like to learn some ways to put Marti in his place. I’d like to be able to communicate to my human my concerns. And, George, between you and me, if it’s someone special in this house….then, it is me (as you can see in the photo) So George, I really hope that you and other cats on this blog can share some wisdom.

Bentley


Dear Bentley,

Being bullied is really awful. We cats deal with it by careful avoidance. Can you find yourself a place where you can retreat from him? Something like a sitting place high up? Or hidey hole where you can sit and guard the entrance - so that he can't get in. A covered cardboard box with an entrance hole cut into it makes a good retreat. You can sit inside with your head inside but looking out and he can't get at you.

Humans are dumb about cats because they are a promiscuously social species - they think we make friends and like company. They can't see that living with a bully is extremely stressful. Usually they only discover this when we get stress-induced cystitis, spray in the house, or have fights. They don't notice our unhappiness.

When we don't get on, we cannot share resources. So there has to be at least one litter tray for each cat and the trays should be in different locations. Poor Penelope must be able to get to the litter tray safely when she wants to. Sometimes bully cats sit outside litter trays and ambush us when we have to go in.

There should also be more than one food location - at least two in a three-cat house, preferably three. We cats hate having to eat close to each other. It's just not natural for us yet humans make us do it. Water bowls should be in several locations too. And there should be lots of cat beds and hidey holes.

Some people just separate the cats - with one cat living upstairs, one living downstairs. Installing a Petporte or Sureflap microchip operated cat flaps within the house can allow each individual cat to retreat to a room on its own. Or humans can operate a time share wherebye one cat spends 6-8pm in the living room, while the other spents 8-10pm.

Frankly, Bentley, if Marti continues to bully, your humans should think about rehoming him. Some cats cannot live in groups and it is best to find them homes where they can be on their own. If something isn't done, your health will suffer.

George.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Revenge on your human

Dear George,
How many cats do you know who enjoy sharing same bathtub or same litter box?
I bet none or extremely few (if any)!
Then, tell me George, why humans enjoy bathing in other people’s pools or bathtubs or seas? That’s a weird thing to do and my humans seem to enjoy it! They went to Mexico (no less) to do just this. Hellooooo? Mexico?
They can’t even speak the language! They are completely unable to say correctly “Hola” What if they are in an emergency? How are they going to say “ayuda por favor”
Phew!
I should be worried for them but I’m too furious; I’m fuming with anger! I AM MAD! They locked me up in the house for a week just to go and abuse the Mexican beaches and pools and whatever! I mean…..they left me home with Auntie C, but she is too afraid to let me outside. Plus, she constantly talks, making those silly calls: kitty-kitty, kitty-kitty and then some hilarious sounds. She’s telling me stories all day! Hey; I don’t want to hear dumb stories about good cats! I want to go outside and inspect my territory! Ugh! I wish Zorro scare them away with that big “Z” on their door and send them back home! Ah, George, they have no idea yet how dearly they are going to pay for this indiscretion! I’ll request to be fed (by hand) with my favourite food at the most unusual hours! First shrimps, then canned food, then cooked food! I’ll be asking for almost 24 hours door service. The minute they are asleep…I’ll make sure I’ll wake them up! And these are just few ideas. George, please feel free to suggest more. Por favor! I welcome any idea from our feline blogosphere. Meanwhile, I pretend…. I’m sunbathing (sic)…as you can see in the photo.
Diego


Dear Diego
,
Human beings are just dumb animals - can't speak feline body language like we do, and generally don't think like we do. The behaviour of your humans is typical of this very limited species. Good cats indeed! What on earth does this Auntie C. think she is doing! What she really means is stupid cats who do what their humans want. (There are a few of these but fortunately not too many). No wonder you are sick to death of her meaningless vocalisations.
The human obsession with water is really rather pathetic. Due to the floppiness and ineffectiveness of their tongues, they can't wash properly. They can't even reach the bits that need washing. We can lean round and wash every area of our body. Their bodies are so stiff and unmoving that they can't do this. Thus the water. They use water in their human litter tray (usually a kind of white bowl that flushes), they throw their whole bodies into a bath of water, or stand under water as it falls from the ceiling of a shower. Odd. Well, not just odd. Properly weird.
Yes, make them suffer, Diego. The best time to wake them up is the first night of their arrival. They will be tired after their journey. You can torture them with affection, so they don't even realise your true motives. Jump on the bed. Purr down their ears. Rub against their faces. Miaow. Give their cheeks little pats. Back up against their faces so that if their eyes open, the first thing they will see is a winking backside. They will think you have missed them and are being loving. You know you have missed them and you are furious.
Here are some more ideas - pee on their open suitcase before they have unpacked: scratch the mirror (makes a teeth-grating noise): jump on kitchen surfaces and the table where they are eating: trip them up: dig so furiously in the litter tray and litter flies out everywhere: leap into their arms or on to their shoulders from a distance: sit in all the doorways: scratch the furniture in front of their very eyes: poke your nose right into their coffee cups..... and all this before you have scratched them directly or bitten them.
Or you can be very dignified indeed and simply refuse to take any notice of them. Sit looking out of the window wistfully with your back towards them. Refuse to stay in the same room with them. Refuse to share the bed. This shunning treatment can really upset a sensitive human.
It's all good feline stuff.
George

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bunny bullying - the human obsession with cleaning


Dear George,
How do I put a stop to bunny bullying? Every morning my stuff is moved about, cleaned and tidied, replaced with dozing mats that don't smell of me and washed to within an inch of its life.The same happens to my two litter trays. As if this is not enough I am man-woman handled and whipped upside down while my err.... bottom is inspected. If it doesn't come up to their standards it is doused with my wet bunny flannel then bits of my precious fur is snipped off with a pair of dangerous looking scissors.What's a bit of poop between friends? I am then cuddled and horror of horrors, she sings to me!
I am getting old, George. I will be nine soon and I should be left alone to dream of piles of carrots and green fields. I have used every trick in my book to deter them from this manic, daily routine but they ignore me. Any ideas?
Harvey

Dear Harvey,
The human obsession with cleaning is irritating for all of us. We cats like a clean litter tray (no lumps or clumps) but one which has a nice familiar latrine smell. When humans scoop out the clumps, that is fine and we like that doing twice a day. But when they start cleaning up with smelling things or even putting in disgusting deodorant products, we vote with our feet. We go elsewhere. Just leaving a little heap outside the litter tray does the trick. Try it.
At least your human has the wit to give you two trays. Some human pets try to get away with one litter tray for two or three cats. It's horrible. Some don't clean up twice daily either and the clumps build up so that our paws get into it when we dig. I always try to tell my human that I like a clean tray by waiting till they have cleaned it then ostentatiously popping in to use it while they can see me. They seem to find this irritating and some don't get the message at all. Dumb animals, of course.

The bottom cleaning sounds really awful, Harvey. What does she think she is doing? A wet flannel, indeed! Luckily most humans leave feline bottoms well alone, since we have the claws to make them suffer if they interfere with private bits of our anatomy. The only time Celia put a hand on a feline bottom was when she was fostering Pushkin at his fattest. He just couldn't reach. So she snipped away at his fur, while he was forcibly held by her nephew. As soon as he lost a few ounces, he attended to his own bottom and made it clear to her that she had no further business with that area. She's stupid like all humans, but she got the message after he gave her a sharp nip.
I suppose rabbits can't bite but you could try giving her a good kicking. My local rabbits have had some kind of fight (mating season?) and there are tufts of fur all over the garden.
Have a go at her, Harvey. Let her know who's boss.
George.

PS. What's this singing? I don't approve of human caterwauls. They don't get their miaows in tune.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Teasing my human on the toilet.

Dear George.
I love your blog! So impressed that you have your human trained to transcribe it for you. I tried it once but my humans were too dense to keep it up.
In revenge for their stupidity I have discovered that one of my habits is infinitely confusing to them. I should first explain that as an indoor cat living in a small house, my litter tray is tucked away in the bathroom next to the big porcelain one the overdeveloped apes use. I wait until the female is using her litter tray and then wander in to use mine. Of course I have to drape my tail over her leg while I get myself in position, then, as I go I can gaze up at her. This REALLY confuses the human. If she tries to move before I'm done to get her hands wet (why do they do that, can't they keep themselves clean without involving water?) I'll tell her off, maybe even swipe at her leg, and then start again. If I don't need to go then I can just sit between her feet. It's best if she's wearing trousers as then I can get in them and control when she can move again.
Most importantly I rarely do this with the male one, only the female. They are really confused and, even better, occasionally unnerved by my behaviour.
My problem - which I have considerable difficulty admitting, even to your good self - is that the truth of the matter is that I have absolutely no idea why I am compelled to do this. I was wondering if you had any ideas?
Yours,
Mog

Dear Mog,
We are in deep waters here. On the one hand you are teasing your human in a splendidly creative, possibly even a triumphant way. I particularly like the inbuilt punishment if she moves before you want her to. And that splendid little addition of climbing into her trousers and sitting there to stop her moving. This is cat control at its best. I congratulate you.
However, I also understand that you are worried about this.... and I can see why. All of us get used to a certain ritual around toileting. Humans, for instance, often feel the need to read at the same time. We cats often have digging rituals - one dig to the right, one to the left, for instance. Some of us turn round before: others turn round afterwards for inspection. Some insist on using only one side of the litter tray. And so forth. Your ritual now involves a human.
What I fear is that this may become a dependency. If you get too used to the human presence, you may begin to find it difficult to eliminate when she is not there. And, of course, though it is only a relatively unimportant question of human rather than feline welfare, the same may happen to her. You may both find a certain difficulty in performing without the other's presence.
Be warned. Do not take this splendid game too far. We cat must never ever become dependant on human affection or even a human presence. Independance on the toilet, as well as elsewhere, must be maintained. So try to keep this human tease within moderation. Use your litter tray at least once a day without her presence.
Happy New Year to all Felines
George.
PS. If you will forgive a personal remark - what splendid white whiskers you have.

Friday, October 01, 2010

I want to be alone. These humans don't understand me.

Dear George,
I am really fed up with human beings (apes, Whicky Whudler calls them). They want a cat which fits into their lifestyle and I have just been put back for the second time into cat rescue. The problem is that I swipe at them. They call me aggressive. I'm not. I am just terrified. They keep getting in my face and they expect me to be OK with that. I went back to a new home and the first thing they did on day one was expect to cuddle me. I didn't know these people. So I clawed my way free. Next day I was back here.
Breeze.

PS. ISP troubles mean my photo is late arriving.

Dear Breeze,
This is one of the most difficult bits of owning a human. They just don't understand us. Most of them think we are like dogs - that we will accept being harassed and mauled as if we were stuffed toys. They would be better off getting a Postman Pat toy. It would help it some of them just bought a book... but they think they know it all already. An arrogant species.

My friend Francesca Riccomini (almost, thoug not quite as sensible as a cat) has written a nice easy text for them - with great photos. I don't suppose the rescue shelter where you are will give these away but it might help if they had them on sale. It would make a bit of money for rescue AND educate this pathetically ignorant species. Homo sapiens - wise humans. I don't think so.
Here are some of the things we dislike when we adopt a new human -- instant cuddling without proper foreplay at a suitable distance, suddden new dogs, sudden new cats (we don't like 'em), human kittens that maul us, having to eat close to other cats instead of privacy, having to share litter trays with other cats, litter trays in the wrong place, change of litter, dirty litter boxes (purrlease clean them twice a day), cheap food ... This list could go on forever.
They expect us to put up with a lot and then they moan when we object... Breeze, you need a quiet home with a properly respectful human. See if you can purrsuade her to buy this book as a start.
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