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Showing posts with label mice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mice. Show all posts

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Of cats and birthday presents from humans.

Dear George,
I’ve just turned four and I need your help to solve my dilemma; I have a feeling that my human pets didn’t really celebrate my birthday properly! I don’t exactly recall how did they celebrate my other three birthdays but I have this nagging feeling that they didn’t put too much effort into this year celebration. You see, I’m grateful I’ve rescued this stray family with two human kittens and no cats four years ago when I was just a tiny, few weeks old kitten. They seemed to be very happy all this time and I must admit they were very good servants so far. But, growing older and, obviously wiser I started questioning their deeds and, above all their motives! It looks like this year they “gifted” me with a new fence that I can’t climb so I’m confined in my own backyard. They know I love to wonder around the neighborhood so why would they do this to me? It is true they also gifted me with a little hammock and a cushioned basket for the backyard but I’m in my own backyard missing out peeing on my neighbor’s bed of flowers for example!For my birthday dinner I was served with one of my favorite pâté but where was my fresh, juicy mouse with four little candles on its head? Were my humans too lazy to hunt?
George, …these little things are bothering me. Are my humans slacking on their duties? Should I retaliate? Strong or mild punishment? Please advise!
Confused birthday boy,
Leo

Dear Leo,
Humans are hopeless at giving presents. Remember their horrified reactions, when you could still get your paws on a mouse and you gave the wriggling little morsel to them! Not a single "Thank you, Leo." Just squeals of dismay. Like me, you have probably tried over and over again to make them express some gratitude - dead mice, living mice, half dead rabbits and even (I dare say) the odd rat.
They are equally hopeless at giving presents. A mouse with four candles would have been wonderful. Instead you just get more tinned food. Not the same thing at all. How often have you been presented with false furry toy, when you would really have enjoyed a real furry rodent! Too many times!

What to do? My own technique is to follow the traditional feline advice. If it is theirs, take it over. If it is yours, ignore it.
Make your feelings clear by refusing to set paw in the hammock and the basket. Sit in the cardboard boxes that these items came instead.
Yours George
PS. I'd have eaten the pate too. Not a mouse but a shame to waste food.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Lauging at my humans' inability to become Master Mousers.

Dear George,
Looking at my photo (attached) you might think I’m yawning or screaming but I really don’t! What I’m doing thou is laughing out loud… at my human pets! You see, I live in a posh neighbourhood where everybody is minding their own business ….neighbours don’t share too much of a social life! I think my humans are the only ones enjoying the outdoors and once in a while a BBQ! It looks to me that my humans are the only ones eating meat on our street! I don’t know if the others are barbequing carrots but

I decided to teach my humans how to hunt for a fresh, juicy steak, sorry…mouse! 

I must admit I totally failed! When I first came home with a fresh, still alive mouse my mummy screamed so hard that she scared the heck out of me and the mouse! So, I gave up on her. Next I tried my human daddy but I wasn’t any more successful than first time!

When I brought him a little bird to taste he was in such a shock that I really gasped in disbelief and the bird flew away! Phew! Damn it! I said to myself I’m not going to give up on him so easily! Next I brought him a baby rabbit! Do you think he was pleased or grateful? No! He yelled at me! Well, this was too much! Having enough of it I let the rabbit go!  George, why are humans so difficult to train? I’d like to know what I did wrong that I failed so miserably. In the meantime I’m rolling on my back laughing out loud as I let my humans believe that all meat comes from the frozen section at the superstore!

Yours….in disbelief

Bear

Dear Bear,
Humans are so ungrateful. I have over the course of several years presented my human with mice, shrews, rats (dead and alive), a dead weasel (really hard to catch), and several baby rabbits, some of them still alive. Like you, I have suffered from screams, yells and hysteria (over the live rat). It is extremely hurtful.
The live rat was my final effort to teach them to hunt. I left it in the kitchen for Celia to finish off. I thought that its athletic abilities -- it ran up the corner of the wall - would arouse her hunting instinct. Nothing of the kind.  So I had to grab it myself and she shooed me out and shut the cat flap.
The smallest kitten learns to hunt. How can these humans be so foolish. I have repeatedly tried to educate Celia - she just cannot learn.
Yours
George.

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Friday, March 09, 2018

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

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

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

Saturday, February 03, 2018

The joy of eating grass, earthing and soft earth for litter!


Dear George, 
Please look at the photo attached and tell me what do you see?
Of course you see me and, by the look on my face, you probably think I’m being “interrupted” by something or someone from enjoying my grass! Correct? Ok! You are absolutely right! You see, sometimes I chew on this grass and sometimes I sit on it! 
Well, I was sitting on it a minute before this photo was taken but I did shy away when I heard my mummy’s comments! When she saw me sitting there she got excited shouting: “look, look I’m growing a Chicolino in a pot” She start laughing and run to get the camera! How silly! But, by the time she was back I was off the grass.
She took the photo anyway! Then she was telling daddy what a “smart boy” I was as I was earthing, I was grounding! I was what? I did not understand what she was saying!
I assume it was something good as she went on and on saying that most people do it in Europe (by the way, she walks bare feet in the backyard) She said she wish more people knew about this so they can create “grass boxes” for indoor cats so they can ground as well. George, please enlighten us: what is earthing? And how does it benefit us?
Yours,
Chico
PS. There's a website about grounding that she likes here
and cats earthing here. 

  Dear Chico,
I see a cat who has been rescued by Michelle from cold and hunger, and who is enjoying his grass. Grass is so good for cats and you can buy it in pet shops or even grow your own.
Of course, I just go outside and eat my grass in the garden or the nearby cart track. Am I grounded? Well, I am because my paws are on the lawn, on the rough stony cart track and on the soft earth of the newly dug vegetable patch - a really nice large litter tray for a cat. Aren't I lucky?
Not so sure about electrical currents from the earth but I know earth feels good to me. And I am all for earthing if it purrsuades humans to give us a large area of soft earth as a litter tray! There is also some evidence that indoor-only cats may be affected by toxins in the house. 
So cats there are reading this, please get a cat flap, or get some cat grass for your cat. And, if your human won't give you a nearly dug vegetable or flower patch, get them to provide a large litter tray with enough litter in it. At least two and a half inches.
I'm off outside to get grounded.... and maybe catch a mouse.
Yours
George.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Looking for my mouse....

Dear George, 
I think my human mummy is going nuts! This week it was her birthday and she got as a gift “The Essential Dowsing Guide” book! That in itself was the biggest mistake as she immediately started reading it and then, of course, she tried to “explore” (oh! excuse me….dowse) everything that came to her mind or her way. I personally think this is a big no-no …but who would think a cat knows better? Anyway, I was quite bored waiting for to finish reading so we can play so I was looking for my mouse (toy). I didn’t say anything but I heard her saying: Ah! Ok! I can find you (meaning me) if you disappear, I can find lost objects and, actually I can find your mouse – a live mouse! Then….she went to the backyard with two L-shape rods and started walking around! George, is she really nuts? Who cares about dowsing? I don’t ….for the record.
Why?
First – I do not plan to “disappear” (after I lived on the streets for 3 years? No way).
Secondly – I’m not interest in any lost object! I can find my mouse toy without any gadgets. And thirdly – the live mouse is my “quick moving and juicy dinner” and all she did was to scare the heck out of my poor dinner! Now I have to eat the food she had prepared for me! Ugh! I know she holds in utmost respect the British Society of Dowsers! Since this association is in UK can you please ask them how can I tell her she has no talent for dowsing (proved last night) and how can I stop her from scaring away my dinner?
With much gratitude
Chico

Dear Chico,
This is a serious dilemma. We don't want humans to start finding and catching mice. This is our job.  I have always argued that mouse traps should be banned as should mouse poison (so dangerous for cats that decide to eat a mouse). Now dowsing. What will they think of next? They are dumb and dumber, poor creatures.
Maybe it would help if you started bringing her live mice so that she practiced inside the home, rather than interfering in your backyard? This is a tentative suggestion because many humans fail to appreciate our generosity and just scream or stand on chairs.
Another possibility is to use her as a hunting aid. At the moment she is scaring mice away but if she could only get a bit more expert at it, she could dowse their whereabouts, then call you in to finish them off. 
But is this likely? Humans are so noisy and clumsy that I believe they can only dowse inanimate things like water.... even the British Society of Dowsers would surely draw the line at mice.
Please stay in touch and tell me how you get on with this latest example of sheer human stupidity.
Yours
George.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Why are there no prehistoric cats?

Cher Georges,
I live in the Dordoigne in a house where there are archeologists as pets. Nearby there are lots of caves with prehistoric paintings in them which are about 22,000 years old.
Paintings of cave bears, bison, aurochs, deer and even cave lions. But no cats. Not a single one. Not even a little pawprint left on the sand.
Another bull but no cats

Why? My humans are not interested in this but I find it upsetting.
Isabel La Chatte.

Dear Isabel La Chatte,
There is no need to get excited or downhearted by this omission. The answer is simple. These paintings were done by primitive men and women who lived a nomadic life. They had no houses, just tents covered with animal skins - or they sheltered below the rocks of the Dordoigne.
Imagine the sheer discomfort. Imagine the damp. The lack of sophistication among these humans! How could we possibly adapt to this kind of lifestyle. It is simply not up to our requirements. We adopted humans about 10,000 years later in the Middle East, when they had settled down into properly built dry houses - incidentally houses with mice.
Then at last they had achieved a level of technology and civilisation worthy of us. So we deigned to move in with them.
Yours
George.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's a cat....

Dear George,
Here I am - flying through the air. All four feet tucked up while I am airborne, with my front feet ready to stretch out when I land - on a mouse in that long grass.
I heard the rustle and a tiny high pitched squeak, as I waited by the side of the grass. It wasn't going to come out of the grass so I had to leap high into the air to get to it.
Am I right to boast about this amazing feat?
Yours 
William

Dear William
Yes, you have the right to be proud about it. We cats are wonderful hunters - athletic, graceful, and astonishingly accurate. OK so  few foxes, wolves and dogs can do the same airborne leap. But none as graceful as us. 
Kittens can take a look at the video here and learn how it is done.
Yours
George


Friday, April 29, 2016

Good manners means starting at the nose not the tail.

Dear George, 
I wonder if you can help me with my human. I believe, if what I read on your admirable blog is representative, that she is not really any more stupid than the average for her species, but she seems unable to understand the correct procedure for eating wild food. My mother, a cat of impeccable manners and breeding, taught me that the correct way to eat a rabbit is to start with the head. Then, if your appetite is delicate, you can leave the body to be shared by your family. Amy Vanderbilt’s invaluable Complete Book of Cattiquette confirms that this is how prey is consumed in the best circles, and I have followed her additional advice to leave an eyeball uneaten for “Mr Manners.” My human seems unable to understand this basic concept and keeps asking me why I eat the head first. She seems unsatisfied when I tell her that this is simply the right way to do it. How can I make her understand? 
Yours ever, 
 Scaramouche

Dear Scaramouche,
Humans don't understand fur. They don't have any (except for some long fur on the head and some in the pits and pubes). Males have a few bristles and that it that. But mice and rats have fur - lots of it. If you eat it from the head first, the fur lies down flat. If you eat it from the backside forward, the fur gets ruffled up and makes it difficult to eat.
So it's not just good manners to eat that way: it's good practice. I do know of a bad mannered cat called Toby who starts in the middle. But he has lost 7 teeth and grew up on the street. You can take a cat out of the slum but you can't take the slum out of the cat. 
Keep up the good manners.
Yours respectfully, brother,
George.
PS. I leave the scut of a rabbit for Mr Manners.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Eating safely.... difficult for both cats and humans.

Dear George,
What do cats in Europe eat? I'm asking since recently I got sick and everybody thought the food I ate was the culprit! Honestly I don't know what to say more that I'm on a special diet of dry kibbles recommended by my doctor. I'm much better now but I start worrying about what I eat. It seems we have a big problem with pet food contaminated with Round-up in North America.
See for yourself what this lady, Shirley, has to say..."Yet another reason to feed our cats a raw food diet. The herbicide glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in weed killer Round Up, has been found in pet foods. A recently-released study by Dr. Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff reported that "We found significant levels of both glyphosate and AMPA in all pet foods tested (Table 15)." (AMPA is "aminomethylphosphonic acid.)
Dr. Michael W. Fox, a veterinarian who writes a syndicated column, says that when the preservative sodium nitrate (which is frequently used in pet food) combines with glyphosate, the combination is deadly. He used that word, deadly. 
The study is here.

George, do you think there are humans out there trying to poison us?
Is the solution....indeed... a raw meat diet?
Confused
Spokey


Dear Spokey,
The ideal diet would be mice, the odd bird, and the occasional insect, all of them with their skin and bones left on to be eaten. We have very exact requirements. We need taurine, which comes from meat. So don't feed us a vegetarian diet, as there is no taurine in plants. We need arachidonic acid, a fatty acid which dogs can make in their own bodies but we can't. So don't feed us dog food. And home-made diets may result in serious deficiencies or even the opposite, too much vitamin A. So don't feed us home made or any liver. Just flesh meat is not natural: animals eat skin and bone too.
Do not be confused by claims that natural is always good. Natural is not always good.
Raw food?  There are problems. The American Veterinary Association says they have the risk of giving cats or dogs food poisoning (and a risk to our humans). Because cats, unlike dogs, are not natural scavengers, they may be in even more danger than dogs. And what do the meat products include? In Germany a couple of dogs have developed hyperthyroidism (almost never seen in dogs) because the raw food included too many neck parts, which include the thyroid gland. And anyway in nature, cats would not be eating pork, beef and lamb.
It is safer to feed a good quality cat food, preferably in envelopes or dry rather than in a can. And avoid giblet flavour - as cans and giblets have been linked with the development of hyperthyroidism in cats. In the UK there is now a packeted raw food diet here which might be suitable: but I would want to check it out very carefully first. 
Finally, yes commercial pet foods can be contaminated quite severely. There's a website for petfoods that have had to be recalled here, though I don't agree with much of what it says. Never eat any cat food that was made in China. And don't believe the labels! Both dogs and kittens have been poisoned by excess vitamin D found in a so called "organic" food. 
It's a rough world out there, Spokey.  Oddly enough eating a food made by a major company is probably a bit safer, simply because they have more to lose if their pet food gets a bad reputation.
Yours gloomily.
George.
PS. Excuse me. I am just going to pop out for a nice fresh mouse. Even if it is contaminated by weedkiller used by the next door house owner.

 

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, January 17, 2015

I stuck my tongue out to my human



Dear George,
What my human did to me is outright outrageous! She tried to shame me (see my face in the photo no 2) by calling in an animal behaviour specialist "to assess my destructive behaviour"! It's hard to believe but that's exactly what she did! Ah! about my destructive behaviour? She claims that I destroyed the walls in the flat we live in; she claims that I shred them to dry wall! But, I did not! It is just one corner (of course...a junction between two walls) that I scratched and I'll continue to scratch not because I lack calcium but because I can smell, feel "something" in the walls. It might be a mouse or squirrel or who knows what....but I can smell it! I can feel it! And, she doesn't get it! The animal behaviour specialist's conclusion? That there is nothing wrong with me and she should call in the property manager! Aha! In response to that I stuck my tongue out to her! 
Here! (see it in photo # 1). So, George...did you hear of other cats behaving like me? Any tips? Advice? I really think there are mice running up and down the walls! Her argument against mine is that our flat is in a new, modern building! Have you ever heard of something like this before?
Hugs
Shumba

Dear Shumba,
I scratch therefore I am..... a cat.
It is difficult to remember than humans are smell-blind and nearly deaf. They just don't have the noses, the hearing, and the brain power to notice smells and tiny noises like we do. Of course there was some rodent or other behind the wall. There's nothing to stop house mice making a home in a new building. Many do. Modern buildings are well ventilated and warmer than old ones. Mice, like humans, often prefer them.
I am glad that she called in a relatively sensible human to help out - sensible because this human agreed with you that there was something there. (Poor Celia is studying hard to try to get the level of expertise that will allow her to become a better cat behaviourist. Just a glimmering of understanding cat behaviour may result.... or not.)
I hope your human has provided a good scratching area. Celia bought a nice new armchair two years ago which is splendid for cat claws. I also have a Fat Boy post - nice and stable and occasionally I even use it if I am bored with the chair.
Good job humans are dumb animals. Your human could just have blocked the area with a piece of furniture. Too stupid to think of that, I suppose. Nice for you though. It must be fun to scratch there.
Yours
George.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Bander, the pet shop cat, - should I go on diet?

Dear George,
My name is Bander and I consider myself one lucky cat!
Why? First and foremost because I'm a rescue!
Secondly, because I was rescued and adopted by an entire pet food store... Yes! Everybody loves me - starting with the owner, the staff and ending, of course, with the store's clients. Do you realize what that means for me? It means lots of petting and belly rubbing and unlimited free food - as much as I want from everything!
One particular client keeps telling the staff that I'm a bit skinny and asks how often do they feed me. They look at him like he is crazy since they think I'm well "too rounded" (pictures attached). But, I  took his saying at heart. I knew he's being sarcastic but his remark helped me develop a very entertaining habit at night. You see, when I'm alone in the store I feel so empowered and in charge...that I can do whatever I want, I literally can pick and choose! And, I choose to open whatever bag of food inspires me! Some nights I open two - three bags (not that I finish any) just for fun or maybe because I'm bored. They say I should exercise. But how can I exercise if I'm confined indoors? I'm no hamster to run on a wheel. And, honestly, food just tastes better than toy
George, I need your help as I don't know what to do. Do you think I should be on a diet?

Bander

Dear Bander,
Take no notice whatsoever of these remarks. As the manager of a pet store, it is clear to me that you must sample your wares. How else can you tell if you are selling high value products? How can you fulfill your duties to your customers without careful investigation and trials of the various food items.
As for exercise, tearing open food bags does involve exercise - clawing, tearing, pulling etc. And if you are sampling products, it is important to sample several rather than finish just one. 
It seems to me that what you are doing is a justifiable commercial activity. Get your humans to wise up. If they want to exercise you perhaps they could release some white mice or merely important some ordinary house mice. Then you could have real fun with a delicious meal at the end.
Yours sympathetically
George.
PS. It is a human (not a feline) failing to be obsessed with body shape. Who cares! 


Saturday, May 17, 2014

How could my human refuse such a magnificent gift?

Dear George,
I finally achieved my ambition. I caught a rat all by myself. Previously I have picked up and carried rats that were originally caught by my companion Tilly. I hunted this one all by myself.
Look at the size of it! Twice as big as a mouse. I won't bore you with the full tail - how I heard it squeak, focussed all my attention on the shrubbery, stalked slowly and quietly up to it, and then pounced grabbing it by its bottom.
I bore it proudly out from the shrub, my head held high, my whole body quivering with joy, and decided to give it to my human. I was sure she would like it, as she ran and got a camera to photograph me and my rat. It was big enough for a whole human meal. She could have eaten it on toast like a grouse.
What happened next was a huge disappointment. As I strode towards her, she turned tail and ran into the house. Then she actually locked the cat flap against me.
How could she be so insensitive?
Toby.

Dear Toby,
For years I have campaigned to try to get across this message. Human Beings Refuse to Eat Mice or Rats.  We have all tried our best. We have brought in a wide variety of rodents, and there has been not a single case of human gratitude. Nor has it ever been recorded that a human seized the dead rodent, cooked and ate it. They just don't.
Birds are another matter. They eat birds frequently, mainly chickens but occasionally larger birds like turkey and goose. They even eat wild birds like pheasants and partridges and I am told that in France they eat blackbirds, after putting them in a pate.
Even so, almost all human refuse to eat the birds we bring in. I do know of one case, when I brought in a partridge, my own human shuddered but her sister seized it off me, wrung its neck, plucked it and took it home to eat. Now there is a human that knows what's what - even if I did lose my bird.
You will just have to learn to live with human ingratitude about rats. You cannot change human nature.
Yours
George.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love is in the air - try cheek to cheek.

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Dear George,  
My name is Socks and I’m a rescue - one year old. Most of what I recall from my 1st year of life is living in a cage in a shelter. One lucky day a young and beautiful woman came to work at the shelter as part of her practice o
volunteering as she is studying to become a veterinarian. She worked with me and of course she felt in love with me and last week she took me home. That was the luckiest day of my life and I was very, very happy.
She is kind and loves me but, I’m so terrified by the idea that I might be abandoned again that I’m afraid to show her any sign of affection. I don’t want to be hurt again for trusting and loving humans; it happened before to me and that memory is too fresh.
Now with Valentine’s Day approaching I dream of a candlelight dinner with her!
I dream of sharing little kisses, loving care and, of course sharing a steak or a mouse whatever she’ll prefer. She thinks I’m shy …but I’m only afraid I’ll be again lonely and abandoned. Do you think it’s appropriate to ask her for a date and a candlelight dinner for Valentine’s?  Or is it too early for me to show my true feelings for her?
Do you think I’m too young to date? I heard someone saying “you are never too old to love”? That means one can love from a very young age, right?
George, I need all your help as my manners are “shelters manners” not very polished.
I don’t know how to be romantic but I love my human.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all.
In love and…. grateful,
Socks

Dear Socks, 
I think I can help. First, the question of meals for two. Sharing a Valentine meal with humans is fraught with difficulty. If you bring them a fresh mouse, they are likely to shriek, run away, or even (what a waste) take it away from you and let it free. They can't seem to appreciate the gift and have such bad manners they do not even thank you. So that definitely won't work.
Sharing her meal is possible. I suggest moving cautiously on this one. My human, when she is alone, eats at the kitchen table and I sit near her looking as attractive as I can. She dines on meat and vegetables but doesn't seem very keen on sharing either of them. (I will eat potato if it is roasted in fat). I have tried snagging the food off her plate and she takes offence. She is too selfish to share.
Sophisticats have to use other measures. I think your best bet is just lots and lots of rubs and purrs. Have you tried cheek to cheek rubbing? My human finds this very romantic. She takes off her glasses so that they don't intervene, lowers her head, and waits for me to rub my cheek against hers. So sweet.
Loud purring always goes down well. If you purr near her plate, it just might make her share a little. Snuggle close to her on the bed at night and purr through the night - her body warmth will be useful in the bad weather you are having in Canada.  
We can love at any age. So can humans. Sometimes I think the older they are, the more love they need from us. 
Love 
George


Saturday, January 04, 2014

Challenging those human new year resolutions!

Dear George,

I need your help in deciding if I should support or break my human’s New Year’s resolutions. Every year I hear mummy talking to her friends and decide on one thing or another. This year, with my feet in cold water – metaphorically, of course - (as you can see in the photo) I took the time to actually reflect on my humans’ resolutions. Here are some of them:

1)    Start eating healthy.  Why? This is such a non-sense; my humans are vegetarians anyway….so how much healthier than eating grass can one get? Maybe I should break this one; put some meat in their food. George, what do you think?

2)    Lose weight. That’s a good one! Laughable as it is! I love it as it never happens and never will. I don’t have to worry about this one as mummy is breaking it herself J)) give her a month or so!

3)    Get up early! Yes to this one….only if she’ll take turns with my daddy to serve me breakfast at 4 am or whenever I feel like.

4)    Exercise more! Yes to this one….only if it means holding the door for me each time I want to go out or come back in. If it’s to go to the gym and run like a rat on a wheel definitely “NO” as I’ll be left indoors for hours.

5)    Be nicer; say “hello” to at least one stranger every day! What? Is she nuts? That will get her in trouble. I have to break this one but I don’t know how. Hmm!

George I need your advice here.

6)    Get better organized! Definitely “NO” as this means the whole house will be upside down and things will be moved around. Plus our routine will be changed for months and I don’t like changes.
George….what should I do?
Why can’t humans have resolutions like “sleep longer hours”, “eat more treats,” “play with the mouse Fluffy brought in”, “enjoy more catnip”, etc.
Is there any hope George? Please share your wisdom with me
 Cheers & hugs
 Fluffy

Dear Fluffy,
Here we go again. Ridiculous trivial human resolutions which have nothing to do with what really matters - proper cat care and proper human service. Because I am grumpy after the long period of 'festivity" (I'd call it neglect), this kind of thing makes me tired and cynical about the inferior species.
Healthy eating? Vegetarian? Don't make me mew with cynicism. There's no point you trying to break this resolution by bringing a mouse or two. Humans never ever eat them. They spurn our helpful offerings.
Lose weight? Well padded knees make for a softer lap. Who wants a bony human? Not me.
Get up early - now there's something there, as you so wisely point out. I'd like two breakfasts. One at 3am and one at 7am.
Exercise more - yes, if it means more cat games, fishing rod toys, chasing round the house. As you say, rat-on-the-wheel gymnasiums have nothing to offer us - the humans simply leave the house.
Be nicer. Yes but to us not strangers. Ignore strangers. We don't like them.
Get better organised. Omigoodness... all that cleaning and furniture moving absolutely ruins the scent profile that I have been building up in the house by rubbing against doors, walls, furnitures etc.
Is there any hope? Well, luckily there is. Human beings usually fulfill their resolutions for a period of time which is about two weeks. Then life settles back nicely into normal. Don't worry, Fluffy, all this activity will soon be over.
Happy New Year without Resolutions
George.
PS. Get your human to put you on www.catsinsinks.com

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I conquered the Key to ….the Board!

Dear George,
Here it’s me again… Maggie….this time reporting a big victory as I conquered the key to the board or “tastiera” (yes, I’m of Italian descent and that’s what we call this thing)!
As you recall, I am in a big competition with Ziggy to win over his daddy.
So here is what happened! The other day Ziggy was “searching” my main quarters while I was all alone upstairs watching his daddy working on something that looks more like a frying pan to me than anything else.  Anyway, when he went to have his dinner…I just jumped over the frying pan and all I heard was: “Oh! No! She’s on the keyboard (as you can see in the picture) and I’ll lose everything I saved. Where is that damn mouse? The cordless mouse?!”  Now, that doesn’t make any sense to me. If I had the key to the board…how could he lose anything? I was (literally) over and holding all his savings.
I was all over the tastiera!  And what a mouse without a tail has to do with this or with his savings?  George, honestly…I have nothing to do with that tailless mouse! I didn’t see it, didn’t eat it …didn’t find it! Do you think that ….maybe Ziggy ate it trying to set me up? And how on earth a tailless mouse could save his fortune? 
Very confused,
Maggie

Dear Maggie,
This mouse thing that humans have is very odd. Mine has got one too. It's got quite a large tail which Celia has tied in some way to the keyboard (tastiera?). To stop it running away probably - except that it is disabled by having no legs at all. Underneath it glows red? Blood perhaps?
Yet it doesn't smell of mouse at all. It smells unpleasantly of plastic. It's got no fur, no whiskers, no tasty crunchy little feet. It's hard all over and the red under its body isn't liquid and doesn't smell right either. Even the tail isn't right. I know a mouse tail doesn't have fur, but this is sort of smooth instead of scaly. And I can't eat it - though I have tried. Not crunchy just hard. Difficult to swallow, I would think.
Obviously your mouse is disabled too if it hasn't got a tail.Can't believe Ziggy would have stolen it - what true cat would bother with such a tasteless scentless hard object. I am sure your human is to blame - so he is blaming you instead. They do this all the time. Blame us for things we haven't done or if we did do them, it was a reasonable thing to do.
So, Maggie, forget the mouse. Instead concentrate on the keyboard. If you lie on top of it or walk over it, you can make nice little mouse tracks on the screen. I favour xxxxxx. Or zzzzzzz - which looks like a nice long sleep. But $$$$$$ is a challenge to the ambitious cat as you have to stand on the capital key while poking at the $ key.  If you get this wrong it comes out just as 444444 which is fairly boring.
It's best to start this when he is using the keyboard himself. Leads to amusing human frustration!
Cheers for online cats
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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Do cats go to Vegas?

  Dear George,                                                   I’m having a big dilemma…. bigger than “to be or “not to be”! My dilemma is “should I go to Las Vegas or should I not”? I heard my human planning to go to Las Vegas (that’s true, he rescued me after his last trip there) and he might take me with him. All this because he’s afraid that I’ll bite the cat sitter again and now, she’s really scared of me. Well, if it’s up to me….then let it be…. Las Vegas – it sounds like lots of fun. I heard there are lots of rats there – this alone will provide hours and hours of entertainment. Someone mentioned sharks too – I don’t know what that is but I guess it is something bigger then a rat! Do you know if there are mice there too? Or are mice too small for this Cats’ Meow town? What else can one do in Las Vegas? I heard that what “happen” in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. Does that mean that…..if we “happen” there we’ll stay there? I don’t want to stay there nor do I want a brother or sister after this trip!
I’m confused! Hm! Guess…..I’m too young to understand all of this. By the way, how one gets there? Hopefully not by plane as I don’t like to be confined in a small cold space. I like to rest & relax as you can see in the picture. So, George, what do you think? Should I go or better stay home?
Vegas 
Dear Vegas,
Don't even think of it. You wouldn't like it at all. Have you ever seen that programme on TV called CSI - the one with lots of corpses.  Well, it's not so much the corpses that would worry you. After all, a dead human is much the same as a dead mouse only too big to eat or bat around. 
No, it's the fountains and the lights. Look at how the programme starts and you will see flashing lights all over the place in front of the casinos. You would not enjoy those lights. Or the lighted up fountains that suddenly come to life. Or the crash of the fruit machines. Nothing interesting  comes out of those. Just hard cold coins. There's not a mouse in sight in these places. True there is food of a sort - garbage, thrown away take-away food, and so forth. But the rats are huge. 
You were lucky enough to get away. Don't risk going back. We cats need to live in the present, not to bother ourselves about the past. Humans do that in their heads. They live in the past and the future so much they can't cope with the present at all. We are their superiors in this, as in much else. A cat has a clear head. Don't clutter yours with looking back.
Love George
PS. This posting is disgracefully late due to my secretary's irresponsibility. She had 48 hours away from her post, walking over the Peak District. Peak of disloyalty I called it. I made her feel really, really guilty about leaving me in the lurch. It's wonderful how we can make guilt work. As we don't do guilt, humans don't know how to get back at us on this one.
  

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