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

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.
  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

About worms and blogs....


Dear George,
We have been very inspired by your blog and decided to do one of our own, regularly enlightening the humans of Marlborough on aspects of our lives in The Marlborough Weekly Advertiser. The side effect of this successful endeavour is that now we do not get a moments peace. Whilst relaxing in our usual sunspot on the window sill we are now constantly woken up by people knocking on the window calling our names, it can be quite annoying but we feel it is a small sacrifice for the greater good – promoting feline and human communications.
However, recently there is one problem we have not been able to overcome, I, Lily have been working hard to contribute to the household, and during the recent wet weather spent many hours out in the cold and wet waiting for just the right moment to catch my prey. And yet, every single time I bring this juicy present to my human, she picks it up and puts it back outside in the flower pot! She seems to be deranged!
Yours,
Lily and Neeka
PS. As you can see from the photos, Lily is doing much of the editorial and Neeko is busy with research, when they are not bringing in worms.


Dear Lily and Neeka,
We cats are colonising the internet. We are on Facebook. We are on Twitter (my colleague Tilly tweets from TillyUgliest Cat). And we blog. Boy do we blog Take a look at the cat blogosphere .
Worms, I am afraid to say, are a sign of your relative youth. Yes, I enjoyed bringing in worms as a youngster. So satisfying to see the face of humans when I dropped one on the pillow. Or the screech as she put her foot into a shoe which had a worm in it. But they are small game.
You will have much more fun with mice. Humans really freak out if you drop one on their bed. Particularly if it is still alive. Putting a dead one into a shoe is good too. But the best place,for getting your human's attention, is to stash one in her handbag. It never fails. Never. Try it.
Rats are even better and I dare say there are a lot of rats in Marlborough. But they are a bit of a challenge. I have brought in living rats but usually they jumped out of my mouth before I got to the bedroom. Keep me posted on your progress.
Love George

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hosts with the most at the cat cafe


Dear George,
We are five cats who have gone into business opening a cafe for cat hungry humans. It's called Cafe Neko, meaning cat in Japanese, and its in Vienna city centre. We just hang out and do the host and hostess stuff w
hile our human Takako Ishimitzu organises the human food and drink. We had to train her to get a license from Vienna's human bureaucrats (crats not cats - cats wouldn't be so silly) who kept objecting on the grounds of hygeine.
Hygeine, can you believe it. We are the cleanest species on the planet and the humans (who can't even wash themselves with their own tongues) think it is unhygeinic for us to run a cafe. It took us three years before she successfully got past their objections. We all came from the animal shelter and our job is just to
let the humans stroke us and talk to us. You can see a film of our cafe here.
Business is booming. As you can imagine, humans really enjoy the chance to interact with a superior species. The 50 seats are full most of the time.
There are 39 cat cafes in Japan and the first ever one opened in Taiwan in l998. So it is a gr
owing trend. If you are passing through Vienna do drop in and see us.
Yours cheerfully,
Sonja, Thomas, Moritz, Luca and Momo
PS. The phone is of a Japanese cafe not the Vienna one.

Dear Sonja, Thomas, Moritz, Luca and Momo,
Cafe hosting is a splendid new business of cats. Here in the UK we have the occasional pub cat (see photo below) but the spoil sport bureaucrats (crats not cats) don't let cats into areas where food is sold. It's very unfair. Most working cats are employed in stables, or barns or outhouses as rodent operatives - and a very
good job they do too.
Mabel the retail cat is perhaps the nearest we have to a working cafe cat. She has been particularly busy lately.
Ron my human newshound reports: "She decorated Clark's window on a sunny Wednesday morning, carefully using a sandal for a pillow. She got herself locked in Milletts overnight on Thursday (but didn't le
ave a mess of any sort). Friday morning she was refusing cheese at the stall but yowled until Ken cut her a slice of ham. On Saturday she was curled-up asleep in a basket of special offers on the counter of Trading Post record shop. Sunday she spend mostly in Works (remaindered books, cheap games etc) and yesterday after breakfast at Clark's she visited Superdrug."
I am dead envious of all of you. I live a quiet life in the country catching country mice but sometimes I yearn for the big city and a chance to get hold of town mice (and rats).
One thing I am pleased by. There are no bureaucats. We don't do bureacracy in any way.
George.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Art, artists and the life of a feline model


Dear George,

It’s me CAT Victoria and I’ll be very short as I’m very angry! A while back my human mommy took painting as a snobby hobby and everybody was happy for her. Lately she became completely selfish, self-centered and insensitive. The other day she asked me to sit still on a chair! How could I be still when the sun is out and the birds are singing in the trees? I just gave her “that look” and left the chair. Later I heard her saying that she’ll bring Cricket. I thought, yes! great….I’ll have something crunchy for dinner!

To my astonishment she came home with a cat! I mean another cat. IN MY HOUSE?

I heard her saying: “Cricket please sit on that chair! Beautiful! good girl” And that damn cat sit still and my monster mommy painted her (art attached) while I was watching them from …behind a sofa! She’ll send some paintings to an art exhibition soon and she’s beaming! And I’m so infuriated! How could she paint another cat for the expo? That’s not fair! I’m so shocked that I can’t even think straight. George, what should I do?

I feel hurt and mad! And she’ll expect me to be nice to her on Mother’s Day?

Forget about it! Maybe I re-home myself to a better mommy!

By the way, Happy Mother’s Day to all good mothers!

CAT Victoria



Dear Victoria,

No wonder you are hurt. Talk about adding insult to injury. Not just painting another cat but bringing that cat into your home. Don't feel obliged to be nice to her. We cats have no obligation. We are not dogs. We are quite happy to bite the hand that feeds us. We don't crawl to our humans. We make them crawl to us - metaphorically, of course.

Mother's Day? I have a wicked suggestion. Give her the sort of Mother's Day present that humans hate. Revenge is a dead mouse, a half alive rat, part of a cockroach, or a fat blue bottle. Place this offering where it will upset her most -- on the pillow as she wakes up on Mother's Day. Enjoy her reactions.

I have never been painted but my predecessors, Fat Ada and Little Mog, were painted by Celia's mother, the late Joyce Haddon - here are the pictures. Little Mog is the one on the left. Fat Ada is the black and white beauty.

Love George

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Fat cats... no, pleasantly rounded and voluptuous



Dear George
I do so agree with what you say about the term ‘fat cats’. And never mind about applying it to humans – it is most impolite ever to combine the words fat and cat. Some of us may be a little portly – I myself am pleasantly rounded, in a way that I feel you would find quite charming! But the human hostess I live with imagines that I am concerned about putting on weight. I am of Russian descent, royal of course – would I worry about a thing like that?
George, she bans eating between meals – is that civilised? I plead for elevenses, afternoon tea, a little snack with cocktails, but she seldom obliges. I sometimes try a little hunting to supplement her so-called correct diet, but the staff have no idea how to dress and serve vole, so it just sits on the mat, unappetisingly furry.

I do hope, George, that you are not one of these gentlemen who has eyes only for the supermodel type. We more voluptuous ladies have so much to offer. Don’t we?
I am so thrilled to be writing to you
Truly yours

Natasha

Dear Natasha,
I have always thought that the sight of a well rounded female cat was a pleasant one, though my interest (after what happened to me at six months of age) has been purely theoretical. I perturbed that a cat of royal descent should have such difficulty getting proper staff. May I suggest careful attention to
Downton Abbey on the part of your humans. They can learn a lot from that nice butler and parlour maid. Deference. A proper attitude of service to those set above them.
Elevenses, afternoon tea, and a little cocktail snack would be ideal. I get these for myself by hunting. My background was, frankly, low life. I was an orphan of the streets, brought up in a Cats Protection workhouse, from which I adopted a maid of all work, Celia. She does her best, poor soul, but she is belongs more in the kitchen than the parlour.
She has never learned to dress game. I am forced to skin my own baby rabbits, and to pluck birds. But I would like to offer you a tip about small rodents. When eating, start at the head so that the fur is smooth all the way down. It may be if you adopt this technique, that vole will be more appetising.
Yours with all deference to a true aristocat
George
PS. Prayers and purrs for Cayenne who has so often graced these pages. She is recovering and will appreciate the invisible waves of love from us all.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Individuality, fat cats and judgemental humans

Hello George
I’m Rakishi (photo attached), a woolly black cat with a famously large tail. ( My male human says my father must have been a squirrel – that’s his idea of a joke).
I used to hang out with my friend Woody. We’d potter about the garden and sometimes have a nice lie-down near each other in the flowerbed outside my humans’ flat. I was sorry when he died. My humans said it was because he was so fat. He was only 10 kg.
I turned my attention to his flatmate Squawk, hoping he would be my pal instead. But I didn’t realise he’s a really awkward customer. No matter how hard I try he just won’t socialise with me, and sometimes he’s quite aggressive. When he’s angry and does his slow motion avoidance walk, I wait a minute and then go after him. I don’t like to give up, you see.
My humans are a cynical pair, and say he’s trying to take over my territory as he did with Woody’s, and that I don’t know the meaning of rejection (which is gobbledegook to me). They say that normal cats mostly keep themselves to themselves.

George, do you think I’m odd?
Happy mousing,
Rakishi

Dear Rakishi,
I don't think you are odd. I just think you are you. We cats are all raging individuals. We have different personalities (even human scientists, poor limited souls, admit that). Much of what we do in later life is affected by what happened in our kittenhoods. (If Freud had only studied cats and been less obsessed with sex, he might have had better insight into humans.)
Yes, cats can be very solitary by nature. Some really are the cats that walk by themselves. Others are quite sociable, particularly if they grew up in a home with lots of other cats.
I am a natural loner but my companion cat, William, now alas passed away, liked other cats. He would hang out with next door's Siamese, Miss Ruby Fou. She was probably attracted by his beautiful long hair and elegant tabby and white colouring.
Squawk seems to be one of those natural loners. He may even be aggressive about his territory so I advise you to give him a wide birth. Even your elegant bushy tail may not be enough to make him change his mind. As I said, some cats are just like that and nothing much will change them.
You will have to make do with socialising with your humans. I admit that this isn't as good as the company of other cats. The poor dumb creatures have no idea of how to behave in a proper feline manner. I noticed in a photo that Celia showed me that it looked as if your female human had been influenced by your hair style - hers looked dark and sleek too. The male, alas, hasn't got enough hair to keep up with you.
But they do value you, Rakishi. They do. Put up with their faults and defects.
Remember that kindness to humans pays off, usually with a bigger helping of cat food.
Happy mousing indeed.
George

PS. Your humans seem rather judgemental about fat cats.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Do humans have a sense of humour?



Dear George,

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

Scaramouche


Dear Scaramouche,

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

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

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

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

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

Yours grumpily

George




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