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Showing posts with label obedience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label obedience. Show all posts

Saturday, January 21, 2017

What's in a name? Naming cats....

Dear George, 
My name is Kriketel. You might ask what name is this. To tell you the truth I have no idea. All I know is that I was rescued from a pound on a Christmas day when I was only four week old. I live with two other cats, Minky and Didi. They weren’t too enthusiastic about me joining the family two years ago but I’m happy! I have a lovely Mom and a lovely home. Still… I wonder why was I named Kriketel? 
Not that I don’t like it but what if I want to change it? What cats do if they don’t like their names? How do we tell our humans? Based on what rules are we named? I watched a video about a black leopard who was unhappy with his name and after “talking” with an animal communicator (Anna Breytenbach) was renamed Spirit! But not all of us has access to an animal communicator! So what do we do? Again, how do we tell our humans? And, actually what’s in a name, George?

Dear Kriketel,
Your name is both enigmatic and sophisticated. We cats are enigmatic sophisti-cats. Spare a thought for those poor felines who are called names like Flirtybottom (yes I knew one), Fluffytail, or Paddypaws, or even Sweetiepops (an unfortunate name given to a dignified kitten by my pet Celia who should know better). None of those names have the dignified ring that your name has.
Josephine lives in Spain
Here in the UK cats often have names like Gismo, Speedy, or Ziggy suggesting a lack of obedience (we cats don't do obedience). Or place names like Winchester or Mr Woodstock. Or just nice human female names like Jospephine or Lily or manly names like mine, George, Sam or Burt. Tibbles is a traditional name that goes back to the medieval ages, when an epic poem about animals had Bruin the bear, Reynard the Fox and Thibault the cat! 
Our names say more about our pet humans than about us, but I think Kriketel is a great name and you should stick to it!
Here's a photo of Josephine.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Is dinner ready?

Dear George, 
We are Ella and Louis – that’s right… as in Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. 
I’m wearing my white coat (as you can see) and Louis (always a gentleman) is wearing his tuxedo.
We are quite like on that 1956 record cover (sorry darling but I forgot the name – we made so many records and shows together).
Anyway, the reason I’m writing to you is because we found out that you are a specialist in human behaviour and we need your help. Our humans got into the “cat homemade food” mania that lately took over the Internet, main stream news, TV, etc. – I mean all media! I’m not complaining about the food, don’t get me wrong – I’m complaining about the timing of our meals! 
See, I want to eat whenever I want ….like a real diva! My Mom is insisting on feeding us twice a day (morning and evening) at precise times. THAT drives me nuts! Absolutely nuts! And to add misery to aggravation….our Daddy is insisting on weighting and measuring everything such as protein, fats, minerals, vitamins, etc. (I think he is a nutritionist but that doesn’t give him the right to delay our meals). George, I’ll be happy with that roast chicken leftover! But, no ….I have to eat scientifically proved meals! 
Phew! So, for now I’m trying to be more vocal (as you can see in the picture attached) and hope my dear Louis will join me. I bet…no matter how much our humans enjoy music…they will give up and feed us right away! 
Any other suggestions George
Meowing on sweet blues notes 

Dear Ella,
You have got the right idea. Humans are suckers for the cute. Do something cute, like meowing, to get your human's attention. Without that, you can even start training. Once they are looking at you, then you have to "tell" these dumb humans what you want. Try the following:
The Sit Up method of getting food
  •  First cultivate the cute "I'm looking at you, kid" glance upwards - eyes large, whiskers wide, and a little tilt of the head. You may feel frustrated but you need to look cute.
  • Eyes to the food cupboard. Ostentatiously move from looking at him to the food cupboard, adding a little shoulder shift to make it more obvious - humans are not very bright.
  • Get off the table and walk to the food cupboard, then look back towards him. Even a really dumb human usually gets this one.
  • Meow. Follow up by getting off the table and winding round his legs. Then move three steps towards the food cupboard, turn, and do the appealing look. Got his attention? Another three steps towards the food and another look. This form of training by small increments is what is needed for a really dumb human.
  • Finally, when he is moving to get you your food, don't forget the thank you - a very loud purr as you are eating with the occasionally appealing look between mouthfuls. This is to reward him for his trouble.
You can adapt this schedule for being fed human food during human meal times. If you can add a little sit-up-and-beg to it, you may be lucky.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Is there a dog in the bag?.......

Dear George,
I need your advice on a sensitive subject. You know I’m a rescue who adopted this odd couple a while ago. My human pets have two human kittens who, of course, adore me! Last night while having supper I heard them talking about getting a dog who would fit in a bag! The truth is that the human kittens go to university and my human pets feel lonely and they need company, so they thought of getting a dog. I’m not getting into details here since it really doesn’t matter the size, breed, etc. All is good….as I’ll have more help to slave for me but, I think I should have some rules set up, don’t I? And, to get the rules right I need your help! Here is a list with what I have in mind. Please feel free to improve my list!
1)    No sniffing (can’t stand a dog sniffing at my behind)
2)     No mix and eat (meaning that the dog can’t have my food)
3)    Sofa time is all mine (dog needs a break…can sleep on the floor)
4)    No crazy running or chasing (I’m not a hound so I don’t race)
George, any other rule you can think of?


Dear Leo,
The only rule in my household is NO DOGS.  But I have Celia under a firm paw, and so she would not dare to add a dog.
However, it is always more difficult to get total obedience if you have several human pets, so you may have to put up with this invasion. Just thank the Big Cat Upstairs that it is doing to be a handbag dog - small enough for you to bully. (Yes, I dare say you could eat it, but that will really upset your humans!)
The rules you have forgotten are the most important rule of all. 
Rule One. The cat is Top Dog.
Rule TwoAuthority goes like this. Top Honcho, officer in command, is Leo. Humans are other rank, corporals, obeying commands from commanding officer. Dog is squaddy, ordinary soldier, obeying feline commands and human commands.
That's all you need to know. Instigate a claw and order regime from the start. Insolence or disobedience should be punished severely.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Dear George,
This is me among the heather. I think  I look  rather  sweet, but  I swiped  Mummy 's finger  just  after she took this photo. Blood everywhere,she seemed a bit  upset. Humans don't seem to understand that there are times when we need space.
A good swipe usually gets that space but does rather upset the humans. They are sensitive souls. She cooked me coley a couple of hours later, so think  I've got away with it.
But has she learned her lesson? Less likely, I fear. Humans don't seem to able to take in the fact that when we punish by swiping or biting they need to review their conduct and amend their ways.

Dear Toby,
It's a problem isn't it? Trying to get through to them. You would have thought they might realise that if we purr or rub, we are relatively pleased with their behaviour. Or even that we are encouraging future behaviour (such as putting out more food).
When we scratch, we are displeased. Whatever they have done just before the scratch was bad. I just wish I could miaow in human language 'Bad, human. Bad, Celia"  I do our feline body language but she fails to understand.
Still, they are sweet. Warm in bed. Generous with cat food. As pets go, they are definitely better than dogs. A human is a cat's best friend.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

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

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

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

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A few Feline Oscar nominations.....

Here are some of the great cats that I would like to nominate for an Oscar. This is my personal choice. There is also an actual UK Oscar award organised by Cats Protection.
My selection this week. Further photos will go on in two week's time.....From the top here goes:

CAT VICTORIA for her STAR QUALITY. Victoria has what all cats have - charisma, charm, beauty. She has all these qualities and more. She is a natural star.

FLUFFY. Fluffy has devoted her life to making sure her human has healthy eating patterns. On
e of her training methods is to sit firmly in the box showing that it is empty and reminding her human that she should order some more fruit.

SID. Sid is nominated for his hai
r style. It's not just his long fine hair which all Maine coons have. His ear hair is particularly charming, with great tufts coming out at the top. He also has great whiskers and a beautifully marked whisker pad with regular lines of dark whisker roots.

SPEEDY. Speedy has proved th
at cats can dance. As a kitten he practised on his human's bed throwing his toy mouse up and dancing below before catching it. Now he has taken his dance routine into the outside world, where it is much admired.

COCO. What-a-tail-my-cat has got award. Like all Birmans she has white gloves and white slippers but her glory is her tail.

MISS RUBY FOU. Miss Ruby Four (she does not like her name being truncated in any way) is nominated for her human training skills. Her humans obey and, if they don't, her firm tones make their life intolerable. She is the Mrs Woodhouse of cats, only a great deal more beautiful though noisier. At night she allows her humans to sleep either side of her, or (if she feels in the right mood) will sleep in the female human's arms.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I am in love with my cat sitter, I think?

Dear George,

My name is Alfie and I was adopted about 3 years ago from a pond. I was the last to be adopted only because people found me being “too black, too skinny and too ugly” based on their no-sense standards. So, I’m grateful to my human parents who adopted me the way I am. I’m even more grateful for all the love and care they give me. Recently I was found having a hyperthyroidism problem and I’m currently under medication.

But, my problem is of a different nature! Let me tell you what happened if I may! For the longest time my parents never went away. Lately they start going away for 3 days at a time or, mostly for a week. Of course, my mommy arranged with one of her friends to “cat-sit” me. So, actually it’s a couple cat-sitting me; he comes in the morning but in the evening they come together. They bring me toys, new food (better tasting that mine), we play and we talk a lot. She calls me “Alfonso, my love” and he calls me some funny nickname in a strange language that actually sounds very nice.

George, my problem is that I found myself wishing for my parents to go away more often. I don’t want to hurt their feelings ….but, I think I’m in love with my cat-sitter. What can I do? My mommy already mentioned that lately I became more talkative Probably my humans thought that because of my modest origin I don’t have a rich vocabulary, but I do. And I think I’m handsome too, otherwise why would she call me “Alfonso, my love”? So, George, help me with my two questions please; one – I need some tips regarding some sort of maintenance for my hyperthyroidism and second - how can I share my feelings without hurting anybody?


Dear Alfie,
You are worrying yourself unnecessarily. Stop thinking about your humans and start concentrating on getting your own way.
We cats often love more than one person (as do humans, actually). Your feelings are quite normal. Indeed many cats with a cat flap set up a second home further down the road or just round the corner. It's particularly useful when our humans leave the house all day and switch off the central heating in the winter. Down the road we can find a lonely person whose heating is on during the day and who may even offer us a better class of cat food. Two-timing is what humans call it: I just call it looking after my own needs.

So far, so good.... Our perfectly natural behaviour, however, sometimes upsets our humans. It's not as if humans don't two-time each other: they do. But they don't like it being done to them. Puursonally, I would show your feelings openly to your first family (so to speak) because with a bit of luck, they will try to be nicer to you. Indeed, it doesn't hurt to put on a sorrowful and unhappy air when they come back from their holidays/vacations. Humans feel something they call "guilt." We cats do not do guilt. But a guilty human is often a human who buys better cat food or gives us more games, more space in the bed, and more tickling behind the ears. Make guilt work in your favour, Alfie.
Hyperthyroidism is a breeze nowadays. Medication should work well. If you don't like the taste of the pill, or the inhumane way humans stuff it into your throat, purrsuade them to buy EasyTabs or Pill Pockets. These are meat flavoured pellets hiding the medication. They taste good....
Remember, Alfie, we cats rule. We cats do what we like: humans do what we like. What's ours is ours and what's theirs is ours.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cats Behaving Badly - No, No, and No.

Dear George,

We, Cayenne and I, got the book, Cats Behaving Badly, and we LOVE it. Thank you so much! I totally understand if you’ll be upset with us for praising Celia, but the book is excellent. We know Celia stole your ideas but she is a woman of great wit and charm. The book is funny and educational, full of tips and advice.

We loved especially the hilarious real cat stories. I rolled over my back and laughed.

I’m still laughing – as you can see in the picture.

Cayenne liked the most the story about Charlie, the black and white cat with several homes. Smart Charlie! And Celia…..what a team player – she never “spilled the beans” about Charlie’s secret. Kudos to her. I liked the story with the cat that re-homed himself in another village just because he didn’t like the humans. But, I felt bad for the two Siamese cats that had to be re-homed; why people don’t think twice before bringing us home? Humans – not very smart!

George, I really think you should be proud of Celia. After all ….she’s your secretary and her success is your merit. You trained her well. Ah! Lovely picture of you and Celia on the cover.



Dear Fluffy,

I am not proud of her. I am boiling with rage. I particularly loathe the title. Cats do not behave badly. We behave in natural and appropriate ways when dealing with a low life species like humans. The very idea that we behave badly shows that the woman does not know her place. She appears to think humans can train and manipulate cats, when the opposite is true. Humans behave badly and we cats either outwit or manipulate them. There is no excuse for her sheer ignorance.

I am working hard at my own book. I intend to outwit, outpublish and generally out do her. When my book Obedience Training for Humans is on the best seller list and her pathetic volume is right down the amazon pick of the books list, that'll larn her. She has to learn the simple lesson that ALL cat owner should learn which is we own them, they don't own us. No human has ever truly "owned" a cat.

Worse still she has opened a Facebook group titled Cats Behaving Badly, so that disgusting humans can post photos of us cats doing quite sensible and natural things.

Finally the woman is still failing to secure proper internet access. I have told her I will bring in a live rat for her and she can catch it (if she can) and put it through the letter box of the local business which supplies her ISP. Rat to rats.

Love George

PS. Don't buy this book. I hate to admit it but it may slightly alter the balance of power towards human. I condemn this utterly. I can't stop the woman adding another photo - I tried biting but didn't time it right - so she just ignored it. She is utterly shameless.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why does my human want to pick me up all the time?

Dear George
Why do humans think we are fluffy toys? Mine keeps trying to pick me up. I don't like it. I have made my wishes perfectly plain. I am not a soft toy to be mauled about and harassed when she chooses. I find it demeaning when she swoops down from a superior (the only superior thing about her) height, grabs me round the stomach and pulls me upward on to her shoulder making revolting cooing noises. And I don't care to sit on her lap either.

Dear Tigger,
I feel your pain. Indeed I feel your indignation. Human non-sexual harassment is a serious issue among us cats. It is an embarassing one too. Some felines take the view that is it enjoyable and let their humans do it at will. Some even solicit it. All this makes it a tricky question to rule on. In my view, those cats that ask for it (so to speak) are letting the side down badly. So they enjoy it? Well that's no reason to allow a human to get above its status in this way.
The way I see it is that you have the right to your own boundaries. When humans step over these, it is harassment pure and simple. There is no excuse, no explanation, no possible reason why they should be allowed to do this. This is a species that will go too far only too easily. This is a claw and order issue. Use the claw to restore order, Tigger. For a first time human offender, a serious wriggle may be enough deterrent. But for a serial harasser, strong measures are needed. Draw blood. It's the only thing they understand.
A word to those cats, the minority, who enjoy being cuddled. Please don't give your human the idea that the human can choose to do this any time they like. This will seriously compromise the proper relationship between cat (top of the dominance order) and human (bottom of the dominance order). If you must enjoy some caresses, solicit your human in your own time, not theirs. A good way to keep them in hand, so to speak, is to ask for a cuddle while they are doing something else like reading or cooking or using the computer. Make them jump to it then.
Remember - immediate and willing human obedience is always the aim of any human-cat interaction.

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, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online