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Showing posts with label rescue shelter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rescue shelter. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Just a box - every cat should have one.

Dear George,
I found this box just under the window - an ideal place for a nap in the sunlight. A blissful morning. Then she, that human I call my pet, got rid of it. "I'll take that to the dump," I heard her say.
Why do humans do this? We all love boxes. They are not expensive. Yet humans buy us elaborate cat beds, when just a box would be better. 
How do I get the message across?
Yours Tilly.

Dear Tilly,
The only way to get through to them is to use the box as soon as they take anything out of it. So, if they order a box of wine, jump into the box as soon as the wine is taken out of it.
And make it clear what you think of these expensive cat beds or cat trees by using the box they came in and refusing to set a paw on the new item. If you do this often enough even the stupidest human may get the message... We Cats Demand Boxes.
Purrhaps we could start a campaign for rescue shelters with the slogan  "A box in every pen."

Yours
George.
PS. Kittens like them too - look here.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Of human ethics and morals

Dear George, 
I have a “life and death” question for you: what is a cat supposed to do if his human wants to put him down because the human thinks he can’t afford a treatment/medication cost?
It is a nightmare for many cats but it is so true – that’s what happens in real life!
I’m a 8 year old cat and I’ve got an UTI - my human brought me to the vet to put me down because he can’t afford the treatment. However, the doctor explained that the treatment is not that expensive and there is no reason for euthanasia. Then, the nurse – God bless her heart – called a lady who runs a rescue group. The group got the money for the treatment and offered to adopt me! In the meantime….my human had a change of heart and started saying that he wants me back and he’ll pay for the treatment.
For the moment I’m back with my human…but what should I do? 
How can I make sure he’s not taking me to another clinic or abandon me on the streets?
Is there any legal course this rescue group can take to adopt me? I don’t trust my human anymore! 
Bertie 
Dear Bertie,
Your dilemma is awful. We cats should never fully trust humans. Some human owners "love" their cats, won't pay for vet treatment, and yet won't let their cats be adopted into a home that will pay for the treatment. And the fact that you have a UTI suggests that, apart from this dilemma, you are in a home that is stressful and worrying for you. 
The problem is human law. Stupid unethical law. Here in the UK cats are property. If a vet is asked to put down an animal, she cannot refuse. All she can do is suggest rehoming and, if the "owner" (disgusting term) agrees, put the animal in rescue, after a legal form has been signed saying the cat is now the property of the rescue. Without that bit of paper, the cat still belongs to its original "owner" (notice that word again).
Cats that are truly miserable sometimes rehome themselves - if they are lucky enough to have a cat flap. If you can leave the house, I would advise spending several weeks checking out likely homes in the neighbourhood and seeing if you find a better human.
Human laws against cruelty are totally inadequate and rarely enforced. You have to be half dead before the law steps in to save you.
My poor brother feline. My heart bleeds for you.
George.

 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The SNIP....why do we have it and why don't humans?

Dear George,

I have been rescued few days ago and my new humans instead of taking me to my forever home they took me to a place called “clinic” where I was given a shot and there I went dreaming. When I woke up I was wearing this terrible thing around my head (as you can see in the photo) and didn’t understand why. I meowed them asking what’s going on? What happened to me? Are they going to harm me? They laughed and said “No, baby, we will never harm you! We adopted you because we love you so much”.
Then, they went on saying that “this is snip month” and it’s only going to benefit me! Well, as much as their assurance is comforting to some degree …I feel I’m missing some “parts” of me now. Quite perplexing as I still don’t see how all this is going to benefit me?
If March is “the snip month” ....do the human males get snipped as well? Is this snipping
thing going to benefit them too? Uh! George, I’m too young to understand all this!  
Can you explain it to me, please?
Very curious,
Misha

Dear Misha, 
The same thing happened to me. I lead a celibate life of my own choice due to surgical alteration at an early age. It's a calm life without fights (with the risk of catching FIV), without roaming in search of sex (with the risk of a traffic accident) without urine spraying (which keeps my human happy). Even feral cats are healthier after neutering and spaying.
But one thing troubles me. If we are happier after this, why don't humans practice it worldwide on themselves? Surely their own lives would benefit. Human overpopulation would fall, the natural world would flourish better with fewer humans. Men would get into fewer fights and women would not be exhausted or even killed by repeated child bearing. We need a worldwide campaign to neuter and spay humans!
They call us selfish but if you want to find a selfish species you only have to look at Homo so-called sapiens. They blame us for killing wildlife, but who has been slaughtering elephants, big cats, and ruining the habitat for wildlife. Not us.
Yours indignantly
George.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

George's Christmas message for 2016

Dear Readers,
Now is the time for empty boxes, wrapping paper, tinsel, trees to climb, baubles to play with, bits of turkey, with catnip overdose and general silliness from our humans....
It's warm inside, even if there are strange humans, crying human kittens, and toddlers trying to pull our tail in the house. My Christmas plan is to sit unobserved in the kitchen so that the humans to forget I am there. With luck, they may leave the turkey unattended either before or after cooking. Even without that good fortune, there will be crumbs, pieces of turkey skin, spilled cream and heaven knows what else on the kitchen floor.
I shall stay quiet while they eat and (if they go for a walk or sit and gawp at the TV) I will be free to explore the possibilities of the kitchen - empty plates with plenty of gravy on them, cream sauce left over from the pudding, turkey carcases, stray sausages and fragments of bacon..... 
Then upstairs to the bedroom for a long, long sleep. Purrrrrrrrrr. My idea of a good day.
Yours George.

PS. Forgot the important bit. Spare a thought for homeless and unwanted cats this time of year outside in the cold. Tell your humans to give them a home or put out food for them. Sunshine Cat Rescue could do with a Christmas pound. The donation button is on the right hand side under the News section. Tommy, right, who needs a home, says even a tiny amount will help.
He tells me that in the feline world it is well known that the Bethlehem stable there was a cat. Somehow it was left out of the narrative.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Will L-Lysine help with cat 'flu? And a footnote about Toby Trumping.

Dear George,
Why do rescued cats get sick with upper respiratory infections even when they don’t live outdoors anymore? I live in a house with some rescued cats and it seems that their health problem won’t go away! They have been rescued for almost six months now, have been spayed and neutered, checked and treated by good doctors and yet, once in a while the problems reoccur: fever, eyes’ stain/tears, loss of appetite, etc.  Someone suggested to give them L-Lysine? Is this safe? Or do you know if there is some kind of vaccine for this? Like the “flu vaccine” for humans?
I’m not worried about me getting it from them but it’s painful to see them suffer.
Any advice George?
Sophie 

Dear Sophie,
If the rescue cats are suffering from the kind of cat 'flu which is Feline Herpes Virus, then even after treatment, the virus doesn't go away entirely. It stays dormant but can flare up when the cat is stressed. And although it is wonderful that the rescued cats are now warm and safe, the change of routine and living quarters will be difficult for some of them at first, possibly leading to a flare-up.
Yes, L-Lysine has often been offered as a treatment and the first studies looked promising. But since then, further studies suggest it is not much use and the latest scientific research suggests that it doesn't do any good (the summary of the article is here). So your human can save her money.  
What is important is that when the cats catch FVH for the first time, they are very infectious. You, Sophie, should be kept away from them, not share any of their dishes, or litter trays till the infection is finished. There is more information about FHV at International Cat Care. It is also worth asking the vet whether temporary flare ups of the disease make the cats infectious again: I got Celia to google and it wasn't very clear. 
Yours
George.
PS. I am worried about my friend, Toby. He has started wearing his hair like Donald Trump. Is he going mad? Or does he just want to get online with Cats That Look Like Donald Trump?

Saturday, June 04, 2016

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

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

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

Saturday, May 21, 2016

How to avoid getting an "unsolicited" brother

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

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

Saturday, March 12, 2016

I am the thousandth cat..... celebrating a happy ending.

Dear George,
This is the family I have adopted as my pets. I chose a family with a couple of human kittens - just to have some fun with them. I'm that sort of cat: ready to play at any time.
Why am I the thousandth cat? Well, Cats Protection Fareham and Waterloo district branch has rescued 200 unwanted or homeless cats every year since they started up, and I am number 1000. 
I had made a bad first choice of humans. When I got flea allergy they just chucked me out and I spent a long time wandering around looking for a suitable home. It wasn't easy. But by the time I found Fareham Cats Protection, they helped me adopt the right people.
So thank you, all the 30 or so people who volunteered, raised money, and helped us Fareham cats find suitable human pets. And if any cats reading this want their humans to make a small donation to celebrate my new home, they can go to the donation page at www.fareham.cats.org.uk 
Now I must get back to training those human kittens of mine.... they need my help.
Yours thankfully
Erica.

Dear Erica,
I was a Cats Protection kitten, brought up and hand fed by Lou (now of Sunshine Cat Rescue), before I adopted Celia. So it is great to hear of the good work some humans do. Like you I am black and beautiful, with green eyes and a talent for making humans do what I want.
In a world where cats are so often mistreated or abused, it is great to celebrate a happy ending for a change.
Yours
George.






Saturday, November 14, 2015

Chico's story - the cat that came out of the cold.

Dear George, 
Until a week ago I didn’t have a name….I was kind of “no name” tomcat living on the streets and eating from the garbage bins for about 2-3 years. Even if I had a name I wouldn’t recall it anymore as my only interaction with humans was with this lady who was feeding me in her backyard ….occasionally.
I once had a home and I was spoiled but…I don’t know what happened that I ended up being kicked out and left in the cold. And winters are cold in Canada. I was in a very rough state with an eye infection and scratches and scars all over my body!
I was very tempted to write a “funny” letter about how I was hi-jacked by a human and then abducted by an alien but I think my story is much more serious and hopefully will be an inspiration for other humans.
So, last week the nice lady who was feeding me in her backyard “trapped” me and put me in a cage and then she drove away – that’s what I call hijacking!Then she stopped somewhere in an unfamiliar place and I’ve seen this white vehicle (it could have been an extra-terrestrial car) and this strange looking man who came and took the carrier I was in – that’s what I call …abducted by an alien J
He took me to what I thought was the ET base since everybody was dressed in green and there was this man in green (David) who seems to be the chief operator and this nice lady (Jody) who seemed to be very friendly. OK! The truth is that the alien man took me to a vet clinic where I got a new lease on life! I was spayed, vaccinated, one infected tooth extracted and the others scaled and polished, dewormed, fleas’ treatment, antibiotics for all the scars and scratches and of course, treatments for the eyes. I spent two days and two nights at the vet clinic and now I’m like new.
The “alien” man took me home where I met his wife. They paid the vet bill without any expectations. They even are looking to find me a nice house with a large backyard since I’m used to outdoors and they live in an apartment. They don’t seem to be in any rush though. They are very loving and caring; they cook for me, they play with me and they look for my best interest. All I do for now is sleep and sleep and sleep since it has been such a long time since I had a safe and warm place to do it. I don’t know if I’ll continue to live with this couple or I’ll find a forever home with a backyard but, for now I feel loved and safe as I didn’t feel in a long time. George, my heart goes to all the cats that are on the streets, abandoned and abused.
Just wanted to share my story
Chico (oh! the alien man’s wife called me Chico) 

Dear Chico, 
Thank you for sharing your story with me. Out there in the cold - in Canada, in the USA and in the UK - are thousands of lost or abandoned cats suffering from starvation and hypothermia. So please ask your human pets to donate to their local cat rescue and help save feline lives this winter.
Hopefully
George
PS. My local rescue is www.sunshinecatrescue.org.uk

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I'm black: I'm beautiful: I celebrated National Black Cat Day.....and now it's Halloween

Dear George,
I may look spooky with my eyes but I am a good luck cat. I bring health and happiness to my home - like all cats do. Yes, I am black but why does that count against me?
It's sad that many humans are colour prejudiced. They won't adopt black cats. So we spend much longer in rescue waiting for a forever home.
I heard a terrible Halloween story from the USA - that around this time well meaning people pick up stray black cats to save them from being sacrificed in black magic ceremonies (probably just a rumour). They hand them into an animal shelter and because so many are handed in, many of them will be euthanised.

Please DON'T DO THIS. Celebrate diversity in your own household. Give a home to a black cat. 
Yours, 
Blackie. 

Dear Blackie,
It's time we stamped out colour prejudice towards felines. We cats are far too sensible to judge humans on the colour of their skin, so why do they judge us on the colour of our fur? It's just not fair.
We are not witches' cats or devil cats or bringers of bad luck. We are just cats and we deserve better from human beings.
I am sure your human pet would be ashamed of treating a black human differently from a white human. Nowadays most humans would feel the same way. 
It's a question of justice.
Yours
George (all black)

Saturday, March 07, 2015

SOS from Toronto ....



Dear George,

We desperately need your advice in regards to what should we do to find a forever home.  We are two brothers: Frisky (in the basket - in the photo attached) and Speedy (in bed) who are looking to adopt a set of parents (we don't mind middle age singles either). Our story is sad. We have been rescued 2-3 years ago (as kittens) by our dear father who unfortunately and way to soon crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Our daddy loved us very, very much but our stepmother went into a nursing home. She wanted to surrender us to a shelter. Horror! You know what that means! Our human sister took us in for now but she has five other cats. For those who live in Toronto - you know what that means; it means she can not have more.  Her heart is broken and so is ours. Plus, we have to be adopted together. She'll screen very carefully all possible parents and she's willing to take us back if they won't be happy with us which is quite impossible since we are very good and well mannered. George, do you have any blog followers from Ontario, Canada? Can they cross-post if they read our letter? All we can say is for those interested in two sweet, shy, but beautiful boys to leave a message here at frisky2866@yahoo.ca .
George, any other tips? Advice? Our heart goes out to all the cats in shelters but we don't want to end up there.

Forever grateful
Frisky and Speedy

Dear Frisky and Speedy,
My heart goes out to you. I know what it is like to need a home. I was brought up in a shelter and bottle fed, because my mother couldn't cope. I did all right in the end, though. So I want to say to you that having to go to a shelter isn't the worst thing that could happen. 
The worst is to be chucked out like a piece of rubbish on to the street, to live or sometimes to die at the mercy of strangers.
I would ask everybody who reads this blog and has friends in Canada to pass it on via Twitter, Facebook and so forth. Social media might be able to help.
Yours George.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lil BuB and why special needs cats should be adopted.


Dear George,
You are such a fine expert in human behaviour but I need your expertise on a very personal problem right now. Look at me (photo on left). No, nothing it’s cooking in the microwave…..but something it’s cooking inside me and I simply don’t know what to do. I have the blues! Some sort of blues! I think I’m in love.
The other day I came across a website that read: www.lilbub.com  I opened the page and there was this beautiful cat, Lil Bub, with such a pretty face.
Her story is so touching, so beautiful, so inspiring! She is a rescue and she is lucky to have this special and kind human attending to her needs. I think he takes good care of her otherwise she won’t look so happy. She is very famous which makes me nervous.
No, I’m not jealous of her fame but I’m afraid that being so busy…she won’t have time to notice me. I would really love to spend time with her.
I don’t know what to do. Do you think I’m in love? Is this love?
Freddy.

Dear Freddy,
I hadn't heard of Lil Bub so I looked her up on Wikipedia and found that she has a congenital condition called osteopetrosis, which means her bones don't grow properly so she is small with stumpy legs and a short lower jaw leaving her tongue hanging out. There is one of many videos here. She uses her internet fame to promote good causes - rescuing and adopting unwanted cats and neutering and spaying.
Is this love that you feel? I am not sure, Freddy. Sometimes I am not sure I even know what love is since that operation which deprived me of my tomhood. Compassion, in its best sense, yes definitely. 
If we can teach our human pets this compassion, then many more may go out and adopt a special needs feline. If every compassionate human gave a home to a rescue cat, the world would be a better place. For them, as well as us.
Yours 
George, Cats Protection Rescue Cat.
Of all the internet cats, my favourite is Henri, the cat with existentialist gloom. I identify with him so much when my human is being tiresome. Which is frequently.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Re-homing as an option? Help! I want to stay.


Dear George,
I’m Ginger (as you can tell by my looks) and one sunny day I just showed up at my humans’ door. I knew there were two other cats in the house ….but my problem is that I don’t recall how did I know about them or even about these humans. I don’t recall any other human pets I had and I know for sure that I didn’t live on the streets. I find this “lapse of memory” quite strange and I wonder if I got in some “mind control” program. But, who would show an interest in me? I know I’m handsome but still! Could be the dogs?  Maybe the  humans? Or….the ET’s? I recall I was cat-sited by a gorgeous woman who thought she did not like cats. I mean, she is 100% positive she’s not a cat person….but I can tell you that she’s one nice, purring cat at heart! My problem George is that my current human pets are not happy with me because I’m teasing the older cats. All I want is to have some fun, I don’t mean any harm. But they are in big distress because they are loyal to the older cats? Since when seniority is a priority in the cats’ world? Why humans favor seniority? Why not go for the cutest (which I definitely am)? George, what should I do? Re-home myself and make them feel guilty for the rest of their life or risk to be re-homed by them and live with a broken heart for the rest of my life? Oh, man! I love them so much and I love their leather couches (as you can see in the photo). George, I desperately need your advice! Maybe you can share some tricks I can use and stay with these human patents, I mean pets? PLEASE!
Ginger

Dear Ginger,
At least you are off the street in a nice warm place. Whatever happens next is not going to be nearly as bad as trying to survive outside in the cold without human help. Any human who has taken you in will be responsible enough to rehome you somehow, even if it does mean a stay in a cat rescue pen for a bit.
Humans have an old trades union rule which is First In, First Out. For once, these human pets have the right idea. The interests of older resident cats must come first. When you get older, yourself, and have lived in a home for years, you may appreciate it more. Nothing is more irritating to us middle aged or elderly cats than a manic adolescent feline chasing us and generally harassing us.
I am not sure if it is any use telling you to control yourself, to stop the chasing, to leave the other cats alone. You may not be able to do this. Have they made arrangements to help the other cats avoid you? Time sharing space perhaps. Putting you in the spare bedroom at night so the older cats have time out from you? Adding cardboard boxes for them to retreat to? Making sure there is one litter tray per cat (and one over if necessary), in different locations. Installing two seperate feeding locations so you can't ambush the oldies. Has enough time gone by - ie about 3 months - to make sure it won't come right? Do they give you enough games with fishing rod toys to tire you out?
If all this is done and they rehome you, it won't break your heart. I tell you now cats break their hearts over humans rarely if at all. Humans just aren't worth it. You are so gorgeous you will find another home, hopefully one which you can have all to yourself. As long as the food is good and the house is warm, one human is much like another when it comes down to it.
George.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Microchipping humans and feline oscar nominations

This week I have been busy doing a guest blog for SureFlap on the need for a human flap and human microchipping. Click here to read it.

I have now turned to the important topic of honouring cats. Here are some more nominations for feline oscars, from cats that have featured in my column.
Taken from the top.

Sir Winston on the left. That nose with its darkened stripes. Those green slanting eyes. And the fur in his ears...... Forget George Clooney. This is just the most glamorous male in catdom.





Fluffy and Cayene are nominated because they don't give a stuff about Oscars. They just chill out.....















Scaramouche is nominated for his very beautiful brow and nose, making perhaps the perfect profile of a cat. The













Lucy for her caring qualities. Lucy has looked after her human in a devoted way, seeing her through bereavement and major health problems. She adopted Jane
from Cats Protection three or four years ago and has been a responsible and loving pet owner.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My humans, the recession and me


Dear George,
I have just heard I cost about £500 a year to keep and am a bit worried in case they decide to cut my expense account. I don't have a hutch outside which needs to be kept heated in the winter and I don't have an outside run to keep clean and tidy. I try my best not to eat much hay and I only take up a bit of space under the kitchen table.
It's not as though I spread myself over the furniture like cats and dogs leaving hairs about and my cuddle blankets are easily popped into the washing machine. I wouldn't go to the vet at all if they didn't insist so they could easily save money there. I can't think of any way of cutting back on things.
Should I give up my daily slice of banana? Would that help do you think? They won't put me in a rabbit rescue home will they? Do cats cost a lot of money to keep? Oh dear,it's all such a worry.

Harvey
http://www.harvey-diaryofaninspirationalbunny.blogspot.com/

Dear Harvey,
The recession is worrying for us cats, and dogs, and rabbits. The problem is human priorities. Obviously the best kind of human pet buys the pet food first, then their food, and lastly other things like rent, mortgage, petrol and so forth. But, of course, as we all know some pets just aren't properly socialised and may act as if their needs are as important as ours. These under-educated humans badly need further training.
I really don't think you should even contemplate cutting back on your food or your lifestyle. Why should you? I happen to know that your human carers could easily cut back on theirs. The male drives a nice car - he could get a much smaller vehicle. Both would be much healthier if they walked more instead of driving. They (not you) could eat less. I mean, why don't they eat hay and carrots - much cheaper than meat and fish? Why give up your banana? They should give up
their bananas.
However, you obviously love them. So here are some suggestions of things you could do. You could cuddle up closer to them on the sofa to help keep them warm - less heating costs. As you say, you could refuse all visits to the vet. That's a big saving and all of us animals loathe and detest vets.You could act as a hot water bottle by burrowing down the bottom of their bed.
I used to recommend that we cats bring in mice as a source of cheap protein for our humans. But, sadly, over the years I have had to admit defeat. They do not EVER eat them. Goodness knows I have tried. I have left a dead mouse in Celia's handbag. I have set loose a living one on their bed one Sunday morning as a treat. I have even left a dead mouse in the toaster. She came down, put a slice of bread in the other side, pushed down the toaster.... and screamed.
It was then I realised my efforts to help them through the recession were not working at all.
Sadly,
George.
PS. Cats and dogs and house rabbits are suffering when humans lose their house and cannot find rented accomodation which will accept pets. Please make a donation to your local animal shelter this Christmas - especially my original home, www.westoxfordshirecats.org.uk

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween and Fireworks day - be careful out there

Dear George,

I don’t know if Halloween is as popular in UK as it is in North America but I worry for all of us, black cats! We (me and my siblings) are not allowed outside on such day or night but even the kids knocking in the doors can be disturbing. They make so much noise and what for? A candy or a chocolate bar?

Plus, some of them are wearing frightening, ugly costumes and masks. Who could think of this as fun? Some people are even dressing their dogs in ridiculous costumes. Who wants to be a “bat” or “pumpkin” and then taken for a walk? Not us cats, I bet!

I don’t understand what Halloween is all about but, I don’t like it as I don’t like fireworks in the summertime. I think of it as poor taste entertainment! George, what can we do? How can we escape this “sugar rush”?

Bentley


Dear Bentley,

We have Halloween too and then later on November 5 we have Guy Fawkes day or Fireworks Day. There are bonfires and fireworks. The noise is terrible. In the past boys used to make up guys out of mops and old clothes and collect "a penny for the guy." Now they do trick and treat instead or as well.

But there are also a few feral humans who make the fireworks a chance to torture animals. Occasionally cats get deliberately thrown into bonfires. Or these feral youngsters tie fireworks to dogs' tails. It's not safe out there on the street for the next fortnight. Wildlife suffers too, as hedgehogs sometimes take refuge in the heaped up stuff ready for a bonfire - and then are burned to death.

My advice to all cats is to stay indoors as soon as it gets dark. Go under the bed if you are still scared - sensitive humans will not try to rout you out. They will leave you there where you feel safest. Even in the day time stay away from strange humans just in case they are a feral gang.

There's a special danger for black cats like you and me, Bentley. It is twofold. There is a rumour that black cats are caught and tortured or burned alive by black magic practitioners on Halloween. This probably isn't true. But then what happens is that black cats are scooped off the street by well-wishing humans and handed into animal shelters.

So far so good, you might think. Except that in the US (less so in the UK) "unlucky" black cats are slow to be adopted. So these handed in cats are then quietly euthanised by shelters who feel they can't find them homes. (in the l990s, animals shelters killed up to 70% of the cats handed in).

Please, any humans reading this, don't rescue black cats off the street unless you know a no-kill shelter to take them too. You may be "rescuing" them only to kill them. They are better off taking their chances on the street.....

Be careful out there, all you fellow cats.

George

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Kittens, kittens, kittens..... and the recession too.


Hi George.
I'm told you are a cat of knowledge and many friends so I thought I'd speak to you about my humans and their plight. You see they are part of a charity called Lincoln Cat Care that tries to find homes for cats and kittens that do not have human servants. But for some silly human reasons (something to do with money and financial climate I'm told) they have had a huge influx of cats and are really struggling to find homes and look after all us cats and kittens.
My story is a good example. I was what they call a “stray”. I call it free. But cold. And hungry! In my first season I met a big Tom and fell for his charms. Of course he cleared off and come the day when my kittens where due I was scared and didn't really know what to do. I went to the garden of a human who had been giving me and some others some food and had my kittens in the open in his yard on some bricks. That was Sunday 17 April. On the Monday a lovely human came to scoop us all up and take us to her home. She is now our willing servant, totally chained to the power of the meow!
She tells me that she is a new volunteer with Lincoln Cat Care and that I was very lucky as all their foster carers were full up when they heard about me and they would have had to turn me away if she hadn't come forward! Can you imagine that? I would never have found the joy of a good chin rub, and given my size and the fact that I really struggle to care for all four kittens I doubt if all of them would have made to to their two week birthday. A man she knows called Ed Cole is a pro DVD editor and camera man, he offered to put this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_pRK0sDEyw> film together to try to raise awareness of the cats just waiting for the right human to take them home, but now we need people to spread the word!If you search on You Tube for Lincoln Cat Care it's the first one.
Do you think any of your friends could get their humans to watch it and tell their friends? Obviously my kittens aren't up for adoption yet. But many other cats are! The website; http://www.lincolncatcare.com; has details of the majority, or you can call them.
Apparently my kittens have to go with me to something called a V E T. I've had my flea and worm treatment but they were to young, now they are old enough to get the V E T to do it, he's also going to check us all in case the human has missed anything. So I'd best be off to make sure the human gets them all in the basket, I don't know if she can count!
Thank you so much George,
Lots of love,
Sophia
(and, left to right, Gaynor, Oscar, Shackleton and Silent Bob)

Dear Sophia,
Your friend Ed Cole is just what we need at West Oxon Cats Protection, the charity which rescued me off the street in the first place. We are not yet swamped with kittens, but we have far too many older cats needing homes. The human recession is really making life tough for us cats. People are losing their homes and then discovering they can't find rented accomodation which will let them keep their family cat or dog. Other people, without veterinary insurance, are handing in their cats to us. Still others (humans are so cruel) are just dumping their cats on the street. Finally, there are the people who don't have the money to get their cats neutered or spayed and dump cats with kittens on the street. It is sickening.
Please, you cats out there, see if you can influence your humans to give some money to local cat charities. Money is the best thing. Volunteering is the next best thing. That is the single most helpful human gesture towards our species. Many of us cats have been badly let down by our humans: others are just unfortunate. If you look at our West Oxon website you will see elderly Duke, whose equally elderly human became so ill that she could no longer keep him.
My human, Celia, sometimes despairs of humans. But I pass on feline wisdom. "You can't do everything, but you can do something. So what you can do, do it." Let's flood YouTube, Facebook, and all the other networks with cats needing homes and with cat care videos. Get the message, you dumb humans.
Humans can count but with typical arrogance they think we can't. We can - up to about six or seven which is all the numbers any sensible animal (not humans) needs.
Love George
PS. Had a great deal of trouble getting my secretary, Celia, to type the words. She just drooled over the kitten photo. Babies leave her cold: but kittens....

Saturday, February 05, 2011

To Jon with love from us cats.....


Dear George,

Few days ago we came across a beautiful photo album that was given as a Christmas gift to our friends, Rafael & Yeminai. The album contains photos with cats; lots of cats, past and present! All were rescued! We’ve seen how they looked before and after.

All this wonderful work was done by one single person, Jon. He looks like a big, quiet “teddy bear” who shares his heart, his house and his food with all cats.

He doesn’t expect anybody’s help but it is grateful if someone does, like Rafael & his wife. On the inside cover there is a beautiful “mission” statement which we will like to share with you! It is called “I am an animal rescuer”

“My job is to assist God’s creatures; I was born with a need to fulfill their needs. I take in new “family members” without plan, or selection. I have bought cat food with my last dime. I have patted a mangey head with bare hands; I have hugged someone “vicious” and afraid. I have fallen in love a thousand times, and I have cried into the fur of a lifeless body. I have “animal friends” and friends who have animal friends.

I don’t use the word “pet”. I notice those lost on the side of the road and my heart aches.

I will hand raise a field mouse and make friends with a vulture.

I know of no creature unworthy of my time. We are a quiet, but determined army that is making a difference every day. There is nothing more necessary then warming an orphan, nothing more rewarding than saving a life, no higher recognition is needed than watching them thrive. There is no greater joy then seeing a baby furry play who, only days ago, was too weak to eat. I am an Animal Rescuer….. My work is never done, my home is never quiet, my wallet is always empty, but my heart is always full” – by a fellow cat rescue worker, name unknown.

George, on behalf of all our rescued fellows we want to show our gratitude and say:

THANK YOU JON with love from cats.

Fluffy & Cayenne



Dear Fluffy and Cayenne,

I owe my life to cat rescuers like Jon. I was from a litter of kittens rescued and taken to West Oxfordshire Cats Protection. Without their help I would probably have died. Mother cats, from homes where the humans don't bother to spay them, often leave home to find a quiet place to give birth. Most young kittens born in the wild do and even if they don't, their mother will often die exhausted by the effort of feeding and finding food for her little ones. I don't even know what happened to my mother. I was bottle fed by Lou and then I adopted Celia.

Since then I have trained her to help by taking photographs of cats that are ready to adopt a human. If you click on the website you will see some of them. Of course, humans being dumb self-centered creatures, she has written them up as if they are the adoptees, rather than the adopters. But one has to make allowances for human stupidity.

Humans who rescue cats often get criticised by their peer group. They are told they should only help other humans not cats. I say that helping cats is the highest occupation that a mere human can aspire to. What else would they do? How else can they show the natural deference and appreciation of a lower form of life for the highest feline form of life? It's natural for them to want to help, feed, groom, and generally adore.

Besides since we have domesticated them, they are so much happier. Jon sounds like a really lovely pet. You humans out there would do well to imitate him or at least help people like him by letting yourself be adopted by a shelter cat.

Love George

PS Here is the petition to sign in favour of prosecuting the tourism company that slaughtered 100 sled dogs - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/prosecute-for-the-senseless-slaughter-of-100-sled-dogs/


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Are outdoor cats being outlawed by these human laws?

Dear George,
I’m deeply disturbed by an article published in a local newspaper over the weekend. The article was about a City by-law that’s going into effect soon and I’m afraid it will affect cats’ freedom and well being. According to this new by-law all cats’ owners (how ignorant of law makers to think we have “owners”) will be fined $100 plus some additional fees if a cat is found roaming around or it is brought to a shelter.
What I’m afraid of ….is that this by-law will give too much room for interpretation and abuse. For example….some neighbor who doesn’t like the cat living next door can easily call the animal control people who will take the cat away from its own backyard and fine the “owner”. Many cats will end up in shelters and many people won’t be willing to pay the fine to get them back. It’s a rather sad situation.
Even if it’s true that indoor cats live a safer life, some of us are simply “indoor-outdoor” beings. We like to go out to check our territory and then come back inside to eat or sleep. Now, some will end up on a leash (like a dog with restricted mobility) tied up in the backyard or, in the best scenario, their humans will get a cat enclosure for the backyard.
Are we going to live in a cramped box (see my picture) from now on?
Don’t get me wrong; this by-law will be good and protecting the cats if we would deal with an educated public, but how to educate humans in such a short time?
George, what are your thoughts on this? Any ideas from your or other cats?
In distress
Cayenne

Dear Cayenne,
Humans are always trying to control us, aren't they? I am horrified by this law - details of which can be found here. Humans who let their cats go outside will be fined $105. This means
if a cat ends up in the local cat shelter in Oakville, near Ontario, Canada, its human will be fined if it retrieves it. Humans are not known for responsible behaviour. It will be cheaper for it to get another cat. So the law will penalise the responsible humans and do nothing to stop the irresponsible ones. If anybody knows of a petition against this Canadian bye-law let me know and I will sign it immediately. So will many of the cats I know.
Here in the UK, we cats are treated as wild animals. It is acknowledged that humans cannot control us so there are no leash laws, no requirement for registration, vaccination or microchipping. We cats are free to roam, if our humans give us a cat flap. There
are laws, thank goodness to make sure our humans do not mistreat us.
There are disadvantages, however, in the law's recognition that we cats cannot be controlled. If there is a road accident, the car driving human does not have to report it. They do have to report an accident involving a dog. So our grieving human pets cannot ask the police if a cat accident has been reported. And, of course, with no requirement for microchipping or registration, people can keep cats at will without any identification. I mean obviously we can identify ours
elves but these poor dumb creatures need help from a microchip.
I cannot approve of a law that forces us to be kept always indoors. I like the outdoor law - the stealthy hunt after mice, the territory to be patrolled and marked, neighbouring cats to be chased or greeted, as I choose. Yes, I know there are dangers but for me life without risk is not worth living. Long live the cat flap.
Love George

PS: Terri has been kind enough to do this nice portrait of me, surrounded by kittens (not mine due to human interference with my love life! Wish they would give themselves the snip). I think her tribute to me deserves a wider audience.
PPS. Nice box. Must get my humans to purrchase one.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Save a black kitten today.


Dear George,
I am a Cats Protection kitten with no name yet, though my mother is called Angel. She was picked up in the street heavily pregnant and gave birth to me and my four black brothers. I am writing to ask you why I have had an offer of a home, while none of my brothers have been so lucky. It seems so unfair. They have lovely blue eyes like me and are just as friendly, but somehow they don't seem to appeal. What can we do to stop colour prejudice among cat lovers?
Love
Kitten.
Adopt Angel and her black kittens at West Oxfordshire CP

Dear Kitten,
You are right. It is very unfair. We black cats in Britain are often the last to find homes because somehow people don't find us as appealing as the other colours. We also get thrown
out on the street more - so that there are more black cats out there trying to survive. Moreover, we are the last to be taken in (apart from Cats Protection who take in all cats that need a home). So the number of stray black cats increases while the number of coloured ones decreases.
It's even worse in the USA where black cats are thought to be unlucky. At Halloween stray black cats are handed in to protect them from being burned alive by Satanists - only to be put down in their thousands in shelters. If your hu
man is going to rescue a black cat, make sure that it is handed into a no-kill shelter. Otherwise it might as well take its chances in the street. At least that is a life of sorts.
Here in the UK they are thought to be lucky - though it doesn't help much. There's also a theory that black cats are wilder by nature, though I think it is just that they get less cuddles as kittens. The prettier ones are picked up more - which makes them tamer.
We can't do much on our own. This is a problem where we need to educate humans. They can be educated. It takes time to get through to this dumb species but it is possible. In the 1990s US shelters were euthanasing about 70% of the cats handed in - the same proportion that were being euthanased in the UK in the 1970's. Nowadays all but about 10 are rehomed in the UK. No-kill shelters have changed the situation. For once, we can help the Americans by setting a good example.
Save a black kitten today.
Love George
Help stop the sick movies that show animals being crushed by signing the petition - there is a link on www.theanimalrescuesite.com

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