Follow by Email

Showing posts with label road. Show all posts
Showing posts with label road. Show all posts

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Basil the good little kitten - and why humans should be neutered too

Dear George, 
I’m Basil! Not The Great, not the Holly, not the Italian and, definitely not the Thai basil! I’m simply …..Basil the Good Boy. My mother was rescued off the streets by this good family when she was pregnant.
She had a litter of four and she had the luxury to nurse us until we were about three months old. The good family kept my mother, me and my brother and their relatives adopted the other two kittens. We all have good homes now and good, caring people. 
Actually I was born right in this room you can see in the picture (above). The room is our human grandma’s bedroom. I love this room so much that sometimes I don’t even want to leave it to go eating. During the day my human grandma sits in her favorite armchair solving puzzles and I sleep in her bed. At night we switch – I’ll take the armchair and she’ll sleep in her bed. 
But I need your advice as we have big problems with my brother and I’m afraid he’ll get in trouble. See, his name is Aristotle which I think our parents rush to name him so (after a dozen of other names which none fitted him) – he is no philosopher nor is he wise. The minute he gets indoors he jumps on our human kitten’s bed and pees right there. So, he is mostly an outdoor cat because of this! While outdoors he gets in fights with the west end guys over territory! My mummy can’t catch him on an empty stomach to take him to be “fixed”. We need your advice – how do we catch him before he eats? Once fixed I think he’ll make a really good, wise philosopher! 
But…. until then?
Yours   
Basil, the good boy 

Dear Basil,
I don't like thinking about the snip, castration, fixing, neutering, sterilising - those are the words used by humans. It makes me feel uncomfortable. It happened to me and because I don't know what life would be like if I still had my mating tackle, I can't be sure  if it was a good thing. But I certainly don't pee in the house or get into fights, roam from home looking for sex or get sexually transmitted diseases.
If Aristotle wants a good life, he will have to submit to this. Perhaps your humans could borrow a trap from the local cat shelter and get him to the vet that way. In ancient Greek literature, I think in a book by Plato, an old man is asked how he feels about no longer being interested in sex. "I feel I have escaped from a violent god," he replies.
A wise philosopher! Humans get into fights, roam round looking for sex, and end up in the STD clinics. But they don't neuter each other, do they? If it is such a good thing, why not?
I leave you with that thought.
Yours
George 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Travelling with my family or staying at home?

Dear George,
My family planned a short ten day vacation to visit some relatives and last night they were debating if I should go with them or not! Well, I don’t know! They have a big car called a “van” and I’ll have my bed, litter box, water and food all in the car but still…it’s a 12 hour drive! Plus we’ll cross the border…which makes me very nervous! What if they quarantine me? What if I get lost? I heard their relatives have a huge house which I like to explore but what if I’ll be “placed” in just one room?
The alternative …if I’ll stay home …is to have one of their friends coming once a day to clean the litter box and feed me! Yes, I would be home alone and lonely but, at least I will have my little paradise (as you can see in the photo).
Ugh! George, there are so many pro and con! I really don’t know what to do; one part of me wants to go and one part of me wants to stay home! I know some cats are good on road trips but some are not! Do you think I’ll miss my humans? Or will they miss me more and that’s the reason they want to take me with them?
I have such mixed feelings!
Yours….at a fork
Leo 

Dear Leo,
The van with bed, litter box, water and food sounds good to me - assuming that you are traveling in a temperate climate. In really hot weather you would need air conditioning or fully open windows all the way. Dogs can die of heat stress and so can cats - though most people don't realise it. Staying just in one room while you are in a strange house is probably a good idea - many cats are very freaked out in a new home because of different smells, noises, people and unfamiliar territory.
But having somebody visit each day at home is equally good, if they are reliable. If your family is going to be away for a long time, it would be safest to make sure you are confined to the house, not allowed out of the cat flap. Because if something happened to you outside (road accidents, being chased by a dog etc) the daily visitor wouldn't know about it or might not be able to rescue you.
Celia puts me in a cattery each time she goes away for more than 3 days. I hate it there but it is the same cattery and the same pen each visit. So it is familiar territory and I know all the cattery workers. She feels I would be physically safer there if I have a health problem or the house burns down while she is away.
Purrsonally I think humans should stop taking holidays. It's selfish. Their duty is to stay with us....
George.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

The joy of hunting versus safety from the traffic.

-->
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, September 07, 2013

Slow down for cats - a new feline campaign


 Dear George,
I live in a small village in the Cotswolds and metal cats troar through the village at high speed almost all the time. It is really frightening and the worst time is during the dusk, just when we cats are coming out to hunt. 
As far as I know there is nothing we can do about these lethal moving objects. I have sniffed round them, when they are stationery and can report that they are definitely not alive. They have some kind of automatic "life" which roars and makes them go off at high speed with a human inside.
Well, we know humans are not usually very bright but one of our village humans has come up with a good idea. She has put up a sign on the road, warning the cars to slow down. Here is a photo of it. 
I would like to see one of these in every village. If there are no kittens there, then the sign could just read "CATS." What do you think?
Yours
Penelope Purr

Dear Penelope,
I think it is a brilliant idea. I wish we could get more of these. Cats die on the road in their thousands in my country and nobody seems to care. The cars just speed on their way without stopping to see if they can help. These metal things are completely uncaring. Sometimes I think the cats that die outright are luckier than those who crawl away and die in agony in the hedge.
Maybe we could start a campaign for more "Slow Kitten" signs.
Yours
George


Saturday, April 27, 2013

I've discovered the excitement of car boots....

Dear George, 
I have just discovered the thrill of jumping into car boots. They are full of the most extraordinary things. This one, which I leaped into as the human was changing her Wellington boots, included bottled water, a handbag that smelled slightly of other cats, a camera, two tins of cat food and one or two cat biscuits which I immediately ate. I was thinking of settling down for a nap, when she reached in and hauled me out of it.
I've heard of car boot sales. Do you think they would be of interest to us cats,
Yours sincerely
Caspar the Bengal.

Dear Caspar,
JDDI. Just Don't Do It. You are playing a risky game. Car boots are dangerous to cats. What if she hadn't pulled you out? She might have decided just to shut the boot without noticing you were there. Or done a bit of cat napping. Pedigree cats do get kidnapped every now and again.
Indeed, I advise all cats to keep away from moving cars or cars that are making that purring noise when their engines are on. Cars kill cats. They rush down the tarmac straight at us, as if they wanted to squash us. Often they succeed.
I realise that parked cars are convenient for sheltering from the rain, or even for sheltering at night if you are a stray cat. They also have interesting smells on their wheels. But a wise cat moves out fast as lightening if the car starts making a noise.
As for boots. Don't go there.
Yours with a stern warning
George.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mabel, the retail cat, speaks out....


Dear George,
I am a cat with several homes – all of them in the shopping areas of a Cotswold town. I sleep at Thomas Cook’s, the travel agents, which has a low level letter plate which I can easily open. During the day I favour the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society, then Milletts, then Five Valleys Leisure, then Clarks, then Blue Cross charity shop or one of a dozen other shops. These are all really good places to eat and rest during tiring shopping hours.
For lunch on Fridays I visit the market where Ken the cheese man gives me a ham dinner. (He has very good ham). Most of my stops have some cat food ready for me. They make me very welcome.
Officially I adopted two humans , Jen and Ron. No, I don’t live with them. They are nice people but I prefer a more exotic lifestyle. They come an
d feed me and give me a cuddle in dark evenings when the weather is bad. I like to feel they are checking out my accommodation.
It has taken a certain firm mindedness on my part. At first people would ring Ron or Jennifer and ask them to come and fetch me. When they did so I took no notice of their attempts to make me into a stay-at-home. I just persisted in my chosen lifestyle.
Yours
Mabel.


Dear Mabel,
What an inspiration. Yours is a story which proves the strong mindedness and persistence of the feline personality. Not for you the quiet fireside and the stable domestic life. Instead, you have chosen a life on the road.
I also admire your humans who have sensibly decided to go with your decision. One of their relatives told me that Ron goes out every evening to feed you and make sure you are OK. This pair of humans is very special. Wish they were all like that.
I should also celebrate your interest in retailing... Some people, pointing at Ginger the Cat who kept a shop with Pickles the dog (in the Beatrice Potter tales), have claimed that cats make lousy shopkeepers. They forget that Mrs Tabitha Twitchit, who refused to give credit, had an astute grasp of economics. Moreover I bet the shops get more people in when they see you sleeping in the window. What an advertisement.
From looking at your photo I can see that you do not run short of food. You have purrsuaded half the human shopkeepers in the town to feed you, not forgetting Ken and his ham. We black cats are the tops!
Wooooooo….. well done Mabel.
George
PS. The morning I posted this answer, there was a queue of four at Clark's shoe shop waiting for the shop to open. There were three human ladies and, in front of them, Mabel queuing for her breakfast.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cars - friend or foe for us cats?


Dear George,
My name is Ernie and I live in an Oxfordshire village which has lots and lots of cars parked outside during the evening and night. The odd thing is that most of these - two thirds, I would say - are absent during the day. Where do they go? Why don't they stay still? It is one of the mysteries of my life. Like a flock of birds, they leave shortly after dawn and then come back to roost in my village streets. What do you make of cars, George?
Ernie.

Dear Ernie,
Cars are very odd indeed. They have their uses. I enjoy sniffing the wheels which often have interesting smells left by other cats spraying there or by dogs which cock their leg against the rubber. There are also delicious whiffs of dead mammals that have been run over - rabbits, hares and mice. This time of year in Oxfordshire there are additional crushed feathers and flesh of pheasants that are let out to be shot by humans. These domestic birds are hopelessly lost in the countryside, like hens let out of a coop. I could almost feel sorry for them if they didn't taste so good.
As well as providing interesting smells, cars are useful refuges for cats. At dusk, when they are quiet and still, we can shelter from the rain. Or use them as a safety area, if there are large dogs in the vicinity. In cold weather, when they have flocked back to their roost, they are often still warm from the movement. Sitting on the engine can warm up a chilly cat.
When they are not asleep, however, they are cat killing monsters. Their flashing eyes at night paralyse us so that we don't know how to cross the road. If we make a run for it, blinded by them, we often end up dead or severely injured.
Humans seem addicted to them. So we are stuck with them, I suppose. Humans don't realise how dangerous they are to cats.
George.

PS. Please look at the artwork by Harvey the inspirational House Rabbit. Eye opening talent. If comments are slow on getting on this is because my secretary is away and has put me in a cattery. The traitoress.

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