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Showing posts with label sleep. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sleep. Show all posts

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Of cats training their human pets.... "cat paralysis"

-->Dear George,Last week letter and Tommy’s story inspired me to write this one from my own experience. If you remember about a year ago I was rescued from the streets by this couple with their clear intention to take me to a clinic and treat my many wounds (both physically and emotionally) and then to put me up for adoption. I saw them screening very carefully everybody manifesting a wish to take me in.
Of course in the process they fell in love with me and today I’m running their house! Even more, I didn’t need to train them through the “reward & punishment” cycle as they were quite well trained already but I started training them in what I would call “cat paralysis,” meaning I jump on one’s lap and that person can’t move until I get tired of sitting there so I leave….releasing them to freely move around! For whatever reason it didn’t work well with mummy (she can’t stay still – quite unnerving) but worked wonders with daddy (as you can see in the photo attached). What it’s very rewarding in fact is that I can get as many treats as I want and as often as I want. Why? Because they think they outsmart me and when daddy goes really numb from staying still he’s asking mummy to give me some treats hoping I’ll be tempted to jump down from his lap so he can move! The whole scenario makes me laugh my head off as I get everything I want this way…..being loved, cuddled up and eating treats!
Ah! I love my human pets! So, George what do you think? Maybe we should write a book about this special training program so other cats will benefit from it? With cheers & a good laugh  
Chico

Dear Chico, 
I am always keen to learn about tricks that can be taught to humans and about new techniques for doing this. "Cat paralysis" is a really good idea, not unlike the way humans teach dogs (poor idiots) to "stay." You seem to have cured that particularly irritating human behaviour of shifting around when we are sleeping on them.  Well, at least you have your male pet trained. Now start working on the female.
I wonder if you could transfer this technique to the bed. I suffer from the way my human, whom I generously allow to share the double bed with me, will thrash about in her sleep. I have to keep waking up and moving to get out of her way. If you find you can stop your male human moving around in the bed, please let me know urgently.
Yours
George. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Valentine Cat.


Dear George, 
I will never understand why some people celebrate Valentine’s Day and some will not. It’s such a nice, romantic celebration….or am I wrong? Hmm! Guess, it’s more of a personal or cultural choice. Anyway, yesterday as I was waiting for my mommy to come home, I’ve read a little book entitled “The Valentine Cat” – very touchy, very romantic. 
It is the story of a little, black kitten with a white heart on its forehead. The kitty was abandoned in the woods by irresponsible, cruel people but after many “adventures” (some good and some scary) in the end the kitty got to live in the royal palace with the Princess and its rescuer, a young artist. I must admit… I had tears in my eyes reading the story but the happy ending made me feel very good and optimistic. 
I believe I am irremediably romantic. And I was thinking that we, the cats, could (and should) celebrate Valentine’s Day too! I mean probably not in the same way some humans celebrate it as we all are “fixed and snipped” but platonically involved in a nice dinner and meow-conversation. What do you think? George, I’ll be very bold now as I have to ask: would you be my Valentine? I set the table (as you can see in the photo) and we shall have fresh fish for dinner!
Romantically yours,  
Didina

Dear Didina,
Platonically? Yes, if time and space purrmitted, I would have been your Valentine. But they don't, which reminds me of the Andrew Marvell poem, the only mathematical love poem I know:
The Definition of Love.....
      As lines, so loves oblique may well
      Themselves in every angle greet;
      But ours so truly parallel,
     Though infinite, can never meet.
Purrsonally I think there are some humans that would benefit from the snip. It would make bedtime so much calmer for us - none of that irritating thrashing about which interferes with a cat's need for sleep. And no noisy human kittens pulling our tails. Why can't we just neuter them? Make Valentine's Day platonic for them as well as us.
Yours in a grump
George 

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Born to be wild.... or perhaps not.

Dear George, 
Is this a valid statement or not so much? We were born of a feral cat but in a human house! Does that make us wild? We are five kitten - seven week old now - and quite social. We are ready for adoption (if anybody is interested). Our mother, who actually let this nice, generous human touch her, is getting to the clinic to be spayed. We heard our “temporary” human mother saying that she won’t release our feral mother back to the wild since she’s quite used to human touch now. But, what about us?
Are we going to be OK? One of the "girls' in the gang is getting used to catnip toys as you can see in the first photo.
Any wise advice George?
In a very playful mood,
The Three Musketeers (out of five)

Dear Kittens,
You are getting the best education you could have for a happy future  - warm shelter,  regular meals, soft beds, and attentive human servants. Train them using rewards (purrs, rubs, and the opportunity to stroke you) and punishments (hisses, ignoring them, and if necessary swipe and bite).
Start as you mean to go on. An intelligent kitten will have trained his human within the first four weeks to feed the correct food, change the litter tray regularly, and play enjoyable games with him. And all this without the human knowing that she has been trained.
Don't be too selfish. Allow them to share the bed with you. They make good hot water bottles.
Love 
George.
 





Saturday, January 09, 2016

Waiting for George’s message…..a miracle happened!


Dear George,
You might recall that I had to (I was forced to) move in with three other cats just because my human decided to move in with someone. And, of course, my silly human couldn’t find a single, lonely and boring person; my human had to find another human who had not one but three cats! We asked ourselves many times “What is wrong with humans?” and my guess is that we’ll never find out! I wasn’t too happy about the situation but we, the cats, found ourselves each a favorite spot in the house and tried not to interact with each other too much! My favorite spot is the bed in the master bedroom where I’m trying hard “to push out” the intruder (I mean…the other human who now claims my human). However, a miracle happened George! Waiting for your Christmas message we found ourselves lying down together peacefully and happily (as you can see in the picture)! For one thing George I’m happy that Celia failed in her duties to you this time.
Now I need your advice on how to keep the momentum going?
Yours truly,
Vegas

Dear Vegas,
The failure of my Christmas message (due to human incompetence and a dead router) had one good effect then! What a happy and relaxed scene. Moving in with other cats can be so stressful, particularly if for cats that are natural loners. But you four felines seem to have integrated well. Just make sure that the new cats don't move in with you. Four is enough, I feel. 
Keep the momentum going by natural feline courtesy. Accept the fact that some cats do not want intimacy and would prefer agreeable acquaintanceship rather than close friendship. Make sure your human servants don't force you to eat from the same food bowl. If they do, it should always be full so that you can take it in turns. Better still, they should feed you at a decent cat-preferred distance from each other. Humans can be mean about litter trays. Four or even five litter trays, so that you don't have to share and they don't get dirty too quickly, would be ideal. We like litter that is generously two and a half inches deep!
I have had a quiet time since the end of the Christmas holiday. She, my pet, has been hunched over the computer studying for her exam. She has also asked me to point out that one of her ebooks (co-researched by me but without any acknowledgement of my part in it, shame on her) is available FREE from Monday January 11 on UK amazon here. She is not sure if it will be available in other countries!
Yours
George.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

My bed is not for.... sharing

Dear George,
I don’t think there is a cat that likes to share her bed and I’m no exception! Just that my case is much more sensible….and here is why! My mummy got a boyfriend!
Yes! All is good as we know humans like to keep each other company and I don’t want to get into more “details” here but, my problem is why do I have to share my bed with him? Sharing is not exactly the case as he took over my half of the bed. That’s totally, completely and absolutely unacceptable! When I visit him at the cottage (I must admit he has a beautiful cottage) I bring my own food, my own water and my own bed!
So, why can’t he bring his own sleeping bag? Excuse me? I’m not asking him to bring his own food….I don’t mind to share my food with him! Nor do I ask him to bring his own water (maybe he should as it might be a bit difficult for him to drink from my water fountain). But….a sleeping bag? George, do you think by buying a sleeping bag for my mummy would solve the problem? There is plenty of floor space that they can share.
I want my bed (at least half) back!
Shumba

Dear Shumba,  
You have put your paw on a Major Human Dilemma. We cats are generous. We share the bed with our human, even though a human takes up a lot of space. (Mind you, they do act as hot water bottles for us too). But when a stranger intrudes, there is less space. Worst still, there may be undercover activities of a kind not compatible with feline rest and relaxation.....
What advice can I give? Euthanasia is out of the question, alas. It would be just too difficult. Rehoming him would be the best thing to do but where would you find another human to adopt him? You could try to show your disgust by never approaching him, sitting with your back to him, and refusing all his attempts to be nice. But your human seems to have bonded with him so she might completely refuse to rehome him. 
So you are going to have to accept his presence. The sleeping bag idea is not going to work. But not all is lost. You can reduce the undercover activities by a) sleeping between the two humans: b) showing an intense and embarassing interest in their activities: c) purporting to believe that this is just a game and jumping wildly on the body parts below the covers. Aim for the groin whenever possible.
Yes, I know that this may result in your being evicted from the bedroom. In which case you yowl and scratch the door throughout the night.
Best of luck,
George.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Help! My humans snore loudly. It is ruining my sleep.

Dear George, 
I do read every letter posted on your blog and I must admit I learned a lot over the years from you. Now, I need your help in a matter that I think it’s affecting my wellbeing.
But, here is my story. Lately my humans are behaving verrrrry strange. They started going to bed rather early; sometimes even before I finished my dinner. Then when they are sound asleep they are snoring like it’s no tomorrow and they toss and turn and puffs.
I don’t know what’s happening and I’m very worried as it looks like they have nightmares. Of course I can’t sleep with so much noise and I don’t know what to do.
I tried placing my paws on their nose but they have 4 nostrils and I have 2 paws so even if I’m successfully “suffocating” one …the other still snores. I tried to lightly pat their faces but no response; I jumped on one of them and then jumped on the other; Ugh! Some response! Last night I started meowing really loud and finally I woke them up.
My problem George is that they think I’m playing; they don’t understand that I can’t sleep because of them. I’m tired too. Day time I’m helping my mommy with her bookkeeping as you can see in the picture attached. At night I can’t rest because of them
Even worse….now they are planning to take me to a vet to see why I’m not sleeping at night and why I’m meowing and “playing” all night. How can I stop them? I don’t want to go to any vet and I want to sleep too.
Yours in distress
Thea

Dear Thea, 
The human body clock is odd. We are crepuscular, most active at dawn and dusk. Humans are daytime animals and will sleep like logs for eight hours throughout the night, often past the dawn. This is not natural for us. And, if the humans are snoring loudly, naturally we respond. 
I admire your suffocation technique -- though obviously it doesn't work with two humans snoring simultaneously.  You have tried jumping on them and also meowing loudly. These are imaginative techniques from your point of view and I think you should congratulate yourself on being an committed human carer.
Now we come to the difficult part which is their complete misunderstanding of what you are trying to do. Being hard asleep they do not notice the racket they are making. They see your natural reactions as unwanted interference.  So what is a sensitive cat to do?
Just pushing them off your bed is probably impossible. As I see it there are two alternatives. You could stop sleeping on their bed but this would mean sacrificing the warmth of two human bodies. It may also upset them, as human beings are often deeply attached to the idea of a cat on the bed. As a caring human owner you may feel that leaving the bed is going too far.
You could try giving yourself so much exercise during the day that you sleep more soundly at night. I suggest rushing round the house after using the litter tray, playing with their shoelaces (if they have them), running up the curtains, jumping up and down from every high surface, pulling socks out of open draws and carrying them around meowing loudly, and jumping in and out of boxes, drawers, or shopping bags. Get more active then you will sleep better. Try to entice them to play fishing rod games with you.
Stopping them snoring is just too difficult.
Yours sympathetically
George
PS. you could get them to read www.catexpert.co.uk on how to have a happy indoor cat. It would give them some ideas of how to improve your waking life. Get them to ask the vet about hyperthyroidism and Alzheimers if you are an elderly cat.

Friday, January 24, 2014

I was a purrfect size 11....


Dear George,
I’m in a bit of confusion and I need your help. Maybe you’ll be able to explain to me what happened. I was a perfect size 11 (North American size system) before holidays and now, look at me (photo attached) I barely fit in the box. Of course I share things with my human; he’s getting the shoes and I’m getting the box.
Or, he’s getting the French fries and I’m getting the steak. Not bad at all how we share things!  But, what could have happened to my human that he’s no longer a size 11?
Could his feet shrunk because of too much snow? Or maybe he’s just playing games with me? Maybe he brought in a smaller box just to fool me? The other day he made a comment that I indulged beyond ….whatever….this holiday season.
George how could I…. when I’m on a diet? I’m on a carnivore diet – no carbs.
Is steak or turkey fattening? What is he talking about?
George, why do you think I no longer fit in a size 11?
Vegas

Dear Vegas,
It's ridiculous, isn't it, that fat humans seem to be so judgemental about cat body shape. They don't stint themselves. They dine on roast turkey, leg of lamb, fried chicken, battered fish, steak tartare, creamy cheese sauces, ice cream ..... Yet they expect us to eat the same dried cat food or wet cat food in envelopes every single day. Sometimes they feed us the same flavour for years at a time. It's just not fair. 
Purrsonally I like a nice tight box. There's something very pleasurable about squeezing into the space and relaxing into sleep. I think that box fits you nicely. It shows off your beautiful striped back and nice white whiskers against the red cardboard.
I'm glad your human shares. So many humans don't. Mine keeps putting ideal boxes into the recycling area instead of leaving them around the house for me to jump into when I feel like it. Sometimes she decides she will leave me a box and she cuts a little entrance into it for me. I never use these. I just look at them with a sneer. Humans should not be indulged too much.
Yes, I like a carnivore diet too. But when I want to wind up my human I steal all kinds of food - buttered crumpets, crumpets without butter, bits of old bread, chicken skin(I get this out of the trash can by overbalancing it. I tried banana the other day - didn't like it.
Just ignore your human. If you are happy with your shape, who is he to criticize? Who's the boss? Not him.
Yours in sympathy
George.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thank goodness.. an end fo festive nonsense

Dear George, 
So what is all this festive nonsense about ? Don't get me wrong , I love the fact there are sparkly shiny things to play with . The humans however are more mental than normal . They consume vast quantities of Turkey and Brussels sprouts . They have the nerve to blame me for the resulting flatulence . 
They fall asleep on my sofa in silly paper hats .  No Cat nap for me with all this loud snoring going on My favourite rug is covered with wrapping paper . How very dare these humans rip and tear it  to shreds when I wasn't allowed to ? Thank goodness it's only once a year .
Yours 
Penny

Dear Penny,
Couldn't agree more. My human has been far more mental than normal. She has eaten like a pig and, as you say, Brussel sprouts are not conducive to a pleasant home smelling mainly of cat.
Personally I like a nice daily routine. Wake human at 7am or perhaps 6.30am if I want an early breakfast. I usually walk up and down her body but if she is sleeping too soundly, I will purr in her ear or just push things off the bedside cabinet. Breakfast at 7.10 when she has gone downstairs in her dressing gown and opened the envelope of cat food.Toilet time outside followed by a stroll round the garden in good weather, then a little nap usually on the bed but maybe on the windowsill if it is sunny there. Lunch - a few cat biscuits. Another nap, occasionally accompanied by my human. Tea - a few more cat biscuits. Another nap followed by an evening stroll. Supper - proper serving of cat biscuits. Then I sleep in front of the fire, following her up to bed at night (one or two more cat biscuits). I like to sleep on the warm side or in very bad weather cuddled up close to my human hot water bottle.
That's it. No alcohol in the house. No silly hats. No visiting humans. No going out in the evening (I mean her not me).  Just a nice daily routine with an attending human.
Happy New Year.
George

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dear George, 
My name is Fidget and I have adopted my human's neighbour. She lost her mate and is sometimes sad . I cheer her up by lying in the sink to keep her company when she has a bath . She gives me tuna! I love that even more than being in a sink ! 
I worry when she spends hours looking at photos of her lost mate . It makes water come from her eyes . I have to stalk her and pounce on her to make her laugh again and stop the eye water . I want to tell her that all is well and her mate is in a beautiful sink in the sky and he can have all the tuna he desires . 
Yours Fidget

Dear Fidget,
Me too. Sinks, I mean. Wonderfully cool in this weather. And a great way to get human attention. I don't know why it makes them laugh but it always does. And what is more they often put the photo on www.catsinsinks.com  Homo sapiens (don't make me laugh) is an odd species.
Congratulations on your two homes. So useful for an urban cat. When your humans are out or when you have finished your meal, you can just stroll down the street for a second dinner! And sometimes one of higher quality - tuna, for instance. And in winter, if your humans work during the day, you may be lucky to find a human at home with the central heating on.
Keep on sinking.
George

Saturday, February 02, 2013

The art of boxes - boxing up, fitting in and sleeping

Dear George,
I have a new box. It came crammed with goodies for Christmas, but she tells me it is really a shoe box. As you know I am on the large size. Well found. Well covered. Unkind people might even call me fat. I stood in this box for lengthy periods while my human seemed amused. There was nothing funny going on. I was seriously occupied in assessing, measuring,calculating, and eventually I fitted myself into it - to her astonishment.
I admit a bit of me sort of bulges over the side, but my legs and tail and head fit more beautifully. I stay in it for an hour or so in daylight hours and then get out and got for a little constitutional round the coffee table, followed by a snack and a short jaunt into the garden. When I return I settle back to sleep but on my folded blanket which is roughly three times bigger than the box. She offered to show me a photo of a human contortionist in a box but I declined. I am no contortionist. I am a cat. We do this sort of thing.
Yours 
Vincent.
PS. This is me in a larger box.

Dear Vincent,
This highlights the lack of flexibility and inability to use space in the human species. They have to have specially trained acrobats to get into small boxes. We just do it. Here is me in a box waving my paws at the camera. And one of my friend Tilly having a nap.
We just do it. Easy peasy.
However, for a large cat to fit into a shoe box is an achievement of which any feline would be proud. That elongated shape might fit a small kitten stretched out but it is not designed for the shape of a cat. As we can see from all these photos, cats like something nearer a square box if the fit is going to be tight. The photo of you in a large box shows how there is plenty of room - not like your shoebox.
There's something I enjoy about the confinement of a good box. It is nice to have ones legs and paws braced against the side of it. Nice too to have the top of the head against the cardboard. I have always been passionate about having the top of my head gently rubbed. The contact with the cardboard gives a pleasurable feel.
My friend Bob from Northern Ireland suggests diversifying. He finds plastic laundry binds are an agreeable fit (see photo).  If there is some nice smelling clean washing in them, that makes a soft base! Of course he uses traditional boxes too. 
But humans don't get the point of boxes at all. I have never seen my human use a box. She just throws them away.
Yours
George

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Why does my human take up so much space in my bed?

Dear George,
I have a problem for which I would like your advice - space on the bed. My human takes up too much space. Worse still, she is a restless sleeper, often turning over, changing position or moving her legs. No matter where I start the night, I find she is pushing me towards the edge of the bed. And I have to get up and move several times a night in order to resettle myself away from her thrashing body.
I mean, a cat just can't get a good night's sleep with this kind of human. It is most irritating. Any ideas?
Yours
Beauty.

Dear Beauty,
Proper control of the bed is one of the fundamentals of training your human. You have to take charge firmly and decisively and create a routine so that your human sleeps soundly in the area you have assigned her. A human that is moving around the bed cannot  be a welcome bedmate.
First establish the bedroom routine. Some cats prefer to take up their position before the human arrives in the bedroom. Others maintain that it is more effective to spring on to the bed at roughly the same time as your human. Still others claim that getting on the bed, after the human has started to snore, is the best strategy.
Whatever your choice, you will need to move your human into a position that suits you. This can often be done while she sleeps. Put yourself as close as you can to the area you wish to claim and lean on her steadily and consistently. A properly devoted human will usually respond by infinitesimally moving away. Inch by inch, its' a cinch.
The human that does not move - and there are a few, often those sunk in alcoholic slumber - needs more vigorous methods. You will have to wake them up. For this I suggest the purr-and-rub tactic applied to the face. Few humans will sleep if a cat is rubbing against their cheeks and purring loudly. Dumb humans think this is just affection and cannot see the strategy behind it.
Once woken, most humans will shift position. Nip into the area you want and settle down. After such a show of love, even a hung over human is unlikely to be unkind enough to shift you.
Yours
George.
PS. This blog is late because my human is exhausted.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Regrets... still no secretary


I regret to say that I still have no secretary. She is back home but totally doolally.... unable to think straight (she says), unable to type very much due to sore places post surgery, and, most of all, just exhausted. She even stopped eating for a few days and has lost half a stone (a bit of that came off with surgery, the easy way to lose weight.)
I have brought in several mice to tempt her appetite but to no avail. She sleeps a lot and I accompany her in this healing activity. These humans are fragile creatures. Occasionally she surfaces to do a very grumpy and bad taste blog about cancer.

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