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Showing posts with label water. Show all posts
Showing posts with label water. Show all posts

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I wish my mommy join the ….”no poo” (no shampoo) movement!

Dear George,
“No poo” which is short for “no shampoo” is the latest craze in North America getting more and more supporters every day! We’ve all seen humans going from one extreme to another in their search for happiness. So, for the time being, they decided that soap and shampoo are bad for them and stop using either. I heard some went as long as one year without shampooing their fur! Yak! Some are using some kind of oil and vinegar to clean themselves (guess these are fond of salad dressing) and some swear by “sun bathing”! But, NOT MY MOMMY George, not my mommy! Of course….she is at the other extreme taking showers twice a day and probably washing her hair as often too! Now, she wants to give me a bath every once in a while so I’ll shine! My skin horripilated at the idea! I shine anyway as I meticulously and rigorously groom myself!
George, PLEASE post some basic rules of cat hygiene so humans will understand we hate water and don’t need baths!
Yours in “no poo and water” for cats
Stanley

Dear Stanley,
What will humans think of next! Just because they cannot clean themselves (tongues too small and bodies too inflexible) they think we cannot. We can. We groom ourselves beautifully. We enjoy doing it. It soothes us into serenity. It is a very important part of our daily lives.
As an expert on humans, I understand (though I dislike) their habit of throwing themselves into water or pouring water on themselves. They cannot clean themselves properly so that is what they need to do to stay clean. We do not need baths. Never. 
Well, almost never. The only circumstances when cats need baths is if they get something dangerous on their coats - lily pollen for instance or paint or creosote. If that happens, humans should ring the vet (that loathesome but informed human), ask what to do and follow their instructions to the letter.
Just shampooing us for no good reason will irritate our skin and, if they use human shampoo, may even be dangerous.  
There are specialist shampoos for cats - used by those humans who put us into little cat cages and leave us for hours at cat shows. Cat shows are extremely boring for most of us though a few enjoy the human adoration. If you have that kind of human, you may well decide to rehome yourself. 
So no shampoo, please. Brushing us? Yes please. That is particularly useful for older cats who may not be able to reach all their body parts. And we enjoy it as much as we HATE baths.
Yours 
George

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Trouble with other cats in the home? The key to feline serenity is detachment.


Dear George,
I’m Captain Von Trapp and, yes, I can meow but I can’t sing. And thanks God….I don’t have 7 or 10 children but, I was blessed with a housekeeper, an assistant and two human pets. Of course, we are rescues! As soon as we got to our new headquarters I took over the command of the household. Thanks God my human pets are easily trainable and willing to please (as you can see in the picture). They are of good nature but I don’t think they know Von Trapp family’s story. They named “my Maria” (the housekeeper) “Queen Abby” or something like that (I’m too upset to even remember) and now she really thinks she’s the Alpha cat. Instead of taking care of my needs she runs up and down the stairs like a tornado and she won’t listen to my meows. Another problem is my assistant! They named him “Storm” – is this a proper name for an assistant?  I don’t think so. And, to make things worse…Storm has no skills. I think he is a gypsy at heart! He wonders far from home and gets everybody worried. I don’t know what to do!
George, I need your advice! Do you think “yodeling” will be more appropriate to make my needs known?

Yodel-a- d-ee
Captain Von Trapp

Dear Captain,
One of the mysteries of feline life is that it is so easy to train human females and so difficult to train feline females! Many of the techniques we use on humans - loud purring as a reward, scratching as a punishment - are not so effective on other cats. Other cats are likely just to scratch back. I have my doubts about yodelling as a technique..... It works well for humans: less well for feisty female cats!
Within our own feline community, the best way to cope with others is to use spacing and time sharing of resources. Work out your own space in the household - where you like to sleep, when you use the litter tray, what time you sleep on that patch of sunlight in the windowsill and where you have your space on the human bed. And stick to this.
Train your humans to put down enough litter trays and at least two different locations for food and for water (not too close to each other), and avoid Queen Abby and Storm as much as possible. If you refuse to play the game of who-is-top-cat, she can't play it without your
participation.Their idiotic activities are not your concern. Ignore them both.
Live your own life within the household. Keep the humans focussed on your needs. And leave Abby and Storm to get on with it. Detachment is the key to feline serenity.
Purrs and rubs
George
PS. Apologies to my fans. I missed last week's deadline due to my secretary being ill. I thought about firing her and rehoming myself then decided to be more patient with the poor thing.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Are humans entitled to more privacy?


Dear George,
Here is the question of the week; are humans really entitled to more privacy than us?
The reason I’m asking you this is because you are an expert in human behaviour and lately I had some rundowns with my human female, of course!
I think she is a pathetic hypocrite; first of all, if she’s using the bathroom she’s closing the door. Why? When I’m using the bathroom she gets in and checks the litter box “to see what I did”. How sick is this? Do I look in her water bowl? She doesn’t even have a proper litter box – they use something that flashes! Phew! If she’s taking a shower, again, she pulls a curtain all the way so I can’t see what she’s doing in the bathtub. I’m sure she’s embarrassed that she is incapable of grooming herself the proper way like we, the cats do. Guess….she doesn’t have enough saliva so she does have to use that thing that spits out water and they call it a shower. Why does she need a curtain? Does she have something to hide? I, for sure, have nothing to hide as you can see in the photo. I can groom and clean myself anywhere in the house even if I’m not pleased at all when they are taking photos of me grooming or start giggling looking at me. I usually ignore them but, today I got really pissed when she yelled “hey, can I have some privacy in this house”? Then, again….WHY? I don’t have these problems with my daddy! Are human females prude or just plain hypocrites? Are they really entitled to more privacy?

Truly distressed
Fluffy

Dear Fluffy, 

Human behaviour is sometimes extremely odd. Many humans seem to have an obsession about being private during perfectly normal activities, such as eliminating and washing.  It's impossible to know why for sure. Maybe they are ashamed of their bodies because they don't have proper fur? Though hairless Sphinx cats don't behave in this way. I'm glad that your male human doesn't have this hang up - though it's slightly odd to me that males usually spray in the same place, the ceramic bowl. 
Entitled to more privacy? I think not. Humans don't really have rights, like cats do. They are not entitled to anything. But we can look at it another way.  We have duties of care towards them. If your human female doesn't want to let you into the bathroom (due to shame or prudery or perhaps fur envy), it would be kinder of you just to stay away. She can't help it: it's just one of the many human failings.
Yes, I do think they have to use water because they don't have enough saliva. And that pathetic thing they call a tongue. Can't do anything much with that except for a small lick. It's smooth not rough and it doesn't have proper muscle. They can't help that either.
So there you are, Fluffy. We have to accept them as they are, poor things. And remember to be kind to them.

Keep calm and carry on,
George.


Friday, August 09, 2013

What's wrong with using the bathtub? It's easy for them to clean up...

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Dear George,
What is a bathtub? And what is its purpose? I'm quite perplexed by my humans' behaviour. Recently we moved again. Yes! I don't expect you to remember how many times we moved so far but, YES, we moved again.  First we moved into a new flat which was ok since I made it my own. Then, we moved in with the "other" human (who had 3 cats - at least we all came from the same shelter) and I had to share everything including my human.  Now we moved to a bigger house which is fine except that I can't find a damn thing anymore so I started using what humans call a "bathtub" as my litter box.
Wasn't this a brilliant idea? Do you see anything wrong with this? I don't but they're making such a big fuss about it. The other cats go to the basement. Well, I don't want to go there. So, what's wrong that I turned the bathtub into my big, comfortable litter box? I like it! It has a nice touch! And I like the color! The other day I heard one of them saying " again? he did it again? what do we do now; how can we use it"?  George, do you think they want to use it as their litter box as well? Are they trying to steal it from me? What should I do?
Yours perplexed
Vegas

Dear Vegas,
Perplexed? I am not surprised. They are just so odd.  In the room with the bathtub, there is a second device know as a lavatory which they use as a litter tray. The only difference is that this contains water. I have sometimes wondered if humans expect us to wait till the bath is full of water (like the human litter box) and then relieve ourselves. But something tells me that they wouldn't like that either. Humans are so unreasonable.
So I think you have to purrsuade them to do something about the litter boxes. Obviously you are trying to get a message to them. There should be one litterbox for each individual, and then one extra just so we cats have a choice. Have they put down enough of them? Just putting them all in the same location is also not at all pleasing for us. They need to be spaced out in different locations. We don't want to have to use a litter tray with another cat standing by, or have to queue for entry. Humans don't like queuing for the chance to eliminate: why do they think is it acceptable to ask us to do so? 
They could put a litter box in the bathroom for you, or in the utility room, or somewhere nice and secluded and then cover the bath with something like netting. Just expecting you to use the basement when you don't feel like it or feel anxious about the other cats, is unreasonable.  What they probably don't understand is that we cats get used to a certain feel under our feet: now you are getting used to the bathtub feel. If they don't act soon it will be too late.....
If all else fails, use their bed. Then, with a bit of luck, they will call in a cat behaviour expert....
Yours in sympathy
George.
PS. Some cats teach themselves to use the human litter tray but it is very awkward to balance on the seat.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I am so hot. If I jump in the garden pond, will I drown?

Dear George,
Here in the Cotswolds it is very hot. I enjoy warm dry weather but this is really rather awful for a cat with longish fluffy hair. Well, in places. My tail is gloriously fluffy so is my backside and underbelly but the top is tougher stronger hair. Either way, I get very very hot.
Naturally I spend time indoors in the shade but I have been considering regulating my temperature by jumping in the garden pond. Looks cool there. And it would easy to do. 
But - this is a big but - will I swim? I have so far never tried. What if I just drown? I know of a cat that drowned in a swimming pool, but would this happen in the pond?
Yours thoughfully
Toby

Dear Toby,
You will find you can swim. I discovered this as a kitten when I fell into a garden pond by mistake. I fell in, found I could swim and climb out. So  then a few days later I jumped in to do it all again. I jumped in a third time but the novelty wore off. I also jumped into the human litterbox bowl when I was very very young, but luckily Celia fished me out before I could drown. I think I might have as it would have been difficult to climb out. Nowadays I just go and look into the bowl because I like to see the water swirling around.
We cats swim naturally. Another sign of our superiority. Humans have to be taught how to do it. They really are a feeble species.There's a splendid photo here of Momo the cat swimming to safety after her human crashed his vehicle into a river. 
What irritated me when I read her story was that it was titled "Cat rescue". Huh. Nobody rescued Momo. In the highest tradition of feline independance, she rescued herself.
Yours grumpily due to the heat,
George. 
PS. The danger to us cats is not falling in. It is being unable to get out. Cats have drowned in water butts and dogs (perhaps cats) have drowned in swimming pools that don't have proper stairs to get out.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How can I deal with a bully?


Dear George,

My brother Marti is a bully and it seems that my human either doesn’t realize it or doesn’t know how to deal with it. If you remember we are the three cats (Marti, Bentley and Princess Penelope) rescued from the same shelter. Marti has this crazy idea that he is somehow special and can bully the rest of us. I personally think he’s having an identity crisis. I think he’s having some self-confidence issues and that’s why he behaves like some “diva”. But, he can get away with pretty much everything!

He managed to stress Penelope to the extend that she won’t use the litter box properly.

He’s constantly stressing me by “pushing” me off the sofa or eating my food.

I’m very calm by nature and don’t like to put up a fight unless absolutely necessary.

I don’t like the idea that Princess P or myself will be taken back to the shelter because “we don’t behave”! I’d like to learn some ways to put Marti in his place. I’d like to be able to communicate to my human my concerns. And, George, between you and me, if it’s someone special in this house….then, it is me (as you can see in the photo) So George, I really hope that you and other cats on this blog can share some wisdom.

Bentley


Dear Bentley,

Being bullied is really awful. We cats deal with it by careful avoidance. Can you find yourself a place where you can retreat from him? Something like a sitting place high up? Or hidey hole where you can sit and guard the entrance - so that he can't get in. A covered cardboard box with an entrance hole cut into it makes a good retreat. You can sit inside with your head inside but looking out and he can't get at you.

Humans are dumb about cats because they are a promiscuously social species - they think we make friends and like company. They can't see that living with a bully is extremely stressful. Usually they only discover this when we get stress-induced cystitis, spray in the house, or have fights. They don't notice our unhappiness.

When we don't get on, we cannot share resources. So there has to be at least one litter tray for each cat and the trays should be in different locations. Poor Penelope must be able to get to the litter tray safely when she wants to. Sometimes bully cats sit outside litter trays and ambush us when we have to go in.

There should also be more than one food location - at least two in a three-cat house, preferably three. We cats hate having to eat close to each other. It's just not natural for us yet humans make us do it. Water bowls should be in several locations too. And there should be lots of cat beds and hidey holes.

Some people just separate the cats - with one cat living upstairs, one living downstairs. Installing a Petporte or Sureflap microchip operated cat flaps within the house can allow each individual cat to retreat to a room on its own. Or humans can operate a time share wherebye one cat spends 6-8pm in the living room, while the other spents 8-10pm.

Frankly, Bentley, if Marti continues to bully, your humans should think about rehoming him. Some cats cannot live in groups and it is best to find them homes where they can be on their own. If something isn't done, your health will suffer.

George.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Revenge on your human

Dear George,
How many cats do you know who enjoy sharing same bathtub or same litter box?
I bet none or extremely few (if any)!
Then, tell me George, why humans enjoy bathing in other people’s pools or bathtubs or seas? That’s a weird thing to do and my humans seem to enjoy it! They went to Mexico (no less) to do just this. Hellooooo? Mexico?
They can’t even speak the language! They are completely unable to say correctly “Hola” What if they are in an emergency? How are they going to say “ayuda por favor”
Phew!
I should be worried for them but I’m too furious; I’m fuming with anger! I AM MAD! They locked me up in the house for a week just to go and abuse the Mexican beaches and pools and whatever! I mean…..they left me home with Auntie C, but she is too afraid to let me outside. Plus, she constantly talks, making those silly calls: kitty-kitty, kitty-kitty and then some hilarious sounds. She’s telling me stories all day! Hey; I don’t want to hear dumb stories about good cats! I want to go outside and inspect my territory! Ugh! I wish Zorro scare them away with that big “Z” on their door and send them back home! Ah, George, they have no idea yet how dearly they are going to pay for this indiscretion! I’ll request to be fed (by hand) with my favourite food at the most unusual hours! First shrimps, then canned food, then cooked food! I’ll be asking for almost 24 hours door service. The minute they are asleep…I’ll make sure I’ll wake them up! And these are just few ideas. George, please feel free to suggest more. Por favor! I welcome any idea from our feline blogosphere. Meanwhile, I pretend…. I’m sunbathing (sic)…as you can see in the photo.
Diego


Dear Diego
,
Human beings are just dumb animals - can't speak feline body language like we do, and generally don't think like we do. The behaviour of your humans is typical of this very limited species. Good cats indeed! What on earth does this Auntie C. think she is doing! What she really means is stupid cats who do what their humans want. (There are a few of these but fortunately not too many). No wonder you are sick to death of her meaningless vocalisations.
The human obsession with water is really rather pathetic. Due to the floppiness and ineffectiveness of their tongues, they can't wash properly. They can't even reach the bits that need washing. We can lean round and wash every area of our body. Their bodies are so stiff and unmoving that they can't do this. Thus the water. They use water in their human litter tray (usually a kind of white bowl that flushes), they throw their whole bodies into a bath of water, or stand under water as it falls from the ceiling of a shower. Odd. Well, not just odd. Properly weird.
Yes, make them suffer, Diego. The best time to wake them up is the first night of their arrival. They will be tired after their journey. You can torture them with affection, so they don't even realise your true motives. Jump on the bed. Purr down their ears. Rub against their faces. Miaow. Give their cheeks little pats. Back up against their faces so that if their eyes open, the first thing they will see is a winking backside. They will think you have missed them and are being loving. You know you have missed them and you are furious.
Here are some more ideas - pee on their open suitcase before they have unpacked: scratch the mirror (makes a teeth-grating noise): jump on kitchen surfaces and the table where they are eating: trip them up: dig so furiously in the litter tray and litter flies out everywhere: leap into their arms or on to their shoulders from a distance: sit in all the doorways: scratch the furniture in front of their very eyes: poke your nose right into their coffee cups..... and all this before you have scratched them directly or bitten them.
Or you can be very dignified indeed and simply refuse to take any notice of them. Sit looking out of the window wistfully with your back towards them. Refuse to stay in the same room with them. Refuse to share the bed. This shunning treatment can really upset a sensitive human.
It's all good feline stuff.
George

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ideas for things to do in the kitchen


Dear George,
I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. In the winter here in the UK it is the warmest place in the house. I'm really a little feline homebody. It is also - obviously - the best place to be when food is being prepared. Luckily my owner doesn't worry about stopping me going on the food preparation areas. My main enjoyments are a) vacuuming up any fragments of food, b) enjoying the warmth of the Aga, c) making sure I know what is going on in the house (most action takes place in the kitchen). What else could I be doing.
Baby the Birman

Dear Baby,
Me too. Love the kitchen. Warmth and food. But I think you are being a bit unimaginative. Here are some ideas on how to enjoy it even more.
1. Use the sink. Have you looked at www.catsinsinks.com It's an idiotic website but strangely alluring. I particularly enjoy the photos of two cats trying to cram into the one sink. I put my picture into it but I have never seen it come up as I trawl through. This website shows that sinks are a nice place to sleep. But they are also good for games with water. Study the drips. Intercept them with your paw. Or just refuse to drink except from a running tap.
2. Take an interest in food preparation. The cutting board is of particular interest. After your human has cut up fish or meat, take a look There's usually just enough left there to lick up a few tasty fragments. Try to intervene before she washes it. Hygeine interferes with our enjoyment.
3. The kitchen table. If your human entertains in her kitchen, as now many do, it's fun to embarass her by jumping up in the middle of a meal. "She's not allowed to do this," your human will say - often a blatant lie. I sit next to my human when she is eating, and see if I cannot deflect a fork full of food from her mouth to mine! Sometimes works. Especially if I make her laugh.
4. The kitchen windowsill. That's usually a good place to look out. Useful for indoor-only cats.
Got to dash. I can hear lunch being prepared... I hope other cats will come up with more ideas
George

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Bold from the beginning


George took charge of William from the beginning. He spent many happy hours pouncing on unhappy William who was much too gentle to tell him off. He, William, had been smacked round the face by Fat Mog who simply hated having another cat. She hd put William firmly in his place from the start. But poor William just couldn't do it to George.
George enjoyed himself greatly near water. He jumped in to the lavatory pan, luckily when I was nearby to fish him out before he drowned. He tried to get into the shower with me or Ronnie on all occasions. He ventured out on the ice of the pond and fell in. I rescued him with a big fishing net. He shook himself and promptly jumped in again. This time, I rushed him into the house for warming up. He clearly felt this was a bit of a fuss. A week later, when the ice had melted, he jumped in for the third time. This time I waited to see if he could swim. He could and came safely to shore. Oddly enough, perhaps because I hadn't rescued him with the net, he never jumped in again.
Instead, he waded into puddles. He enjoyed this greatly. He liked it when I laughed, so he would do it when I was near him. But I could also look out of the window and see him - in my absence - carefully walking into the biggest puddles. He liked dripping taps, of course. And he enjoyed swishing the water in his water bowl with his paw. That habit continued all his life.
His other favourite activity was climbing. He climbed up my leg levering himself up with his claws on my jeans. I let out what was to him a very satisfactory yelp. He climbed up sofas and beds, of course. He didn't climb up curtains, perhaps because ours are not posh enough. We wouldn't have minded and so perhaps it wasn't worth the effort for him. He climbed up chests of draws, up piles of linen in the linen cupboard, up bookshelves artfully posing near serious books such as the Memoirs of Creevy, and up the hedge.
His most startling exploits were when he climbed up the huge double trunk oak tree in our garden. The first time he did this, I got a step ladder and retrieved him from one of the lower branches. This was a staid end to his adventure. A little while later on a frosty freezing day, he went for the summit, ending up about 100 yards near the top. He wasn't mewing. He just sat there watching the birds in the branches. He was in no hurry to come down as he was clearly enjoying himself. Every now and again he would look down at the garden and climb a little higher just for fun. I spent an hour ringing the RSPCA, the local tree surgeon, friends, and builders who might have long ladders. I couldn't wait for him to come down. It was too cold for such a small animal.
Luckily John Holcroft, a handsome young man on a tractor, was passing by and saw this tiny kitten up in the high branches. John climbed up to the top and with wonderful skill climbed down again with one hand on the trunk and one gripping an indignant George. George was not at all grateful. He was not pleased to be back at ground level.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mud, puddles, ponds and the pleasures of water.


I like mud. I like puddles. I like ponds. I like getting my feet wet and I wade through puddles, as well as drinking from them. Mud is fun too. My black paws sink into mud in a very satisfying way. The first time I fell into the garden pond was when the ice broke under me. Then I fell in out of curiosity. Then I fell in again for the sheer fun of it. I liked the way Celia screamed and rushed towards the pond ready to lift me out for some resusitation. Quite unnecessary. I can swim. I discovered that the second time I fell in. The first time, when I was a kitten, Celia fished me out with the pond net. Now she knows that I don't need her help, thank you very much.
Puddles are another matter. I like the way the water sparkles on them and I wade slowly through them instead of skirting round the edge. I also sometimes lie down low in them so that the bottom of my tail gets wet too. Wet wet wet is fun. Of course I also enjoy splashing them with my paw, in the same way that I splash any water I find in a saucepan. The water coming out of a tap is interesting too - so I either drink from the tap or I splash it with my paw. William isn't interested, except when the lavatory flushes. He rushes over to watch the water going down the bend. Oddly enough I don't find this human litter tray very satisfying though I am getting more interested. My reluctance may be because, when I was a kitten, I fell in. Luckily Celia was there to pull me out. Kittens do sometimes drown because they can't get out.
The best thing about water is the human reaction. After a nice time wading through puddles and skittering about in the mud, I come in feeling affectionate. I leap on to Ronnie's lap and he shouts "Get that filthy cat off!" Celia would be pathetically grateful if I lept on her lap so I never do. Instead I leap onto her desk and put mud on the documents there. She doesn't shout. She picks me up and cuddles me. She knows that is wrong. She knows she should ignore me. But she doesn't. The whole science of training (which she has studied) is ignored in favour of cuddles. Poor woman.

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