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Saturday, December 25, 2010

I came home for Christmas.....


Dear George,
Yes! I came home for Christmas, (for real, not only in my dreams) ☺
Remember me? Trixy? I had to re-homed myself because of a human kitten who loved me very much but was too noisy?
Well….. I lived “on and off” next door for almost two years now! It was breaking my heart to see the little human kitten calling my name every single day and trying to tempt me with treats, but I was too afraid to be near him. He grew, he’s 2 ½ years old now and understands that I don’t like loud noises and I don’t like to have my hair pulled. So, in the spirit of Christmas I came home! And …..my gift to them? Fleas!
I can’t believe it but it is true. What’s really amazing is that they were happy to have me back even with fleas! They didn’t make a big fuss about! She gave me a bath and put some drops on my neck and let me sleep with the little kitten.
I only realize now how much they love me! Why was I so afraid and in a hurry to re-home? It feels so good to be back home! It feels like Christmas!
I wish all cats have a safe and loving home! Merry Christmas to you all! I am attaching a carol video at the bottom of George's post.
Love
Trixy


Dear Trixy,
Congratulations on being your own cat. We cats choose where we live and if we feel the place is no longer suitable, we rehome ourselves just like you did. Some of us set up two or three homes, where we enjoy regular meals and warm beds. I know of a black cat, Smudge, down the road from me who had three owners. Two of them thought they owned him and one knew that they didn't but they told me "he spends quite a lot of time with us anyway."
Choice is the important thing for us cats. Choice and control. The more control we can exert over our humans, the happier we are. I like to think that humans are happiest too when they have a cat directing their lives. They need a leader to look up to. It's all a question of dominance - they like a hierarchy with a person at the top. Somebody they respect and who will do their thinking for them - an alpha cat.
So Trixy your Christmas story is in the highest tradition of feline behaviour. I particularly like that inspired extra touch- the gift of fleas. You are an inspiration for us felines as a new year approaches. Happy Christmas to all.
Love George
PS. That woman has taken in a Christmas stray cat which had nowhere else to go - not a single rescue place would take her in out of the snow. I am not sure if I believe her when she tells me it is only there till Jan 2. It's in the spare room. video

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A cat is for life. I am a Christmas gift but a lifelong one


Dear George,

Hi, I’m Bentley and I’m a Christmas gift! It is true that I’m last year’s Christmas gift…but I’ve survived the high of holidays without being returned to the shelter! Actually, our human adopted three of us on the same day and we are still together.

One weird thing is that we were named after cars! I’m Bentley ….right as in the beautiful, elegant car!

My brother is Marti…as in Aston Martin! Ah! And my sister is …..not named after a car! (I wonder why?)

Being named after an elegant, luxurious car is not that bad as all I have to do all day is to “show off” and enjoy a pampered life. But, what if we were called Lamborghini or Ferrari? Were we supposed to “race” through the house? Are these people crazy? Can’t they enjoy Christmas? Why don’t they consult with us when it comes to names? I, personally, prefer to be a RR Phantom. Why can’t I?

George, I would like to learn more about cats and Christmas! It seems it’s a very important holiday for us, cats! What is a white Christmas? There are any other colors? And why do we have to wear that red stupid hat?

Merry Christmas

Bentley (a RR Phantom at heart)


Dear Bentley,

I adopted Celia just before Christmas too. I just had time to do so before the local Cats Protection closed down for the holiday. They won't let people adopt over the actual Christmas period - to stop people doing it on impulse and to prevent kittens being confused by too much going on during the day itself. (Incidentally, they have lots of kittens needing homes this year - take a look at the website. There are some lovely photos).

Celia wasn't the ideal Christmas gift for myself but in the long run I was satisfied by my choice. I felt sorry for her as she paraded up and down outside the chalet with imploring eyes. There are younger more beautiful humans I could have adopted, but I have always felt that we cats should give the oldies a chance. You can teach an old human new tricks, even if feline tradition says otherwise. And they are touchingly grateful when a superior species takes notice of them.You don't get that gratitude from the younger ones.

The Naming of Cats is controversial, as a human poet T. S. Elliot says. (Copyright charges are too much for me to quote this but you will find it elsewhere on less scrupulous websites). Human names for us are often quite undignified, ranging from Sooty (as if we didn't keep clean), or Blackie, to Whitey or Snowy (as if we'd let that stuff stay on our fur). It doesn't surprise me that your humans named you after cars. It's the pathetic sort of thing that this inferior species would do. I look forward to the day when all cars are named after cats - Snow Leopard, Felis, Catus, Silvestris, Tiger, Bengal, Persian, Lion, and so forth. But when did humans get their priorities right? Cats before cars is an idea that seems beyond their grasp.

That hat.... I have never forgiven Celia for ambushing me with it. She waited till I was asleep, put it on, stepped back and did the photo. Luckily it is not a very good one. You can see from my expression what I think of that hat. I would like to make a public declaration to all humans. Do not dress up cats. We hate it. It is demeaning and Christmas is no excuse.

I don't much care for Christmas, myself. I make an exception for the turkey. A little plate of turkey meat, carefully taken off the dangerous bones, is an acceptable gift. Take note, humans.

Happy Christmas to all felines.

George

PS. I will report next on Christmas day on the behaviour of my humans and the current status of the white Christmas (so far snow is six inches deep). If comments are slow getting on, it is because internet connection has been lost due to snow.... unbelievable in 2010 but that's BT!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Can cats make friends with other species? Even humans?

Dear George,
Can cats make friends with animals other than cats? These photos, which were sent to me by the human pets of the late Oscar Snuggles, suggests that they can. Of course the most obvious example of friendship across the species barrier is the feelings we have for our own human pets. But I am told there are cats that make real friendships with dogs and even sometimes with house rabbits (though one would want to ask the house rabbit for his opinion to ensure there is no other motive). What do you think? I am just at the stage of increasing my bond with a human.
Matilda Purr.

Dear Matilda,
Yes, there can be true friendships between the different species. It looks as if that is what is going on here. It's not unusual for animals to bond with a different species, if they were brought up together. The famous racehorse the Darley Arabian had a feline friend, who threw herself on his grave and died from grief. Some of us, if we were brought up by dogs, understand dog language and even groom our canine buddies. Some are even friends with house rabbits, the big one
s that would fight back if we attacked them.
We cats will often su
ckle other animals if we lose our kittens. In Victorian times a popular street performer was a man with A Happy Family, a cage full of animals that would normally fight. The animals grew up together and therefore were bonded from a very early age. You can read about this in a classic Victorian book, London Labour and the London Poor
Personally, I would like to turn the tables. What about an experiment with a larger cage with a family inside which included, a tiger a wolf and a human? I dream of the day when zoos contain humans in cages, and we animals stroll round eating nuts and commenting on them. "Oooh look at that one. He's got a lot of hair. Oooh look at those two! What are they doing?"
And of course, there are our human pets. It's friendship but not an equal relationship with them. As the superior species, we have to take try to train them. The apes, as Wicky Wudhler calls them, don't have the temperament or the intellect to cope unless we take them in hand.You can cuddle up to a deer without a second thought but if you do that too easily with a human, you spoil them. Humans need discipline.
Some of them have behaviour problems such as not opening the door for us, refusing to give us food from the table or even pushing us off the kitchen surfaces. But more often or not, their funny little ways can be very endearing at times. A cat's best friend can be its human - but only if it is properly trained.
Yours
George

Saturday, December 04, 2010

We want out -- the freedom of the woods.

Dear George,

We are two cats living in a beautiful cottage Up-State New York. (Actually we are four cats but our mother and one sister are camera shy.) We have a BIG front yard and a bigger wooded backyard.

Our human “mama” found our mother pregnant and abandoned in the woods, so she took her inside her heart and home. We have been born in this cottage and our human is absolutely lovely. She takes turns with her sister to serve us.

We get lots of visitors up here: human friends, cats from New York (we get along very well with them) and some strange looking guys as the one in the picture.

We would like to go outside to “meet and greet” them, but our humans worry that we might get hurt. We are allowed to go out but under supervision. No nights spent in the wild! George, we get lots of birds visiting us. All kind of birds!

Can you imagine the opportunity we are missing here? Do you think it can be harmful to meet our visitors?

The Cats from Up-State NY


Dear Up-State NY cats,

What a great outdoors and what a great photo... You'd be safe from those strange looking guys and they would be safe from you. You'd be safe from most of the birds - though perhaps a big bird of prey might be a danger. Here in the UK, small kittens are at risk from golden eagles (in Scotland), perhaps buzzards and possibly red kites.

All us cats would like to go outside and get in some proper hunting. Not so much meet and greet as meet and pounce! Most of us prefer mousing but many of us will take the occasional small bird or fledgling. Some hunt young rats and young rabbits. Some cats even hunt snakes (Clari for one - see an earlier post). So yes, of course, you want to go outside.

However there are real dangers to all cats that are allowed outside. Probably the greatest danger is cars - in the UK some estimates say as many as one in 4 cat deaths are road traffic accidents. Feral dogs or dogs that have been trained to chase cats are another common danger. Then there are also foxes, raccoons, and skunks. These are less likely to take on a healthy alert cat but might jump one if they thought they could get away with it. Finally, there are coyotes (not sure if they are in Up-state New York). They would definitely attack and eat a unwary cat.

Should your humans let you out? It's a difficult decision for them but if they do, make sure you are home at twilight and night when the predators are more likely to be around the outside of your house. I have always been an outside (as well as indoor) cat because I am a keen hunter but in the USA many more people keep their cats indoors. Sad for them. Good luck for mice!

George

PS. Some more cats and deer photos will appear this Saturday, thanks to Oscar Snuggles' human pets.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

If cats could only sue.....


Dear George,

My name is Ross and I was adopted as a kitten from a Humane Society. I travelled the world (two blocks around my house) and now, I’m studying to become a lawyer! Look at my sharp eyes! Can you see “the judge” in me?

So, dear George, if you continue to have problems with your lovely, but sneaky secretary just let me know! You can sue her and I can represent you! I’m really good in “criminal code”. THAT will put an end to her mischief!

So, what do you say?

Law abiding

Ross


Dear Ross,

I like the idea. I really do. Of course, it is obvious to us cats that we should have locus standi or legal standing in human courts. Only in that way could we, or any other animals, have any chance of ending human cruelty, neglect and exploitation. Only in that way could our current inadequate legal protections be properly enforced.

This idea has been put forward by Harvard Law Professor Cass R. Sunstein in a paper titled The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer. You can get the full document at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=323661 It's worth reading. He is a friend of President Obama, (who has shown a regrettable preference for dogs).

We cats would still need human representation at court (human judges being too stupid to understand us) but at least the point would be made that the victim is allowed access to justice. Like slaves we have no rights at all in the eyes of human law. At the moment there is no justice for animals except when various humane societies bring a court case. In deciding whether to do this, these organisations naturally take into account not just the nature of the crime but also whether they have the funds etc. If we could sue direct, all we would need to do would be to purrsuade one single human, rather than an organisation, to put up the money for the case.

One other point. Should humans have locus standi in feline courts? I think not. I do not think they have the intellectual capacity to understand what is going on.

Now let us turn to Celia, my erring secretary who has stolen my ideas and put them into a book, Cats Behaving Badly. This would be a question of copyright law, rather than cruelty or welfare law. In the UK courts to be successful I should have to prove she had stolen, not my concepts but my very words. I consider it might not succeed.

Besides, she is my pet. I love her even though she is maddeningly stupid, unreliable, a poor servant, and more or less bald. She can't help it. She really can't.

Yours with mixed feelings

George

PS. Cynical cats have told me that they think this is just human lawyers thinking up new ways to make money.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I may be old but I need a home

Dear George,
Help me find a new home. Nobody wants me because I am old. I've been in my cat chalet for months and months waiting for that special person but nobody even gives me a second look. OK so I am a bit thin but I have wonderful golden ginger, white and black colouring. I am friendly and kind too even though I don't want to live with young children or dogs. It's better here than it was on the streets. They just dumped me, probably because I was ill with a thyroid disorder and they couldn't afford the vet bills. Being thrown away at the age of 10 and trying to struggle to survive without shelter or food is rough. Believe me, George, that was the lowest point in my life. Now I've got food and shelter with West Oxon Cats Protection but it is only half a life. Can you put in a word for the elderly?
Vera.

Dear Vera,
Some human beings are the lowest animals in nature. Real low life. Chucking out an elderly cat because she is ill has to be an example of really vile behaviour. Luckily you have survived and, though it's not enough, you have shelter and food and the kindess of your foster mother Dorothy.
Alas, there are too many cats like you. Click on any of the Cats Protection branches and shelters, and it's clear that kittens are adopted first, then handsome younger cats, and then, right at the end of the queue, old cats. Old cats don't want very much - somewhere quiet to live with warm fires and good food. Sometimes the charity concerned will even pay their vet bills. So they are not an expensive pet.
In return they give unchanging love and loyalty. Elderly cats will purr on the bed, stretch out under the radiators, take a sleepy but intelligent interest in the TV, and generally be company in the house. They are ideal pets for people who don't have a garden because they don't want to spend hours outside chasing mice.
So, Vera, hang on in there. You may be old but you sure are elegant with those lovely markings. At least in the UK we have no-kill animal shelters so you are safe where you are. My secretary, Celia, feels a special sympathy for you as she is caring for an elderly husband, currently very ill in hospital. She is hoping to readopt him when he comes out.
Love George

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cats Behaving Badly - No, No, and No.

Dear George,

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

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

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

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

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

Love

Fluffy


Dear Fluffy,

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

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

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

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

Love George

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




Sunday, November 07, 2010

Are teenagers a new subspecies of humans?

Dear George,
I am becoming extremely concerned. One of my humans seems to have morphed into a new subspecies. It was a smallish retarded kitten taking years to learn how to walk, then becoming a chubbier version of its parents. But now it has shot up in size and its behaviour has changed. The excessive vocalisation of the normal human has changed to grunts. It has dermatological problems on its face - in a word, zits. And it spends hours in its room playing disgustingly loud music. It is also challenging the adults for a top place in the dominance hierarchy. Is there anything I can do to restore harmony in the home.
Love Riley

Dear Riley,
You have two alternatives - leave home or wait. In view of the fact that it is winter in the UK, I suggest the latter. We cats are good at waiting. We do it at mouseholes in order to get out daily meals if we live in the wild. All humans are retards compared with cats, but the teenager subspecies is particularly retarded. It is as if it has forgotten what it learned as a kitten.
The subspecies also has sex on its mind all the time. Yes, disgusting as it is, all the time. We cats wait till the females come into season before getting the mating urge. Teenagers have it all the time. Some of them call it "romance". But they are completely at the mercy of their hormones. The loud music has something to do with this but feline neuroscientists have not yet discovered exactly what is going on.
Avoid the teenager's territory. The room will probably smell awful anyway - of sweat and old socks if it is a male, or of revolting artificial perfume if it is a female. Why humans choose these overwhelming pheromones is beyond me. But I suppose it is something to do with the fact that they have a very poor sense of smell, poor things. We have about seven times as many olfactory cells and twice the olfactory membrane of Homo sapiens.
Goodness knows, Riley, humans are dumb creatures. But the teenage subspecies is even dumber. Hang on in there till summer
Love George
P.S. I have to stand and mew at Celia while she puts this on via the Orange dongle.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A cry for help from Miss Penelope

Dear George,
I’m writing on behalf of my friend Miss Penelope. She is too shy and embarrassed to post her picture or write herself but, I think she has a problem and I need your advice.
Miss Penelope is a rescue from a local shelter and she was adopted with two other cats. She was ok until one of the cats started “bullying” her.
I don’t know if she is scared or has a health problem but lately she stop using the litter box. She “goes” in most unusual places through the house.
What it is very unusual ….she kind of peeing standing!
Her human is worried that she might have some health problem even if all tests came back normal. Did you ever hear of a cat peeing standing? Can this be a health issue? May be some lower back problems? Hips? What do you think?
Many thanks & love
Cat Victoria

Dear Victoria
I think Miss Penelope is trying to tell her human that she is very very anxious. Standing up to pee is the way we cats mark our territory rather than just relieving ourselves. This is scentmarking and it's rather like a post-it note to ourselves to tell us that something worrying is round this particular corner. My friend William used to do it against a box tree (they smell like cat pee to a cat) and also at the corner of the field where the foxes would come past on their way to hunt rabbits. It reminded him to take care.
We mark our territory when we think it is under attack or when we are feeling anxious about it. So if our stupid humans punish us, we get even more anxious and mark even more. Also once we have marked, we top up the place to keep our scent there up to date. The smell reminds us. So does the smell of disinfectant put down by humans. Disinfectant smells just like cat pee to us. My secretary Celia tells me that instruction on how to clean up cat pee, and a list of reasons why cats get stressed is on her website at www.celiahaddon.com
If Miss Penelope is not getting on with the other cats, she needs help. We are not human. Humans are absurdly social - they eat together and spend time together. Most of them like being near other humans - pubs, parties, holidays, hobbies etc. But it takes between 3- 6 months for most cats to settle into a group. We cats deal with social problems by spacing, keeping a decent distance between each other.
So her human can help her by making sure there are plenty of cat beds, that food is put down at at least two locations (a tea-tray with food can be put in the bedroom), that there is at least one litter tray per cat. Don't just put the litter trays in one location - there should be at least two locations. The idea is that cats can do all the things they need to do - eat, sleep and eliminate - without having to come close to each other.
Miss Penelope needs to feel safe from the bully.
If she is being severely bullied - wounds, fur everywhere etc - she may just need to live in a separate part of the house. A Petporte cat flap into a room of her own might help. Some of us are really anti-social and just are natural loners. There's more on Celia's website about that too. Or in that ridiculous book of hers.
If only we could purrsuade humans to think cat, rather than to assume that we will like the same things as us.
Love George
PS. My secretary is trying to make a Facebook group titled Cats behaving badly but so far she has made a group but nobody seems able to join it. What is she doing wrong? Answers to her on Facebook please or via the website www.celiahaddon.com

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My not-so-new new cat house


Dear George,

I can not stop laughing at how silly humans can be! The other night I heard my “people” talk about buying some new furniture and getting rid of my old cat house (since ….dah! it is that old! stupid!)

I heard my daddy saying that he’s going to throw away the cat house!

What? Is he crazy? First of all…..this is not his house, it is mine! Then, I heard my “mommy” saying “don’t through it away, just leave it outside - what if they want to go inside”? I could not believe when I heard him saying “what for? They never got into this house”. Hey, buddy! You just made my day!

SOOOOOO! The minute he took the cat house outside …..I “jumped” in and start purring

and …..slept in the house all day”– as you can see in this photo.

I and Cayenne take turns at sleeping in the house outside!

Now, guess what! We have a cat house inside and a cat house outside…and I’m looking for many more to come J))

But, George….I still feel like punishing my daddy! What should I do?

Love

Fluffy


Dear Fluffy,

Congratulations on a very effective way of teasing your human. We cats can do this for almost every kind of cat equipment and the more expensive it is the better. A new and costly item appears in the house - a cat basket, a cat bed, a cat house, a mouse toy, a cat gymnasium....

The classic feline tease goes like this. Stalk over to the new item and inspect it carefully. Sneer. Sneer again. Walk away with an offended and lofty air and refuse to go near it. Ignore all maladroit human attempts either to stuff you in it (scratch) or to lure you in with food (wait till they have left the house to retrieve the cat biscuits!).

Stage two is to find something old and shabby. Use that instead. Sit in the fruit basket, the laundry container, the discarded computer box, instead of the new cat house. Play with a dessicated pea which was dropped on the kitchen floor, or with old newspapers, or discarded paper clips instead of the expensive new toy.

Wait. All cats can outwait all humans. Wait for months if necessary.

Then - when you hear them discussing getting rid of the by-now-not-so-new item - whisk inside it. Play with it furiously. And watch their amazement and irritation. A simple game for a simple species (not us, but them).

You have outwitted him already, Fluffy. But what about punishing him by sitting on his head when he is trying to sleep at night? Or just wake him at 3 am by chasing an imaginary mouse (originally she mistyped this as house) over his body.

Love George

PS. Human secretary says ISP access still unreliable. I say human is unreliable.



Friday, October 15, 2010

My journey from victim of dysfunctional home to human trainer


Dear George,
I am on the brink of becoming a human trainer and I am eventually aiming to become a human behaviour counsellor like you with a B Sc in applied human behaviour. But learning about this species and putting the information into effect is a very steep learning curve for a cat who started life in a three-walled shed with an upturned dustbin full of straw as a home. The next 18 months in West Oxon Cats Protection gave me proper health care and regular meals, but I became disillusioned with the humans who came and stared at me, and my pen mate, Mini. I simply didn't want to adopt any of them. All of them preferred Mini and they would make wounding remarks about my dark fur and ugly looks as if I couldn't understand what they were saying.
Eventually I got so desperate that I settled on your secretary, Celia. I took over the two spare bedrooms and just lived under one of the beds for two months, emerging to use the litter tray in the other bedroom, and sometimes exploring the house at night. I didn't much care for Celia until by sheer chance I discovered I could train her to tickle my tummy. I have trained her to do this for half an hour at a time. But the woman wants to pick me up? How can I stop her doing this?
Yours anxiously
Miss Tilly Purr.

Dear Tilly,
A strong wriggle usually deals with the picking up obsession - an obsession shared by many humans. You have to understand - as your further education in human behaviour will help - that this species is desperate for our love. They are naked, awkward, and cat dependant. They seek the high of a cat cuddle and will go to any lengths to get it. Thes
e are human cat addicts. They can't help it. They are people who love cats too much.
If a wriggle doesn't work, try an Miaow rebuke. If that is not enough to deter her, scratch. If further measures are needed, bite. If the human holds you high up, go for the nose. It is an exquisitely sensitive organ (though hopeless for smelling) and a sharp nip there will really hurt.
Personally I am
out of all patience with my secretary. She got above herself and has been writing a book about cats. That is my job. I am the writer in the relationship but I fear her envious nature has prompted her to try to ruin my literary career. Worse still, I have only completed two chapters of my book while hers is now in the book shops.
She has stolen my title. The working title was
Humans Behaving Badly. Heaven knows, they do. Now I shall have to think of something else. I am considering stealing her thunder by using a picture of a naked human splayed across the floor in the same way as the kitten is on her book.
All in all I am in a very bad mood with her. I suggest you use strong measures and perhaps together we can put her in her place. Let's miaow, scratch, bite, and sneer as much as possible.

George

Sunday, October 10, 2010

How on earth can we get proper service?

Dear George,
I read your comments about your secretary's lack of efficiency with true fellow feeling. I have been very disillusioned by my humans' inadequate care taking. They are butler and housekeeper to me but are failing in their tasks. The food is not good - mostly supermarket special offers. I don't appreciate being fed cheap food. They have failed to fix the weather so that I have to go hunting in appalling conditions of rain and wind. And the butler has stopped opening the door for me in bad weather (just when I need to hover in the doorway deciding whether to go out). He claims I should use the cat flap.Worst of all, I overhead them talking of getting another cat. I am considering terminating their employment by finding a new home. There is a promising old lady down the road. She's not as rich as they are, but she looks the type to buy me the best even if it means she has to eat cheap human offers herself.
Yours disgustedly
Gorgeous Ginger.

Dear Ginger,
Staff are always a difficulty. The below-stairs species (to borrow a metaphore from Downton Abbey) really can't think like we do. They just don't have the education and intelligence. It has always been a mystery to me why humans gorge themselves on exciting meals, different each day of the week, and expect us to eat the same kind of cat biscuits day after day. Moreover, they spend a great deal more on their meals than ours. They eat roast beef or grilled pork chop but where is the fresh roasted mouse or grilled rat for us?

(The difficulties with my secretary have persisted. Today as I was penning (I like the old idea of cat with posh fountain pen in paw) this blog, all contact with the ISP was lost. The helpline merely said "Your call is important to us" and then promptly cut me off. I coudn't even leave an offended MIAOW. Of course, all this is a human invention so one couldn't expect it to work...)
Which brings me to weather. Why can't they fix it. Less time spent simpering on the TV while pointing to ridiculous items that look like poached eggs (sun peeping through a cloud apparently) might help them concentrate on what really matters. We cats like control and we expect our humans to extend this control to the weather. I don't know about you but I find it positively offensive to have to sit at the open door trying to decide if it is worth going out.
That moment, of course, is when proper service by the door person really matters. Yet they object. "Why do I have to open the door for you when you have a perfectly good cat flap" says Ronnie or Celia. Why? Because that is what they are there for. You don't hire a doorkeeper and then expect to have to open the cat door yourself. I like to stroll over to the open door, sit there for a bit possibly with my paws one side and my tail the other, and then look up at the doorkeeper and go back inside. You can see that it riles them!
As for another cat. Why on earth do they think we want another cat?Why should we? Some of us are total loners, and most of us are very suspicious of intruding unknown cats. I get onwith some cats andI don't get on with others. Yet my human tends to think that I would happy with just any old cat. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It's an individual thing. We are not promiscuous socialisers like humans. We cats have standards.

Rehome yourself, Ginger. That old lady sounds very promising.

Yours George


Friday, October 08, 2010

Gross negligence by human.


My human secretary has told me she may not be able to blog this week, due to intermittent and serious difficulties with her computer. She claims she took it to hospital for 4 days but it has come out still semi disabled. What a shower these humans are. Always complaining. Always making excuses. I am planning a claw and order campaign. Watch this space. If it works there will be a blog entry this Saturday or Sunday.
George.
PS> This photo is a disgrace. It is HER FAULT.

Friday, October 01, 2010

I want to be alone. These humans don't understand me.

Dear George,
I am really fed up with human beings (apes, Whicky Whudler calls them). They want a cat which fits into their lifestyle and I have just been put back for the second time into cat rescue. The problem is that I swipe at them. They call me aggressive. I'm not. I am just terrified. They keep getting in my face and they expect me to be OK with that. I went back to a new home and the first thing they did on day one was expect to cuddle me. I didn't know these people. So I clawed my way free. Next day I was back here.
Breeze.

PS. ISP troubles mean my photo is late arriving.

Dear Breeze,
This is one of the most difficult bits of owning a human. They just don't understand us. Most of them think we are like dogs - that we will accept being harassed and mauled as if we were stuffed toys. They would be better off getting a Postman Pat toy. It would help it some of them just bought a book... but they think they know it all already. An arrogant species.

My friend Francesca Riccomini (almost, thoug not quite as sensible as a cat) has written a nice easy text for them - with great photos. I don't suppose the rescue shelter where you are will give these away but it might help if they had them on sale. It would make a bit of money for rescue AND educate this pathetically ignorant species. Homo sapiens - wise humans. I don't think so.
Here are some of the things we dislike when we adopt a new human -- instant cuddling without proper foreplay at a suitable distance, suddden new dogs, sudden new cats (we don't like 'em), human kittens that maul us, having to eat close to other cats instead of privacy, having to share litter trays with other cats, litter trays in the wrong place, change of litter, dirty litter boxes (purrlease clean them twice a day), cheap food ... This list could go on forever.
They expect us to put up with a lot and then they moan when we object... Breeze, you need a quiet home with a properly respectful human. See if you can purrsuade her to buy this book as a start.
Love
George.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I need a friend ... j'ai besoin d'un ami


Dear George,

Your blog might be for cats but I kind of like it! Oh, sorry! Let me introduce myself;

my name is Oliver or in French ….Olivier (guess I need an accent aigue somewhere – not sure- just learning French). Recently I moved to Paris (France, of course) with my mommy. She loves my very much but I don’t have too many friends and I get easily bored. When not in Paris, we spend a good amount of time at the farm (near Paris) but I’m not used to village life either. Last week she took me to Louvre. I liked it (I could pee on the pyramid but don’t tell anybody). Next week will be another museum or something! I mean….how much “Louvre”, “turn Eiffel” “Montparnasse” can I take?

George, I think I need a friend. Should I look for another cute, little dog like me or a house rabbit? Do you know of any parks in Paris where dogs meet? May be I’ll meet the love of my life! O la la!

A bientot

Oliver


Dear Olivier,

Museums.... boring, boring, boring. Very few if any mice and those that exist as as poor as church mice, who face equally straightened circumstances. No rabbits to chase. Just lots of square things on the wall with labels Leonardo Da Vinci and the like. (Though Leonardo was fond of cats and some rather nice sketches of felines exist).

A house rabbit has interesting and gastronomic possibilities. Research your French recipes for lapin, then start trying to persuade your human that you need this kind of friend. I have been working on Celia but she says I should content myself with the very many rabbits that live in her garden. She says that when she has evidence that I have palled up with one of these, she will have some house rabbits. She pointed out that finding the half eaten rabbit corpse on her doorstep did not count as evidence of a fully functioning rabbit-cat friendship.

My online friend Samurai Raoul, (I dare not go near him as he chases cats), whose photo is on the right, recommends the Bois de Boulogne as a good place for a walk but you should warn your human about the dress code. It must be modest, otherwise she may be mistaken for certain people (male and female) who sell special services to male customers. And it is not a good place to go at night or when offices close, as this is married man's time, when customers pick up a quickie before catching the train home to their wife and family.

I am going online later today to ask Raoul for more tips on the canine vie Francaise (can't do the accents on this blog). He never goes off lead in the Bois, as his humans are dismayed by his fighting attitude. As a warrior dog, despite his small size, he attacks dogs three times his own size and, like us cats, takes no notice of any human instructions. But other dogs enjoy playing peacefully there.

Glad you peed on the pyramid. Why else would it be there? Such a nice shape with a lot of edges at pee height. Made for leg lifting. I dare say passing felines have sprayed there too.

Love

George


Monday, September 20, 2010

Trouble and strife with my human

Due to a disgraceful failure of duty in my secretary, Celia, there were no posts this weekend. She claims it was due to an ISP failure just before she took four days off. I have told her that she has no right to any time off. As her owner I expect her to be a ready and willing servant at all times. She has now gone on a two day strike, withdrawing her labour under the guise of continuing what she calls a "holiday" for another 48 hours. I told her that cats don't do holidays and they don't expect their humans do to do them either. Posts will resume next Saturday or she will have very badly scratched limbs.
Yours very disgruntedly
Georg
e

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Of men, rats and ratatouille.


Dear George,

You won’t believe your ears what I’m going to tell you! I really think that “humans” have been somehow “genetically modified” – at least mine!

Can you believe that my humans were watching a movie entitled “Ratatouille”? Watching a movie about vegetarian food is ok since they are vegetarians…but watching a movie about a RAT cooking vegetarian food for people? Phew! Phew! Phew!

Can you believe that actually someone made a movie about a rat cooking this famous veggies stew from Provence (France) and that people (in the movie) were killing themselves to get a bite? And my “humans” were in tears by the end of the movie?

IN TEARS over food cooked by a RAT? Are they genetically modified with rat DNA?

So, I decided to save them – I’m taking cooking classes. Look at me among eggplants and zucchini! I’ll cook them a ratatouille! Any other vegetarian suggestions?

Love

Fluffy


Dear Fluffy,

As an outdoor cat, my recipe for ratatouille is as follows:


GEORGE'S RATATOUILLE FOR CATS


One young rat.

One mouthful of grass or straw as garnish.

One human scream.

First catch your rat being careful not to pounce on a really big one that will give you a horrendous bite. The grass or straw are the optional garnish, which may go into your mouth as you grab the rat. If not, do not worry. They are not essential. The human scream is. This occurs when you bound through the cat flap with the rat struggling and alive in your mouth. Deposit the rat in the house and watch it climb up vertical walls. It does this splendidly, falling back on to the floor when it reaches the ceiling. Screaming human just makes it very exciting and worthwhile. Eat rat when it becomes exhausted - which may be several hours and a lot of hunting time later.


I have done this several times to great effect. The best time was when the rat litereally ran up the wall, Celia caught it as it fell using a Wellington boot, threw rat and boot into the garden, where I caught up with it. Unfortunately she then spoiled everything by slamming the cat flap shut just before I was bringing it back into the garden. Humans are awful spoilsports.

Love George

PS. I offered her the rats. Thought she might find them tasty. No gratitude at all. However I do not do carry-out or take-away (see comments). In principle, I do not share. The exceptions are offering Celia a rat and allowing her to sleep on my bed even though she takes up a lot of room.


Saturday, September 04, 2010

Help! my sister is attacking me!

Dear George,
I'm quite fed up with my sister Cayenne.
I wasn't feeling well the other day so mommy took me to the vet. They did a whole set of tests and thanks God everything is okay.
I came back quite happy to be home but my sister Cayenne doesn't recognize me
She thinks I'm a different cat. Mommy is upset as she's leaving today for 3 weeks to visit her mother. We'll stay home with daddy but what can I do to make Cayenne realize that it is me, Fluffy? Or may be I just should get into a bag (see photo) and go away with mommy? Some advice will help! I'm sure other cats had this problem too.
Love Fluffy

Dear Fluffy,
Yes, i
t is a common problem after a vet's visit. Vets are the most loathed enemies of all cats. They do awful things to us - stick us with needles, force pills down our throats, force our mouths open to lok at our teeth, and generally maul us around. We hate vets. The bolder among us bite them if we can or scratch if we get the chance. Some purr formercy (and don't get it). Mostof us just sit hunched and miserable onthat awful smelling table.
There's nothing worse than the smell of a vet. Naturally we cats identify friends and foe by scent. But the humans don't understand this because they are scent blind, poor creatures. They just plonk us back into the family home, completely unaware
of the fact that we smell like the enemy. So Cayenne reacted normally and went for you. You smelled horribly frightening to her.
The answer is to give you the smell of home. Home smells of your scent and her scent mixed together with the scent of both your humans (that's why you rub them). It's the homey scent that identified you and her as friends.
Get your human to take a clean cloth like a hankie and wipe it round Cayenne's chin and cheeks
to collect her scent. Then wipe it on your body. Do the same for your chin and cheeks and wipe it on her. Swap her beddding with your bedding. Top this all off by taking a little of your human's scent - from their armpits or (if they are self conscious about this) even atiny little bit of aftershave or perfume and put this also on both cats using a clean hankie.
Voila! ou and Cayenne should smell, not of vets, but of home. If that doesn't put things right, get a Feliway diffuser from the vet to exude a calming scent into the room where you spend most of your time. Oh yes, and next time think of taking both cats to the vet and asking her/him to handle both.
Love George

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I have protested in the strongest terms - spraying

Dear George,
My humans don't understand me. A new despot cat has moved into the neighbourhood and they haven't even noticed. He's leaving unplesant and scary messages on the nearby plant pots and walking up and down the wall glaring at me.
So I did the natural thing. I sprayed on the windowsill - a big post-it sign which said "There is danger here!" I wanted to remind myself that it was dangerous to look out and see him.
Oddly enough my humans then sprayed themselves - pine scented disinfectant. A really big urine mark out of a bottle. Naturally I topped it up and have kept it topped up. They are getting even more upset than I am. And they don't get the message at all. How can I tell them what is going on?
Oliver

Dear Oliver,
This is a common problem among humans. They are scent blind as well as dumb animals. Can't read body language. Can't detect scent. Don't keep an eye out for other cats. Hopeless apes, as Wicky Whudler calls them. Worse still, when they do detect the spray scent of danger, they just don't understand it and try to cover it up with stuff they think smells like pine forests. Actually to us it smells like cat urine in a pine forest, and very strong cat urine. So naturally that makes us feel even worse and we try to cover it up with our own scent.
Your problem is how to communicate with an inferior species, your humans. Our rather sad pets often misunderstand spraying altogether. They think we are being "naughty" or "evil" or even trying to take our revenge on them. This is really pathetically incompetant of them but we must remember that humans are dumb animals. They cannot understand a word of what we are saying.
Spraying is an sign that we are anxious and that we need help. Usually what upsets us is the intrusion of another into our territory -- the cat next door, a new cat in the household, nearby dogs or a new puppy. Sometimes house sitters and cat feeders upset us too. So we spray. And usually where we spray give an indication what is going on. If it is near the window it is because we see something worrying outside. If it is near the door to the garden, it may be that a neighbouring cat has posted a spray mark just the other side of the door. And so on.
Our problem is not spraying. Our problem is getting help for our anxiety. Our humans simply don't understand us and at times this makes me gloomy,
George.
PS. My late companion William is sponsoring a photo competition in the Cat Extravaganza, 4th September 2pm, St Leonards Church Hall, Marshalls Brow, Penworththa, Preston, Lancs.

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