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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Purrs and Claws - what a kitten needs to know


Dear George,
I'm a 14 weeks old rescue and this Christmas I have adopted a family with a big house and two human kittens. My new family seems to be lots of fun; the human kittens are older than me; they go to university where they learn how to take care of me.
My human mommy must be an excellent mother as she keeps the house clean and neat and makes sure the food is always fresh! I dream of my first steak! Yummy! My new human daddy is a bit strange but, I'm sure he can be trained to become my loyal servant or so I think!
I was told that I'm a Blue Russian mix - photo attached! I know all cats are Royalty but don't you think that having "extra blue blood" makes me "extra royal"?
Definitely they sense I'm special! I'm allowed to sleep in any bed I want and I can run up and down the stairs as much as I want (which is such a relief after being in a cage for 3 months). George, I need some tips on house manners, how to behave so they will be happy with me! I'm a bit concerned since this is my first "forever home" and I'm their "first cat ever"! It is a first time experience for all! I've seen my daddy ordered a book on "how cats think" - yes, quite laughable as no human will figure us out but I told you he's nuts! Do you think this book will teach him how to obey my orders? Or how to feed me? Shouldn't he be getting one of your books instead? Today they were talking about new year's resolutions!
What is that?
Immensely grateful,
Leo-Liam 

Dear Leo-Liam,
Training a human is ridiculously easy. Most kittens do it automatically. The principles are that you reward behaviour that you want and you punish behaviour that you do not want. Rewards are purring, snuggling up close, rubbing your cheek against the human, and (if you fancy doing so) giving a little lick. Some cats enjoy grooming their human's hair too. Punishments are claws, teeth, disdainful ignoring and running away. 
What you have to remember is that humans are not clever enough to understand our body language. So you have to respond in an exaggerated way to make things clear to them. Both rewards and punishments must be administered as soon as possible (within seconds preferably). Humans vary in their reaction to punishment. For some a lofty look of disdain will make them cease whatever they are doing. Others need a sharp nip or even a hefty claw on their bare skin.
If you are having difficulty, purrchase a copy of 100 Hundred Ways for a Cat to Train its Human.
Happy New Year
George
PS. In an ideal world all humans would be adopted by rescue kittens. That would be my resolution for cat welfare this year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

George's Christmas message and the 12 days of Catmas.

I was going to give a Christmas message about the importance of kindness to the lower animals, humans, (excluding mice, of course). Dumb creatures that they are, humans need our help at Christmas - dressing the tree, pulling down the tree, eating up spare bits of turkey, generally cleaning plates and vaccuuming edible bits off the floor
But instead I thought I would pass on this feline carol. My human insisted on the ridiculous photo of me in a silly hat.


THE TWELVE DAYS OF CATMAS


On the first day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
A tear in your precious settee!

On the second day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
Two headless mice
And a tear in your precious settee!

On the third day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
Three fur balls
Two headless mice
And a tear in your precious settee!

On the Fourth day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
Four feathered birds
Three fur balls
Two headless mice
And a tear in your precious settee!


On the Fifth day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
Five furry things
Four feathered birds
Three fur balls
Two headless mice
And a tear in your precious settee!


On the Sixth day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
Six strays a spraying
Five furry things
Four feathered birds
Three fur balls
Two headless mice
And a tear in your precious settee!


On the seventh day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
Seven trays a brimming
Six strays a spraying
Five furry things
Four feathered birds
Three fur balls
Two headless mice
And a tear in your precious settee!


On the eighth day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
Eight fishheads reeking
Seven trays a brimming
Six strays a spraying
Five furry things
Four feathered birds
Three fur balls
Two headless mice
And a tear in your precious settee!



On the ninth day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
Nine fleas a leaping
Eight fishheads reeking
Seven trays a brimming
Six strays a spraying
Five furry things
Four feathered birds
Three fur balls
Two headless mice
And a tear in your precious settee!

On the tenth day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
Ten toms a wailing
Nine fleas a leaping
Eight fishheads reeking
Seven trays a brimming
Six strays a spraying
Five furry things
Four feathered birds
Three fur balls
Two headless mice
And a tear in your precious settee!


On the eleventh day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
Eleven kittens mewing
Ten toms a wailing
Nine fleas a leaping
Eight fishheads reeking
Seven trays a brimming
Six strays a spraying
Five furry things
Four feathered birds
Three fur balls
Two headless mice
And a tear in your precious settee!


On the Twelfth day of Catmas
There came a gift from me
Twelve vet bills coming
Eleven kittens mewing
Ten toms a wailing
Nine fleas a leaping
Eight fishheads reeking
Seven trays a brimming
Six strays a spraying
Five furry things
Four feathered birds
Three fur balls
Two headless mice

And a tear in your precious settee!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas is coming..... food, trees, and catnip

Dear George,
Christmas is coming and I don't know if it's a good thing or not given the high level of anxiety experienced by my family. I don't even know if it's anxiety or excitement. Lately they went nuts - they cook, they bake, they decorate the house, they stay up late and all these are disturbing my sleep. I don't exactly know who Christmas is and how it looks like or how Christmas will get to our house but I don't want anybody invading my territory! All I hear all day long is "let's share....it's Christmas" or "be nice.....it's Christmas" or "in the spirit of Christmas" over and over again! I remember last year about same time we got the house full of my humans' family and friends and I had to hide for a full week. I don't want this to happen again so I got up high on the roof watching my territory (picture attached). But....should I really chase Christmas away if I see it coming to my house? To tell you the truth George.....I like how the house is decorated, I like the smell of food and cookies, I like the festive atmosphere....so what should I do?
I like that everybody is jolly and they wish each other Merry Christmas!
Maybe if you'll explain to me what Christmas is all about and how I can best enjoy it....I will stay up high and...welcome Christmas in my territory!
A very meowy Christmas to all....
Zoe

Dear Zoe,  
It is not easy to explain Christmas. Humans are so inconsistent. On the one hand it is boring for cats - lots of strange humans coming round, too much liquid catnip consumed, humans quarrelling or laughing inanely... And, boy can they eat - turkey, goose, ham, bacon, sausages, pudding, brandy butter, custard, cream, bits on sticks, bits on binis, smoked salmon, unsmoked salmon, prawns, pasta, .... enough to make a sensible cat sick.
Feast well but a note of warning. Yes, there is a lot of food on offer. You can sneak into the room where they are going to eat and if you are quiet just fill up on whatever is there.You can steal stuff off the kitchen counter. You can gobble up fallen bits of food on the kitchen floor. You can pull down the trash can and eat what is inside it. You can even go out in the garden and eat some of the food they put down for the birds. 
Avoid the liquid catnip. There are cats who have overindulged and fallen off the mantlepiece breaking a leg or two. Avoid the Christmas pieces of string or tinsel - they can get wrapped round your innards. Avoid grapes, onions, avocado, raisins and chocolate - all poisonous. There's no need to make a fool of yourself. Humans will do that for you.
Christmas trees are fair game. Liven up the party by climbing up them. Or by pulling them down. Take a look at some creative felines adding to the Christmas fun here
Have a happy Christmas.
George



Saturday, December 13, 2014

My human has gone stark staring mad.... she thinks she is training me.

Dear George,
What do you do about a human pet that has gone mad. Stark staring bonkers. She has started a regime of feeding me on a mat.
OK, you might think there is nothing wrong with this. But there is. It is the way she is doing it.
At first she more or less fed me when I was sort of half on the mat. Then she stopped doing this which upset me terribly. I didn't know why the rules had changed. Now I think I have got it. I have to have all four paws on the mat before the food will be delivered to me.
But she keeps changing things. She moves so that she and the mat are in different positions. So I feel anxious and worried. Will 4 paws do the trick in each new position? Each time I have to experiment to find out. She looks pretty fed up as I gingerly put one paw, then two, then walk away several times before putting all four on.
She is also videoing me and I feel like Len, who earlier complained, that I have no privacy. What I can't work out is why she is doing this. And I get confused because she is rather inconsistent and sometimes gives me some food when I am not doing it.
What on earth is going on?
Toby, the Cross-Eyed Stray.

Dear Toby,
Your human has fallen victim to the illusion that cats can be trained. It's a sad insight into their delusional thought processes.
I suggest that you turn the whole project round. Train her. Four paws on the mat, look up appealingly, food is produced, another appealing look and with luck more food will arrive. This looks like co-operation but in fact is cat training a human to dispense food. What does she get out of it? Nothing except a lousy video. What do you get out of it? Food. It's a no brainer.
Yours George
PS. This YouTube intrusion into our privacy get worse every day.  It's cat porn for cat addicts.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Movember - the annual festival of whisker envy.


Dear George,
Here we are -  worried about our male human's behaviour and deeply contemplating (as you can see in the picture) the idea of getting him some professional help.
Therefore you were commissioned by us to help us understand his behaviour and eventually help him get back to his senses. We have to alert you thou that he does this ONLY in November. He did it last year and he did it again this year. Although he is not delusional we think he firmly believes he is in some sort of competition with us.  
What make us think so? Well, the fact that he's trying to grow "whiskers" each November. We truly believe he is jealous of our beautiful, long whiskers and he desperately is trying to beat us with his "whiskers" but all he grows is some ugly, bushy hair under his nose. Nothing compared to our elegant, long whiskers. He is not trying to grow hair on any other part of his body; at least we did see it. Such a pity! We tried to show him how to groom properly; we "licked and washed " his face, his head, we tried "to pull" the hair from under his nose and we could tell he did not appreciate our efforts. By the end of November he got rid of that bush under his nose. Why? What was the purpose? Could this be a "November syndrome" that our daddy is suffering of? Is there any treatment? George, what do you think?
In gratitude
Blackie &Spokie

Dear Blackie and Spokie,
This is a very sad case, isn't it! Humans have a deep unconscious whisker envy. Whatever they do, however long they try, they cannot produce cats' whiskers. Even the longest ones are floppy rather than properly stiff and they have no feeling in them at all. They are a poor excuse for a proper whisker.
But the deep whisker envy makes them keep trying and a good cause such as Movember (in favour of male human cancer) gives them an excuse. Each year thousands of male humans try to grow whiskers. They concentrate their efforts between the mouth and nose, where a proper whisker pad, of the kind we have, might be expected.
They grow a pathetic half inch or so. Then they realise that this is fundamentally thick fur, rather than proper whisker. There is no feeling and no movement in it. We can move our whiskers forwards and back and feel the struggles of a mouse we are carrying. They can do nothing of that.
So at the end of November, they give up - pretending that they meant to do this all along, denying their own whisker envy.
Be kind to him. He has suffered a grievous disappointment.
Yours pityingly,
George

 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Strange creatures invading my territory


Dear George,
I was strongly advised by my cousin, CAT Victoria,  to write to you and ask for help as neither one of us knew what to do in my dramatic situation. Here is my story: I was rescued as a kitten and after a stressful period of adaptation in my new home (mostly due to being continuously sniffed at by the dog) I finally came to terms with everything and everybody (meaning the dog). My humans are very well trained and I think it is more of my cousin's merit rather then their human intelligence. Anyway, they provide and I take - as you can see in the photo attached. However, my happiness is in danger and I have no intention to let it be short lived. I enjoy my new home, I ignore the dog on daily basis and  I kinda like my mommy, especially when she's holding me in her arms. But....I was horrified to discover this strange creature (photo on the right)
EATING my food in the backyard. George, what is this? Certainly it's not a dog nor is it a cat. Its coat hurts anybody touching it and this strange "thing" can disappear in a ball. CAT Victoria thinks it is an ET and she's trying to communicate with it. This strange creature dares to eat my food and dares to sleep in one of my little houses in the backyard. The worst part yet? My humans seem to like this "thing"; they are talking to it and gave it a name. Is there a possibility that I might have been rescued and adopted by extra-terrestrials? Do you think they plan to abduct me and take me to the outer space? At least that's what my cousin thinks. George, do you think I'm safe in this creature's proximity?
Help(less)
Kitty-Kitty

Dear Kitty-Kitty,
Human beings are ridiculous. They have you, one of the most beautiful cats in the world with your amazing wildlife coat colouring, and they are giving your food away to a small odd creature with spikes and fleas. No, Victoria is wrong. It's not an alien, though it looks like one. It won't eat you or abduct you or try to form a relationship of some unhealthy type.
I think your hedgehog looks slightly different from the ones near me (photo below). Shorter noses perhaps.

But hedgehogs are natural flea bags. Covered with them. As your silly humans will discover if they try to pick it up. Admittedly hedgehog fleas are not cat fleas but even hedgehog fleas can give us cats quite a nasty bite. So my advice to you is to keep a sensible distance away from it. Tell Victoria if she wants to communicate to do it from a distance. Perhaps she could try some kind of feline semaphore!
And what on earth is it doing in the garden as winter approaches? Here in the UK they hibernate. They find heaps of leaves or grass and burrow down into it and sleep through the bad weather. Some people buy hedgehog hibernation cabins here.
May I be frank, Kitty-Kitty. Just ignore this latest human craze. It's not worth bothering about their behaviour.  Hedgehogs are boring. Now if it was mice.....
Yours
George 
PS.  If you hate your humans, or keep having to punish them with claws and teeth, then a TV company would like to hear from you. Email them at catdocumentary@gmail.com 


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Grass for your very own lawn -- a pre Christmas gift for indoor cats


Dear George.
I thought I'd show you my Christmas present from my people.......a U Beaut, fully turfed, indoor lawn!  Excuse the Aussie slang.....can't help it sometimes....
As I may have mentioned before, I am a total indoor cat, albeit with my own personal jungle gym in the form of rafters going up into the ceiling....but no grass. I have, from time to time mentioned this to my staff, and finally they have listened.
Friends have been laying turf around their house, and I have scored the off cuts.  The "garden" tray sits inside a water tray, so that in the heat we are currently enduring*, [particularly me, with the' full on' fur coat] the whole thing stays cool and fresh.
I consider this a stroke of genius from my people, and worthy of a mention on your blog, don't you? 
I have to keep The Dog off it, in case (silly animal that she is), she thinks it's to dig in. Hence it is up on two chairs.
It's  41.5 C  outside, and we are all melting......I even have it in me to feel sorry for the Dog, but not enough to share my lawn...what am I...daft? But I do share it with the wallabies when it grows too high. My people just put it outside and the wallabies mow it down.
I do hope your Christmas includes heaps of paper to be silly with, and a sparkly tree to mess up. This is my favourite time of year...can't wait!
Best Wishes
Chaos 

Dear Chaos,
Love the lawn. Don't even think of letting The Dog near it. This is a rare example of human intelligence (they can more or less think but they just don't most of the time) allied with careful feline training skills. Congratulations. 
Sigh.... Christmas again. I can never decide if I like it or not. On the one hand there are good kitchen treats - turkey trimmings, cream, gravy, butter (left out on the table), and the chance to bat the decorations hanging from the Christmas tree.
On the other hand there are the hazards - humans drinking too much of their liquid catnip substitute, strangers in the home that want to harass you with petting, human-kittens that may want to pull your tail, and a lot of noise from the TV. 
And - horror of horrors, humans who put silly hats on you. What I want for Christmas is turkey, some cat treats like Dreamies, and a nice warm place to sleep away from drunk humans or quarrelling families.... must be great to be in Oz where everywhere is warm.
I catch rabbits here. I'd love to have a crack at the wallabies.
Yours
George

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Roll.... or role? Why do Humans complicate their language?


Dear George,
You are such an amazing agony aunt; you study humans' behaviour, you write books, articles and you do a lot of studies and research so, maybe you can explain to me the semantics of "roll". For example, when I want to say something....I meow! And, the pronunciation, the sound and the spelling of "my meows" are all the same; the way I write, same way I read and same way I spell. Why is English such a messed up language? Why can two words have quite the same pronunciation/sound but yet different spelling and completely different meanings?  I found this as being very confusing for humans. Maybe that's why we have so many problems training them.
The word in question is "roll" and the problem is my mummy! I know English is not her first language (she speaks more than one language but it doesn't do her any good as you'll see). The other day I've heard her talking with a friend about "Fluffy's role" and I thought: yes! she finally got it. Then I've seen her e-mailing her friend my photo (attached here) as "Fluffy's roll". I realized that we are talking about different things.  When I hear the "word in question" ....I'm thinking of a "role" and my role is to run the house and train my humans. When she hears the "word" she's thinking of one of my relaxing poses asking for a belly rub. Later that day as I was meowing my frustration in regards to her poor linguistic abilities ...I realized something even more disturbing; to her...if I "roll" ....I'm her darling! But if I exercise my "role" (of running the house)...I'm a tyrant, a spoiled brat! See where I'm getting? How can an extra "l" in the absence of an "e" make such a difference? Can you explain this to me George? And, last but not least....how do I make my mummy skip that extra "l" and add an "e" so we'll both be on the same page and talking same language and that means  accepting "my role"?
Hugs
Fluffy

Dear Fluffy,
Sometimes I despair at the inferior species. Like you, I find decoding human vocalisations very difficult - same sound, different meaning. It's not just the ridiculous spelling (mouse tracks on a page or screen is what I call them)! It's the sheer impenetrability of their sounds.
When I meow, it is purrfectly clear what it means. The pitch, the intensity, and the context distinguish between Meow meaning "I want some of that.": Meow meaning "Open the door please,": Meow meaning "Wake up,": Meow meaning "I am upset. Get me out of here,": Meow meaning "How could you do this to me,": and Meow meaning "No, I am not handing over that bit of chicken I found in the trash."
We can speak clearly and simply.They can't.
They obfuscate and muddle, just like their tiny minds. And the way they babble endlessly. Is it worth studying their vocalisations?  I have done so and I conclude there are only a few words that it is really necessary for a cat to understand. These, in order of importance, are: "vet," "cattery," "sitter," "tin," "food," "bag," "fridge," "chicken," trash," "pill," "door," "dog."  For most of these, except the food ones, you run under the bed.
What is a cat to do with the rest of the noises? Tune most of them out, I think. It's the only way to save your sanity. And I enjoy it when they call "George." I look at them carefully in a disdainful way and saunter off.
Try it, Fluffy. It's a good game.
Purrs and rubs
George
Just added a photo of me rolling in the dust. Not such a gorgeous tummy, I fear.

Friday, November 07, 2014

I have trained my human to write novels that help homeless cats.


Dear George,
My name is Lara and I am an amazing survivor of a horrendous dog attack and because my beauty was scarred no one wanted me! That is until a lady at Morley Cat Rescue saw through my injuries and noticed my beautiful nature and playful ways and she rescued me! Now after many years in her care I have regained my lustrous coat and lost all the excess weight I gained through inactivity. I can walk again!
I would really like to say thanks, George, to Morley Cat Rescue and their devotion and I have just seen my dear mum Morwenna Holman writing novels which she hopes to sell to rescue more cats like me so can you spread the word please? Her novels are Westerdale, Heaton and Rainharrow (details here) and she is working on the next one as we speak,( well tea is late again as she is finishing a chapter ) but every penny of royalties is going to be divided among Morley Cat rescue who need a cattery for darling stray little souls like me who get injured by dogs and cannot remain on the streets and AISPA. Morwenna also wants to send money to the cats of Torre Argentine in the Roman ruins as they are a wonderful and devoted bunch of people. They stop cats like me from breeding (babies - yuk - it makes me go cold just thinking about it!).
For every copy of one of Morwenna's books sold each rescue will get a pound so please get humans to help us! Well, I shall now go and position myself strategically over Morwenna's E-book and gaze at her with my beautiful huge eyes. It is a trick I learnt from Celia's book and I flutter my eyelashes for more effect. It works every time!
Miaows and purrs,
Lara.

Dear Lara,
It's a real pleasure to come across human beings who want to help cats. Some of them don't care and even more of them just think they own one of us and don't bother helping the species. This Morwenna human sounds like a really nice pet.
I really do congratulate you on your pet. Mine does a bit of writing but she had a tendency to invade the privacy of the cats she writes about. I wish I could turn her little mind to fiction, rather than fact. So I admire what you have done with Morwenna.
Worse still, Celia put her own name on MY book, 100 Ways for a Cat to Train its Human. A dirty trick, I thought, and it still rankles.
Yours
 George

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Bander, the pet shop cat, - should I go on diet?

Dear George,
My name is Bander and I consider myself one lucky cat!
Why? First and foremost because I'm a rescue!
Secondly, because I was rescued and adopted by an entire pet food store... Yes! Everybody loves me - starting with the owner, the staff and ending, of course, with the store's clients. Do you realize what that means for me? It means lots of petting and belly rubbing and unlimited free food - as much as I want from everything!
One particular client keeps telling the staff that I'm a bit skinny and asks how often do they feed me. They look at him like he is crazy since they think I'm well "too rounded" (pictures attached). But, I  took his saying at heart. I knew he's being sarcastic but his remark helped me develop a very entertaining habit at night. You see, when I'm alone in the store I feel so empowered and in charge...that I can do whatever I want, I literally can pick and choose! And, I choose to open whatever bag of food inspires me! Some nights I open two - three bags (not that I finish any) just for fun or maybe because I'm bored. They say I should exercise. But how can I exercise if I'm confined indoors? I'm no hamster to run on a wheel. And, honestly, food just tastes better than toy
George, I need your help as I don't know what to do. Do you think I should be on a diet?

Bander

Dear Bander,
Take no notice whatsoever of these remarks. As the manager of a pet store, it is clear to me that you must sample your wares. How else can you tell if you are selling high value products? How can you fulfill your duties to your customers without careful investigation and trials of the various food items.
As for exercise, tearing open food bags does involve exercise - clawing, tearing, pulling etc. And if you are sampling products, it is important to sample several rather than finish just one. 
It seems to me that what you are doing is a justifiable commercial activity. Get your humans to wise up. If they want to exercise you perhaps they could release some white mice or merely important some ordinary house mice. Then you could have real fun with a delicious meal at the end.
Yours sympathetically
George.
PS. It is a human (not a feline) failing to be obsessed with body shape. Who cares! 


Friday, October 24, 2014

Training your humans to play THE music for cats

Dear George,
Lately, I've seen from your posts that "training our humans" is a major theme.
I learned also that you wrote an excellent book on the subject; "A hundred ways to train your human", right?
I must admit I've learned a lot from your blog and, now...I'd like to brag about my success on training my humans.
Here is just one example: my very special "theatre space" :-))) created for me by my mom!
I can watch from here lots of "things" and I can get a belly rub from my humans whenever I want.
I trained them to play the music I like or play a movie for me! So, here I am.... watching this superb piece by Rossini!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i08Zsaldocc 
But, I wonder...who trained these two sopranos? Was Rossini a cat himself?
Bravos! That's what we should aim for!
Patches

Dear Patches,
Congratulations on your leadership skills in the management of humans. I really enjoyed the Rossini duet and I thought the humans looked very sweet as they tried to speak our language. So well trained. I wonder who trained them.
Your letter set me researching the human music which is about cats. Other musical possibilities are The Kitty Valse (Faure) performed by two human kittens, Puss-in-Boots and the White Cat (Tchaikovsky) and The Cat Dance (Prokofiev). I shall endeavour to find these on Youtube later today.
But the Rossini is best.
Yours gratefully
George. 
PS. In 1758 a showman, Bisset expand hired an exhibition room in the Haymarket and put on ‘The Cats’ Opera’ with cats strumming dulcimers and mewing, a monkey dancing with a dog and a hare that walked on his back legs whilst beating a drum.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Beware the poison in the flower and the evil in the leaves.....

Dear George,
My name is Mack and I have no idea how old I am but, I know I'm a lucky survivor.
Survivor to what? you may ask! Well...to poison!
One night this past August my humans came home with a big bouquet of flowers laughing and chatty and happy - it looked like they were celebrating something.
They had some champagne, kissed me good night and went to sleep.
I was left alone in the living room; I certainly didn't feel like finishing the champagne so I nibbled on some flowers
Next I know? I woke up in a hospital then....vomit, torture with some tubes through my throat and a lot of misery.
Why all this? It seems that some flowers I nibbled on were poisonous for cats.
George, can you give us some advice on poisonous plants/flowers so our humans can learn and avoid bring such in the house?

Grateful to be alive
Mack


Dear Mack,
Phew. What a narrow escape. The most likely reason why you were poisoned was because the bouquet includes lilies (see photo on right). These are poisonous in flower and stem if you eat them but there is another danger. The pollen on their stamens can fall to the ground, be picked up on your paws or coat, and then when you groom yourself you swallow it. Your humans should cut off the stamens and shake out any pollen inside the flower before they bring lilies into the house and put them in a safe place. Better still not buy them at all.

The other poisonous house plant is poinsetta, a plant with decorative leaves that is often given as a Christmas present. The danger isn't so great with this, as you will only be poisoned if you nibble it. There isn't the danger of pollen. But tell your humans to be better safe than sorry.
For a complete list of dangerous plants go to International Cat Care.  Indoor cats with a nibbling habit are at greater danger than cats that have other things to do. Other common dangerous substance are human medicine (aspirin for one), canine flea products containing permethrin (many cats have died of this), and antifreeze.
Stay well. 
George

Saturday, October 11, 2014

NO privacy? Humans are invading my right to be a private feline.

 
Dear George,
I hope you can help me with a rather delicate matter. I live with two humans, who I deemed suitable around this time last year, to be my assistants. They perform quite well if I’m honest-there is always somewhere comfy and warm to sleep, I don’t go without food, and there is a fine selection of toys provided. But, I’m starting to feel like I’ve made a terrible mistake. And I hate that.
You see, the one with the longer hair keeps taking photographs of me, and publishing them online. She has them taken before I know it-me playing, me exploring, even me sleeping!!! Some of these photos are embarrassing, especially when I’m playing with cheap toys that aren’t worth rejecting just to see the look on her face, or when I’m sleeping in less than glamorous locations. She has even put up photos of me WORKING for food. These photos are being published without my consent, and I am getting really sick of it. Surely I have the exclusive rights to my own image? WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS? Do you have any advice on what I can do to stop this happening? I don’t want to leave the house altogether, as it is satisfactory apart from this constant invasion of my privacy. I enclose some of the photos she has posted to illustrate my point.
Please help George,
Yours purringly,
Len (AKA Bishop Len Brennan, President of Mingtasmia).
P.S. The photos show me sleeping on a cardboard box (it was in the sun when I jumped up!), playing with an egg box full of treats, and sitting for a reward. All humiliating, I’m sure you’ll agree

Dear Len,
I have no comfort for you. Humans are addicted to taking our photos and putting them online - Facebook, blogs, YouTube. They even invade the privacy of kittens, would you believe?
I have utterly failed to train my human out of this behaviour. And did you know that the latest craze is for photos of hamsters' bottoms? What a disgusting species they are!
Yours in deepest gloom
George.
PS. Congratulations on your elevation to a bishopric in the footsteps of the famous Father Ted bishop. You will achieve celibacy more easily than some recent bishops!

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