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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Vacations for humans but not for us. Making guilt work...

Dear George,

Big debate in my family! My humans plan to go on a two week vacation but they feel guilty for leaving me home! I must admit I enjoy very much their “guilt feelings” as they are extra nice with me now and shower me in presents and treats!

But….the big debate remains….what’s the best solution for me? In a cattery? In someone else’s home? A cat sitter who can visit twice a day?

I personally prefer to stay home, in my house and have a very nice “live-in” cat sitter! 
So, what do you say? What other human pets do? Or they never take a vacation? I’ve heard of some who never go together because of the cat (who is their master and, of course runs the house). Your ideas are most appreciated! I still have a month to find the best solution!
Cheers,

Didi

Dear Didi,
How right you are to make guilt work for you. It is one of the best human training technique and all it requires is a soulful look of unhappiness! Yes, vacations for humans can be stressful and unpleasant for cats and the best humans do not go away at all.... wish my human didn't.
No doubt in my mind. The live-in pet sitter, if reliable, is best. Humans that call in once a day are not good enough: twice a day is far better, though even this may not be enough care if one of us disappears outside through the cat flap and is not seen for 24 hours. Cat boarding establishments may be the safest option but from our point of view they are just imprisonment.
Month long human vacations are a dereliction of duty. They have no right to inflict this on us. Make your human stay at home, where it belongs. Or stroll down the street and see if you can find a better pet.
Yours
George.
 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Backyard plants for cats....

Dear George,
I need your help urgently! Maybe Celia’s help as well (assuming she knows about plants). My Mom is planning to do some gardening this weekend and I heard her saying she wished she knew more about plants - what should she plant for me?
George, please, please, please say catnip and catnip and catnip - of course unless you know of some other plants as enjoyable as catnip.
What other cats like beside catnip?
In haste,
Leo 

Dear Leo,
Obviously catnip is a must for us cats and it looks lovely to humans too. My friend Toby can be seen enjoying it here. Don't confuse it with catmint, which doesn't have the same delicious scent though it looks good to humans. Valerian, another herb, is also enjoyed by cats and is easy to grow.
Why not have a small area, or a pot, devoted to cat grass? Ordinary wheat, the kind grown in for bread, or oats, the kind grown for porridge, will grow nicely. Or there is a special kind of grass, Dactyitis glomerata or cocks-foot grass that is sold as seed for cat grass. You will enjoy munching on any of these. A list of plants that are poisonous can be found here. As well as avoiding lily of the valley,  avoid lilies themselves  - if a tiny bit of pollen falls on your coat and you lick it off, you could die. 
What else? Well, why not purrsuade her to give you a water feature with a little fountain or trickling water for you to drink. And think about putting  a walkway, or a ledge, or a shelf on walls or fences. We like to sit up and look down on others. One of my friends, Pixxi (right), has a little shelf just on the corner of the fence so that he can sit and survey his territory.
Yours
George 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The love of birds....a certain human-feline incompatibility of opinion.

Dear George, 
After reading your book “One hundred ways for a cat to train its human” I started to apply your suggestions quite actively in my daily life. For the beginning I set up two goals just to see how it goes!  One was to have at least one bed in every single room and as you can see in the photo attached I have totally succeeded! Ah! Don’t be silly; of course I OWN that huge bed in the master bedroom as well….just that my humans don’t know yet!  The second goal was to train our next door neighbour first to like me, then to “catsit” me, then to miss me and finally to fall in love with me! Yes, you heard me right! Why would I stop to my own humans when I have such a cute next door neighbour?
Plus he has a bird! ONE love bird – quite laughable when you think “love birds” come in pairs!  But, I love the fact that he has just one – easy prey for me! Can you imagine the day (or night) when my cute neighbour will take me to his place and hopefully the bird cage door is open?  Ah, George! I can’t stop dreaming of that fresh, juicy dinner waiting for me in a little cage next door. 
But I need your expertise; all the “tricks and tips” as I have to make him fall in love with me first, right?  Where do I start?
Rio

Dear Rio, 
I love love-birds. Just the right size for a cat - not too large (like pheasants) or too small (like wrens, only a tiny mouthful). Just to reassure you that it is not necessary for any bird to fall in love with you first. All that is needed is for them to be close enough for a good pounce....
However, I reluctantly have to warn you that humans take an ridiculous view of bird slaughter. They love birds as much as they love cats and get very upset if birds are killed. Particularly if they know the "murderer" (their phrase not mine) or even "serial killer" (again, their phrase not mine).
Leave that love bird alone. Killing it, while naturally enjoyable, would ruin your relationship with the neighbouring human, whom you are so successfully training. You have to take the long view. Are a few mouthfuls of love bird worth the loss of a catsitter, a neighbour who may well offer extra cat treats and even a warmer house sometimes? 
I think not.
Yours 
George.

 

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Of human ethics and morals

Dear George, 
I have a “life and death” question for you: what is a cat supposed to do if his human wants to put him down because the human thinks he can’t afford a treatment/medication cost?
It is a nightmare for many cats but it is so true – that’s what happens in real life!
I’m a 8 year old cat and I’ve got an UTI - my human brought me to the vet to put me down because he can’t afford the treatment. However, the doctor explained that the treatment is not that expensive and there is no reason for euthanasia. Then, the nurse – God bless her heart – called a lady who runs a rescue group. The group got the money for the treatment and offered to adopt me! In the meantime….my human had a change of heart and started saying that he wants me back and he’ll pay for the treatment.
For the moment I’m back with my human…but what should I do? 
How can I make sure he’s not taking me to another clinic or abandon me on the streets?
Is there any legal course this rescue group can take to adopt me? I don’t trust my human anymore! 
Bertie 
Dear Bertie,
Your dilemma is awful. We cats should never fully trust humans. Some human owners "love" their cats, won't pay for vet treatment, and yet won't let their cats be adopted into a home that will pay for the treatment. And the fact that you have a UTI suggests that, apart from this dilemma, you are in a home that is stressful and worrying for you. 
The problem is human law. Stupid unethical law. Here in the UK cats are property. If a vet is asked to put down an animal, she cannot refuse. All she can do is suggest rehoming and, if the "owner" (disgusting term) agrees, put the animal in rescue, after a legal form has been signed saying the cat is now the property of the rescue. Without that bit of paper, the cat still belongs to its original "owner" (notice that word again).
Cats that are truly miserable sometimes rehome themselves - if they are lucky enough to have a cat flap. If you can leave the house, I would advise spending several weeks checking out likely homes in the neighbourhood and seeing if you find a better human.
Human laws against cruelty are totally inadequate and rarely enforced. You have to be half dead before the law steps in to save you.
My poor brother feline. My heart bleeds for you.
George.

 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Of humans and DNA... thoughts on this.

Dear George,
I’m reading a book about human DNA with my mummy and I’m very excited and amused. Excited because I have a peculiar interest in the topic and amused because of the humans’ beliefs. The book says that the scientists (human not feline) discovered that the human DNA is only 4% coded and 96% is not and therefore they called it “junk DNA”. That makes me Laugh Out Loud. If God created us all how could they believe that God coded only 4% of their DNA but coded all of ours (the cats)? Sorry, George but I can’t stop laughing! Ok, I pondered for a minute if I should tell mummy that all human DNA is coded but humans need to evolve to understand the “spiritual” codes; they need to transcend to a higher level of consciousness as multidimensional beings! But how could they if they are so stuck in 3D and linear thinking? So, I decided to say nothing because having humans stuck in 3D it is a huge advantage for us (over them). We were able to decode our DNA long ago and the Egyptians knew it – that’s why they held us in high regard as “sacred beings” and treated us better than Royalty.
But…today’s humans? They really believe they “train” and “control” us! I roar with laughter! You see the irony? They don’t realize we take advantage of their primitive nature and their exceptionally good response to emotional blackmailing (big smile). I laughed so much and so hard that I need a nap to rest and recover (photo attached). George, may we hear your opinion please? After all you are a magnificent… human behaviourist!
Chico

Dear Chico,
It is typical of humans that they called non-coding DNA "junk" or "barren" or "non-functioning," when this kind of DNA switches on and off vital DNA processes. Humans are always ready to despise and sneer instead of accepting their ignorance.
They share 90% of our genes but seem unable to say "We don't know"when they don't.
As you say, they think they control us when we control them. We moved in with them when they were sophisticated enough to make dry sheltered housing for us and now we have purrsuaded them to feed us, stroke us, and love us. Unlike dogs we do not have to guard or hunt for them. (We hunt for ourselves.) And they think they domesticated us when it is the other way round!
George
PS. My blog is disgracefully late, as I was locked up in a prison facility while my human jaunted about on the top of a Roman wall in Scotland. I have not forgiven her. Nor have I forgotten her. I punished her yesterday by easing her right to the edge of my double bed. To my amusement she had a nightmare about earth moving artics.
PPS. There were the remains of cats in the Roman camps.
 


Saturday, May 20, 2017

SOS! Vet on the horizon! Going Incatnito!

Dear George,
I need urgently few suggestions on how to go incatnito! Yes, you heard me right: “in-cat-nito” in order to avoid getting to my scheduled visit to the vet. Like any other cat I purr-foundly detest these visits so I try to hide but my humans somehow manage to find me every time. So, for now I thought going incatnito around the house ….maybe something like a “faux cat” that look like a piece of décor? Or maybe I should go as a dog or bunny or something in disguise? Ugh! So much trouble but I do not want to go to the vet! That’s it! Please take a look at the photo attached and tell me if I look like a piece of décor!
Any other suggestions on how to avoid the trip to the vet are welcome!
Yours…..in disguise
Leo

Dear Leo,
This isn't good enough. You do not look like a pineapple. Nor are you a convincing china cat!  Far too elegant. Further in-cat-nito efforts are required. I recommend the following places to hide.
  • Under the bed. Humans do look there but if you squeeze further enough in at an odd angle they may miss you.
  • Under the cooker if there is a gap.
  • Between the washing machine and the drying machine in the utility room. You need a cap but not a big one.
  • On a chair, which has been pushed under a table. This is a simple place to hide that many humans miss.
  • Underneath the bedclothes. Better hope that your human doesn't sit on you by mistake.
  • Back of the wardrobe behind some large boots.
  • Top of the wardrobe - if your human has never seen you there before. Won't work if they already know you chill out there.
Yours
George

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Déjà vu roast chicken….even if …it never happened?


Dear George, 
I know we have a great 6th sense and we can feel and see energy that humans can’t perceive with their naked eyes but, I’ve never realized that in fact I could be so, so, soooo psychic! I mean how else would you explain my experience? You see….I had a déjà vu of an event that never happened. What would you make of it? But, here is my story! Last night I’ve seen my human placing a nice chunk of roasted chicken (leftover from their dinner) on the kitchen table. You see, I’ve never been interested in sharing dinner with my humans and so, I never did! But for whatever reasons when I’ve seen that roasted chicken on the table ….I had a déjà vu ….of the future if I may said so!  I’ve literally seen a good chunk of it “disappearing” into my mouth and down into my belly.
I HAVE SEEN IT!  So, when my human turned around and said “now, be a good boy”…I just ignored her as I knew what’s going to happen next! 
So, George….help me understand! Do I have paranormal abilities? Is it because I spend so much time in nature (as you can see in the photo attached).
Beau

Dear Beau,
Treasure that chicken deja vu (my paws can't do the accents!). It WILL happen and in my opinion, the sooner the better. Check out the kitchen table regularly. I always do. And you will be surprised what you find there, particularly if your human is absent-minded or just disappears for a moment to check her computer.
I have developed the psychic gaze. I use this to convey to my human that I would like a bit of chicken (or similar goody). Silent.  Intense. Yet conveying by 6th sense what I want her to understand. Humans, dumb creatures though they are, have more of a 6th sense than they know.
I also do the psychic garden trick. When she is out there, I just appear from nowhere. Silently, of course. So one moment she thinks I am not there: and then in a few seconds she sees me. This is a psychic trick that almost all cats play. I love doing it. Those hosta plants on your right would make it easy for you.
Yours
George.
PS. The thought of that roast chicken has made my mouth water, so I am just going to check out the kitchen table... you never know.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Look what the sun has done to me.... its' dangerous.

Dear George,
I am writing to warn other cats. I lived with a family that couldn't afford vet bills. My ears got crusty and they took no notice till the crustiness was very bad.
Then they chucked me out to fend for myself although I was 16 years old. Luckily Cats Protection found me, took me in, fed me, and took me to a vet.
It was bad news - skin cancer. So they had to amputate my ears. Now I am recovered from the operation. The ears feel a bit odd and I can't swivel them so well as I used to. Otherwise I am fine.
Be warned. Cats like me that are white or have white faces, must stay out of the sunlight as much as possible during summer. 
I have survived so cancer wasn't a death sentence. Being chucked out on the street nearly was....
Yours
Pearl.

Dear Pearl,
Thank you for the warning.  Readers, please remember this and get your humans to understand that white ears and faces are at risk of skin cancer. Whatever your colour, even black, if your face is white you are vulnerable. Any signs of scabbiness or crustiness on the ear means a visit to the vet (yes, I loathe vets too) as soon as possible.
Good human servants will keep you in during the full sunlight and buy your special cat sun screen.
But some humans are disgusting! They just threw Pearl out into the street when she got old and needed veterinary care. Warning to other cats - if you have that sort of human as a pet, leave home and find yourself a better one as soon as possible.
Yours indignantly
George.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Vacuum cleaners, hair blowers..... we need a safe haven.

Dear George, 
I’m a very, very social kitty! Very friendly (even if I don’t look so at times).
The reason I’m so friendly is because we, the cats, are fearless and sometimes
people or dogs or other animals feel really intimidated and are afraid of us; they can see “the lion” in us! I would say we are as courageous as we are curious! So, I’m trying to “meet and greet” different things and different people. 
But there are these two things I don’t know how to make friends with: the vacuum cleaner and that “thing” my mom uses to blow dry her hair!  Yes, I tried to get close to them but they would just blow hot air back to me! I tried to rub my head against them but they make this terrible, scary noise (which gets louder closer I get)! I tried to meow to them but none meowed back to me! Guess they are not speaking “things”! So, since I have to live in the same house with these two, I need your advice - how I can befriend them? 
Even if I summon the Lion in me ….that lion falls flat as no real lion has ever experienced a vacuum cleaner or blow dryer in the jungle!  So, what do I do now?
The roaring kitty 
Angelica

Dear Angelica,
Summon your pride, congratulate yourself on your beauty,  and remind yourself that these unspeakable devices are beneath your notice. We all hate them. When I see the vacuum cleaner come out of the cupboard or hear the hair dryer being switched on, I make myself scarce. Either I leave the house altogether or find my own safe haven.
What is your safe haven? Every cat needs a safe haven. Mine is on top of a wardrobe in the spare bedroom. It's high up, admittedly a bit dusty, but away from human interference. For some of us it's under the bed: others go and sit in a garden shed: or find a hiding place with the clean clothes inside the airing cupboard.
Humans should never ever disturb us while we are there. There are thoughtless humans that pull us out from under the bed, or harass us while we are on the top of the wardrobe. They should be trained to leave us alone for as long as we need to stay there.
Regaining our composure may take a little time.... But when we feel serene again we can stroll back into our humans' life.
Yours 
George.
PS. One of the compensations for becoming deaf in old age is that these devices become less scary.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Of human idiosyncrasy - hairless and whiskerless by choice!

Dear George
I know you are one of the best human behaviorist and I need your guidance in understanding humans! I’m not sure if you wrote any books on the subject but, definitely you should as your advice, I’m sure, will be appreciated by other felines as well. But, here is the story and the reason why I need your help! A while back I have adopted this family of fine, fun people. Of course I got engaged in their daily activities! For example; with the human kitten I started listening to music and watching movies! With my human daddy I started watching games; he’s all into sports and I found this one game as being very, very entertaining – few men divided into two groups- one man hits a little ball with a bat and another one is supposed to catch it. They usually miss and the two of them run like crazy in circles. That makes me laugh my head off as I can beat them and catch that ball in an instant! Yes, I like this game. But nothing compare to my time with my human mommy! You see, she’s a make-up artist and we watch together TV programs about beauty and beauty trends, etc. Well, here is where I have a problem understanding humans. I mean what can be more beautiful than big, bushy whiskers? Right? Well, not quite so based on their opinion! I’ve watched on TV females waxing their whiskers! Ah! such a pity as there were some great opportunities! I’ve watched some of them waxing their legs! Why would they do such think?
After that their legs look like chicken legs! Ugh! When I look at my sisters in the feline world and see them fluffy, with big whiskers and lots of hair I think nothing can be more beautiful than that!  So, why would a woman shave her legs or shave her eye brows just to have them draw with a pencil?
That’s crazy! I’ve even seen men growing big whiskers but shaving their heads! Why? What’s wrong with humans?
More than amazed and totally perplexed 
Pepe

Dear Pepe
I share your amazement at these strange humans; they are as weird as naked mole rats! I began by being sorry for them and their inability to grow fur, except in odd places and on the top of their heads. Then I saw the males shaving their whisker pads and their female shaving hair under their armpits.
It dawned. They enjoy being hairless. They choose to be that way, poor deluded creatures. Mind you, their whiskers do not work like ours do: they can't move them forward and back or use them as an extra sensory tool. Still, why shave them off?
Now there is a human trend to shave the whole head. You just might be able to change your human's mind by climbing to the back of the sofa and giving him a vigorous grooming on his bare pate. But it probably won't work, as humans are difficult to train out of some of their weird behaviour.
We just have to content ourselves by laughing at these silly dumb animals.
George. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Can binkying Easter bunnies train humans? No but they taste good.

Dear George,
With Easter fast approaching I have a very simple question: why do bunnies get all the attention at Easter time? Why are they called “The Easter Bunnies”?
They are not Easter gifts and, definitely they shouldn’t be! They require a lot more attention than us - they are needy …we are independent!
I know from my experience that humans can be very silly and dress us up for Christmas but never for Easter.
Why is that? Do they purr when happy? Do they train their humans helping them evolved to a higher level? I don’t think so – I’ve never seen a bunny training a human! And yet, I’ve just heard mine saying: Oh! I LOVE a “Binky Bunny”
WHAT on Earth is a binky bunny? I sure hope I won’t get company for Easter! 
George, why the fuss about bunnies?
Happy Easter to all cats and their humble servants
Foxy 

Dear Foxy,
This Easter thing confuses me too. I love bunnies....to hunt and eat. Yet there is this whole human thing whereby they do rabbit models in chocolate and eat those instead. And they pretend that rabbits lay Easter eggs (also chocolate). Really, these humans are odd.
Do rabbits train humans?  I don't think they can: too busy eating hay, swallowing their caecotrophs from their bottoms, and trying to get out of those horrible little hutches they live in. Rabbits are fast food not just for cats but foxes, coyotes, stoats and even weasels. If they didn't taste so good, I would be sorry for them.
My human has a completely different attitude. She hangs out on the local common trying to photograph or video them here. Binkying happens when a rabbit literally jumps for joy. She didn't manage to catch that and the camera jumps when she is stung by yet another horsefly. If I'd been there I wouldn't have been videoing. I would have been stalking them.
Happy Easter. Don't be tempted by chocolate. It's poisonous for cat.
Yours
George.  
PS. Some humans do dress up. Here is one. Stupid human. I wouldn't let anybody dress me up as a rabbit. Too humiliating. 

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