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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Catwalk – Milan, September 2017

Dear George, 
I must tell you I was “the sensation” at the Fashion Week in Milan this September.
I was fundamentally modern (as you can see in the photo attached) with the cutest natural design. I was admired by most famous fashion designers in the world and envied by most famous movie stars especially for my natural make-up! Probably the only one not jealous of me but rather smitten by my beauty was our dear friend Karl Lagerfeld (he LOVES cats). You might wonder how I managed to get there. Well, I live with young fashion designers as my house pets! They are painfully young, trying to design tight leather pants and jackets which they even wear as it seems they can’t grow their own hair/fur.
Actually that’s the reason I’m writing to you if you can help with advice for humans how to grow hair? My humans take excellent care of me; my coat and I would like to return the favour and help them grow a nice fur all over their bodies! Some “pret-a-porter” but more on a fancy, luxurious side….like a nice, fluffy Himalayan coat or Norwegian Forest? Also, I’m planning to open my own “kitty model” agency to help young kittens to become famous! So, if you know of any…just tell me!
What do you think George? Good plan? 
But, first help me with my humans, please!
Mille grazie,
Cara

Dear Cara,
Sensational photo. Not just the beautiful fur coat (your own) but the true catwalk gait. I particularly like the bi-colour ginger and black facial fur. A really brave design. 
Sad to say we can't help humans grow fur. They have just a little - on the head, face (but no proper whiskers), armpits and pubes.
They often shave off these pathetic patches currently even the top of the head. Is it because they compare themselves with us and feel naked and ashamed? Or, in the case of bald headed males, they try to grow more facial hair to compensate. It can look a bit sad - bald on top, furry on the bottom of the head.
No. Nothing will work. We must accept them as they are in all their nakedness.
A model agency for cats? Why not. Internet opportunities grow daily. There are many cats more famous than the pathetic humans called Kardashians. Got for it. You could make millions.
Saluti.
George.
PS. Karl Largerfeld's cat, Choupette, is already a fashion icon - read here

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Ways for a cat to exercise its human.


Dear George,
As much as I loved reading your book One hundred ways for a cat to train its human, I’m surprised that you never pointed out some ways for a cat to exercise its human.
I’m saying this since I’m in much need of your help in this regard. You know that most indoor cats are called “couch potatoes” but, in my case…the couch potato is my human daddy and I’m really worried about his lack of exercise.
I tried to set up examples for him but I think I must do something wrong since he is not responsive to any… such as:
  • Climbing up the curtains.
  • Climbing up and scratching the door frames
  • Jumping from the book case's highest shelf down on his desk.
I even tried the fishing rod and hanging from the chandelier with no success!
To all these excellent examples (in my opinion) he just stares at me in some sort of amazement! Do you think there is something wrong with him? Am I not clear enough in my intentions? George, please tell me how I can train him to exercise more.
Yours truly
Dumi 

Dear Dumi,
In training any animal, it is important to realise that each species has its quirks and particularities. You can only train humans to do what comes naturally to them. For instance you can't train them to scent or hear the location of a mouse. Their noses and their ears are too weak for that.
Exercise is difficult too, as humans are naturally indolent. They will spend hours staring at a screen and only drastic measures such as lying on the keyboard will successfully get their attention towards you.  So first, you have to get their attention.
Even the stupidest of humans usually notice climbing up the curtains and your other activities. Most will spring into action in a vain rescue attempt (either to rescue your or the curtains!). I fear you may have adopted a human nerd, halfwit or a dingbat, as Oz cats call them. These humans are to be pitied not punished. It is not their fault they lack the ability to understand us properly.
You will have to accept that you cannot change him. Don't cease your activities, as this is good exercise for you. One of my achievements was to rip out all the lining from a pair of curtains: it was a truly satisfying achievement - as you can see from the photo on the right.
Yours
George.

Friday, September 29, 2017

My name is Love....

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Dear George,
My name is Love! I’m a six month old kitty which has been rescued two months ago from the hands of a traveller in a Central European farmers’ market! How I got there or how the gypsy kitten got hold of me I have no idea. All I know is that my mummy rescued me and called me Love! She even made me a cozy spot (at the market place) as you can see in the photo attached. I spend all day sleeping but at night sometime I hide so she won’t find me when she goes home so I get to spend all night in the market looking for mice, bugs and all that fun! I feel empowered being in charge with the place.
In fact my mummy lives in UK and I don’t understand why she’s selling wild berries here in Central Europe - guess she has a summer house somewhere nearby this market! Anyway, she’ll return to UK in October and she’ll take me with her.
George, are there any farmers’ markets in UK? Do you have mice? I don’t know if I’ll be living in the countryside or a flat in London but I wonder how could I enjoy my stay over there! What cats do in UK?
Yours,
Love

Dear Love,
What a great name. Cats in the UK do what cats in Central Europe do. When they have eaten, they chill out like you are chilling out in the photo. All of us, wherever we are, have a talent for serene relaxation - as long as we have food, water and shelter.
If we are allowed to, we hunt. Hunting is what we were designed to do. I hunt house mice, wood mice, rats just like the ones in Central Europe. And occasionally I hunt bugs and flies too. 
We do have farmer's markets in the UK but usually cats are not encouraged to hang around them - due to boring human health and safety obsessions. Write me another letter when you get to the UK. I love your colouring - striped tabby with bits of ginger. Very attractive. You will create a sensation in the UK.
Love to Love,
George.
 

 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Why are there no prehistoric cats?

Cher Georges,
I live in the Dordoigne in a house where there are archeologists as pets. Nearby there are lots of caves with prehistoric paintings in them which are about 22,000 years old.
Paintings of cave bears, bison, aurochs, deer and even cave lions. But no cats. Not a single one. Not even a little pawprint left on the sand.
Another bull but no cats

Why? My humans are not interested in this but I find it upsetting.
Isabel La Chatte.

Dear Isabel La Chatte,
There is no need to get excited or downhearted by this omission. The answer is simple. These paintings were done by primitive men and women who lived a nomadic life. They had no houses, just tents covered with animal skins - or they sheltered below the rocks of the Dordoigne.
Imagine the sheer discomfort. Imagine the damp. The lack of sophistication among these humans! How could we possibly adapt to this kind of lifestyle. It is simply not up to our requirements. We adopted humans about 10,000 years later in the Middle East, when they had settled down into properly built dry houses - incidentally houses with mice.
Then at last they had achieved a level of technology and civilisation worthy of us. So we deigned to move in with them.
Yours
George.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Just a box - every cat should have one.

Dear George,
I found this box just under the window - an ideal place for a nap in the sunlight. A blissful morning. Then she, that human I call my pet, got rid of it. "I'll take that to the dump," I heard her say.
Why do humans do this? We all love boxes. They are not expensive. Yet humans buy us elaborate cat beds, when just a box would be better. 
How do I get the message across?
Yours Tilly.

Dear Tilly,
The only way to get through to them is to use the box as soon as they take anything out of it. So, if they order a box of wine, jump into the box as soon as the wine is taken out of it.
And make it clear what you think of these expensive cat beds or cat trees by using the box they came in and refusing to set a paw on the new item. If you do this often enough even the stupidest human may get the message... We Cats Demand Boxes.
Purrhaps we could start a campaign for rescue shelters with the slogan  "A box in every pen."

Yours
George.
PS. Kittens like them too - look here.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's a cat....

Dear George,
Here I am - flying through the air. All four feet tucked up while I am airborne, with my front feet ready to stretch out when I land - on a mouse in that long grass.
I heard the rustle and a tiny high pitched squeak, as I waited by the side of the grass. It wasn't going to come out of the grass so I had to leap high into the air to get to it.
Am I right to boast about this amazing feat?
Yours 
William

Dear William
Yes, you have the right to be proud about it. We cats are wonderful hunters - athletic, graceful, and astonishingly accurate. OK so  few foxes, wolves and dogs can do the same airborne leap. But none as graceful as us. 
Kittens can take a look at the video here and learn how it is done.
Yours
George


Saturday, September 02, 2017

I'm bored.... the plight of an indoor cat.

Dear George,
My daily routine goes like this - eat dry food breakfast out of bowl, human leaves for work, nap. More daytime sleep. Human arrives back, eat supper out of bowl. Then, when I am ready to play, my human just sits in front of the television doing nothing.
So I climb on her knee. Sit there napping and purring for a bit. Climb off, have late night snack out of bowl. Then its bed time and we both nap. My only activity, apart from sleep, eat and litter tray, is the occasional bit of human attention on the days where she stays home.
This is dull, dull, dull. What can I do about this lifestyle?
Yours
April.

Dear April,
Yours is a common problem among indoor only cats. Your human needs to give you a climbing frame. She could use shelves or the drawers of an unwanted chest of drawers, like this photo shows. Leaping from one to another will give you some exercise.
Stop using that bowl. Get her to throw the dry food round the house so you have to hunt for it. Or make a food dispenser out of a lavatory roll, a plastic bottle, small cardboard boxes, or an old tennis ball  - examples here here. Hunting for food will be more fun.
And why hasn't she bought a fishing rod toy, so she can play with you from a distance while watching TV. Indoor cats need games. Get that idle human working for you.
Yours
George.
PS. Please comment with some other ideas.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Of cats, un-neutered humans and religiously spayed nuns!

Dear George, 
Look at me sitting on that chair and pondering at my humans’ behavior.
I don’t know if I should be proud of them? Should I be fed up with their tricks? Or should I pity them? I know they like to travel and because they feel guilty leaving me behind they usually come up with most eccentric excuses for their escapades. Actually I feel sad! 
Last night they came back home after a month of enjoying the sun and the beaches of Cyprus. Their excuse this time? Oh! They wanted to make sure the cats at “St. Nicholas Monastery of Cats” were okay! I’m so disappointed by their foolishness.
Those cats are doing fine since 327 AD (click on the link here) Are they kidding me? I think they enjoyed a full month of good, fun vacation while I was left almost home alone! They left me with their human kitten who being a young man was coming home very late every night, slept in until noon and then would leave again. I don’t think he was fixed yet (you know what I mean) so he’s wondering around perhaps in search of a nice kitty? In the meantime…my whole daily routine got all messed-up! For what? So my humans could parade a nice suntan? But, on having second thoughts…what if they are really checking on cats’ welfare worldwide?  After all they show me about 200 photos with cats they took in this trip! Hmm! I wonder!
Yours
CAT Victoria 

Dear CAT Victoria,
Your letter is a textbook example of the selfishness of humans. They suddenly take off to another country leaving us without proper service or even (worse) imprisoning us in a cattery.
And another thing.... It always surprises me that humans are allowed to wander around without being neutered or spayed. They would be much happier without having to worry about sex - gettting it, avoiding it, sexual disease.  Adolescent humans roam around searching for sex and getting into fights. 
I hope the nuns of Cyprus get their cats neutered and spayed. Odd to find a cat nunnery (sort of like a religious cat cafe). At least these nuns are neutered (religiously if not surgically!). 
Worth getting your humans to look at the photos on that website because they will see that we like to keep a proper distance between each other. Not like dogs. We are relatively unsocial animals.
Cheers,
George
 PS. Get that young human fixed before he starts a population explosion. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Down with colour prejudice -- read the tuxedo website (link in the text)

Dear George,
My memories as a young kitten are hazy, however I do vividly remember being put inside a suitcase one day with my brothers and sister, I remember being very excited thinking it was a fun game.
However when the minutes turned into hours and we were still locked in there the game rapidly ceased to be much fun at all. The bag must have been carried somewhere because we all got jolted around a lot, falling over each other!
After what seemed like an eternity the jolting stopped and the box was soon opened by a kind looking lady who took us inside her house, which (you won't believe this but it's true) was FULL of cats, loads of cats, all kinds of cats, big cas little cats, old cats, young cats, every type of cat imaginable.
This became our home for a whole four months, until one day a nice young couple came to look at me. They recognised the glamour of my black and white tuxedo. When they took me to their house I quickly found my feet and became the confident cat I am today!
Get your readers to visit www.tuxedo-cat.co.uk
Sincerely Whisky
PS. The website is to encourage people to choose tuxedo cats at shelters.

Dear Whisky,
Glad to see that you are making your black and white pawmark on the web. I am black all over - well nearly, except for a tiny few white hairs on my chest. We also suffer discrimination and are often the last to be chosen. So I am joining you in the message that black is beautiful and black-and-white is all right. Long live tuxedo cats and black cats.
Yours
George

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Brush or play? No, brush and play, please.


Dear George, 
I’m Shumba and I have a problem with my human. I know you are the most awesome human behaviourist even if you let your own secretary slack on her duties so much and so often! Sorry George, but this was a much discussed issue since I joined your blog – your soft spot for Celia which ….creates “disturbances” in the blog …at times!
Anyway, I was living on the streets for quite few years when I was rescued by my human! We do have a great relationship but I’m not quite sure if she fully understands me or I’m lacking in my training her! See, she works full time and sometimes I become bored. I miss the human interaction during the day so I took up the Zen Zzzzzz meditation and I do relax a lot but I wish she comes home during her breaks at work. 
Anyway, she got me a brush …which I love and I learned how to brush myself (video attached) but, my question to you is….should I wait for her to brush me or should I spend our time together just playing? I would like her to both “brush & play” but how am I going to tell her so she can understands?
Cheers
Shumba.
PS. I had a video on this but it didn't seem to work.

Dear Shumba,
You are absolutely right. If I have a fault as a human behaviourist, it is that I am too indulgent to my human, Celia. Which means she slackens and I don't punish her by withdrawing affection, as I should do. Last night she came home very late and for once I did let her know I disapproved. I sneaked out of the door as she opened it and didn't come home till 5am. She was distraught. I hope she learned her lesson about coming home too late.
Now, your problem. Your human should both brush and play. That's a great brush, a Zoom Groom,  that she has got for you and I see that you have worked out how to self groom. Many congratulations. But it isn't enough. She should get a fishingrod toy and, while she watched TV, play with you with that. It's not hard for humans. They are just too lazy to do it enough.
Do as I say, not as I do. Don't let her slacken off!!!
Yours
George. 
PS. At least she grooms. Some humans don't bother even to do that. 

Saturday, August 05, 2017

What we cats see, what dogs see and what humans see.

Dear George,
As you will know, all gardens in the immediate vicinity of any cat’s house legally all belong to the cat. I currently oversee around 6 gardens in my neighbourhood but unfortunately have to allow a rather uncouth dog to use one of my many estates. Being a lesser animal with barely any brains, he often barks at me, so I tend to taunt him from the fence, commenting on his wirey fur and lack of beautiful whiskers, while he tries in vain to jump up and reach me.
However, the other week while throwing some of my best insults at him and watching him jump and bark as usual, my beautiful red collar came loose and landed in the grass on his side. I have appealed to him to return it several times but he claims he cannot see a red collar in the grass. Is he just trying to wind me up or are dogs’ eyes as poorly developed as their brains?
Yours,
Chipstick


Dear Chipstick,
Dogs have inferior brains, yes, and they can't see the colour red. Humans are even odder. As well as an inferior brain, they have eyesight which shows them this unnecessary colour, red. We cats don't see red (except possibly a little tinge of it) because we don't need to. Whoever saw a red mouse? What we see, is what humans call colour blind. What I call feline eyesight is highly developed specialised vision.
We cats are far better than humans at seeing movement. Anything which moves we like - not just moving mice but also moving small furry toys from fishing rods! And also some people now believe that we may even see some ultraviolet!  And we can see in the dusk far far better than any human.
Instruct your human to look at  https://www.lasik-eyes.co.uk/see-world-pets-eyes/ which gives a good illustration of how animals see compared to humans. That way they will understand more about us. Oh yes, and incidentally they will be able to see how dogs see - if they are interested in this inferior species.
Yours
George. 
PS. On that website the gecko vision is very odd! But they taste good.

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