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Friday, November 20, 2020

Our teeth are rapiers - sharp and dangerous.

More about biting. How, not why, we bite.

Our teeth are made like slender rapiers that are deep into flesh and stay there for the death bite.They slice into the skin leaving only a small puncture mark but bringing with them infection from the bacteria in our mouth. Dogs teeth are there to slash and tear the flesh and weaken the prey with loss of blood. 

So that is why humans often think that cat bites don't matter.


Far fewer feline bites than canine ones are seen at human hospitals but they are far more likely to be infected. Add to that the chance we will scratch as well as bite, and some humans (not many) will get infections from a mere scratch. This is  call cat scratch disease.

In both cases the skin near small puncture or the small scratch will feel hot and swollen. The lymph glands near to the injury may swell up too. And if nothing is done about it, servere illness can set in. So, humans, take cat bites seriously.

Get medical help. Respect our desire for space. Do not interfere. Stay away or you will regret it!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Why we bite humans who pet



Humans are dumb animals. They cannot read our body language. I tell them I want them to stop petting me. I am purrfectly clear about it.

I start swiveling back my ears. It is obvious what I mean. I mean "Stop." They just don't see it. Are they choosing to be blind. Or are they just so stupid they don't notice.

So I "shout" louder by lashing my tail. Look, dummy. See? It's my tail. It is lashing side to side. You don't notice my ears but surely you can notice my tail.

They don't. Or they won't. So then I do what I have to do to get their attention. I give them a little nip. It's only a nip. I don't bite down on them. My teeth don't even break the skin.

Then they stop. At last.

Obviously, in order to get their attention I have to use my teeth. Nothing else gets through to them. Of course, they don't like it but at least they withdraw their hand and the petting stops.

They call it the petting and biting syndrome. I call it commonsense communication. 

  • In the video my friend Marnie shows a typical moment of feline exasperation. 

If they really want to know what a cat bite is like, they should interfere in the cat fight. Then they will get a real bite, not a nip. Believe me, if I bite you and give you a deep puncture wound, you WILL understand the difference between a bite and nip. 

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Weird cat pictures and Victorian remedies


I never thought I would say this but t
hank goodness for vets. I have been reading an old book about cats, and I am horrified at the medical suggestions. It is Cats: their Points and Characteristics with Curiosities of Cat Life and A Chapter on Feline Ailments, 1876, by W. Gordon Stables, a retired sea doctor who also wrote Medical Life in the Navy.
The illustrations are weird. Did you ever see cats like these? The anecdotes are odd - one about a tom cat on board a ship threatened with being shot by the captain. And there is even an ad for a cat medicine chest (see last illustration). His remedy for diarrhoea is this:

"Begin the treatment by giving the little patient half a small teaspoonful of castor-oil. Give a still smaller dose about six hours after, to which two drops of laudanum or solution of muriate of morphiƦ has been added. Afterwards give, three times a day, either a little chalk mixture, with half a drop of laudanum in each dose."
It's castor oil again for bronchitis and a diet of beef tea (sounds good to me) and bread (less good!). For fits, the good doctor suggests holding smelling salts to the feline nose (ugghhhh) and bleeding (uggghhh).. Then there is a disease he calls The Yellows, and suggests a horrible amount of remedies such as glauber salts, bismuth, creasote, aromatic powder and laudanum, which is a mixture of alcohol and morphine, quinine and cod liver oil.

I don't think many cats could have survived this cure, let alone the disease!

So though I hate vets, I think Dr Stables would have been even worse. He had great whiskers, though. Almost as good as mine!


 




Saturday, October 31, 2020

Black Cats Need Human Love.

Black cats feature in Halloween decorations - more is the pity. Because it feeds into the idea that black cats are somehow wild or frightening. And they just don't get adopted as quickly as cats of different colours.

In some US shelters, that kill unwanted cats, a lot of black cats get put to sleep. They are handed in on Halloween to keep them safe and die later.

I'm celebrating the beauty of black cats today with lots of lovely photos, some of them of my Uncle and namesake George who used to this blog. He stood up for the rights of black cats and, as you can see from the photo at the top was a keen newspaper reader.

Even little black kittens take longer to be adopted. So there are often lots of them waiting to find their forever home.

So tell your human to stop being colour prejudiced and to start helping black cats. 




  • My book will help you understand why humans are the way they are.


Friday, October 23, 2020

The watchers -- look upwards

 


The immense superiority of cats over mere humans is at its most powerful when we get high up. The higher we go, the more we can look down on them.

And the less likely they are to find us. It's a strange thing but humans often forget to look upwards, when they are trying to discover where we have got to.

Trees, houses, walls, the top of cars, roofs, sheds, straw bales - anywhere that it a bit higher is where we like to sit. We feel safe high up.Nobody can get us. 

And we can sneer at the dogs and the humans below.... if they even notice us.

Look upwards, humans. We are watching your every move. You don't see us: but we see you from a great height.

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