Monday, February 12, 2007

Nothing like a good scratch

I like a good scratch. There's the sheer pleasure of scratching upwards, stretching my whole body and raking down my claws, loosening up the bits of nail which I shed. Then there's the power of the scratch message! I often do it in front of William to show what a big cat I am. He can hear me scratching. He can see how tall I am and he can also smell the scent of the handsome black pads on my paws. When he's feeling competitive he scratches over my marks, but since I have got bigger, it's more likely to be the other way round. He puts on his scratchmarks to say "William was here" and I then put on mine, saying "George was here and he can scratch a good deal higher."
Scratching is also a good way to get Celia's attention. In the morning, I do it on the scratching post in her bedroom - around 6.45am for starters to make sure she has woken up after the newspapers arrived. It's the feline equivalent of the speaking clock. "At the first scratch it will be 6.45am." This is only a Force 1 wake-up message and she often goes back to sleep. So do I sometimes, when I don't choose to proceed to Force 2 wake ups and others up to Force 9 (biting her face).
Scratching as a way of getting her attention, rather than William's, works well in the living room. I have a perfectly good scratching post which I can use to shed my nails. Anyway I use the tree for that. But the living room has some very nice scratching furniture. I scratch down the end of the arm chair. Once. Twice. She's noticed. Bingo! I have her full attention. She shoos me away but I don't care because it has worked. She has noticed me.
Then she puts double sided carpet tape on the furniture. I hate scratching sticky surfaces. This is one of the rare occasions when she outwits me. But she thinks it looks unsightly (luckily) so after about a month she will take it down and a few weeks later I will scratch again in front of her.
Oh the games humans play! Little things suit little minds.

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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, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online