Monday, November 19, 2007

Bold George's education.

George was bold from the beginning. He squeaked his protest when Lou, his foster mother, handed him to me but settled down in my arms immediately. I placed him in the cat box and drove him home. No more kitten noises. He accepted being alone in the carrier with equanimity. And when I placed him in the crate (a kind of large cage) within the living room, investigated it thoroughly, ate some of the kitten food, used the litter tray and climbed into the bed.
Kittens have to be handled between two and seven weeks in order not to fear humans. George had been handled by Lou and indeed bottle fed by her. He had no fear of humans. In theory the fear instinct in cats is meant to appear at the age of about five or six weeks and according to the books even a kitten who has been well handled by humans may go through a period of avoiding them. By 10 weeks this fear period disappears and the well handled kitten becomes an affectionate cat.
George just cut through this theory. From being a helpless fearless kitten he moved into being a fearless affectionate adolescent without ever going through the fear of humans stage. I could pick him up and cradle him on his back - something I did a lot as I had always wanted a cradle cat. I introduced him to everybody I could think of - the postman, the delivery people, friends, neighbours. Anybody who visited the cat got George to cuddle. When I took him to the vet for a check over and vaccinations, I passed him to the receptionist, the nurse, and each person in the waiting room. He met about 24 people in the first month.
I was giving him the ideal upbringing as a pet. George was going to be a bombproof cat. He was bold. Very bold.


  1. I love being cuddled, but I don' want to be on my back, you kinda lose control when that happens. You know, that's why I'm called Oscar Snuggles. Kinda bad for a male cat, don't you think? Oh well, at least I still get to snuggle in my human lap every night. I'm not quite as social as George, but I am not afraid of any human that are inside MY house. My humans get upset with me when I try to welcome our visitors by rugging on them. All I'm trying to do is put my scent all over them!

  2. I'm not keen on pick ups and have mostly trained my humans not to try it by wiggling and vocalisations. After about a year of being in my new house I started sitting on laps, as a treat for the humans and to keep them sweet, of course. I especially like sitting on newspaper on their laps, which is useful as they often place it there for me and stare at it. I think they are wishing for me to appear when they do that, what other explanation could there be!


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