Monday, July 14, 2008

Why don't humans wash properly?

Dear George,
Have you noticed how rarely humans wash? They are really quite filthy. I wash at the following times -- after eating (and I do that several times a day); when settling down for a little nap during the day; last thing at night on the bed just after my humans are about to go to sleep (I make that a long wash),  at three am in the morning on the bed because I just feel likeit (my humans aren't too pleased), first thing in the morning about an hour before the alarm goes off; after breakfast; when I am sitting on a lap ( a bit uncomfortable for me but I think they appreciate it); and any time I think about it. When do they wash? At night and in the morning. 

Dear Sammy,
It's not just when they wash (rarely), it's how they do it! I can never get over the fact that they don't have proper tongues. I have occasionally seen a small human kitten licking its fingers but never a full grown adult. They can't do it. They can't lick a plate clean - or, if they can, they don't choose to. It's not clear to me what their tongues are for.
Instead, they throw themselves into a large bath of foaming water. I find this extremely funny. I enjoy - as I am sure other cats do - walking round the edge of the bath while they are in it and patting the foam. The bubbles are good fun. They make a small popping noise. And I like the reflections in the water too. This is the moment when I realise that the human lack of fur is perhaps a good thing. Imagine if they had proper fur. They'd have to spend hours rubbing it down with the towel.
My human doesn't bath much nowadays. Instead she stands in a small cubicle and lets water rain down on her. Outside she avoids the rain like any sensible animal would, but indoors she actually turns it on. There's a lot of pother about the temperature, and foaming soap on her hair and her intimate bits. As if saliva wasn't good enough. It's always been good enough for me. Saliva, applied with a manipulable tongue, has antiseptic qualities as well as making a very good wash.
Sometimes I try to wash them myself. But there is just too much skin surface to do a proper job. I used to lie on their heads while they were asleep and wash their hair but they had an unfortunate habit of waking up and lashing out, so I have stopped that. I just let them stay dirty.


  1. Dear George
    I have accepted the uncleanness of my humans as another thing we cats have to put up with, I hadn't thought of how lucky we are that they don't have fur before, suppose we should be grateful for small mercys! I have a bit of a training achievment to share with you - having to force my human to type this as she's a bit embarrassed.... ok, a firm stare did the job, carrying on now - by way of background I don't accept getting picked up well, having made my disapproval clear this doesn't happen very often, also I will only sit on knees about twice a week properly when they have kept still in that position for about half an hour, not worth getting comfortable if they are going to move.
    Being a stray has left me determined to do it on my own terms. My terms are - if the humans lie beside me I will walk up and down them, I like to be stroked and will also stand on my back legs in the morning as a concession. I sit where I wish and get visits and kisses plus - this is the bit I'm proud of and she's embarrassed about - I get her to groom the top of my head (hard to reach as we know) with her bottom lip as an extended kiss - she is very embarrassed to admit this but I don't know why as it shows good cat like behaviuor, also, I've trained friendly eyes narrow eyes as a way to communicate with her and I come over to the stroked dry when its raining - which is a lot of the time these days - can't we get the humans to fix that!

  2. AnonymousJuly 14, 2008

    It's a good job humans don't have as much body hair as we cats, because human tongues aren't rough and great for cleaning like ours. Also, humans are woefully inflexible. Just listen to them creak and groan when they have to bend down to pick something up. Ok, ok that "something" might be me, but even so..

    Yep humans are stinkers!

  3. Yes, human bathing is a mystery. We 4 have spent countless hours in the small room with one or the other of our humans, observing the ritual, and still haven't figured it out. So much wasted soap & water when a tongue would do just as well.

  4. AnonymousJuly 17, 2008

    I can't believe that humans actually get in water. They even cover their heads in the stuff. It's a mystery to me. I just don't get it. I try to exhibit proper bathing procedures in front of them all the time, but they continually ignore me. Is there any hope? I don't think so.


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