Sunday, January 17, 2010

When you gotta go, 'tis best to ensure as much comfort as possible

Dear George,

As noted in your columns there are many ways by which our big friends can make life comfortable for us, of which one of the most civilised is that of a sound toilette, by which I mean the place where we can go for a contemplative dig, not a damp paw over our chops.
I feel that I have been fortunate in this department, for my helper provides a really large tray which is always kept filled with good clumping litter, which he, attentive and caring soul that he is, always cleans and tops up as soon as he notices anything, er, amiss, with the contents. Such as personal additions.
Not that I make a full-time habit of using it, for we live just inside a Dark, Dark Forest, which generally provides me with ample facilities for doing what must be done. Even so, in the current weather, hey, while that great big tray is so very inviting, a girlie puss feels sometimes the need to stretch her claws and feel the cool wind streaming through her whiskers, so once a day I think it only reasonable to brave the snow – which, if I stood still, is taller than me – and take a run outside. See photographs of me in the white stuff.
With my colouring I do stand out a bit, I know, so it was easy for my friend to tail me to a Private Place beneath a dense hedge on the end of his land (mine extends much further, of course) where there is some good-quality dry scratching to be exploited. Even so I did only a gentle squat, not wishing to befoul the landscape, something which I note that our brown furry vegetarian relations have been doing. Those little black currents and a rather bright orange tint to the snow. Still, at least they go outside rather than use their probably cramped quarters in the earth banks.
Duty done, with due regard to avoiding a chilly behind and with a degree of caution due to my normally good camouflage not being effective in this white stuff. Then there is nothing quite as satisfying as a leaping bound back home showing a clean pair of heels. Apart from a warm prawn. And a hot radiator. And a cushion. Quite a few things, come to think about it.
Love to all, and may many birdies survive to the Spring. A shame that we cannot have some inside to stay with us.


Dear Purdey,
Your human has obviously been trained in proper cat care. Many of us cats prefer to go outside but there may not be proper facilities. Having to leap over the wall or through the hedge, into another cat's home territory, can be frightening for the more timid cat, and exhausting for the elderly who have a touch of arthritis. No wonder some of us show our dislike of this by insisting on an indoor facility like the back of the sofa, if no litter tray is provided.
I, myself, go outside most of the time, except when it is very rainy, the ground is frozen solid, or there is snow. Frankly, Purdey, I am more fussy than you. I just don't like snow at all. I admire your British spirit in travelling through it on the way to the area with good quality dry scratching
and seclusion (please note this, all humans reading).
Really thoughtful humans - and they are few and far between - provide an outdoor latrine as well as an indoor litter tray. The location should be under a hedge or shed, a dry area between buildings, or even under a busy shrub (no prickly ones, please). A generous helping of builders' sand, peat, or composted bark mulch will do very well indeed. I prefer the soil prepared for seeds, myself, but I will settle for the latter.
There are instructions on my human's website, for an outdoor feline latrine. However, when it is made this way, it does require proper maintenance - picking up poo every two or three days, and daily hosing down to prevent the urine building up. If your human does not do this, just stop using it when it gets too stinky. Training your human into a proper routine for this is essential.
Poor apes (thank you, Whicky Wuudler for the phrase) can also get it wrong by building the latrine in the wrong place. If your garden has been taken over by the local despot cat three houses down, or if the latrine is close to a noisy factory or road, or if it is just in a piece of scary territory, don't use it. Why should you? Go and do it behind the sofa.
You have to punish them if they refuse to learn.
Love George


  1. Ah! I loooove snow! I simply do!
    I'll send a photo soon!

  2. look cute in the snow!
    I personally don't like snow too much; my paws are getting too cold.

  3. I don't go out to do my business. Our humans provided us (me and Cayenne) with our own litter boxes. And they are very careful to clean the boxes after each use! We trained them very well.
    But I like to go out and dig in the snow.
    Just for fun!

  4. Quite right too, Purdey. You are obviously a cat of high moral standing. Some cats mess in other people's gardens which is disgusting. My litter tray, where I go to do most of my thinking, is my best friend. If you find the entry on my blog entitled IT IS A CAT you will see the problems I had with Dotty, the youngest member of my family. Sad to say she has not improved with age.
    Harvey the house rabbit

  5. I prefer to go outside to take care of nature, however, since I have been fighting with some strangers that are coming around MY territory, my humans are keeping me inside after dark. I must say, I do have them trained well because they always clean my box as soon as I use it. They are good humans. Yes they are.

  6. Purdey, you must be terrible young if you find enjoyable to go out in the snow to do your business! At my age (19) I prefer to move as little as possible even if I feel running up and down the stairs which I do at times!

  7. Dear Purdey,

    Your photos are lovely! I am glad that you have such an attentive staff, who attend you even to your al fresco latrine to make sure you do not require any service whilst you perform the necessaries. I am unable to go out, but this is all right. I have become accustomed to my personal chamber maid's service, dutifully performed morning and night, and occasionally, noon as well. I read your post with great attention, though, because I am always looking for new training tips for my human, and I think I have found one: warm prawns. Yes! Warm prawns served to me whilst I recline in front of the heating vent!

    I can see my human needs a bit more specialized training, and so I must draft a plan immediately.

    Yours in haste,

  8. Purdey, what a pretty pair of heels you have. So skittish, so, so... aaaah!


    Our apes have made us a big sandy latrine, with wooden borders under the honeysuckle. I prefer outside to anything, but at night I have no choice, as we are all shut in with many litter trays. I don't believe this to be fair play. Moles are active at night and need stamping on next door. I believe that "warm prawns" may help me out of my misery.

    Whicky Wuudler


Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

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