Friday, March 18, 2011

To shred or not to shred - for those who enjoy frills!

Dear George,

Why are humans so dysfunctional? Why are they in a sort of quasi-confusion state most of the time? The other day I was trying “to play” a game with my male human and obvious he didn’t understand the rules. I was quite bored so when he came home early I was very happy! I started playing “let me in” and “let me out” and it worked fine up to a point! And THAT POINT was when he didn’t open the door for me to let me in because he couldn’t remember if I was inside or outside! It was getting dark and cold and I was shivering outside in the snow. That’s when the female human came home and start calling my name. Of course I didn’t bother to answer! I was furious and I felt hurt!

They both started a frantic search! I hid under a neighbour porch ENJOYING every minutes of their despair. Soon they were joined by their son. I know he (the young male) loves me very, very much so I kind of jumped into his arms. They were overwhelmed by joy and happiness! I almost cried with joy myself but, hey! they deserved to be punished, right? So, once inside, I overcame my emotions and shredded a curtain to pieces!

They looked at me in disbelief. “Why?” – that’s what they asked. As I’m writing this letter they are still looking for answers and “remedies” (ha!ha!ha!) to avoid such things in the future! My question to you George is; should I shred more curtains or should I shred some furniture?

CAT Victoria

Dear CAT Victoria,

First a few words about training your doorman. Naturally you want him to stand at the door like a hotel commissionaire to let you in and out, at the times of your choice. What are humans for? I have a perfectly good cat flap but I still train Celia to let me in and out, as required, because I prefer it that way. I also like sitting at the open door, surveying my outdoor territory while keeping my backside warm from the expensive heat which issues from the house.

Just crank up the door training, Cat. The memory loss sounds rather alarming. Is it just that your human, like all humans, has limited cognitive function? Or do you think there is something wrong with him? Forgetting that you were out in the snow is really, really bad. He is lucky to have got away with merely an altered curtain.

Redecorating the house with frills is always a pleasant option for us cats. In an ideal world we have frilled wallpaper at cat height, frilled furniture, frilled bedsteads, and frilly curtains. Lovely. Warms a cat's heart to see the artistic effort that has gone into the scratching. I particularly enjoy walking past and ignoring the costly scratchpost. Then I look at her, and deliberately stroll towards the back of the armchair nearby for a good scratch.

Like you, territorial problems (being shut out, new neighbouring cat etc) seem to set off the scratching side of my nature. It is as if any insecurity brings out the artist in me, and makes it even more imperative than usual to mark my territory. No wonder, after such a distressing experience in the snow, you wanted to scratch the curtains. Such behaviour is natural for us cats, and, frankly, humans should put up with it.

Instead, they tend to resort to unpleasant devices such as Stickypaws or double sided carpet tape which they place on curtains or soft furnishing. It's very unpleasant and I personally stop scratching when Celia puts it on. About a month later, she decides it looks horrible (as indeed it does), and takes it off believing I won't scratch there again. Then I prove her wrong with a really long scraaaaatch.... Gotcha, you dumb human animal.

It's not all fun and games caring for this inferior species. They can be very irritating at times. So go shred some more curtains.


PS. My sympathies to Fredericon on the loss of his companion rabbit. See comments below.


  1. This sounds so familiar. Oscar and Sweet Pea both would play the hiding act and we would walk miles around and around our yard looking for them, then suddenly they would just appear out from under the car or a bush or someplace. It was so frustrating and we were very good doormen. Fortunately, we don't have curtains (only blinds), but they never did scratch the furniture, only the braided rug, which withstood the scratching very well. However, one of the oriental rugs didn't do as well.

  2. Fluffy and CayenneMarch 20, 2011

    CAT Victoria, get the carpet, rugs, chairs.
    Even bite bits of each! It's such a pleasure to see bits of expensive rugs all over the house:-)
    But, don't do it every day! Play games with your humans. Keep them in constant confusion.
    Fluffy & Cayenne

  3. They forgot you outside? Report them to a humane society for neglect! And PUNISH them! Hard!

  4. Ah! Shredding curtains is such a pleasure!
    So relaxing!

  5. Sir WinstonMarch 20, 2011

    Oh! Orchids - so beautiful! I'm glad to didn't shred the plants. Orchids have a special meaning in my household. We keep them very dear and in high respect. Good girl!
    Sir Winston

  6. Victoria, definately go with George's suggestion of shredding more curtains. It's important that every access point of your home has your paw scent liberally applied. This is a matter of home security and shows how much you care for the safety of your home. Apes are so weird, you'd think they'd be overjoyed that you were scratching. They could always furnish every single window with indoor scratching posts or pads and maybe a little window seat cushion for your chilly paws too.

    Whicky Wuudler

  7. I bet that curtain you shredded was hiding those beautiful flowers. Are they any good to eat? Did you try?

  8. CAT Victoria, you look so pretty among the orchids! I think .....the curtain was one too many :-)

  9. Cat Victoria, I'm so sorry to spoil your letter but I have to announce with sadness that I lost my friend Tutu - the house rabbit.
    She was 11 years old and her heart was too tired. We shared the house for the last 2 years since I was adopted.
    I'll miss her very much.

  10. Frederico, we send you and your family lots of love and rumbly purrs at this sad time. We hope that in time, memories of Tutu will make you smile again.

    & The Ape

  11. Loved the photo of the window bell. Bests and purrs.


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