Friday, September 30, 2011

Humans and a fuss about nipples.

Dear George
I am very worried about my human who seems to be obsessed with her nipple. She only has two and I overhear her talking about one of them. Apparently she wants the vet to cut it off and store it somewhere on her body, like in her armpit. Her plan is that he then cuts off her mammary gland, keeps the nipple, and sews it back on to a reconstruction. He refused point blank.
Do you think I could give her one of mine. I have a nice row of them either side of the milk line and I would never miss one of mine.
Yours anxiously

Dear Tilly,
What a generous cat you are. What an exciting vision - a beautiful feline nipple, surrounded by lovely tortoiseshell fur, growing on your human's mammary area that was. It would be a bit like Diana Dors' (or was it Jayne Mansfield's) mink bikini. Very elegant.
But the vet is right. It just wouldn't work.
Personally I can't see why your human want a reconstruction anyway. Losing a teat is bad luck, but a false one, even a falsie in flesh, isn't going to be functional? Can't feed kittens, can it? Yet these humans are obsessed with their teats. Odd. Very odd indeed. I suppose it is something to do with only having two of them - another sign of human inferiority. I have always thought the human body would look much nicer with a line of them starting where they are now and going down either side to below the waist. But the great Cat in the sky did not make them like that.
No, I suggest you concentrate on purr therapy for her. She's going to feel rather ill after the vet's operation. Give her lots of purrs and rubs but hang on to your nipple. Human welfare does not require us to give our body parts to our human pets.
Yours cautiously,
I can recommend a rather touching book, admittedly about the inferior species the dog. Dog Walks Man, by John Zeaman, (Hamlyn £7.99). A sort of meditation on dog walking.... I may come back to this later.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I don't want another cat.....

Dear George,

It’s me Vegas! No, I don’t have a “sister” yet since my human is too busy having company from overseas and I’m teething or what do you call this in cat language?

I’m glad we have company since I have extra hands and toes to bite but I’m quite worried right now! I overheard my human saying something about “having someone moving in with a cat or cats” I personally think this is just terrible. I would like a little sister from same shelter where I came from but, I don’t want any adult cat or cats in my house. They can be mean; they can eat my food, take my bed or shed a lot! I don’t want to sleep on another cat’s hair. Quite so! Why cats shed? And why some shed more then others? Are they sick? Do they lack nutrients in their food? Are they stressed?

Am I going to loose my hair now and become a hairless cat, like a sphinx?

George, what should I do?



Dear Vegas,

You are having trouble with your humans. They are being totally selfish and disregarding your feelings. Of course you don't want another cat, particularly an adult cat who you know nothing about. It was bad enough when they suggested a kitten from the same rescue shelter as yours. Quite bad enough but with great generosity and flexibility you agreed.

I think your selflessness was a mistake. Give humans an inch and they will take an ell (whatever the ell that is!). They have got above themselves. They assume they can do what they like. They think they can just fill the house with cats - adult cats, kittens, visiting cats. It's a disgrace.

You will have to take a stand, Vegas. I suggest a programme of the "silent treatment", occasionally used between human husband and wife. Withdraw all affection. Go further, withdraw all attention. You do not sit on laps. You do not rub their legs. You do not sleep on the bed with them. Or on the sofa near them. If you sit in the same room of them, sit with your back towards them. No eye contact. No miaouws or purrs - that's why it's called the silent treatment.

You might just add vomiting. Projectile vomiting can be a very useful weapon in the armoury against humans. Leave a little heap during the night just where they will step on it, if they get up to use the litter tray.

Any human visitors can be treated with lavish affection - just to make the point that you do not any more love your humans. Make them suffer. Prrrrhaps then they will begin to appreciate you more.



PS. This blog is late because my human's access to the internet failed for 48 hours and because she is rather preoccupied with her (thank goodness not mine) veterinary treatment. Tiresome woman.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dear George,
I have just had a traumatic encounter with a small group of hornets. One of them stung my human, which is only what she deserves for being so foolish as to take up power walking. I felt it prudent to dive into a hedge and stay there for the rest of the day. I would much rather have been hunting rabbits, my usual morning occupation, but the danger posed by these enraged insects quite upset me. My human thinks this is strange, as the things that scare other cats, such as dog, toddlers, lorries, loud noises or car rides, do not faze me in the least. Not that I was scared, you understand. It was quite unnecssary for the human to come out and find me hours later and carry me home for dinner.

Dear Scaramouche,
These flibbertigibbet humans! Power walking indeed. Why doesn't she take up mousing? So much better ergonomically. I have tried over the years to interest Celia in mousing by bringing in living mice, but she just doesn't get it. Instead of an invigorating hunt round the living room, she merely catches them in a wellington boot and puts them outside. (Mind you, I sneak out later and start hunting them all over again, so it's not all bad).
Wise of you to take shelter if hornets are flying around. Some foolish kittens actually hunt bees and wasps - a dangerous activity not indulged in by mature cats like you and I. Hornets really do sting badly and I am not at all surprised that you were emotionally upset. Of course, this upset was merely because you disliked them in your territory, not any wimplike fear!
Your duty is clear, Scaramouche. Get that foolish human of yours to call the local wildlife people in case the hornets are a rare species. Get their advice and see if you can rehome the hornets (or something) in a better place! Creepie crawlies, even the buzzing kind, have a place in our world. I like to see the odd bee and wasp. And I enjoy crunching up flies and such like. Quite tasty.
Not so sure about the power walking, though. Shouldn't she be busy shopping for cat food?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I am in love with my cat sitter, I think?

Dear George,

My name is Alfie and I was adopted about 3 years ago from a pond. I was the last to be adopted only because people found me being “too black, too skinny and too ugly” based on their no-sense standards. So, I’m grateful to my human parents who adopted me the way I am. I’m even more grateful for all the love and care they give me. Recently I was found having a hyperthyroidism problem and I’m currently under medication.

But, my problem is of a different nature! Let me tell you what happened if I may! For the longest time my parents never went away. Lately they start going away for 3 days at a time or, mostly for a week. Of course, my mommy arranged with one of her friends to “cat-sit” me. So, actually it’s a couple cat-sitting me; he comes in the morning but in the evening they come together. They bring me toys, new food (better tasting that mine), we play and we talk a lot. She calls me “Alfonso, my love” and he calls me some funny nickname in a strange language that actually sounds very nice.

George, my problem is that I found myself wishing for my parents to go away more often. I don’t want to hurt their feelings ….but, I think I’m in love with my cat-sitter. What can I do? My mommy already mentioned that lately I became more talkative Probably my humans thought that because of my modest origin I don’t have a rich vocabulary, but I do. And I think I’m handsome too, otherwise why would she call me “Alfonso, my love”? So, George, help me with my two questions please; one – I need some tips regarding some sort of maintenance for my hyperthyroidism and second - how can I share my feelings without hurting anybody?


Dear Alfie,
You are worrying yourself unnecessarily. Stop thinking about your humans and start concentrating on getting your own way.
We cats often love more than one person (as do humans, actually). Your feelings are quite normal. Indeed many cats with a cat flap set up a second home further down the road or just round the corner. It's particularly useful when our humans leave the house all day and switch off the central heating in the winter. Down the road we can find a lonely person whose heating is on during the day and who may even offer us a better class of cat food. Two-timing is what humans call it: I just call it looking after my own needs.

So far, so good.... Our perfectly natural behaviour, however, sometimes upsets our humans. It's not as if humans don't two-time each other: they do. But they don't like it being done to them. Puursonally, I would show your feelings openly to your first family (so to speak) because with a bit of luck, they will try to be nicer to you. Indeed, it doesn't hurt to put on a sorrowful and unhappy air when they come back from their holidays/vacations. Humans feel something they call "guilt." We cats do not do guilt. But a guilty human is often a human who buys better cat food or gives us more games, more space in the bed, and more tickling behind the ears. Make guilt work in your favour, Alfie.
Hyperthyroidism is a breeze nowadays. Medication should work well. If you don't like the taste of the pill, or the inhumane way humans stuff it into your throat, purrsuade them to buy EasyTabs or Pill Pockets. These are meat flavoured pellets hiding the medication. They taste good....
Remember, Alfie, we cats rule. We cats do what we like: humans do what we like. What's ours is ours and what's theirs is ours.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Coping with a new dog - train it.

Dear George,
I am nine years old and I have an adopted sister Tilly who came from an animal refuge as a 3 year old, three years ago. It was a struggle for me to adapt to another cat in my territory but I am now OK about it. But my pet human is considering bringing a puppy into the household. Tilly says she doesn't mind but I hate the idea. My pet human has seen a poor little puppy in a glass cage in a Spanish pet shop and she wants to rescue it.
What on earth should I do about this threat to my territory. Am I being specieist in not wanting a puppy in my home? By the way it’s a Bichon.
Yours Bertie.

PS. The intruder has arrived suddenly, as I write this.... help.

Dear Bertie,

Horror of horrors, my previous advice sent privately to you has come too late. I was hoping between us we might prevent your human from being so foolish.
Be strong. I know
you must be tempted just to pack up and leave home but don’t do it. You live in Spain where the chances of another home for a black cat are poor, if not non existent. These humans have soft hearts and, alas, just can’t see things sensibly the way we cats can. We have to help them out at moments like this by reminding them of their responsibilities as pets. I hope you reacted with horror when you saw the puppy – bristling tail, erect hair, horrified cat look. If she's not too dumb, she may get the message.
However intelligence in humans is very limited indeed. When the rescue impulse strikes, intelligence goes out of the window. She has forgotten that puppies in pet shops almost always come from lousy breeders, that they may well turn out to be expensive in vet's bills, and by buying one she is encouraging the disgusting pet shop trade.
Now that it's too late to change things, train the puppy from day one with a series of puppy one-to-one classes. It has to l
earn that you are the head of the household and alpha cat. Be firm, Bertie. Sit on a high place like the top of the sofa and hiss at it. If necessary give it a smart swipe or two. Never ever run from it. A running cat encourages a pursuing dog.
Humans are exceptionally poor at training dogs. Successful human trainers mainly use reward because they can keep treats on their purrson. As we don't have fur with pockets, we can't. Besides, we don't share food. We eat it ourselves. So we have to use punishment in a carefully graduated claw and order programme. When the puppy is a bit older and has learned cat body language, you can reward him by rubs, purrs, and the opportunity to sniff and lick (though not too much of either).
will prevail, brother! Luckily, in the photo you set me, it looks small and not too yappy. Tilly has the right idea about getting up on high places and looking down on the intruder, but perhaps you could purrsuade her to look fiercer! You need a united feline front in order to make sure that the power in the household goes like this - Bertie, top cat, Tilly deputy top cat, human pet, and at the bottom - dog.
Dogs are easily trained. My goodness, they are. I mean even dumb humans can train them.
PS. If anybody reading this blog has a human that is thinking of getting a dog, make her read my secretary's advice - click here.

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