Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rules of cat ball games ...

I do find your advice so very comforting. What with being from Russia and used to moving in the highest circles, I am often at a loss to understand the customs in the house I now live in.
My latest problem is with ball games. My human hostess has been kind enough to provide me with these very nice snowballs (imitation, I know, but bless her, she’s trying her best.)
Now, I had always thought the rules of all ballgames are very clear: I sit on the table where the items are and knock each one carefully to the floor. My hostess then picks up the balls and replaces them, and we resume play until I tire of it. This is the right way to do it, n’est-ce pas?
Well, would you believe it, the Teenager who lives here doesn’t keep to these rules. He comes bouncing along and STEALS the balls when they are in play, hitting them all over the place and running along with them. He says he’s ‘dribbling’, which does not sound at all proper. Dribble he certainly does, and then rolls my nice white balls in the dust under the furniture. If the manservant can be bothered to retrieve them, they end up grubby.
I really don’t think this will do – dear George, what should I do?
Yours ever

Dear Natasha,
Obviously the Teenager hasn't learnt the rules of cat ball games. Does he think he is a dog, perhaps? One of the differences between cats and dogs is that dogs play in groups. We don't. Well, the adult members of our species don't. We cats will play with humans but usually not with other cats. Your adolescent house companion is just failing to behave properly.

The solution is simple but does require you to exert your authority. Get your humans better organised. Your human hostess should continue playing with you, while the male manservant plays with the Teenager. This may have to occur in separate rooms, or, if the Teenager has some manners (and many adolescents don't) at either end of a largish room.
LIving with another cat is always tiresome.  Living with an adolescent cat is very tiresome indeed. The snowy weather is probably making the Teenager even worse than normal in his behaviour. If somehow he could be purrsuaded to get out a bit more and slaughter some wildlife, you could get on with playing your game with the hostess.
Yours with sympathy,
PS. Harvey the House Rabbit has had issues with Google who claimed he was too young (at the age of 10) to write a blog. He is back at

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Feline artist's model - I resent being dressed up

Dear George
What’s wrong with humans? Why are they so different than us? The other day my female human, who, by the way,  pretends to be an artist and keeps painting strange portraits of cats, asked me to be her muse for a portrait! Ugh! Well, not only that I resent staying still for long periods of time (because of her inabilities as an artist) but, I resent very much to be dressed up. Look at my photo with that horrible collar and you’ll understand! She had the guts to convince me that horrible thing it’s a “Victorian style collar”! Ha! As soon as I critiqued her knowledge and turned my back to her no-sense attempt of art she got really upset. I even thought for a moment that I won’t get any dinner.  Later that night  when she started being nice to me and rubbed my belly talking sweet talk I got really worried; I knew she’s up to something! Man, you can’t trust these humans!
Then I’ve seen what she was up to – take a look at my photo behind the bars!
George, is this a proof of her love or craziness?
Please help me understanding my human!

CAT Victoria

Dear CAT Victoria,
The key to understanding any human is to realize that their species is a primitive life form.  They don't think like we do. They can't think like we do. Their brains are overloaded with unnecessary ideas, which in their arrogance they call "higher order thoughts." Actually, these are ridiculous thought forms that get in the way of a natural and adaptive life.
So, instead of getting on with her duties as a housekeeper to you, Victoria, your human is time-wasting with ideas about art. Regular delivery of cat food and belly rubbing (when she finally got round to it) are the activities that she should be concentrating on. But her absurd human brain has got in the way.
Art, though it may be a distraction from what matters in the cat-human relationship, is one thing. Dressing up cats is another. Yes, of course, it is crazy.
I have a theory that humans are so devastatingly envious of our natural coat of fur, that they sometimes cannot help themselves. They start dressing us up, in order to pretend to themselves that we look better in clothes.
We don't. Next time you see that damn collar coming anywhere near you, Victoria, hide under the bed. Or put your back up and strike out with all four claws. This human behaviour requires punishment.
Yours sympathetically

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What's the big square noisy thing in the living room?

Dear George,
I have currently moved into a human home, having spent the last 10 months living rough on a housing estate. It beats living under cars, scrounging dustbins, and trying to break into houses to eat other cats' food. 
But I am very worried by a curious flat upright rectangular device in the living room. It sometimes stays silent but in the evening it breaks into human vocalizations and some odd wailing music. The rectangle also has coloured moving shapes on it. Sometimes I see the outlines of humans or even animals.
What is it? Why does it make this noise only in the evenings? It is safe to be around? Why do the two humans in the house sit looking at it all evening? It's not nearly as interesting as the possible mouse living underneath the cooker. So why are they so entranced by it?
Yours anxiously

Dear Toby,
Some cats, and even some house rabbits, get interested in this rectangle, mostly if there are wildlife noises or animal shapes on it. I have added a couple of photos including me as a kitten. I used to be mildly interested then.  But like most of us, when I grew up, I learned to ignore it. It is just so boring. Lots of meaningless humans vocalising.There are no enticing smells coming out of it.   If you look behind the rectangle, as I have a couple of times, there is nothing there.
Humans call it a "TeeVee". As they have practically no sense of smell but overdeveloped vision, the shapes are exceptionally interesting for them. You can sit them in front of it and know that they will not get up to mischief. Harvey the house rabbit watches TV, purely to show his solidarity with his humans.
While humans are watching TeeVee it is a good time to investigate the kitchen, check up on any food on the floor, see if the butter dish is covered or open. You might find things to eat on the kitchen surfaces or the kitchen table. Always worth a little of your time.
Or you can take the chance for an uninterrupted zzzz on their laps or next to the fire. If I was you I would check up on that mouse beneath the cooker. This might be a good time to catch it.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

They're taking away my Christmas tree.... shame on them

Dear George,
They are taking away the nice small pine tree they put in my living room. It was a joy to me. I climbed up it. I sniffed and rubbed it. I liked the smell. True, it wasn't very stable. It crashed to the ground a couple of times, but that made the climbing more enjoyable.
This year most of the twinkly things on the tree were plastic, too large to swallow. (The tinsel in the photo is last year's. I ate it, which was a mistake, I admit. Yet another visit to the vet, whom I loathe and detest.) I enjoyed pulling them down and batting them round the room. Those are going to be taken away too.
It's not fair, George. Finally they enhance my living space with the chance to climb, tear off stuff, and generally lark around. Now they have deprived me of it.
Any ideas on how to make my humans behave better in 2013?
Lovely Lily.

Dear Lovely Lily,
You don't tell me if you are an indoor-only cat or whether you have access to the great outdoors. If you do live indoors, you need a climbing tree, a climbing frame, or a cat gymnasium. As my photo above this blog shows, we cats need to climb. Climbing will give your physical exercise. And, just as important, it will put you in the right psychological position - looking down on your humans. For some reason humans only give us pine trees to climb at the end of December and they take them away again on January 6. Odd. But then humans are odd.
If your humans are poor but energetic they could go out into the woods and bring back a very large branch. Then install it in the living room for you. Otherwise they should think about putting up shelves and ladders for you. Make them look for ideas at my secretary's new website here.
PS. This blog is a bit short because my secretary is still ill. 

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