Saturday, April 27, 2013

I've discovered the excitement of car boots....

Dear George, 
I have just discovered the thrill of jumping into car boots. They are full of the most extraordinary things. This one, which I leaped into as the human was changing her Wellington boots, included bottled water, a handbag that smelled slightly of other cats, a camera, two tins of cat food and one or two cat biscuits which I immediately ate. I was thinking of settling down for a nap, when she reached in and hauled me out of it.
I've heard of car boot sales. Do you think they would be of interest to us cats,
Yours sincerely
Caspar the Bengal.

Dear Caspar,
JDDI. Just Don't Do It. You are playing a risky game. Car boots are dangerous to cats. What if she hadn't pulled you out? She might have decided just to shut the boot without noticing you were there. Or done a bit of cat napping. Pedigree cats do get kidnapped every now and again.
Indeed, I advise all cats to keep away from moving cars or cars that are making that purring noise when their engines are on. Cars kill cats. They rush down the tarmac straight at us, as if they wanted to squash us. Often they succeed.
I realise that parked cars are convenient for sheltering from the rain, or even for sheltering at night if you are a stray cat. They also have interesting smells on their wheels. But a wise cat moves out fast as lightening if the car starts making a noise.
As for boots. Don't go there.
Yours with a stern warning

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Co-ordinated counter surfing and the unfairness of feline life

Dear George,
Toby and I do not get on very well. But we do have something in common. We have to eat boring cat food every day. So we feel it's an important part of our lifestyle to snack on human food. 
Yesterday we made a co-ordinated effort. Toby checked the counter surfaces, while I jumped on to the higher shelf where sometimes she leaves food (as she thinks) out of our reach. She had left the cupboard door open by mistake so it was worth looking there.  By chance there were only a few fragments, alas. I ate them while Toby licked up the two spots of milk left over from when she was making breakfast porridge.
Why do they think it is acceptable to feed us the boring food when they eat chicken, steak, rich pasta sauces, cream, milk, yoghurt.... 
Yours with a growing sense of injustice,
Tilly the Ugliest Cat in the Shelter

Dear Tilly,
Co-ordinated kitchen theft sounds good to me but for one unfortunate fact. As cats never share, if you find some tasty snack you will have to gobble it up fast before Toby gets it. However, in view of the unfairness when we compare what humans give themselves and the pathetic food they give us, counter surfing is a must for any cat who wishes to rebalance the food odds.
The human species has no real sense of justice or fairness. Have you noticed, for instance, how much space they take up on the bed. How they attempt to push us to the margins of it or banish us to the bottom of the bed, refusing to share the pillow.
It's the same thing with arm chairs. My human, having assigned me an armchair which is furthest from the log fire, expects me to sit there while she luxuriates in the warmth nearer the flames. Naturally, when she is not sitting down, I sit in what she thinks is her place. It's mine, not hers. She is deluded. But what is so unfair is that she then uses brute force to push me off it so that she can sit there.
I am currently working on a new technique which involves inserting my body at the side of hers. She thinks I am being friendly. I simper a bit and purr loudly. What I am actually doing is slowly pushing her to one side with the aim of first sharing, and then completely taking over the best chair in the room.
Yours in commiseration,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Blog will be late ....

My blog will be late this weekend, probably not appearing till Sunday, due to the irresponsible behaviour of my secretary who has gone off walking somewhere in North Oxfordshire. Unacceptable in my view.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cayenne. July 02, 2002 – April 02, 2013

 Cayenne crossed the Rainbow Bridge on April 02 naturally and peacefully in mummy’s arms. She was sick for over a year but with good care she lived longer than expected and enjoyed her days. She was the only sister I ever knew. We came from the same litter and mummy chose us when we were 5 days old. The woman who had the litter was trying to get rid of us but mummy promised that she’ll take us and find “parents” for the other 5 kittens (which she did) with one condition: to let us be with our biological mother for few weeks. Cayenne was the smallest in the littler and mummy used to call her “the little Indian” as the white spot on her nose looked like a little feather. When we got to our parents we were 6 weeks old and Cayenne was running and playing/flying through the house like she ate hot pepper – that’s why mummy called her Cayenne
She liked to join mummy for meditation and yoga. I was never interested but, seriously, Cayenne could stay still! We all loved her very much and I knew she had a very special bond with mummy (as I have with my daddy).
I heard mummy saying that Cayenne was her soul mate and teacher. She said that Cayenne taught her unconditional love, patience, determination, loyalty, having a good sense of humor and much, much more. She was such a good sister too.
It feels very strange without her around! We feel such a void and are very sad!
We loved her so very much! We miss her immensely!

Dear Fluffy,
My readers and I send all our love and sympathies for your loss.
Words don't really express the feelings of my heart. She was a beautiful and a loving cat.
Go forth upon your journey, feline soul.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Is she training me or am I training her?

Dear George,
My human has started behaving very strangely. She has purrchased a stick with a large red bauble at the end of it. When with a natural curiosity I walk towards it, she says "beep beep" and gives me dried cat food. This happens twice a day and I am naturally quite happy about this extraordinary way of getting extra food.
But.... an awful thought struck me. Is she training me? I noticed a rather smug look on her face as I succeeded in winning some cat food by putting my face near the bauble. While I am quite happy to play this rather boring game, I am not at all happy to think that I am being trained.
I am not a dog. Cats are never trained. We train humans.
Yours anxiously

Dear Toby,
Your dilemma is easily solved. She is not training you; you are training her. You have found this relatively easy way of getting more food, so JDI, Just Do It. Humans have mysterious behaviour patterns, and this red bauble on a stick is just part of their unbelievably ridiculous way of life. Don't despise it. Use it to your advantage.
This odd bit of human activity may be connected with something called clicker training. In your case there is no clicker but instead the word "Beep beep." We cats respond relatively well to clicker or beep activity because it is a transaction in which we win. We get the food: the human does not. The folly of the human is their thinking we are being trained by them.
Just to keep her on her toes, be intermittent in your compliance with this game. Occasionally, when you see the bauble walk out of the room. Or find something to scratch. Or have a good wash. Ignore it altogether. Intermittent response makes the human try harder and may well result in a bigger food reward. 
Oh yes, and sometimes look as if you are going to do it and then do nothing. It's a good way to tease your human.

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