Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dear George, 
My name is Fidget and I have adopted my human's neighbour. She lost her mate and is sometimes sad . I cheer her up by lying in the sink to keep her company when she has a bath . She gives me tuna! I love that even more than being in a sink ! 
I worry when she spends hours looking at photos of her lost mate . It makes water come from her eyes . I have to stalk her and pounce on her to make her laugh again and stop the eye water . I want to tell her that all is well and her mate is in a beautiful sink in the sky and he can have all the tuna he desires . 
Yours Fidget

Dear Fidget,
Me too. Sinks, I mean. Wonderfully cool in this weather. And a great way to get human attention. I don't know why it makes them laugh but it always does. And what is more they often put the photo on  Homo sapiens (don't make me laugh) is an odd species.
Congratulations on your two homes. So useful for an urban cat. When your humans are out or when you have finished your meal, you can just stroll down the street for a second dinner! And sometimes one of higher quality - tuna, for instance. And in winter, if your humans work during the day, you may be lucky to find a human at home with the central heating on.
Keep on sinking.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I am so hot. If I jump in the garden pond, will I drown?

Dear George,
Here in the Cotswolds it is very hot. I enjoy warm dry weather but this is really rather awful for a cat with longish fluffy hair. Well, in places. My tail is gloriously fluffy so is my backside and underbelly but the top is tougher stronger hair. Either way, I get very very hot.
Naturally I spend time indoors in the shade but I have been considering regulating my temperature by jumping in the garden pond. Looks cool there. And it would easy to do. 
But - this is a big but - will I swim? I have so far never tried. What if I just drown? I know of a cat that drowned in a swimming pool, but would this happen in the pond?
Yours thoughfully

Dear Toby,
You will find you can swim. I discovered this as a kitten when I fell into a garden pond by mistake. I fell in, found I could swim and climb out. So  then a few days later I jumped in to do it all again. I jumped in a third time but the novelty wore off. I also jumped into the human litterbox bowl when I was very very young, but luckily Celia fished me out before I could drown. I think I might have as it would have been difficult to climb out. Nowadays I just go and look into the bowl because I like to see the water swirling around.
We cats swim naturally. Another sign of our superiority. Humans have to be taught how to do it. They really are a feeble species.There's a splendid photo here of Momo the cat swimming to safety after her human crashed his vehicle into a river. 
What irritated me when I read her story was that it was titled "Cat rescue". Huh. Nobody rescued Momo. In the highest tradition of feline independance, she rescued herself.
Yours grumpily due to the heat,
PS. The danger to us cats is not falling in. It is being unable to get out. Cats have drowned in water butts and dogs (perhaps cats) have drowned in swimming pools that don't have proper stairs to get out.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Victory! Victory! Victory!

Dear George,
Victory! I finally kicked out my parents from the master bedroom and the master bed, of course!
Look at me in the pictures attached to see how happy I am. But, let me tell you how I did it J  This past Monday was a culmination of about 10 days and nights with over 100% humidity and 30 degrees (Celsius).  Everybody was just exhausted by the heat and lying motionless on the bed.
That’s when a major storm hit us and by-by power; for 2 days and nights we had no electricity and no A/C. That was my chance George! I pretended that I can’t sleep unless I’m close to them and started sleeping between the two snuggling either with her or him.
By the second night neither one of them could take it anymore; the first to leave was him, of course.
He moved in a spare bedroom with a small bed; soon she followed him….but in a different spare bedroom. Ha! Ha! Ha! Not only that I have the whole master bedroom for me now ….but I managed to get them separated at night too! And this is a good thing, right?
George, the truth is that I’m in a bit of a dilemma and I need your advice. The other day I heard the human kitten (who calls himself a young professional – whatever that is) that my human parents are somewhere in Europe. That scared me a little. Do you think I kicked them too hard?
That hard that they got to Europe?  How do I bring them back?
A little scared
CAT Victoria

Dear Victoria
Many congratulations for a huge feline achievement. You have succeeded where so many of us have failed. You have managed to keep your humans off your bed altogether. This is the pinnacle of the cat master plan, the apex of human training, the gold standard for the cat-human relationship. Congratulations.
You've done it. You have proved that you are in total control.....
Now be generous. You know you can do it, so now you are free to take pity on them. Remember humans are emotional beings that need feline contact. If they cannot sleep in your company they may start suffering separation distress - becoming vocal, clinging, trying to pick you up, interrupting your sleep, harassing you for affection. They can't help it: it's just their general neediness.
This is the moment to be generous. Let them have a little bit of your bed at night.  

Friday, July 05, 2013

Hissy Alert..... Intruders into my (our) territory.

Dear George,
I was most interested to read your recent blog relating Zoe's problems with overly-protective humans and of only recently being allowed out into her garden without the barbaric constraints of a lead. And that after two years. 
As a kitten I was fortunate enough to be taken to my human's house in a nice suburb of south-east London which was in a cul de sac  (which is a way of saying no through traffic and watch out for human kittens') with a nice shielded garden on his own and backed on to a nature reserve.Bliss! Fun! Heaven!
The house next door had a half-breed wild/domestic rabbit which was loose in the garden and we became quite good friends, scampering around each other, jumping over one-another.

Sadly this friendship was broken as it had to go back to its real owner, who had been in hospital, the mother of the lady next door. Still, I soon had another friend, a sister, as some idiot human had let my mother get pregnant immediately after me and my four siblings. This time it was seven. So I had a younger sister. Then my mummy came, as her human "could not cope". Huh! 
 Anyway, to skip some years, we all moved out to countryside where we had a garden on the edge of real, wild forest. In which we used to go on family walks with our human. We don't do that now, as some nasty mean person closed the direct route and we had to get to it along the side of a road, which none of us liked.
Still, I am now old at 11 human years and I prefer life closer to home. In my own private garden. Shared with family, of course. But not with strangers.
And here is my story relating to Zoe. Some people near-by have a cat which they kept tethered on a lead in their garden for two years. Then they let it off the lead. So, naturally, it explored the area. It is a quiet, fairly shy cat, obviously unused to the wide world.
There I was, checking out the grasses in the wild garden my human has in an attempt to attract bees, butterflies, anything that has not been killed by the pesticides voted for by our local MP and Under Secretary, when Bailey appeared, as I have heard it called.
I resented her intrusion. I told her so. She looked sad and wandered off. I don't mean to be mean, but what is mine (er, ours) is mine (ours). Still, it is good that Bailey can get around and see the world. And I suppose that she may come into the edge of my, er, our garden and sit in the long, long grass.  Just so she remembers where her own place is when it is time to go home. Which is when her tummy tells her it is time. Or I drop a hint.
Anyway, love to all.

Dear Milly,
I see from the photos that you are coping well with the invader. I suggest one or two further measures in the way of scent messages. If you can (and not all cats do), try spraying on various territorial items such as fencing, tree trunks, shrubs etc. Do a lot of chin rubbing too. Leave a message which tells Bailey "I was here at 5pm."  If it is only 5.10pm, ie only ten minutes later, she will be cautious about intruding further. If more time has elapsed she may feel you are no longer there and can intrude a bit further.
Time sharing. That's what it is all about for us cats. The importance of scent is that we don't have to be there to get the message across. We can make territory arrangements without being face to face - just like our human's emails and letters. Scenti messages are feline texts. That way, we can avoid out and out conflict.
Too bad about your local human MP's attitude to pesticides. Humans don't get it do they? Fewer bees, other insects, and caterpillars (killed by pesticides), means fewer fertilised flowers and grasses, means fewer birds, less corn, which means less food for cats and humans.
They are so stupid.
Yours in irritation

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