Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pussy's Potent Pee Plunges Power Plug to Phut!

Dear George,
The other morning I went to use my large and frequently-emptied litter tray and to my slight surprise found that the back wall had been covered with a sheet of thick blue plastic. Indeed, this blue stuff had been brought down to floor level and my tray was sitting on a larger sheet of it.
I am not bothered by its presence, but I just wondered why it has appeared and wondered if you had any knowledge of such additions to a perfectly normal tray?
Sororital purrs

Dear Milly,
I am afraid that I have no idea whatsoever as to why your human changed the local décor, so I gave up trying to think about it and sent him a message via the Cat Ethernet. I do not usually bother to ask the inferior species for information: but this was an exception.This is his reply.
Your kind purrs returned.

Dear George,
As if I had dreamt it, I feel the need to write to you to explain a necessary modification to my cat's toilet area. In the small hours of one morning I was awoken by the wind and rain and did what I usually do at such times, turned on the BBC World Service for a news catch-up.
The clock/radio went dead. That week my area had suffered from a lengthy string of power cuts, mostly lasting for just a few minutes or even seconds as the local grid network automatically rerouted itself so as to by-pass a damaged power line. Usually very effective.
However on this occasion I noticed that there were lights on outside. It seemed that only my house was 'out'. So I took it that one of my circuit breakers had tripped. Indeed, the master breaker, as none of my light or power circuits worked.
This was bit of a nuisance for although I have a modern breaker system it is on an outside wall and a previous owner had placed a garden shed in front of it, although with the shed window against the electricity box door. So I had to put clothes on, go outside, reset breaker. Which promptly tripped again. Back inside to find the cause. Which was the power socket on the wall behind Milly’s tray. Where she had done a large pee while standing up. All over the power socket.
I removed the plug and patted the area dry. Went out and reset the breaker, which stayed on. Went back to bed.
Looking at the power socket it was obvious from corrosion of the brass plating and electric contacts that it had all been 'dampened' on a number of occasions. Replacing the socket took but a few minutes and as neither I nor Milly wish to relocate the tray the solution was to use a waterproof cover (wooden floor underlay) over the wall and indeed beneath the tray as a catch-all.
I have since seen Milly do the occasional pee while standing more-or-less upright; she has no problem with her waterworks nor stiffness in her joints, so I put the poor aim down to having other thoughts on her mind, such as "when will it stop raining".
Hope this explains the matter and you can go back to sleep.
Fond strokes to you and all at George Parva.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love is in the air - try cheek to cheek.

Dear George,  
My name is Socks and I’m a rescue - one year old. Most of what I recall from my 1st year of life is living in a cage in a shelter. One lucky day a young and beautiful woman came to work at the shelter as part of her practice o
volunteering as she is studying to become a veterinarian. She worked with me and of course she felt in love with me and last week she took me home. That was the luckiest day of my life and I was very, very happy.
She is kind and loves me but, I’m so terrified by the idea that I might be abandoned again that I’m afraid to show her any sign of affection. I don’t want to be hurt again for trusting and loving humans; it happened before to me and that memory is too fresh.
Now with Valentine’s Day approaching I dream of a candlelight dinner with her!
I dream of sharing little kisses, loving care and, of course sharing a steak or a mouse whatever she’ll prefer. She thinks I’m shy …but I’m only afraid I’ll be again lonely and abandoned. Do you think it’s appropriate to ask her for a date and a candlelight dinner for Valentine’s?  Or is it too early for me to show my true feelings for her?
Do you think I’m too young to date? I heard someone saying “you are never too old to love”? That means one can love from a very young age, right?
George, I need all your help as my manners are “shelters manners” not very polished.
I don’t know how to be romantic but I love my human.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all.
In love and…. grateful,

Dear Socks, 
I think I can help. First, the question of meals for two. Sharing a Valentine meal with humans is fraught with difficulty. If you bring them a fresh mouse, they are likely to shriek, run away, or even (what a waste) take it away from you and let it free. They can't seem to appreciate the gift and have such bad manners they do not even thank you. So that definitely won't work.
Sharing her meal is possible. I suggest moving cautiously on this one. My human, when she is alone, eats at the kitchen table and I sit near her looking as attractive as I can. She dines on meat and vegetables but doesn't seem very keen on sharing either of them. (I will eat potato if it is roasted in fat). I have tried snagging the food off her plate and she takes offence. She is too selfish to share.
Sophisticats have to use other measures. I think your best bet is just lots and lots of rubs and purrs. Have you tried cheek to cheek rubbing? My human finds this very romantic. She takes off her glasses so that they don't intervene, lowers her head, and waits for me to rub my cheek against hers. So sweet.
Loud purring always goes down well. If you purr near her plate, it just might make her share a little. Snuggle close to her on the bed at night and purr through the night - her body warmth will be useful in the bad weather you are having in Canada.  
We can love at any age. So can humans. Sometimes I think the older they are, the more love they need from us. 

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Training my human to wave at me....

Dear George,
I am a 13 year old Norwegian Forest, known for my high intelligence and sheer drop dead beauty, and I do not feel that this picture shows either, do you?
I have taught my humans to wave to me. I wave back, with one paw....two would be excessive!
I "beg" [Ha!!] or more to the point, demand, by waving both paws up by my ears. My human has a nasty habit of ignoring me as I balance beautifully on the arm of her chair, so I sometimes have to wave harder, to the point where I wave myself right off the chair.
She then has the damn nerve to laugh, sometimes hiding her face in her paw, and snorting, but I know what she's doing, and stalk off, tail at 'full flag".
I give her time to reflect, then return with a very patient expression, and go through the whole thing again ....usually she gives in then, and I get the biscuit I've been asking for. Humans can be so slow, can't they? If she's good, I will then shake her paw, to assure her she's been forgiven. If I don't feel she's being genuine, I administer a quick bite, to make my point.
My humans are the third family I've had. My birth family had a human who named me Chaos, because he said I was a lout? Then I had a lovely human who gave me a whole tree trunk to play on, in the living room, but she had to go away, and then these humans took over my household duties. 
The first night I was with them [scared to death, as you can imagine] one of them wrote to the human I'd lost, who was a long way away, in Canada, in an email which said "Hi Mom.." and she answered me!! I have been writing to
her ever since, and am working on a book, to be called "Chaos to Canada"
Best Wishes

Dear Chaos,
You are right. The photo doesn't do you justice. It brings up another cat-human issue. Why are humans so obsessed with our tummies. They go gooey when we do our social roll exposing this part of our anatomy. They try to pet us there. In my case, they get a bit of a shock as I respond by scratching. Hard.
On a more serious note. Your letter is proof that humans are trainable. For years most cats have argued that humans cannot be trained to do tricks. Dogs, maybe. Humans, never. This misunderstanding arose because many cats didn't realise how competantly they were training their humans to buy the right food, open doors, and give attention when required. 
But as you have shown, as well as the training basics, you can teach them agreeable little tricks such as hand waving. I am working on teaching Celia how to jump through a flaming hoop. Due to the inevitable lack of human intelligence, this is taking some time. 
But patience and persistence are all!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Help! My humans snore loudly. It is ruining my sleep.

Dear George, 
I do read every letter posted on your blog and I must admit I learned a lot over the years from you. Now, I need your help in a matter that I think it’s affecting my wellbeing.
But, here is my story. Lately my humans are behaving verrrrry strange. They started going to bed rather early; sometimes even before I finished my dinner. Then when they are sound asleep they are snoring like it’s no tomorrow and they toss and turn and puffs.
I don’t know what’s happening and I’m very worried as it looks like they have nightmares. Of course I can’t sleep with so much noise and I don’t know what to do.
I tried placing my paws on their nose but they have 4 nostrils and I have 2 paws so even if I’m successfully “suffocating” one …the other still snores. I tried to lightly pat their faces but no response; I jumped on one of them and then jumped on the other; Ugh! Some response! Last night I started meowing really loud and finally I woke them up.
My problem George is that they think I’m playing; they don’t understand that I can’t sleep because of them. I’m tired too. Day time I’m helping my mommy with her bookkeeping as you can see in the picture attached. At night I can’t rest because of them
Even worse….now they are planning to take me to a vet to see why I’m not sleeping at night and why I’m meowing and “playing” all night. How can I stop them? I don’t want to go to any vet and I want to sleep too.
Yours in distress

Dear Thea, 
The human body clock is odd. We are crepuscular, most active at dawn and dusk. Humans are daytime animals and will sleep like logs for eight hours throughout the night, often past the dawn. This is not natural for us. And, if the humans are snoring loudly, naturally we respond. 
I admire your suffocation technique -- though obviously it doesn't work with two humans snoring simultaneously.  You have tried jumping on them and also meowing loudly. These are imaginative techniques from your point of view and I think you should congratulate yourself on being an committed human carer.
Now we come to the difficult part which is their complete misunderstanding of what you are trying to do. Being hard asleep they do not notice the racket they are making. They see your natural reactions as unwanted interference.  So what is a sensitive cat to do?
Just pushing them off your bed is probably impossible. As I see it there are two alternatives. You could stop sleeping on their bed but this would mean sacrificing the warmth of two human bodies. It may also upset them, as human beings are often deeply attached to the idea of a cat on the bed. As a caring human owner you may feel that leaving the bed is going too far.
You could try giving yourself so much exercise during the day that you sleep more soundly at night. I suggest rushing round the house after using the litter tray, playing with their shoelaces (if they have them), running up the curtains, jumping up and down from every high surface, pulling socks out of open draws and carrying them around meowing loudly, and jumping in and out of boxes, drawers, or shopping bags. Get more active then you will sleep better. Try to entice them to play fishing rod games with you.
Stopping them snoring is just too difficult.
Yours sympathetically
PS. you could get them to read on how to have a happy indoor cat. It would give them some ideas of how to improve your waking life. Get them to ask the vet about hyperthyroidism and Alzheimers if you are an elderly cat.

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