Saturday, June 28, 2014

George's obituary of Harvey the Inspirational House Rabbit

 Harvey the Inspirational House Rabbit was a shining beacon for rabbits everywhere. "He took over our lives as soon as he arrived," says Janet, his pet and primary care giver. "From the start he decided firmly what would be his own lifestyle, limitations and place in the family set up."
Luckily for other rabbits who are thinking of moving into a human house, Harvey left a record of his training methods. "It's not all cabbage and carrots being in charge of two humans and a house," he admitted. He monitored all visitors,  and enjoyed watching TV.
His diary of daily life can be purchased here
Harvey also busied himself with a little redecorating - putting frills on the sofa arm, and adjusting the carpet fringe a little. "It was all done very tastefully," he remarked, "They could have shown a bit more appreciation in my opinion."
Like all good trainers, Harvey recognised the importance of showing displeasure when training a human. "If they try to blame you for something, turn your back. If you want to object to anything at all, turn your back and sit tight."
His chapter on the importance of watching feet should be read by all house animals. It is an important insight into the world of humans. He realised that feet were the key to predicting human activity within the house.
He will be much missed. His legacy is his blog and the written version of it in a book. He also contributed photos to Celia's website.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Using catnip - do I have a problem? CCA is the answer.

Dear George,
I seem to be spending a lot of time lying in the garden bed next to the catnip weed. As I stroll past the enticing odour hits my nose, and I feel obliged to get closer for a real long sniff.
Next thing I know I am rolling on my back over the weed in what I can only call is soooooo wonderful. I seem to be right out of this world. Nothing matters to me except the moment of pleasure.
There is one problem, however. I am beginning to worry about my supply. I think about it all the time. The plants themselves are suffering. The one on the right, which you can just see in the photo is surviving but the one on the left (on which I am rolling) only has a few rather battered small leaves. I am killing the thing I love. Any how can I guarantee a regular supply?
Am I getting addicted?
Yours anxiously (except when high)

Dear Toby,
Substance abuse (common among humans) is rare among cats. Normal cats can enjoy catnip in moderation. We can take it or leave it. Or perhaps I should say we sniff it, we enjoy it, and then we leave it. But if you are spending too much time on the catnip patch, you may have a problem.
Is using catnip interfering with your normal routine? Do you spend too much time sniffing? Have you lost interest in daily activities like mousing and chasing moths? Do you find that your relationship with your humans is suffering? Are you grumpy and jumpy on a wet day when you cannot get your normal supply? Or are you rolling a sniff even when you get your coat soaked with rain?
If you say yes to any of these questions, you may have a catnip problem. I suggest you start googling CCA or Catnip Cats Anonymous. Don't let it ruin your life. You need help.
Yours from a moderate catnip user,
PS. In your previous life on the streets, you will have seen human alcoholics and addicts in dirty macs, with bottles and gear, slumped on benches, shouting, falling over, and generally being obnoxious. Take a lesson from them - get clean before it is too late.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Trouble with other cats in the home? The key to feline serenity is detachment.

Dear George,
I’m Captain Von Trapp and, yes, I can meow but I can’t sing. And thanks God….I don’t have 7 or 10 children but, I was blessed with a housekeeper, an assistant and two human pets. Of course, we are rescues! As soon as we got to our new headquarters I took over the command of the household. Thanks God my human pets are easily trainable and willing to please (as you can see in the picture). They are of good nature but I don’t think they know Von Trapp family’s story. They named “my Maria” (the housekeeper) “Queen Abby” or something like that (I’m too upset to even remember) and now she really thinks she’s the Alpha cat. Instead of taking care of my needs she runs up and down the stairs like a tornado and she won’t listen to my meows. Another problem is my assistant! They named him “Storm” – is this a proper name for an assistant?  I don’t think so. And, to make things worse…Storm has no skills. I think he is a gypsy at heart! He wonders far from home and gets everybody worried. I don’t know what to do!
George, I need your advice! Do you think “yodeling” will be more appropriate to make my needs known?

Yodel-a- d-ee
Captain Von Trapp

Dear Captain,
One of the mysteries of feline life is that it is so easy to train human females and so difficult to train feline females! Many of the techniques we use on humans - loud purring as a reward, scratching as a punishment - are not so effective on other cats. Other cats are likely just to scratch back. I have my doubts about yodelling as a technique..... It works well for humans: less well for feisty female cats!
Within our own feline community, the best way to cope with others is to use spacing and time sharing of resources. Work out your own space in the household - where you like to sleep, when you use the litter tray, what time you sleep on that patch of sunlight in the windowsill and where you have your space on the human bed. And stick to this.
Train your humans to put down enough litter trays and at least two different locations for food and for water (not too close to each other), and avoid Queen Abby and Storm as much as possible. If you refuse to play the game of who-is-top-cat, she can't play it without your
participation.Their idiotic activities are not your concern. Ignore them both.
Live your own life within the household. Keep the humans focussed on your needs. And leave Abby and Storm to get on with it. Detachment is the key to feline serenity.
Purrs and rubs
PS. Apologies to my fans. I missed last week's deadline due to my secretary being ill. I thought about firing her and rehoming myself then decided to be more patient with the poor thing.

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