Friday, April 29, 2016

Good manners means starting at the nose not the tail.

Dear George, 
I wonder if you can help me with my human. I believe, if what I read on your admirable blog is representative, that she is not really any more stupid than the average for her species, but she seems unable to understand the correct procedure for eating wild food. My mother, a cat of impeccable manners and breeding, taught me that the correct way to eat a rabbit is to start with the head. Then, if your appetite is delicate, you can leave the body to be shared by your family. Amy Vanderbilt’s invaluable Complete Book of Cattiquette confirms that this is how prey is consumed in the best circles, and I have followed her additional advice to leave an eyeball uneaten for “Mr Manners.” My human seems unable to understand this basic concept and keeps asking me why I eat the head first. She seems unsatisfied when I tell her that this is simply the right way to do it. How can I make her understand? 
Yours ever, 

Dear Scaramouche,
Humans don't understand fur. They don't have any (except for some long fur on the head and some in the pits and pubes). Males have a few bristles and that it that. But mice and rats have fur - lots of it. If you eat it from the head first, the fur lies down flat. If you eat it from the backside forward, the fur gets ruffled up and makes it difficult to eat.
So it's not just good manners to eat that way: it's good practice. I do know of a bad mannered cat called Toby who starts in the middle. But he has lost 7 teeth and grew up on the street. You can take a cat out of the slum but you can't take the slum out of the cat. 
Keep up the good manners.
Yours respectfully, brother,
PS. I leave the scut of a rabbit for Mr Manners.


  1. AnonymousMay 01, 2016

    George, how wise you are. My human seems delighted with your explanation and I myself am grateful to learn that there was a practical reason behind my mother's teaching. And how generous you are to tolerate Toby's bad manners.
    In haste - twilight is close and those silly young rabbits will be hopping about and little suspecting the danger they face. Yours ever - Scaramouche.

  2. Well me doesn't get a choice, but me thinks me would much purrfur da meatier pawrt. Namely da breasts. Guess me has some bad manners. MOL

    Luv ya'


  3. Scaramouche, you are absolutely right! As a kitten I watched my mommy many times how she would "handled" her prey - first she would eat the head and then...skinning the rest (talking little rabbits, rats and mice).

    PS. Good advice George when comes to Mr. Manners :-)

  4. Hm! I never had a close encounter with anything else than little baby birds and my human goes bunkers!

  5. Just got a "mouse" toy and I'm trying to educate my humans on how to handle a real mouse! Unfortunately, they don't get it; they laugh and think I'm being funny dropping the mouse in my food bowl! Ugh!

  6. Head first - Absolutely! Go for it! (but I can see why the humans get squeamish!


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