Saturday, December 26, 2020
Boxing Day - photos of the true feline festival
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Cat in the White House
I can't wait for the next First Cat of the USA. The human president elect is going to add a cat to his White House staff, to join his two dogs, Champ and Major. We don't know which cat yet but I am hoping it will be a rescue cat (the dogs are rescues).
The new First Cat will be following Socks, the last White House cat at the time of a human called Clinton (in the photo above). Socks was too easy going to be a good example to us cats and let his humans, the Clintons, betray him by adding a dog, Buddy the Labrador. When they left the White House, Socks was degraded to the care of a secretary (though a better carer than a Clinton).
The best predecessor was Shan, the cat belonging to a president called Ford. He set a good example for future high flying cats by biting the presidents wife and daughter, after being left in the White House while they went on a skiing trip.
Lets hope the new First Cat follows his example and keeps the new presidential pet, Biden, in his proper place. The White House hierarchy should be like this - First Cat, President, First Dogs and Vice President.
Monday, December 14, 2020
Stressed humans and tender paws
My paws hurt from trying to use this laptop.
My human has let her computer get too old and it is dying on her. That is why this blog is so late. She is frantic so I decided to help her with the typing. I don't usually offer help. Altruism is not a cat thing. But I don't want to disappoint my fans.
The keyboard is great to sleep on. It's fun to walk on too. I like leaving messages on screen like this - ssrr 44444 'lkp[0\]12. These cryptic comments enhance her efforts though she never appreciates them.But it is hard on the paws. So my message is simple. And very short.
Christmas is coming. This means your human will be particularly difficult to get on with. She is tired and worried. Christmas really makes humans stressed.
At least this year she won't be able to fill the house with screaming kids and ageing parents. The fewer people the better for us cats.
And there may be more turkey leftovers!
PS. Don't eat the wrapping paper or ribbons. It usually means a trip to the vet.
Saturday, December 05, 2020
In-between cats - how to help
These are in-between cats... I know them from my neighbourhood. I enjoy living with humans. I let them sleep in my bed (they think it is their bed) and I even doze on their lap.
In-between cats don't enjoy too much human contact. These two cats have homes in Maunsel St and they get regular meals there. But they like to spend most of their time outside, living the live of a free cat rather than a pet cat.
They would be miserable shut up all day inside a house or harassed by human rescuers that want to keep touching, petting and picking up. Or stuck in a cat pen waiting for a human that doesn't want a cuddle cat.
Get your human to listen here and learn how to help these cats. https://icatcare.org/unowned-cats/
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Feline zoom etiquette for lockdown
|Good overall position with body placed between human and screen. But there is a failure to block use of the keyboard and a further failure to block screen.|
What is the best way to deal with a human on Zoom during so called lockdown? These photos show two unsatisfactory methods.
The most effective way is to place the backside facing the computer screen, with tail up in a friendly greeting....
There is no photo for this, due to human refusal to take a screenshot.
Friday, November 20, 2020
Our teeth are rapiers - sharp and dangerous.
More about biting. How, not why, we bite.
Our teeth are made like slender rapiers that are deep into flesh and stay there for the death bite.They slice into the skin leaving only a small puncture mark but bringing with them infection from the bacteria in our mouth. Dogs teeth are there to slash and tear the flesh and weaken the prey with loss of blood.
So that is why humans often think that cat bites don't matter.
Far fewer feline bites than canine ones are seen at human hospitals but they are far more likely to be infected. Add to that the chance we will scratch as well as bite, and some humans (not many) will get infections from a mere scratch. This is call cat scratch disease.
In both cases the skin near small puncture or the small scratch will feel hot and swollen. The lymph glands near to the injury may swell up too. And if nothing is done about it, servere illness can set in. So, humans, take cat bites seriously.Get medical help. Respect our desire for space. Do not interfere. Stay away or you will regret it!
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Why we bite humans who pet
Humans are dumb animals. They cannot read our body language. I tell them I want them to stop petting me. I am purrfectly clear about it.
I start swiveling back my ears. It is obvious what I mean. I mean "Stop." They just don't see it. Are they choosing to be blind. Or are they just so stupid they don't notice.
So I "shout" louder by lashing my tail. Look, dummy. See? It's my tail. It is lashing side to side. You don't notice my ears but surely you can notice my tail.
They don't. Or they won't. So then I do what I have to do to get their attention. I give them a little nip. It's only a nip. I don't bite down on them. My teeth don't even break the skin.
Then they stop. At last.
Obviously, in order to get their attention I have to use my teeth. Nothing else gets through to them. Of course, they don't like it but at least they withdraw their hand and the petting stops.
They call it the petting and biting syndrome. I call it commonsense communication.
- In the video my friend Marnie shows a typical moment of feline exasperation.
If they really want to know what a cat bite is like, they should interfere in the cat fight. Then they will get a real bite, not a nip. Believe me, if I bite you and give you a deep puncture wound, you WILL understand the difference between a bite and nip.
Saturday, November 07, 2020
Weird cat pictures and Victorian remedies
I never thought I would say this but thank goodness for vets. I have been reading an old book about cats, and I am horrified at the medical suggestions. It is Cats: their Points and Characteristics with Curiosities of Cat Life and A Chapter on Feline Ailments, 1876, by W. Gordon Stables, a retired sea doctor who also wrote Medical Life in the Navy.
I don't think many cats could have survived this cure, let alone the disease!So though I hate vets, I think Dr Stables would have been even worse. He had great whiskers, though. Almost as good as mine!
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Black Cats Need Human Love.
Black cats feature in Halloween decorations - more is the pity. Because it feeds into the idea that black cats are somehow wild or frightening. And they just don't get adopted as quickly as cats of different colours.
In some US shelters, that kill unwanted cats, a lot of black cats get put to sleep. They are handed in on Halloween to keep them safe and die later.
I'm celebrating the beauty of black cats today with lots of lovely photos, some of them of my Uncle and namesake George who used to this blog. He stood up for the rights of black cats and, as you can see from the photo at the top was a keen newspaper reader.
Even little black kittens take longer to be adopted. So there are often lots of them waiting to find their forever home.So tell your human to stop being colour prejudiced and to start helping black cats.
- My book will help you understand why humans are the way they are.
Friday, October 23, 2020
The watchers -- look upwards
The immense superiority of cats over mere humans is at its most powerful when we get high up. The higher we go, the more we can look down on them.
And the less likely they are to find us. It's a strange thing but humans often forget to look upwards, when they are trying to discover where we have got to.
Trees, houses, walls, the top of cars, roofs, sheds, straw bales - anywhere that it a bit higher is where we like to sit. We feel safe high up.Nobody can get us.
And we can sneer at the dogs and the humans below.... if they even notice us.
Look upwards, humans. We are watching your every move. You don't see us: but we see you from a great height.
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Ouch. It hurts when my human picks me up
Are you finding that you don't want to jump up on the bed any more? Or feeling that the litter tray is difficult to climb into? Or even beginning to think that going out through the cat flap is just too uncomfortable for you to bother? And when your human picks you up, it hurts, so you nip her.
It's probably arthritis. It begins to hurt when you do anything much, so you spend more time sleeping. Maybe you no longer want to have to tackle the stairs, so instead of walking downstairs to use the litter tray you do it behind the chest of drawers. As any sensible elderly cat would.
Your human doesn't understand. She gets angry. This is the moment to make sure she reads up on the problem here. It is Arthritis Week for cats.
Last century even vets didn't know that cats got arthritis. We conceal our pain - unlike those despicable whining dogs. We rarely limp and we never whine. We suffer in silence.
Yet there is so much our owners could do. They could make sure that there was a litter tray upstairs as well as downstairs. And they could cut down the front of the litter tray so it is easier to climb in.
There are little ramps that they could buy to help us get on and off the sofa or the bed. A heated bed would be cosy too. They could make sure we had regular painkillers.
Humans complain about aches and pains as they age. Why don't they think of feline aches and pains?
Saturday, October 03, 2020
Ophan kittens - not just milk but mothering.
|Mouse and Moley|
Mother cats teach their babies what to eat, help them to pee and poo, teach them to hunt, and give them the careful mothering they need. They groom the babies until the babies are ready to groom themselves in a way they learn from mother. They give them milk then when it is time to stop, they begin to close the milk bar. This teaches kittens to eat solid food but it also teaches that they don't always get what they want. That way they learn to tolerate frustration.
The best way to bring up orphan kittens is to put them on a lactating female that already has kittens or to keep them with their mother but bottle feed them. If humans can't do this, then they must keep the babies together or even (if they can) find an adult cat who will "mother" them without milk.
Can't do that? Well make sure that these kittens go to a home where there are no other cats. Bottle fed cats may be more likely to be loners.
- If you are feeding orphan kittens read this article -
*Little, S., (2013), “Playing mum: Successful management of orphaned kittens,” Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 15, 201-210.
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Kittens... who's the Daddy?
Yes, it is what you think in the picture..... more than one father! We, cats, are sensible enough to hedge our bets.
We don't fight over who mates with whom. True, there is a lot of noise and caterwauling and usually the biggest tom cat goes first.... if the female allows. But others have their turn too.
Why is this a good thing? Well who knows what will happen to the kittens? Will they go to a good home and be neutered pets? Or a bad home that doesn't neuter them so they end up as strays? Or will they have to live in the wild and find their own food?
Two fathers means that if the little black kittens don't thrive in the world then purrhaps the little grey one will. Or visa versa. so it is a way of making sure one or more of the kittens will have the right genes to survive.
Humans are sometimes sniffy about our sex lives, but it is the pot calling the kettle black. We only mate when our hormones tell us to. They have sex all the time, any night of the week.
Purrsonally I find that kind of sex drive disgustingly licentious.
- For more information about humans get this book here.
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Whoohoo. The precision strike.
I can jump nine times my own height from a standing start. Beat that, humans! You never will. Even at Olympic games, humans can do nothing as strong and powerful as this.
Why do it?
For hunting in the long grass, of course. If we just pushed through the grass, the mouse would get away. So we leap up and over, with our front paws tucked in to help the jump, then pushed forward at the last minute to grab the mouse. It's called the fore foot strike.
These photos are blurry because my human was caught by surprise and failed to change her camera settings. But there is a longer video showing my friend Toby on her Youtube channel here.
You will see how carefully we have to shift our weight, poise, and sometimes give a little wiggle just before we launch ourselves into the air. Front legs tucked in on launching, back legs then tuck in, and front push forward just before landing to grab the prey.
It's a precision strike - anything less would lose our prey.
This is just another example of cats' superiority to humans. Powerful muscles, amazing control, precision and power..... ours, not theirs.
- More examples of feline superiority here.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Stand up for rescue kittens - in the home.
These are rescue kittens in a rescue pen. Not an ideal start in life, if you want a cat that is confident around human beings. I am sad that so many rescues are still keeping kittens (with or without a mother) in a pen.
Kittens need human contact - a minimum 20 minutes daily preferably from a series of different humans. Not just women, but also men and sensible children. But that is the minimum.
I was lucky I was brought up in a home, with all the noises and smells of a human home, with people coming and going, and with a friendly dog. The ideal education for a pet cat.
I was used to all these things before I went to my new home, so I settled in quickly. Kittens that are in a pen miss out on the smells and noises of a human home, and some of them don't get enough human contact.
Purrlease tell you human to get their rescue kittens fostered in a home, not a pen.
Saturday, September 05, 2020
Stand up for rescue cats - feigned sleep stress
If you look carefully at this video you will see that the cat has its ears lowered, a sign of fear. Its back is humped not relaxed. And it turns its head away from the human videoing it - another sign of fear. It also blinks rapidly.
Feigned sleep is found in rescue catteries and among wild animals in zoos. Humans do not recognise it. It is a sign of chronic stress and unhappiness.
This cat needs help. It needs a box to hide in and if it has one it will be more likely to come out and look around, knowing that it can retreat if need be. No rescue cat should be without a privacy area.
If a privacy area doesn't help enough, then it needs fostering in a home.
Stand up for rescue cats. Pass this information on.
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Permission to pet - a new catumentary movie
Do we consent to petting? - an important new documentary by George Online Cat, ie me. Using my paws to make this movie was difficult but I did it.
OK, so my human helped a little but the inspiration was my experience. Humans must learn to ask permission to pet. We cats are sick of being picked up, or hugged or petted without our consent.
Please help me spread the word. Put a stop to human harassment. Help humans recognise the feline Yes and the feline No.
This movie is available on Youtube here.
- For more on the cat-human relationship read my guide here.
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Naked humans and compassionate cats
Naked humans are often shy in front of us, a survey revealed last week. Naked and ashamed of their lack of fur presumably. Poor hairless humans. I pity them.
Imagine having to cover up your body with clothing, because the only bits of fur you have are on the head, the chin, the armpits and the groin. The wrong places and the wrong type of hair to keep yourself warm. That is the human dilemma.
Many cats out of kindness move off the bed when their human is about to strip off and go to somewhere private like the linen cupboard. We cats know that staring is upsetting for us: and presumably it upsets naked humans too. The other alternative is to close your eyes and drift off into a deep sleep at these human strip tease moments.
Be compassionate. Don't shame your human. Do not stare at that fur-less human skin. At moments like this many humans suffer from feelings of inferiority to felines. Fur envy, I call it.
- For further insights in the cat-human relationship read my book here.
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Disappointing. Expensive new cat tree but no box.
Here is my new cat tree, designed to help me get onto the highway-wall which is used by all the neighbouring street cats.
In May she bought me an expensive cat ladder so that I could climb up the side of the house and enter my bedroom via an open window. She was going to put a cat flap in the window but I have spared her the expense.
I have refused to put a paw on the ladder.
I am considering whether to refuse to use this equally expensive wooden device. On the one hand, I would like to make clear she cannot buy my approval. On the other hand I have been on that wall but it was so high she had to rescue me.
The real disappointment was that there was no box for me to leap into, when it arrived. Too bad.
What matters most? Keeping my human humble? Or having fun on the wall? I will have to decide.....
This blog is late due to human failings. My human put her sister's welfare before mine and, because too much typing hurts my paws. I waited till she got back to dictate this.
- For more information about human management go here.
Saturday, August 08, 2020
Humans must envy us....
Miaow.... its International Cat Day. Today we celebrate the sheer elegance of cats.
Gorgeous whiskers like mine, so much more beautiful than beards.
Soft delicious fur, which poor hairless humans do not have.
Ears that can hear a mouse's footfall and the ultrasonic squeaks of bats in the hot evenings and mice in the wainscot. Humans, as they age, cannot hear these at all.
Ears that grow fur out of themselves - wisps of beautiful fur that add to our elegance, unlike the hair in human ears.
Eyes that reflect moonlight back to the marvelling human that notices this. Eyes that are tuned to the slightest movement and can see in the twilight dark.
A waving tail that helps us balance on garden fences or the boughs of trees. A sense of balance that far outbalances our humans.
A graceful body at all times. A body that is so supple we can clean ourselves all over, except for the head. We can contort ourselves so that we look at our intimate parts without using a mirror.
Humans, don't you envy us?
- Celebrate International Cat Day by buying my book here.
Saturday, August 01, 2020
Stand up for rescue cats..... give affection
- Want to know more? Read my book here.
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Stand up for rescue cats..... homeless cats
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Stand up for rescue cats.... when to neuter
- Is it safe? Read 'Help Stop Teenage Pregnancy! Early-age neutering in cats,' Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, (2011), 13, 3-10
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Thinking - the history of cat food.
|Me. Deep in thought.|
* Amino-acids which are taurine, arginine, methionine, and cysteine
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Stand up for rescue cats - different solutions for different cats.
- Buy my book on how to manage humans here