Saturday, May 29, 2021

Fleas.... itchy little beggars, though they taste quite nice when I catch one during grooming. First there's the pleasure of knowing I have caught one in my teeth when nibbling my fur, then the next pleasure of swallowing it down. 

Some human scientists even count them when they come out the other end - to get some idea of how many we have caught. Apparently about 50% of them escape.

They are cunning little insects. They know that we cannot catch them if they stay round our neck, particularly if we have a beautiful furry ruff there. So that is where they lurk. 

Of course, like all clean cats I use my back legs to scratch there. And hope they fall off if I am vigorous enough. But it doesn't have the same satisfaction of catching one in my teeth and swallowing it.

And occasionally you get a really intelligent flea that hides in the fur round my cheeks or on the top of my head between the ears. When I wash my face, using my front paw wetted with saliva, I haven't a hope of reaching it. I can scratch but it is difficult to reach them there.

PS. My human saw a flea circus at Bertram' Mills' Circus in the l950s. The fleas wore tutus and one of them pushed a tiny tiny wheel barrow. Mind you, these were human fleas - bigger than cat fleas. I wonder what they tasted like.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Indoors or outdoors - that is the question.


This is my namesake playing a game with the cat flap, in order to wind up his human. A great show-off was my Uncle George.

Most cats love being able to leave the house whenever they choose and they also enjoy being able to visit other people's garden, burgle houses to steal other cat's food, slaughter wildlife, and generally wander around at will. 

The downside is the dangers of being run over, of catching diseases from other cats (not high if we are vaccinated) or coming home with fleas - not just fleas from other cats but also rabbit fleas or ticks. Ticks are generally disgusting, as I discovered when being combed by my human who combed out a tick that burst and spread blood everywhere.

Ask a cat, and most of us will choose freedom. Ask the neighbour and mostly they will say get that cat out of my seed beds. Ask a naturalist and they will say keep those serial killers indoors (forgetting that an invasion of mice is bothering the Australians.)

If you want to read up on this, there's a human review "Uncontrolled Outdoor Access for Cats: An Assessment of Risks and Benefits" on Google Scholar.

But I say, just ask your cat. 


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Cats, squares and human illusiona


Some humans have come up with a new theory about cats and boxes. I don't know why they need to publish these idiocies. We cats know why we like boxes - they are warm, they hide us from nosy humans, and we like a tight fit when we sleep.

We also like sitting on squares that are marked out on the floor. Or as these pompous humans put it: "The type of visual illusion considered here is subjective illusory contours, in which one mentally perceives fictitious contours." 

They set up a website asking humans to lay out a two squares on the floor versus one non-square. We sat more often in the squares, even a rather strange square called a Kanitza. These findings, they claimed, revealed "susceptibility to illusory contours" and supported "our hypothesis that cats treat an illusory square as they do a real square."

I considered writing a letter to The Times, who reported this experiment, pointing out that humans are susceptible to the illusion that cats are not capable of taking the mickey. The idea that we were just leading them on in a ridiculous joke seems to have proved their "susceptibility to illusory cat behaviour."

In the end i couldn't be bothered to interrupt my box sleep by putting paw to paper. Maybe it is better to let humans keep their illusions. It makes them easier to manipulate.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

My world is not your world.

My world is not your world, neither is your world my world. This creates many problems for both humans and cats.

In my world, when we are anxious about feline intruders, we mark our territory with urine. It's somewhere between a post-it reminder note to ourselves about the problem and a note to other cats telling them we were here. 

In your human world you'd probably install a burglar alarm. Or a notice saying "Private. Trespassers keep out."

My world is full is strange noises - the high squeaks of the washing machine when it is working, the buzz of electrical appliances heating up, the tiny tiny clicks of a boiler. All noises you can't hear. You don't even know they exist!

So you think it is all right to put my litter tray in the utility room, next to the washing machine. It isn't. Those squeaks are very very putting-off. A quiet elimination is impossible.

Humans, pay attention to my world. Try to think yourself into it and remember everything is different for me.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

At last .... a cat in the White House

At last.... the White House is becoming truly bi partisan. A cat is on its way. Probably a rescue cat. So that the home of the US President will have both dogs and cats.

One of the disappointments of the Obama presidence was the lack of feline presence. And as for President Trump... he didn't do pets of any kind. As the New Yorker says "there was only room for one authoritarian.

Who will be the First Cat or F.C.OTUS (First Cat of the United States)? Will he or she be able to exert authority over the White House dogs Champ and Major? (Major's record is poor). Another tuxedo cat like Socks? Or black? We don't know yet.

Join me in celebrating the fact that cats will now achieve their rightful position in society.   

Here is a list of cats that have achieved the White House with their presidential pets. 

Tabby and Dixie  owning  Abraham Lincoln –  Lincoln once remarked that Dixie "is smarter than my whole cabinet.

Siam and Miss Pussy, Siamese cat owning Rutherford B. Hayes

Valeriano Weyler and Enrique DeLome, Angoras, owning William McKinley.

Tom Quartz and Slippers owning  Theodore Roosevelt

Puffins. Woodrow Wilson.

Blacky and Tiger owning Calvin Coolidge. (He of the rude remark about roosters and hens. Look it up!)

Tom Kitten owning John F. Kennedy

Shan owning Gerald Ford.

Misty Malarky Ying Yang, Siamese owning Jimmy Carter.

Cleo and Sara owning Ronald Reagan.

Socks owning Bill Clinton.

India Willie owning George W. Bush.


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