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Showing posts with label bird. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bird. Show all posts

Friday, February 01, 2019

Cats and birds - yum yum

Dear George,
I have mixed feelings and I don’t know what to do! I need your help!Here is my story: lately my mummy started bringing home people and cats; human guests who stayed for too long (if you care to ask me) and few cats she fostered for a shorter time.
There must be something wrong with mummy! Why does she think she have to help everybody and anybody? What could she possibly be missing in her life if she has me? What? Last night I’ve heard her talking with a friend and promising she’ll look over her two birds if she’ll bring the cage over to our house (while her friend will be travelling overseas). She even promised her friend that I’ll be a good girl and become friends with the birds! Phew! How could I befriend a bird?
George, I love my mummy very much! Should I be honorable and tell her honestly that I’ll never befriend a bird or should I keep quiet and enjoy the “accidental” but juicy dinner? Would she learn her lesson then? What do you think?

Dear Shumba,
Aren't humans dumb! Cats do not befriend birds. We hunt them. It is in our DNA. Has she ever seen you looking longingly out of the window at passing birds? I think she ought to take a closer look - your body tense with hunting desire and your eyes in a hard stare. It's not the look of a cat that wants to cuddle up with a bird. 
Here's a photo of one of Celia's foster cats, Boomer, looking at birds on the windowsill. You can't see his eyes but you can perhaps see how (despite being fat) he is craning his body round to get as close to the bird on the left as he can. Believe me, Boomer didn't want to befriend that blue tit. He wanted to grab it!
All in all, Shumba, I would just let her go ahead. Why waste the chance of having some juicy prey put right in your reach! 
Have fun with the birds.

Monday, April 23, 2018

What to do? I am bored alone in the house.

Dear George,
I live alone in a small house and I am not allowed out at all. I don't mind that too much, as I am frightened of the great outdoors.
I try to keep interested by chasing flies on the windowsill, zooming around the house after using the litter tray, and watching birds the other side of the glass - though this is a bit frustrating. My humans give me toy mice but I get bored with them rather quickly. Why don't my humans import some real mice and birds for me to hunt. That is what I would really like to do with my spare time.

Dear Schwartz,
For some reason humans always refuse to give us live prey. And they think that a stuffed mouse is enough. Well it isn't. This is what your humans need to do....
  • Throw away the food bowl and feed you from food dispensers. Here's an easy one to make - watch here. Lots more home-made ideas here.
    Me trying to get food out of the box
  • And here is one that takes wet food. Watch here
  • Or just scatter dry food on the kitchen floor.
  • Or hide dry food round the house.
  • Lazer light toys are fun but can be very frustrating for cats - so no more five minutes maximum and each chase should finish with a treat (like catching the mouse!).
  • Have a whole box of toys and put out different ones every three days.
  • Lots of cardboard boxes, stable cat trees, and tunnels.
  • Give you 30 pounces with a fishing rod toy daily. They can do this while they are watching TV. 30 pounces a day is more or less what a hunting cat would do. 
Yours George.
PS. Some of these food ideas might lead to competition and conflict in a household with more than one indoor only cat.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Update from the Black Kitty & the Christmas miracle

Dear George,
I wanted to give you and your blog readers an update on my situation.
As I mentioned in my Christmas letter I found my new Mummy and moved to my forever home! She started by looking very carefully at me and trying to find me a name that suits me well. First she tried “Midnight”! It is a beautiful name but, unfortunately it only reminded me of the cold nights when I was living on the streets! I didn’t want to disappoint her so I simply didn’t react to the name! 
Then, she looked at me again and said “Dolce” – that’s it: Dolce! which is Italian for “sweets” something like “sweetie pie” in English! George, I must tell you – I had tears in my eyes! I instantly LOVED the name! I looked at her and meowed my approval and gave her a little kiss! I think that sealed our love forever! She IS the best mum! She plays piano for me …serenading me.
She even left a big empty box in the center of the room (as you can see in the photo) so we can play “hide and seek”! I love her and I’m forever grateful she opened her heart and home to me. I give her lots of kisses and head rubs! I don’t know how else to show her my love and appreciation! George, any other suggestions?
Molto contenta (very happy)

Dear Dolce,
No need to go overboard in appreciation.  You have done her a favour by making her into your pet. Keep a little back... so that she appreciates those head rubs when they come. She will value them more if you do not give them too often.
Now you need to help her understand that rewards such as head rubs have to be earned. As wise trainers say, rewards are contingent on correct behaviour. Head rubs, little licks, loud purrs and a lot of lap time -- this is what humans crave from cats.
It won't be difficult. She is obviously a trainable human. The box was thoughtful even imaginative. The name is really lovely.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The love of birds....a certain human-feline incompatibility of opinion.

Dear George, 
After reading your book “One hundred ways for a cat to train its human” I started to apply your suggestions quite actively in my daily life. For the beginning I set up two goals just to see how it goes!  One was to have at least one bed in every single room and as you can see in the photo attached I have totally succeeded! Ah! Don’t be silly; of course I OWN that huge bed in the master bedroom as well….just that my humans don’t know yet!  The second goal was to train our next door neighbour first to like me, then to “catsit” me, then to miss me and finally to fall in love with me! Yes, you heard me right! Why would I stop to my own humans when I have such a cute next door neighbour?
Plus he has a bird! ONE love bird – quite laughable when you think “love birds” come in pairs!  But, I love the fact that he has just one – easy prey for me! Can you imagine the day (or night) when my cute neighbour will take me to his place and hopefully the bird cage door is open?  Ah, George! I can’t stop dreaming of that fresh, juicy dinner waiting for me in a little cage next door. 
But I need your expertise; all the “tricks and tips” as I have to make him fall in love with me first, right?  Where do I start?

Dear Rio, 
I love love-birds. Just the right size for a cat - not too large (like pheasants) or too small (like wrens, only a tiny mouthful). Just to reassure you that it is not necessary for any bird to fall in love with you first. All that is needed is for them to be close enough for a good pounce....
However, I reluctantly have to warn you that humans take an ridiculous view of bird slaughter. They love birds as much as they love cats and get very upset if birds are killed. Particularly if they know the "murderer" (their phrase not mine) or even "serial killer" (again, their phrase not mine).
Leave that love bird alone. Killing it, while naturally enjoyable, would ruin your relationship with the neighbouring human, whom you are so successfully training. You have to take the long view. Are a few mouthfuls of love bird worth the loss of a catsitter, a neighbour who may well offer extra cat treats and even a warmer house sometimes? 
I think not.


Saturday, January 02, 2016

No New Year feline resolutions.... purrfect as we are.

Dear George, 
Hope everybody had a safe and happy holidays season! My Christmas was very merry indeed with lots of treats and toys!
On New Year’s Eve I shared the turkey with my human family! That was a super bonus! I’m quite content and in a very relaxed mood (as you can see in the photo). So, I decided to have “No New Year’s resolutions” in 2016! Why would I? I have no desire to eat less or lose weight; I have no desire to exercise more or to change myself to a better cat!
I think I’m fine the way I am; I think I’m a cool, fine cat.  What do you think?
Do you have New Year’s Resolutions? Would I miss something by not having any?
May 2016 bring to every cat health, a warm home and a juicy mouse and to their human families health and joy!
Happy New Year to all!
CAT Victoria

Dear Victoria,
What a wise cat you are. And cool. And fine in every way. Don't let a few fragments of turkey change your decision. We felines should not buy into the human obsession with weight control. And why would we want to change ourselves in any way. We are purrfect as we are.... unlike some humans.
Humans need to make New Year resolutions. My secretary is one of these. Due to poor purrformance over Christmas by that plastic thing she called a "mouse", there was no internet access. I walked up and down the keyboard as much as I could, and it made no difference. I was cut off from the feline world of internet cats....
So my New Year Resolution is made on her behalf. Be more assiduous in your duties, woman. Put more effort into service to me, rather than ridiculous studying. You are failing in your duties.
PS.  And don't think that small portions of goose make up for lack of service, woman. I cannot be bribed by just a few fragments. It would take a whole side of breast.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

The joy of hunting versus safety from the traffic.

Dear George

 It took me a while to understand what humans meant by “window shopping”. I’ve often heard my mommy saying that she went window shopping but, I didn’t understand it at the beginning until she explained it to me. George, I don’t have a problem with window shopping but I think she is now “forcing” us to do “window hunting” (as you can see in the photo attached – all three of us) - she won’t let us out. And, you see? We just missed that little, cute chipmunk that went by! Actually Riley and Jasper go out on a leash but I completely refuse to be humiliated.
George, how can I convince my mommy that we can be trusted and should be allowed in the backyard to enjoy the grass, the chipmunks, the birds and the butterflies?

How do I tell her that “window hunting” can be as frustrating as the “window shopping” especially when you see something and you can’t afford to buy it?

Same with “laser hunting” - it might be a good exercise but, in my opinion, it is equally frustrating and infuriating to not catch the “prey”.

George, any ideas? Suggestions?


Dear Patches, 
Here in the UK most cats are allowed out and many of them enjoy hunting small mammals and birds. Bird lovers would like us all to be kept in - that way, we wouldn't be murdering birds and mice. I get shut in at night and it is very frustrating to see the wildlife and not be able to get at it.
Your humans probably want to protect you from those big metal machines which slaughter so many cats - the car. Thousands and thousands of free roaming cats lose their lives to it - particularly if they are allowed out all through the night. So it's safety versus the joy of proper hunting.
Laser hunting can also be painfully frustrating - you never catch your prey. But there is something your humans can do about this. They can end the play by throwing a treat for you to "catch." That makes it more like proper hunting and stops the frustration.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The dog who saved a cat.

Dear George,

I’m not going to repeat my story as most of your blog followers know me by now but I want to introduce Hallie – the dog who saved me - she is such a goodhearted and beautiful girl. Around Christmas Hallie lost her “cat” who was her best friend. She suffered so much that her mommy (my mommy now too) had to come home with a cat who would befriend Hallie. When I arrived to my new home, Hallie was all too happy to see me but I wasn’t so sure.  I lived my life on the streets or in the pet food store until then. Of course I’ve seen dogs before but never lived with one. I was overweight and didn’t know how to play. Hallie and mommy taught me to play and have fun.  I lost the extra pounds soon and started having so much fun. Hallie even gifted me with her favorite couch – as you can see in the photo. The nickname of my new home is “harmony.” Everything and everybody is so nice, loving and lovely.

I know the saying that cats and dogs don’t get along but this is one example that actually we do. And Hallie is one smart and beautiful dog.

With gratitude


Dear Bander, 
Congratulations on your sensible relationship with Hallie. You are so obviously Top Cat. You have taken over her couch, as any self respecting cat would, and she is lying below you in a submissive posture. Quite right too. Cats should always look down on dogs.
I am so glad you have recovered the gift of play. Play is so important.  Dogs play in almost all circumstances but we cats can usually only play if we feel relaxed and happy enough. It comes of the fact that we are the more grown up than canines. Dogs are more likely to be permanently young at heart. Which is why they even look up to humans, can you believe it? Poor silly souls.
Happy endings are what I love most. So many of my friends like Tilly and Toby have gone through adversity and it is such a pleasure to read how they adopted a suitable human and achieved  happiness at last.
PS. Bad news.  Celia has decided to go North to the Shetland Islands to look at wild birds. She's not going to catch them, but just look. So she will not be available to type my blog next Saturday. I wish humans would not let us down like this.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Would a pigeon make a good friend? Or dinner?

Dear George,
I would like to hire you to assess my humans' behaviour and see if there is something wrong with them.
I don't think they behave quite normal lately. I worry it could be something very bad but hopefully not contagious.
You see...I'm trying to make friends with this beautiful bird to get her in the house and have some fun!
But, they stay in my way, especially my mom! I'm making that small "friendly" noise to attract the bird in and my mom is hushing her away.
My dad is no where in sight! I mean....what kind of behaviour is this? It is true that I run and hide when they have friends in the house but what could be the cause she's scaring away my friend? Do you think they are afraid of my new friend?
Are they trying to avoid running and hiding? Please help!
With gratitude

Dear Zoe,
A bird would make a wonderful plaything. What I like doing is leaping in the air, grabbing them, and then tossing them about. I also enjoy stalking them, even if they do flutter off before I get to them. And I spend a lot of time (like you do) just watching them through the window.
Not so much a friend, as a meal. They taste good. Have you ever stolen a piece of raw chicken skin from the trash can?  Well, they taste like that. Absolutely delicious. No wonder you are making that "friendly" chattering noise. I can't help doing that too when I see them through the window. So exciting....
Your humans are just spoil sports. Fun-hating bipeds with a ridiculous attitude about birds. They seem to prefer them to us - maybe that's because birds are bipeds too. Humans always try to stop us catching birds and conservation humans are the worst.They are horribly prejudiced against our hunting skills.
You don't find humans trying to protect rats. Or even caring very much about mice. See if you can go get that bird in summer when they leave the window open.... 
Yours in anticipation

Friday, November 08, 2013

Bird feeder modification - for once my human has an idea that works.


Dear George,
I am sure that you will agree with the opinion that we cats hold our feathered friends very dearly. In fact as close and as dearly as we can, given the opportunity.
 Bearing that in mind I am sure that many of us feel a tinge of sadness during the Winter months, as we sit indoors in the warm while watching our birdie chums flapping about in the cold and the wet and, most sadly, with little food, other than that which is provided via feeding baskets which many of our human companions have the charity to hang out for them. Often high up. Out of reach. Of those who do not fly.
 I spend many an hour watching with interest and occasional amusement as the feathered ones hover around these feeding baskets, frequently clutching on to the enclosing mesh as they pluck a nut or seed through the gaps.
Not infrequently the grip on the valuable food is lost and it tumbles to the ground, where it may be scooped up by a large wandering pigeon, or perhaps lost on the ground, to be scavenged later by mice or rats or even a fox, all of whom soon recognise a depository for manna from heaven and are waiting in the wings.
 Noting that most of these feeding baskets are merely round tubes with an occasional stick on the side acting as an over-occupied perch, my human came upon a good idea (it sometimes happens) and made a use of some now-abandoned curved plastic discs that his kittens used to delight in playing with before they discovered the interest of just sitting still and pushing buttons. They called these things 'Frisbees'.
His bright idea was to fix one of these to the bottom of each feeder. Its wide dish meant that dropped food was not lost to the ground. It also provided a platform upon which the feathered ones could stand, rather than hover precariously,  and it also allowed small seed to be heaped upon it, seed which would otherwise just pour through the feeder mesh.
I attach a photograph of the device in position, which I filched off my human's computer Mac (strange name, as it never rains indoors…). I find that a computer mouse is frequently a cat's best friend.
The feeders usually have small holes in the bottom and I gather that it is a very simple matter to put a couple of holes through the plastic of these 'Frisbees' using a 'drill' or a knife point. My human first used large 'self-tapping screws' to hold the two together, but then changed to small 'nuts-and-bolts', which he considered to be a more durable method of attachment.
 So, George, there you have it. Us cats being kind to the birds, for without little birds in the Spring there will be no more big birds in the Summer. Which somewhat reduces the fun-time for us. Incidentally, the new device is so strong that even pigeons can alight briefly to snatch a beak full.  All's fair, etc.
Love to all and remember, we should all help each other to get by in this world.

Dear Milly,
Steady on, Milly. This isn't a good idea at all. My bird table is there so that I can enjoy watching and occasionally catching the birds on it.
I see bird tables as birder bars (burger-birder, geddit?) for felines. I prefer the food on the ground. With luck I can nab a bird while it is feeding. What's good about this human idea? It ruins the fun.
Not too much enthusiasm for human ideas, please. They don't have many and most of them are poor (like measuring out cat food rather than ad lib feeding). 


Saturday, August 24, 2013

My human pet (I call him Daddy) stole my prey!

Dear George,
That’s exactly what happened; my human daddy stole my prey!
The other day I took up to some of your readers’ advice and jumped over the fence to discover the world beyond it. That alone made me a “bad, bad girl” – that’s what my humans told me. I had no idea that “jumping over a fence” will make me a bad cat!
Well, I was a bit confused and I thought of a way to make it up to them so I brought them a nice gift – a fat, young baby bird. Were they happy? I don’t think so as they start screaming and he almost kicked my butt (literally) pushing me outside and kept the bird inside. Is that the way humans manifest their joy and appreciation? Now I’m even more confused since I didn’t see the bird since then. What do you think he did with it? Obviously he stole it from me and probably pretended to my mom that he caught the bird for her…. while I was left outside waiting (see photo) like a cold turkey (metaphorically).
Now what? What should I do? Do you think they ate my prey?
Very confused

Dear Zoe,
My blood boiled when I read your letter. I wanted to mew "Me too! Me too! They do it to me too!" This is an absolutely disgusting habit of humans. No, they don't eat it. They just take it off us, before we can eat it. And then.... can you believe it? .. they throw it away. A whole delicious meal just goes into the trash can.
I can see from your expression, with your ears back, that you have been horribly upset by this experience. This abuse often happens when you present a bird to your humans. Why? I just don't know. They eat plenty of chicken, which is just another big bird. But when we show resourcefulness and go out and get a bird of our own, they go berserk.
It isn't just the ingratitude of it. It's the sheer waste. Many of us have decided that our humans don't seem to like any birds smaller than chicken or turkey. So we switch to mice. Or even rats. 
There's nothing more delicious than a plump mouse but they never eat one! The human response to rodents varies between screaming and jumping on a chair, to scooping up the living rodent and taking it to the nearest park. As for rabbits ... the hysteria is the same.
My advice to you it is to take your bird somewhere in the garden where they can't see what you are doing. Then either eat it yourself or leave it there. 
Yours in utter frustration and fury

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A hat for the royal wedding!

Dear George,
Watch! Stillness! Watch more! Get a little bit closer! ACTION!!! No, no way with my female human clapping her hands and shouting “fly bird, fly! WHAT? Is this for real?
I can’t believe her! Is she insane? Am I clapping my paws shouting “fly turkey, fly” when she cooks that big bird? No! I’m waiting in silence until it is nicely roasted and then claim my portion! George, why are humans so insensitive? I was so focused, “intensively” watching a little bird (as you can see in my photo) not even with the intention of killing it. All I wanted was a few feathers to ornate my hat for the Royal Wedding! I am CAT Victoria after all, right? Now, the bird is gone and so is my royal attire! I have to miss the wedding and watch it on TV! Phew!
George, any ideas how I can train my humans to not interfere with my activities? I even heard her saying something about a little bell around my neck? What? Does she think I’m a rattlesnake? I want revenge! She should be punished, don’t you think so?
CAT Victoria

Dear CAT,
I took little interest in the Royal Wedding, except to lie on my back for a bit so that Celia could stroke me while watching. The idea of bagging a pheasant (plenty outside) in order to snatch one of its tail feathers hadn't occurred to me. Nice idea. Nice try. As always, our best intentions are frustrated by our humans.
Sneakiness is essential, in order to have a satisfactory life with this rather dumb pet. Like you said, sit quietly waiting for the turkey to roast before claiming a portion. I do a special upward imploring look at my human, in order to get titbits. I almost look like a dog - soulful, deferential, pleading. In fact I am silently muttering "You silly human. Give. Give. Give. Idiot."
However sometimes guile, deviousness and dishonesty get what we want.
Bells round the neck I hate. For one thing collars on cats always are somewhat dangerous. My favourite charity Cats Protection every now and again will pick up a stray cat that has got its paw caught in its collar. My human says she has never come across a really safe collar. And (though I hate them) flea spot-ons from a vet are far more effective than old fashioned collars that have potentially dangerous chemicals.
Should you punish your human? I use punishment, as I use deviousness, guile, sneakiness and downright cheating, to get what I want. Scratching? Yes. Biting? Yes. But only in circumstances where it will work.
See if you can't just outwit her with your grace and charm.
Love George

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Waiting for D’Artagnan!

Mon cher George,

My name is Porthos! Of course …I’m one of the musketeers!

Cardinal Richelieu (my human) managed to get all of us together for a nice pre-Christmas dinner at his chalet. We all rushed “inside” to honor his invitation.

Athos, Aramis, Milady (actually there are two of them in the house), myself; we all are here ready to eat the famous (mouse) foie gras!

The only one missing from this reunion is D’Artagnan; he’s somewhere outside!

Guess (even after so many years)……he’s still fooling around! I thought he got “fixed” as we all had, but obvious our Cardinal missed this one!

Anyway, while waiting for D’Artagnan…a thought came to my mind.

We always have been four! The four musketeers!

Then …why Alexandre Dumas wrote about “The Three Musketeers”?

Couldn’t he count up to four? George, mon ami, what do you think?

A bientot,


Dear Porthos,

I am not often lost for a response. But I am ashamed to say that I am now. I have not read the Three Musketeers. My secretary, who as an Eng Lit graduate ought to know, confesses that she hasn't either. She's seen some films about them and tells me they were dashing gentleman, swashbuckling with swords and a lot of expensive lace, long curls (probably from a wig) and generally very attractive. She seems to remember that one of them was fat but, if your delightful photo is anything to go by, not Porthos.

So why did Dumas write about four musketeers and then title the book The Three Musketeers. Perhaps he could not count? It's a possibility but most animals (even humans) can "count" up to four or five. So this seems unlikely. Besides, whatever his maths abilities, he had the right idea about cats. It was Dumas who said: "The cat, an aristocrat, merits our esteem, while the dog is only a scurvey type who got his position by low flatteries."

When he lived with his mother, their cat, Mysouff, used to escort him the first part of his journey to work and then meet him on the way back. And somehow Mysouff would sense the evenings when Dumas was going to be late and would not go out to meet him. Dumas considered this was a form of extra sensory perception. Later he got another cat, called Mysouff the Second, who was a stray that Dumas' cook took in. Dumas also had three tame monkeys. One day the monkeys raided the aviary where Dumas kept rare birds, let in Moussoff the Second who then ate all the birds.

I think it is a pity Dumas didn't write about four cats. He could have called it The Four Mouseketeers. Celia says she would have read it as she is much more interested in cats than men in lace roaming around looking for fights. Cats are as dashing, as beautiful, and as dangerous (at least to mice) as musketeers.


Love George

PS. My social secretary is off to college so comments arriving after Sunday noon may be a bit late on getting on to the blog, depending on whether she can access it from the very strange college computers. But they will be put on. She is making small but persistent noises about statistics. Humans do spend a lot of time thinking about useless subjects. Empty headed apes, as Whicky Wuudler would so rightly say.

PPS. Don't know where to find mouse foie gras but there is a company sells freeze dried mouse treats at

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I am dreaming of a beautiful white swan.

This is a huge white feather belonging to a swan. I leaped on it. nibbled it. played with it. Pouncing on it. Dragged it around. It was simply huge. About ten times bigger than a greenfinch tail feather. (I have had a few of those). Three times the size of a black bird. As long as, but much wider than, a pheasant's tail feather. My human pet, Celia, and Lesley, the pet belonging to Opus1 and Opus2 (see past comments) brought it back from a walk for me. (Humans are social animals. I am pleased that Celia has found a friend to play with. It makes her less dependent upon me and William.)
The gigantic feather set me off into a wonderful day dream. I am slinking along the bank of a clear rushing river - gleaming black, huge paws soft and silent as silk, nose drinking in the scent of a summer day, tail twitching very slightly at the tip. The river flags are in full yellow flower. Water lilies bloom where the current is not too fast. Purple loosestrife adorns the bank. And on the river itself is a noble swan. It is the most magnificent creature gleaming white against the water. It sails along serene and magnificent. The image of beauty and calm.
With one bound I leap into the river, landing skillfully upon its back, grabbing it in a killer bite at the back of the neck. Blood gushes. It fights back but I am (in the dream) more powerful than a mere bird, however big. Like a powerful black panther, I hang on despite its struggles. Then its bright black eyes begin to dim dim, its movements become more feeble, and it slowly sinks below the water. A dying swan. With strong sweeps of my paw I paddle to the river side, crushing the loosestrife as I drag this noble prey to the bank. I am the greatest hunter in the world. I wake to the single feather.
Celia says this is a disgusting blog. As I have said before - she doesn't understand me.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Do robins make cats sick?

Going back to robins. There aren't many left in my garden. I have had three of them. Celia knows about two of them because she found the complete corpses. She was very upset. She doesn't seem to mind about hedge sparrows but dead robins really distress her. She was even more upset when she found some feathers and a long thin leg which looked like a robin's leg. She assumed (correctly) that I had eaten the rest of the bird. Was it a robin? I really can't remember. My interest in birds is a foodie one, not a taxonomic one. Some species taste better than others, of course, but I can't say I take much interest in the differences otherwise. So I eat some and I don't eat others. Depends partly on my mood and what else I have eaten that day.
I do not eat shrews - ever. Foxes and weasels and stoats may eat them and I suppose if I was starving I might manage a nibble. The problem is that they taste awful. There are fatty glands on their flanks which produce a vile secretion. It's stuff to mark their territory as they pass through the grass. Read by another shrew it says "Keep off. This territory already has a shrew in residence." Of course if the shrew is male, and a female is passing by, she might take a sniff and think "Handsome fellow. Might stop for a bit of rumpy pumpy." But to me the smell simply says: "Don't eat me. I taste bad." That's good news for the shrew, of course.
So do robins taste good? I may have eaten one and I have certainly caught two others. Celia says that it might have made me sick even though she can't remember that particular pile of sick (there are quite a few). If any of you cats out there have eaten a robin (the English kind) please add a comment, remembering to say whether you sicked it up or not.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Yet another example of mystifying human reactions.

Steffi-Next-Door, she who admires my mousing skills and wanted to borrow me as a rodent operative, has behaved outrageously. She has been away in holiday leaving the house empty except for my visits. I quite like going there for a look round, a snack if any food is down and a nap on her bed. She is normally happy about this and welcomes my visits. But this time, when she came back from holiday, I sauntered in only to find uproar. She was very emotional. Very. I had expected praise. It's not every day that a cat can kill a full grown pheasant. I thought she might like to share in my pleasure and may be even share a bit of the bird. (Well, perhaps not. Cats don't share). Anyway I thought at least she would admire my hunting skills and the way I had branched out from mice and small birds to large rabbits and equally large pheasants. She was the one who had kind things to say about my mousing. She admired it. My present of feathers was even better. Spectacular is what I would have called it.
Did she appreciate it? Heck, she did not. "Ohmigod! Look at this huge heap of feathers. I can't bear to clear it up," she wailed. I slunk off. Humans are completely unpredictable. Maybe it's a good thing Celia mowed their lawn while they were away. They seemed almost hostile for a moment.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Human gardeners and cats.

I tried to catch a goldfinch on the bird table this morning, and got tangled up in the wire netting Celia had placed there to thwart my natural urges. Several resentful thoughts came to me. Celia's friend, Jane Owen, has just published "One Hundred Ways to a Beautiful Garden," a book that humans will enjoy. However, there is nothing much in it for cats - except perhaps for the idea of tree houses. Now if there had been a tree house near the bird table, I could have leapt down at the finches rather than merely leaping up. Life in the garden is really rather confusing. On the one hand Celia loves and tries serve cats (what right minded human doesn't). She also likes pretty birds like goldfinches. I agree with her there. They are charming - and delicious. Nice little crunchy bones when you grab them. I also enjoy just watching them from the warmth of the kitchen. But she never eats them. Just watches. I think she has a disorder of the predatory sequence. I go in for the whole natural thing - eye, stalk, pounce, grab and eat. She just gets stuck in the first bit of it, watching. Dysfunctional, of course. But worse still, she thinks she is normal and I am aberrant. So she stuffs scrumpled wire netting under the shrubs just in the place I would sit and start my stalk. She makes the bird table about 7 feet high - because I can only jump 5 feet. She creates a wildflower garden (Jane Owen is good on this) then objects when I do my wild thing and try to slaughter the wildlife. Lord, humans are so cranky, contradictory and downright mad.
So for Christmas, buy your human "One Hundred Ways to a Beautiful Garden" and buy your cat, "One Hundred Ways for a Cat to Train its Human." My favourite book, of course. It works too.

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