Saturday, January 28, 2017
My name is Schwartz and I have a family of human pets - adult male, adult female, teenage boy and 11-year-old girl. They are all reasonably well trained and depend on me for affection.
It's the teenager who is worrying me. He has always been fond of me but now he shuts himself in his room with his computer and me. He has stopped vocalising to his family and spends most of his time online looking at cat photos and cat videos. Occasionally he looks at photos of naked humans, but seems to prefer cats. Is this natural? And does it matter?
I can reassure you that watching cat videos and photos is normal for a large proportion of the human population. Scientists (I am not joking) have declared that this is good for humans and is particularly valuable for procrastinating with tasks. Your human is probably using cats as a way of not doing his homework. Watching too many naked human videos may be bad for him: so cat videos are preferable.
If you feel that he needs a rest from his computer, you can put into effect an online interruption and deterrent programme. Simply jump up on his desk and interpose your body between him and the screen. Do this is a cute way so that he responds to you with petting and eye contact.
If this doesn't work, then you need to do stronger measures. Walk up and down the keyboard, that rectangle which has small tabs on it. Or just stand motionless on it. You will see that series of pleasing mouse tracks appear on the screen, interrupting his work there.
Finally if all else fails, lie flat on your back on the keyboard and wave your paws in the air. No fully functioning human can resist this. For me it works every time.
PS. Scientists have discovered that adolescents get on better with their pets than with their siblings. Look here.. So your teenager is normal.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
How much I wish you had never posted the letter about the kittens born to that wild cat!
Ugh! The minute my mommy read your post I knew she’s up to something!
It seems that I’m getting an “unsolicited” little brother! No, no, no! Of course my mommy is not pregnant but now….she wants to adopt the little tabby! He even got a name: Pepe! Well, Pepe is totally unsolicited (by me); he is not welcome in my territory!
What am I going to do with the little bugger? Being born to a wild cat probably he has no manners! Definitely he knows no etiquette!
George, any tips on how to be properly introduced? I don’t want him to step on my paws! Any rules to be set up? Any specific language that he’ll be responsive to? I mean …something simple as, mind you, he doesn’t come exactly from aristocracy! Or….teach me how to make my mother change her mind.
I’m royalty after all (photo above). Can I share my house with a pauper? Should I take him in my life?
Yours with apprehension
You can't stop them, alas. Why do humans think we cats want another cat? They want another cat. It is not natural for cats to share, except with close relatives. Myself I have had to adjust to another cat in the household but I would have preferred to be the only cat. The centre of all attention. The focus of all eyes. Second, or even third cats in our territory just mean there is less human attention and less human service for me. No wonder you are apprehensive.
A very slow introduction is best with Pepe in a cat crate or a carrier or a separate room (Details here). You need to get used to his smell. Feliway Friend, a new product designed to encourage intercat friendship, will help here. Get them to plug in a diffuser where territory will be shared.
I recommend avoiding Pepe as much as possible at first. Make sure your humans feed you in different locations, not in row. Close-up feeding bowls look sweet on Facebook but are stressful for cats. In nature we are solitary eaters and solitary hunters. Make sure there are plenty of beds - human beds, cat beds, sofas, armchairs. You need a place to sleep undisturbed by a kitten.
Although it will be irritating to watch your humans playing with the kitten, at least it will mean that some of that kittenish energy will be soaked up and he will be less likely to harass you...
Best of luck.
Saturday, February 13, 2016
I almost had a panic attack tonight! I tried to connect to your blog to see what’s new and exciting and I realized that even if my computer wasn’t sick ….I still could not connect to you. My mommy explained to me that the Internet was down! I didn’t really understand what that means nor did I really care but, she told me that there are computers’ doctors called “nerds” and she’ll call one to the rescue. George, I know from your letters that Celia has a lot of trouble with her computer which is always sick and in the hospital. But, if my computer is healthy why the Internet will be down? What is the Internet?
Mommy is trying to convince me that internet is like living a virtual life and that my real life is “here and now” with them, down on earth and in the kitchen. But, I don’t agree!
When my humans are coming home late and my brother Beau is hunting far away from home if I don’t have the internet I feel lonely, abandoned and disconnected. My real life is in the cyberspace, of course within the feline community. My humans tell me I’m addicted! Addicted to what? George, what is a good “escape plan” in case of Internet failure? I need a survival kit! Please advise.
You may have panicked, Paco, but that is nothing compared with human panic. I have seen Celia, with head on hands shoulders heaving or in a fury swearing at the computer. And once I saw Ronnie actually punch the computer. When humans lose it, they lose it.
The internet is quite simply a device to spread cat pictures, videos and information across the world. Cat blogs, cat jokes, cat photos and cat videos take up most of the space, even putting porn into second place! (And with extraordinary sexual carrying ons of humans, that really is saying something.)
Cats rule in cyberspace. The Google Artificial Mind, 16,000 computer processors in a neural network, constructed a ghostly abstract model of a cat as its first project in artificial thinking. What else would it do?
|The Google Artificial Mind|
When the internet is down humans suffer from cat withdrawal symptoms, a serious human disorder. So no wonder you panicked - your concern was for your human.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
I am addressing you formally, as I have been brought up to do, because we have not been introduced. I permit my staff to refer to me as “Dora” although my correct name is “Sunantre Stars and Stripes.” I refer to my appearance, not my country of origin. I am classified as Tonkinese, but have Burmillah ancestry and the stripes on my face, legs and tail line up beautifully when I curl up to sleep. Moreover, I am the daughter of no less than Champion Angisan Excalibur Knight and Kyetsi Katwalkkween.
You might suppose with such illustrious parents that my present staff would show me some respect. But they seem willing to deprive themselves of my patronage on a fairly regular basis. They bundle me into a plastic box when I least expect it, and put me in prison with a whole lot of other cats of very questionable pedigree. A week of cheap litter and meals served at inconvenient times is hard on my sensitive nerves.
Dear Mr.George, what can I possibly have done to deserve such treatment? I am gentleness itself (see picture) and diligent in my duties. My head of staff has a beard like a lavatory-brush, which I wash thoroughly without complaint every morning and evening. His deputy will not accept my supervision of the cuisine, and rejects all my attempts to assist her with sewing and knitting.
Please reply before I seriously consider some of the other applications I have received.
Yours in expectation,
Yours is a common complaint at this time of year and indeed my own troubles with the blog - photo not being put on last Saturday - was the result of much the same human behaviour. They go missing. They literally leave home. They call it "taking a holiday." This complete dereliction of duty occurs mainly in the summer months, though some humans leave home at Christmas too.
While human training will remedy several human behaviour problems, training is not the answer here. Instead, it is necessary to induce emotional dependance in your human. A human with the correct attitude to a cat is not so much a servant as a devoted slave with a servile attitude of wishing to please. Humans who have this attitude - sadly it is not very common - refuse to leave home on "holidays" knowing that it will upset their cat.
The normal human, having decided to leave home, then books us into catteries. While they are feasting on foreign food, we have to dine, as you say, on cheap meals in restricted surroundings. For them a holiday means a nice hotel and good meals: for us it means solitary confinement in a kind of prison.
You do not deserve this. No cat deserves this. But good staff are hard to find. I am considering starting a campaign, Cats Against Catteries. Our distress is in proportion to their holiday enjoyment. The thought makes me want to scratch.
PS. I note that you wash the beard of your head of staff. Isn't sad how they don't seem to be able to use their tongues to wash themselves.
Saturday, May 03, 2014
Did you ever hear about Astrocats?
I'm asking you because I'm thinking if I should consider the possibility (as you can see in the picture).
In the sixties, when dogs were being sent into space, cats had the good sense to avoid the trip.
In 1963, for example, when the French government had numerous cats undergoing intensive training for possible space flight, 10 of the would-be astrocats were “decommissioned” for eating too much! Even Felix, a Parisian street cat chosen to undertake the first mission, managed to escape at the last minute.
On October 18, 1963, his replacement, a female cat named Félicette, blasted off on a 100-mile flight lasting less than 15 minutes and was recovered, safe, but probably mad as hell.
So, George what do you think? Should cats take over the cyberspace?
Dear CAT Victoria,
Yes, of course, we should. Cyberspace is different from real space out there. Real space has killed score of animals - monkeys, mice, dogs (remember Laika the first dog in space), guinea pigs and even fruit flies. All sent off in a rocket to their deaths, because humans were happy to sacrifice them for their own safety in space.
Cyberspace is different. Just look at Youtube for videos of cats or I can haz cheezburgher. We have practically taken them over. We are even more popular the Hitler parodies - and that's saying something. Not forgetting the website Cats that look like Hitler or blogs about cats like Jan's Funny Farm or blogs written by cats like Harry Spotter. Harry is so exclusive that you have to ask to be permitted to read his blog, though he did once write a letter to me! Also worth looking at the Cat Blogosphere linkies where many bloggers like me leave their pawmarks. Cats like Mabel the Stroud cat are also taking over Facebook.
So onward and upward Victoria. Forget about space travel. That's yesterdays story. Let's just take over the internet completely.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
I have two human pets, both female, one middle aged and one young and still a bit kittenish. She's the problem. She's got a cat games addiction. All she does is dress and care for online comic cutie cats. Once she used to play with me using bits of string and also brush me gently. Now she is always looking at a rectangular device which plays these cat games with moving pictures (very poor ones in my opinion though she likes them) of felines. I can't get her to stop playing with this and go back to playing with me. I have tried sitting on the tablet or just interfering with it but she brushes me off.
Yours in despair
This is games addiction when the human stops concentrating on us (the proper way for a human pet to behave) and starts getting obsessed with something on a tablet or a computer (the square screen stuff). Mine had a very bad period when all she would do is play Hitler parodies and scream with ridiculous laughter. I blame the soft website catsthatlooklikehitler for starting her down the path that led to hard Hitler parodies. My human has admitted her problem and is now in recovery, thank goodness,
Your human has a similar addiction and what is needed is tough love. Most cats respond to this problem by trying to stop the play. They will interpose their body between the human gaze and the screen, tap the keyboard (if there is one) with a purr, lie on the keyboard, or just pester the human at leg height. These tactics will result in pleasurable petting by the non-addicted human but are useless with addicts.
You must look after your own interests, Pinkle. Withdraw all attention and love while this young human is indulging her addiction. Give her the silent body language treatment. Sit with your back to her, with a lofty look of disdainful non-interest. Go out and get mousing. Or just find something else to do.
This is a human problem. You did not cause it, cannot control it and cannot cure it. Once you accept this you can get on with your own life. Remember you don't need humans: they need you though they may not realise this.
Saturday, December 01, 2012
I have no difficulty in believing that your human is suffering from brush addiction, a example of codependancy in which she needs to brush you more than you need to be brushed. The act of brushing will satisfy her caretaking needs and (more healthily) give her the pleasure of seeing your pleasure. By pretending it is you who are addicted to brushing, she does not have to examine her own need to be needed.
Women who love cats too much are common in our society. Personally, I do not bother to put in place a behaviour modification programme for them, unless the welfare of their feline owners is suffering. For example, women who dress up cats, put them in prams to take for a walk, or collect a house full of cats, are showing pathological altruism. Do they need help? Yes, but normally projection and denial will mean they are not willing to change. Thus help must be focussed on the suffering cats.
Your human does not fall into this category, fortunately. The human need to be needed by their cat can be quite pleasurable for the cat - better quality food, more of it, new cat beds appearing regularly, human body warmth in the bed during cold nights.
Just let her keep brushing. If you get fed up with it, just rise to your feet and sit looking dignified. If need be get high up. But usually a dignified sneer will put a stop to what has become human harassment.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
The next door neighbour acquired a Siamese kitten and called him Fiel which means faithful which he isn't. This Fiel sat on the roof opposite and screamed, but Siamese do that. Eventually he found his way up the wisteria and came to the terrace and he hasn't really left since then. My staff were feeding the yellow cat out of kindness when they saw that I liked him, even though he only barks or hisses when they bring him food, and they went on feeding him and this Fiel. Now Fiel may be Siamese and Siamese are supposed to like human beings but Fiel just runs away or bounces off the walls or hisses like the yellow cat taught him. He won't leave the yellow cat and the yellow cat won't leave him and now they've moved into the cat house the staff made for the yellow cat and the old cat uses the young cat as a kind of draught excluder - at least I think that's what is going on. I sometimes have to rough up Fiel a bit when he gets in the way, because they're living between the terrace and my catdoor. At least neither one of them knows how to use the catdoor although they've been watching it for ages.
The staff are very clear that I am the owner of this house, the star and the beauty, but they put up with these two on the terrace who are not always respectful and I wonder how it will all end. What should I do and what should they do and how will it end? I know you know, but please tell me...
Your humans are obviously very cat friendly but in that lies the danger. When will it stop? First the yellow cat, now Fiel (why isn't his humans feeding him?). Goodness knows what will happen next. More starving strays? Then kittens. They will have to call in SNIP, the Society for Neutering Islington's Pussies.
My advice to you is to start being more vigilant. Humans often slip into cat addiction and it may just be that your humans are in danger of this. Moderate recreational feeding of cats is one thing: cat addiction is another. It is an illness which can lead to the horror of 25 cats in the house.
Make your position clear, Arabella. And, should more cats turn up, co-operate with the yellow cat and Fiel to see them off. Enough's enough.
PS. I am none too keen on Siamese. Miss Ruby Fou, who wrote me a letter made it clear she thought I was just an alley cat. Very nose-in-air,I thought.
Friday, May 13, 2011
For the past few weeks, our human has been chattering away about how much fun she's been having on The Cat's Whiskas Facebook page. She shows us all the lovely photos and stories shared by other humans about their clever cats. And recently we've caught her meowing at her computer on more than one occasion!
We were originally concerned because she usually saves her meows for communicating with us, bless. But she explained that she's actually recording her meows for our benefit! The Cat's Whiskas are campaigning to have cats officially listed on Facebook profiles. Did you know that even though our human shares every other part of her life with us, she still can't list us as part of her family on her profile? Indeed, that is just not good enough.
And so we write to tell you about the campaign, and to invite you and all of your readers to encourage their humans to join The Cat's Whiskas page and record meows for cat equality!
Strength in numbers,
Bonnie & Buttons
The Cat's Whiskas
Dear Bonnie and Buttons,
I know you work for Whiskas, so I need to say that your letter has gone on this blog because I think it is fun to make Facebook into a more catty zone. Why not? My secretary, Celia, already runs a Cats Behaving Badly page (http://www.facebook.com/CatsBehavingBadly ) of which I disapprove heartily as it is a space for humans to post funny photos of cats. I would like a page where I could post funny photos of humans. Here's what I find funny about humans - their odd way of washing with water not saliva, their inability to move their whiskers (if they have any at all), the way the males lose their hair on their head, their nakedness - skin without fur, etc etc.
Of course, there are areas like the cat blogosphere which is devoted to cats who blog. But a feline Facebook membership would be another area where we could express our feelings about the idiotic species, Homo sapiens (I don’t think), which we keep as pets. There’s too much on the web from a human point of view. Lets get our felinity out there as a corrective to anthrocentric thinking (ie: human-centred thinking).
Think Cat, say I. So, Bonnie and Buttons, get typing. Make your secretary work for you. We could also use your page as a place to post photos of cats that need homes – there are plenty of those in my area (http://www.westoxfordshirecats.org.uk).
Purrs and rubs
Friday, October 15, 2010
I am on the brink of becoming a human trainer and I am eventually aiming to become a human behaviour counsellor like you with a B Sc in applied human behaviour. But learning about this species and putting the information into effect is a very steep learning curve for a cat who started life in a three-walled shed with an upturned dustbin full of straw as a home. The next 18 months in West Oxon Cats Protection gave me proper health care and regular meals, but I became disillusioned with the humans who came and stared at me, and my pen mate, Mini. I simply didn't want to adopt any of them. All of them preferred Mini and they would make wounding remarks about my dark fur and ugly looks as if I couldn't understand what they were saying.
Eventually I got so desperate that I settled on your secretary, Celia. I took over the two spare bedrooms and just lived under one of the beds for two months, emerging to use the litter tray in the other bedroom, and sometimes exploring the house at night. I didn't much care for Celia until by sheer chance I discovered I could train her to tickle my tummy. I have trained her to do this for half an hour at a time. But the woman wants to pick me up? How can I stop her doing this?
Miss Tilly Purr.
A strong wriggle usually deals with the picking up obsession - an obsession shared by many humans. You have to understand - as your further education in human behaviour will help - that this species is desperate for our love. They are naked, awkward, and cat dependant. They seek the high of a cat cuddle and will go to any lengths to get it. These are human cat addicts. They can't help it. They are people who love cats too much.
If a wriggle doesn't work, try an Miaow rebuke. If that is not enough to deter her, scratch. If further measures are needed, bite. If the human holds you high up, go for the nose. It is an exquisitely sensitive organ (though hopeless for smelling) and a sharp nip there will really hurt.
Personally I am out of all patience with my secretary. She got above herself and has been writing a book about cats. That is my job. I am the writer in the relationship but I fear her envious nature has prompted her to try to ruin my literary career. Worse still, I have only completed two chapters of my book while hers is now in the book shops.
She has stolen my title. The working title was Humans Behaving Badly. Heaven knows, they do. Now I shall have to think of something else. I am considering stealing her thunder by using a picture of a naked human splayed across the floor in the same way as the kitten is on her book.
All in all I am in a very bad mood with her. I suggest you use strong measures and perhaps together we can put her in her place. Let's miaow, scratch, bite, and sneer as much as possible.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
My human is obsessed with this thing she calls a camera; I know I'm very cute, but I only have to roll over or play with something and she gets out this great black thing and clicks away. But it's not just me she clicks at, I've seen so many cat faces on her computer screen that it makes me worried that she is going to get a lot more cats to crowd out the house! (At the moment it's just me and my bigger brother, and we rub along OK, mostly.) I've heard her say that the pictures of cats are for something called a 'website', which belongs to some nice people who try to find homes for poor lonely cats, (www.prestoncpl.com <http://www.prestoncpl.com> ) but I know she gets very interested in some of them, and would like to bring them home. I don't want to share my human with any more cats - I sometimes have to push my brother off the bed when he's taken my place beside her! (It's really easy, I just wash his head hard till he gets fed up and goes away to sleep somewhere else.) Luckily the other human is dead against any more cats, so I think we are safe, at least for now, but it's quite worrying.
Humans are obsessive by nature. My own is just as bad. She's got completely overcome by the desire to photograph cats, so much so that she puts the brakes on, judders to a halt, just to photograph any cat at all. And if she has to continue driving, she literally moans with frustration about the photos she didn't get - the cat on the roof, the cat raiding somebody's goldfish pond and so forth.
Obviously she photographs me - though she says the black makes it a bit difficult. I say not at all. Black is the most beautiful of all colours. I am adding a couple of black cats, myself included, just to make the point. I rather like the shaft of sunlight hitting me, as I play with a dead mouse - like one does.
It's not just taking our photos, is it? I think Celia shows signs of cat addiction. She spends a lot of time thinking about cats, obsessing about cats, planning her next cat, worrying about whether she has enough cats, and the only reason why she hasn't got hundreds of us, is that William and I would object strongly. In her heart of hearts she knows that our welfare must come before her disordered desires for too many felines. Her local branch of cat rescue is www.westoxoncats.co.uk There are usually a few black ones on the website because for some reason, although black cats are thought lucky in the UK, they are harder to home. People seem to think tabbies are prettier - how wrong they are.
It's quite amusing to tease human photographers. Put on a nice pose. Wait for them to run for their camera. Then just the instant they get it out and begin to focus it, drop the pose. A tease variation on this is just to walk towards the camera and rub on it. That frustrates any hope of a good photo. And it is fun to tease humans. They are so simple minded.
PS. Please sign this petition against the cruel practice of pulling out cats' claws. Cats need their claws just as much as humans need their fingernails. If not more. Click here -http://www.petitionthem.com/default.asp?sect=detail&pet=4312
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Cat hoarders are definitely cat addicts. But what the 'normal" cat carer like Celia. Is she an addict? Ronnie claims she is. He even wrote a book titled One Hundred Ways to Live with a Cat Addict. He claims she is obsessed with me and William and neglects him to care for us. He is particularly upset by the way she often leaves the marital bed half way through the night to come and sleep in my bed in the spare room. (I enjoy the compliment but I wish she wouldn't take up so much room.)
He claims she shows all the threefold signs of addiction - a mental obsession with cats (writing this blog for instance), an emotional attachment which means she hates leaving us for the day (like today when she is going to London), and a physical need to be cuddled by us (William really doesn't like this side of her).
I feel that her reactions are entirely proper and normal. She puts our welfare first as a good human servant should. She defers to us. She shops for the food we prefer. She looks after our simple physical needs. Cleans up the litter tray twice a day (important), grooms us daily (particularly William who is long haired), treats us regularly for fleas, treats us regularly for worms (we are both hunters), and vaccinates us each year. It's the least she should do. These are the duties of a human pet. I consider this nothing but our due.
OK so she thinks of us almost every five minutes. She fusses when I stay out late hunting. She gets anxious if she doesn't know where we are. She wants to cuddle us more than we want to cuddle her. There may be some dependancy in that but so what? Isn't that natural from an inferior species? This isn't and never could be an equal relationship.
It is not cat addiction. It is the proper behaviour between inferior human and superior cat.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
After William told me he thought I had a catnip problem and suggested Catnip Anonymous, I really gave it some thought. I looked at my catnip use and decided that, although I enjoyed the occasional binge, I was just a recreational user. I mean, I am young and healthy, and if I want to get legless with catnip why not? Where's the problem with that. I enjoy a sniff. Or two. Or even several. Lots of cats do. Doing catnip doesn't necessarily mean you are an addict.
But addiction doesn't have to be about substance use. There are behavioural addictions - human, of course. Some humans seem to be addicted to cat abuse. They shout and scream and throw things at us, when we are relieving ourselves on a nice bit of freshly dug earth in their gardens.
Others are codependant about cats. They can't get enough of them. They became cat hoarders with 70 cats in the house. William came from just such a household. There was a whole basket of kittens, and 60 adult cats. They were sitting on the sofa, under the sofa, on every window sill and ledge, every chair and table. Everywhere you looked there were cats.
William says it was awful. The cats couldn't get away from each other. As every cat knows, we like to keep a proper distance between ourselves. Friendly cats may snuggle up together, but most cats space themselves out - like these two cats on a housing estate in Nailsworth. (Celia is always photographing cats and she was just driving past these two and noticed their spacing - friendly but not too friendly.) Keeping a proper distance is how we deal with too much company. Being close is nice for humans but stressful for us. We can behave in a sociable way but we are not pack animals like dogs. We hunt alone.
Cat hoarders say they love cats but they make life very very difficult for us. Often they run out of money and so the cats in their care (if you can call it that) are disease ridden. William had fleas, lice, earmites and infectious giardia when Celia took him home. It cost her £800 just to restore him to health.
Cat hoarders are in denial. It's not love. It's cat addiction.