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Showing posts with label elderly cat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elderly cat. Show all posts

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 21, 2017

A second chance for a special needs cat.

Dear George, 
My story is very sad but perfectly illustrates that kindness and generosity really have no borders! I came a long, long way! I was rescued in Iran when I was about 6 months old as a paraplegic kitten. My spine was broken and I was abandoned on the streets. I was rescued by a Vafa Rescue group and I made it to America. I now live at “Home for Life” shelter. There is a small group of talented people who come and paint us. The shelter then creates a catalogue which people can buy. This year it’s a catalogue with dogs but the shelter planned to take me to a tour to educate humans about animals with special needs and prove that even cats like me can live a happy life. I’m sending you one of my photos at the shelter and one painting of me. You can read more about me at this link:

Love to all

Dear Apricot,
You are not the first paraplegic cat I have met. I met Thomas, an elderly black and white cat, who was incontinent after a car accident and was handed into Cats Protection. He found an private adult care home - though it took a long time. Two very special human carers were needed.
He didn't wear a nappy. His owners learned how to manually express his urine twice a day (the vet showed them how) and he lived in a kitchen with a laminate floor and a catflap to the garden. Yes, they had to keep the tiles clean with bacterial wipes and, yes, they put out clean bedding out for him each day. They used the sort of bedding where liquid soaks through, so that it doesn't stay in contact with the skin.
Thomas lived happily for another few years before dying of old age. Here is his photo on the right. There are some lovely human beings around who make very good carers.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dear George,
At the respectable age of 17, I should not be pushed into learning new tricks or languages and I hope you’ll agree with me. I think I deserve all the respect on earth as I deserve complete obedience from everyone. The reason I’m telling you this is that I need your help. My problems started after my human pets took off to have fun in Italy and left me with a couple of cat-sitters that don’t speak either Italian or English. I mean….they speak both languages but broken. Now, George you tell me “how can I convey my message to them”? Sign language? Meow
language? I tried it all with no success. They stare at me in amazement and all I’m trying to tell them is “I want to go out on the front lawn. I want to take a nap on my chair on the porch”! Damn it! They just don’t get it!
In a way I pity them since they try to make up for the language barrier with extra food and rubbing, brushing and petting.  Between them, they speak a strange language I never heard. But, the other day I caught them reading my “Cat Ten Commandments” that I hung on my bedroom door. They seemed rather amused and this was very up-setting.
I’m not sure if they’re just pretending to not understand my commands. They spend lots of time with me in the backyard (as you can see in the photos) but I’m confined to scratch the trees in the backyard and not the trees I like on the front lawn.
What do you think? What should I do besides punishing my human pets once they come back?
Yours and very up-set

Dear Graf,
As you say, you will be punishing your humans when they return. It's routine, really. Just giving them the silent treatment, the looks of lofty disdain, the back turned towards them, the refusal to notice them, and so forth. We all do it. But, as you say, is it enough for this particular situation?
Here you have two humans who cannot communicate. But they do give you extra food, and brushing and petting. If you think of them as silent slaves, rather than sentient servants, you may feel a kind of pity for them. Besides, if you do punish them too much you might not get the extra rations. So I would treat them with the kindness that should be shown by an aristocat to the inferior and dumb humans. Noblesse oblige, Graf.
If your pets are going to come back while the two dumb substitutes are still in the house, you can hurt them further by sucking up to the dumb ones. Ignore the returning humans. Wind round the other humans' legs, lie on their laps, lick them, purr loudly and totally ignore your usual pets. This clear message - that you prefer the new staff to the old servants -- will make subsequent punishment routines all the more hurtful.
It will also keep them on their toes. I have added the cat ten commandments below my signature. In my opinion, they don't go far enough.

1. Acknowledge that I am Cat - no other is above Me. Not even you.
2. Anyone who says I am "just a cat" is not worthy of your time and attention.
3. My affection is mine to dole out, it cannot be forced. Don't try.
4. When people visit, remember I have teeth and will defend myself if necessary. If I flee, do not reveal my choice hiding spots.
5. The fur I shed is my gift to you, so I am with you wherever you go. It is not my fault when you choose garments that do not match my fur color.
6. Did you know my sense of smell is 12 times better than yours? So as much as you hate a smelly litter box, it bothers me 12 times as much! Please help keep it clean, and we'll both be happier.
7. I have a mind of my own. Please do not be upset if I like the packaging better than the expensive toy you just bought me, or the bag your brought it home in. Just be grateful I like something.
8. Pay attention. I am not going to be able to tell you if I am not feeling well, and besides, I don't like showing weakness. I am a cat, the top of the food chain and social order. But if you notice a big change in my behavior, that may mean a trip to the vets is in order.
9. If you leave it on a counter, it's fair game. Ditto that small trash can. If you treasure that pen, or piece of paper or or knicknack - hide it away. After all, I keep my best toys hidden, you should, too. But the spot under the refrigerator is mine, find your own spot.
10. Please have me spayed or neutered. Remember how hard it was being a hormonal teenager? How'd you like to have to live through that several times a year? I don't want to, and believe me, I will let you know!


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Difficulties with household staff - litter tray training

Dear George,
You know my humans, Merrie and Robin so I am writing to you for advice.  With the very cold winter they provided me with an indoor lavatory in the garage and at night moved it into the kitchen as I sleep in the breakfast room. They won't allow me on their bed any more as they say I fidget and wake them up.  When it got warmer and I was able to come and go more easily and visit my house next door without being carried because it was cold, snowy or wet, they had the cheek to remove the tray at night from the kitchen.  They thought as I was peeing in the garden again, Robin didn't want the bother of carting the tray from the garage into the kitchen.  Naturally I piddle in one corner when I wake up in the night or morning.  Why should I go out through the cat flap in the early morning when I am nearly nineteen years?  The staff have no consideration. They are putting disinfectant down  but I am continuing. 
Yours in disgust at human failings,

Dear Lily,
We all have problems with staff. Incompetence and lack of intelligence are common human failings. There are so many human idiocies here, that I hardly know where to start.
First, the litter tray.You are an elderly cat and like other oldies (human as well as feline) you need to be able to get to the loo in time.  You should not have to struggle out in the frost in winter and the rain in the so-called British summer. So, you need a loo indoors in the warm - not too close to the food bowl. Do they have a utility room or  downstairs human lavatory that would be suitable?
Secondly... the disinfectant. Your staff are obviously totally untrained in proper cleaning. I love the smell of disinfectant and I expect you do too. Stupid humans who are smell blind think disinfectant smells of lemon or some other scent. We know that it smells of cat pee. So naturally, we pee on top of it. "Cleaning" cat pee with disinfectant is like putting up a notice "Pee here" for us cats. Tell your human to contact Celia's website on how to clean up.
In general, Lily, I wonder if your humans need more training. Human intelligence is severely limited and household staff really can't cope unless they are properly trained. Put more effort into this. 
Yours George
PS. Reclaim your bed. If you fidget, they can always sleep downstairs on the sofa or in the spare room. What is the world coming to when humans think they can take over our beds.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Caring for your elderly human

Dear George,
As you know, George, I am a house rabbit living with two elderly humans. There's a lot of talk about living with an elderly rabbit but what about advice for bunnies about living with elderly humans? Every evening we play together and have cuddles on the floor. The last time she creaked her way down, she kissed and fluffed my rear bumper mistaking it for my head and ears. She soon realised what she had done and apologised but it was a bit of a surprise at the time. What if her eyes get worse and she doesn't see me near her feet and squashes me? I'll have to be more wary in the future because when I flop out both ends look pretty well the same. So they say. I'm going to doze now, put on my disapproving look  and worry about it.
Yours with some anxiety
PS. This is a worry I did not put into my autobiography (buy it here). I didn't want her to read it.

Dear Harvey,
Elderly humans are a worry. There's no doubt about it. They require much more care than younger humans. You can't sit on their face, for instance, when having a nap - they might stop breathing altogether. Sometimes they can't even bend down to give one a proper pet.
Obviously your Janet is quite healthy for her age since she can get down to the floor.  Some older ones can't do that at all. Of course, she does show her age when leavering herself slowly back up again: that that's to be expected.
Specsavers. That's what she needs if she can't tell the difference between your rear end and the front with the head and ears. Her eyesight is obviously going wrong. That's another failing in elderly humans. That and arthritis.
And, of course, some of them lose it altogether. At the best of times humans have limited cognitive powers. Some of the older ones can't think at all. You have to step pretty smartly to make sure they don't fall over you but, if you are lucky, they will forget they have fed you and give you a second meal within a few moments.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cats on the terrace of my home..where will it end?

Dear George:
 Ever since I came to this house -- in a pigfood bag, but I'm not complaining, not for the moment, although I'm not forgetting -- I've quite liked it here. For a while there was a much older cat and he was kind but he wouldn't wrestle. Then he was blind, and then after a year he wasn't here any more. So when this old yellow cat arrived, bits of fur missing, one ear not really attached, I thought he would be a new friend and for a while he was. We used to butt heads and lie in the sun together. But it couldn't last...
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 admirer,


Dear Arabella,
It is thoughtless of your staff not to buy you a microchip-activated cat flap which will ensure you can come and go but neither of the other two are able. If they can't buy one in Portugal, where you live, tell them that they can get one sent from the UK - Sureflap (which works off a battery) or Pet Porte (plugged into the mains) are the brands to go for. My secretary will post one for them if there are any problems with delivery. A gal like you, photographed for Vogue I am told in this photo, needs her own safe front door. 
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.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Be my Valentine and thank you all, guys.

Dear George,

I think I am a bit more spiritual and romantic lately. Why I think so? Well, you know that I’ve always prided my self for being “the cool, intellectual” cat; writing, reading and researching. But, since my recent “trial” I changed and I would like to take this opportunity to thank a few and show my gratitude!

First and foremost, I want to thank God!

Then, I want to thank Amanda, my lovely guardian angel, for giving my spine and tail’s first sign of life back. You, moggies in UK are lucky to have Amanda there. She is the Head of Health Kinesiology UK, an excellent practitioner and teacher. She can be reached by phone at 07938 851750 or by email at or via her website at: – she‘s listed under Amanda Brooks. She can do wonders for both us and our human pets .

I also want to thank Dr. Cindy Kneebone and her staff at the East York Animal Clinic, a holistic pet care clinic in Toronto ( for the excellent care I’ve received. Dr. Kneebone is a surgeon with a kind heart who combines traditional western medicine with alternative medicine. She gave me acupuncture, chiropractic and laser treatments along with homeopathic remedies, supplements and vitamins.

I want to thank you George and Celia for your friendship and love. I want to thank Harvey, my Brit bunny friend, Oliver, Garry and their ape for the love they sent my way.

Last, but not least, I thank my sister and my human parents for their unconditional love, support, massages and kisses

The waves of love sent my way were amazing and made me understand the miracles of prayers and the power of love.

I feel that you all can be my Valentine! Happy Valentine’s Day!



Dear Cayenne,
I have always known there is a God. Sometimes, if I am having a particularly wonderful day in the fields surrounding my home, I can almost hear the faint sound of a purring Higher Feline Power. At the side of my sight, just out of my focus, I have sometimes seen, or thought I have seen, an angelic whisker quivering with joy. Once I thought I saw, for a second or two, a vision of two bright golden eyes - huge, far bigger than my eyes, blazing with love.

These are the moments that give me that feeling of deepest serenity, that somehow, somewhere, it all has meaning. That despite the feral kittens dying of cat flu, the elderly cats chucked out into the street to die because their owners won't pay the vet bills, or just the pain we all feel when we are ill, that in the end all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well. I just go back to my life after these experiences and go on living it ... as indeed I should.

Dr Kneebone has done you proud. I can see from the way you are tucked into that basket that you are feeling much better. However, don't get too soft about vets. They may have their uses, but we don't want to admit to that. I had a dream last night that my vet was brought into my kitchen in a very large cat carrier. She crawled out of it and lay on the kitchen table. I kneaded her from head to toe with all my claws out and she just lay there quivering with fear.

It was the best dream I have had in ages.

Love George

Friday, June 01, 2007

Cat flaps - not as simple as you might think

Cat flaps are a boon to the active cat. I can come and go as and when I choose during the day time. Sometimes I pop in and out several times in an hour. Other times when I am on a long range hunting mission I may only use it to go out and come back after three hours for my midday nap on my bed. (With a bit of luck Celia is not on it - she takes up an awful amount of room and seems to think it is her bed.)
Rushing in and out sometimes makes a bit of play time for me. I like the rattle of the flap as I smash through it. Some days I proceed very cautiously first poking a paw to see if it is open, then pushing through with my head. When you think of it, using a cat flap is quite a clever thing to do. Because I have used one since I was a kitten I took to it quick and easily.
William didn't have a cat flap until he was 11 years old. Celia taught him by putting on a wooden clothes peg to hold it open. The nearer the peg to the hinge, the more open the flap. Then when he had gone through, she had to put the peg on the other side. It all meant a lot of human intervention and it took about three months before he really really got it. Even so, he prefers to be let in and out by the door. This is partly because the catflap is quite high off the ground outside. It has to be because the kitchen floor is higher than the outside. Celia tried to help him by putting in a sort of movable step but he hated that and just leaped over it. For an elderly gentleman cat this was rather a strain. Getting a human to open the door on command is an elderly cat thing.
The great thing about a cat flap is the choice it gives me. I can choose when to use it.

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