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Showing posts with label fur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fur. Show all posts

Friday, January 01, 2021

It's a fur fur better thing.....


Shedding. It's what I and other cats do. Some of us, living in centrally heated homes, shed a little at a time. Those of us living outside shed in the spring, getting rid of spare hair ready for the hot weather. 

My friend, Toby, however, decided to do a big full-on shed just after Christmas. As you can see he has sort of wispy hair which is described as "semi-long hair." Just before the coldest time in the UK, the first and second week in January, he shed much of his coat - photographed here.

He's trained his human to brush him daily, when he lies down and exposes his tummy for the flea comb. In the course of these four post Christmas days, this is what she combed out. Had she been more conscientious (humans always try to avoid work) she might have combed out even more.

I asked him why? He said that he was trying to regain the natural life of his ancestors, Felis silvestris catus, when they first moved in with humans living in the Middle East.  January, he explained, is quite warm in Baghdad, the so called Fertile Crescent when during the first Neolithic settlements cats domesticated humans.

He added that he wanted to test his human's combing ability, which he admitted was not bad...

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Naked humans and compassionate cats

Naked humans are often shy in front of us, a survey revealed last week. Naked and ashamed of their lack of fur presumably. Poor hairless humans. I pity them.

Imagine having to cover up your body with clothing, because the only bits of fur you have are on the head, the chin, the armpits and the groin. The wrong places and the wrong type of hair to keep yourself warm. That is the human dilemma.

Many cats out of kindness move off the bed when their human is about to strip off and go to somewhere private like the linen cupboard. We cats know that staring is upsetting for us: and presumably it upsets naked humans too. The other alternative is to close your eyes and drift off into a deep sleep at these human strip tease moments.

Be compassionate. Don't shame your human. Do not stare at that fur-less human skin.  At moments like this many humans suffer from feelings of inferiority to felines.  Fur envy, I call it.




  •  For further insights in the cat-human relationship read my book here.


Saturday, June 13, 2020

Humans are getting hairier... and worse dressed

Jasmine has kept her fur beautifully groomed.
Are humans losing it? They seem to be getting hairier! Or is it just that they cannot groom themselves?
Look around at the humans you know, the ones that are now staying indoors most of the time. The fur on their head is growing longer and seems to be changing colour too - grey and brown instead of blonde.
The men are trying to grow whiskers. Poor things can only manage stubby facial fur not proper long and beautiful whiskers.
Compare this to your own fur -- still delightfully untangled, unchanged in colour, beautifully and sensitively styled and groomed. By you. Strong and sensitive whiskers, each tapered at the end for extra finesse.
And their clothes, that they cover their bodies with because they can't grow proper fur, seem to be changing too. Many of them are staying in dressing gowns or pyjamas or night clothes all day.
I have tried to set a good example by rigorous and stylish grooming all over my body. Not forgetting those tricky bits on the belly and lower down.
Humans seem to be losing what little self respect they once had, and becoming unable to care for themselves.
What can we cats do about this?

  • For more on managing your human get my book here.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

The blessing of a cat

Humans occasionally show their gratitude. This week, my human finally wrote something which I can fully appreciate, even if I longed to get my paws on it and change some of the sentiments... 

My book not hers.

May you be blessed with a cat...

May you be blessed with a cat,
A starving stray from the street
Or a scruffy kitten from a shelter,
Who hides under the bed
For the first few days

May you be blessed with cat fur
On the new carpet,
On your best clothes,
On your bed and
In little balls in the washing machine

May you be blessed with scratches,
Happy scratches on the sofa,
Exploring scratches on wallpaper,
Greeting scratches on the door mat,
And sometimes even on the scratch post.

May you be blessed with a warm body
Close to you on the sofa,
On your lap while watching TV,
Spread out on the bed asleep
Or even snuggled under the duvet.

May you be blessed with purring.
Loud purring requesting food,
Happy purring when stroked in the right places.
Gentle purring during the night,
While both of you sink into sleep.

May you be blessed with that look,
The urgent look requesting food,
The look that says: “Play please,”
The look of loving contempt
That says “You are not my superior.”

You may not know if you own or are owned
But this love too is stronger than death.
                        c.. Celia Haddon

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Of whiskers and humans...

Dear George,
I need your help to understand humans and their true nature and behavior better. 
You see, my mommy is a medical doctor but not a behavioural specialist and she couldn’t answer my question! She’s specialized in something very difficult to pronounce so I won’t even bother.
Anyway, sometimes she takes me to her office. She created a room for me there, kind of a nursery. I can stay in there and watch people through a glass door – very funny! Last week we had to take the subway twice to the office since she took her car for a tune-up and, no, we couldn’t get a taxi which was very frustrating!  
I found the whole experience very interesting and amusing! Amusing to observe humans when they don’t realized that I was a hidden camera! At times was really hard not to laugh out loud! What I came to realize was that people try really hard to copy us – yes, like in the copycat song released last year by Billie Eilish: “Copycat trying to cop my manner….Copycat trying to cop my glamour”.
George, humans are trying to grow whiskers! Mostly the men! I’ve seen few elderly ladies trying really hard though! The younger ladies are more focus on eyelashes! Guess they can’t grow anything compare to ours so they using fake ones! So, so funny! But, my question is: why are humans trying so hard to imitate us? What is all this about?
Yours …in disguise  

Dear Angelica
At last humans are beginning to see that our beauty and our lifestyle are well worth imitating. Their rather pathetic attempts at growing whiskers are a good example. Yes, the males manage a lot of hair round the lower half of their heads and (like our whiskers) the hairs are stronger than their normal head fur. But....
The whiskers don't work like ours. They don't work at all. We can move our whiskers backwards and forwards. We can detect surfaces (rough or smooth) with them. And when we swing them forward, if we have a mouse in our jaws, we can tell if the prey is struggling or limp. It's our sixth sense, almost. Watch them here.
Human whiskers can do none of these things.
Poor idiots. They do try, you know. I have written a manual entitled 100 Ways to be More like Your Cat, to help them. Anonymously, of course. It seemed to unkind to mention whiskers, so I concentrated on other lifestyle advice!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Hair care by humans - no shaving, purlease!

Dear George, 
The question is: can you shave a cat? Unfortunately the answer is: Yes, you can shave a cat! Why? If you ask me….simply because humans are obsessed with shaving their hair! I’ve seen my human dad shaving the hair on his face including his whiskers! No wonder he lost his sense of smell and orientation; I can see him at night bumping into walls and doors trying to get to that last slice of cake! 
I’ve seen my human mummy shaving her legs! Disgusting! Her legs looks like chicken legs especially when she wears a skirt! Phew! I know there are situations when a doctor will shave a cat for medical reasons but why do humans think it is cool to make us look like fake lions and puddles? 
Right now I’m fuming as I’ve got an “all over make-up” meaning….being shaved to avoid “matted fur”. Isn’t that stupid? There must be another solution for matted fur! George, please enlighten my stupid humans before it is too late (I mean next summer)!
Yours….almost hairless,

Dear Mouse,
Follically challenged humans are hung up on hair. Theirs. Ours. Have you noticed that not only do the male shave off their whiskers, but the females, who have very few if any whiskers, nevertheless pull out the pathetic ones that do grow. They even reduce the whiskers above their eyes. And now the males are beginning to shave their chests.
I send deepest sympathies to you, about your human pets' behaviour. The obsession is really getting bad when they start interfering with our hair. We certainly don't need them to shave us.
A well trained human may help us a little with some gentle brushing, or even (at shedding time) get rid of some fur with the aid of a comb. Some of us long haired cats may even need daily brushing. Nothing more, purrlease. If mats form, it is the humans' fault for not brushing us enough.

Try to get your humans to do a proper hair care regime with daily brushing to prevent mats forming. You could remind them by sicking up a furball on the carpet. I deposited a particularly revolting one the other day.
I mean, how often do we need to tell them.  They are so dumb.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Misbehaving and the night watchman.

Dear George,

I don’t know how active or athletic you still are but I must admit I’ve personally slowed down a lot! I rather get on a cozy pillow and read the letters on your blog than to jump up and down or take the stairs. I believe I didn’t jump up on a counter in the last three years… but last weekend I must have jumped up on the counters at least 200 times! Yes, you heard me right: 200 times! Why? Because that’s what some humans could drive you to do! No, not my humans but their company! Well, my humans decided to entertain post holidays and they invited a group of people for dinner. Among the guests there was this woman who tried to change the rules IN MY HOUSE! No less and no kidding!

Can you imagine that? How dare she? You see, the minute she got in she started to make faces and comments about cats and started telling my mom “Oh, please, THIS CAT can’t touch my fur coat” or “Ah, I hope your cat doesn’t jump up on the counters or tables” or “hope I won’t find any cat hair in my dinner; ha!ha!ha!.” I was speechless! How rude she was! I looked at my mom as she was trying to explain (very politely) that I’m a very well behaved cat and no, I do not jump up on the counters! That just did it! I mean …that woman and her comments drove me to jump 200 times up on the counters that night! She also drove me to jump up right on the dining table and walk between guests and plates. Then, she drove me to pretend I was falling down off the coat hanger (I just climbed on) and had to “grab” her fur coat with my claws…going down! Yes, I did all these things! By the end of the evening I was laughing my head off seeing her speechless! I bet I’ll never see her again! My mom didn’t seem to be overly upset after all but she did mention that I have totally, completely, absolutely misbehaved and I have ruined the night! She also said that I looked like a “night watchman” at times! Is this bad or good? George, I don’t know what a “night watchman” is! I assume it must be something bad, something scary? Is that right?

Honestly George, was I that bad? Would my behaviour make me a “night watchman?” What if I was right? George, please….your opinion!

Your old friend,

CAT Victoria

Dear CAT Victoria,
Shocking behaviour by a visiting human! And your human should also be ashamed of herself for not supporting you in this. This is your home, which you kindly share with your humans. Your home - therefore your rules.
And why not walk on the table? I always do. I enjoy embarrassing my humans in this way. Watching their faces express their anguish is truly amusing.
Naturally you were interested by a fur coat? You were checking it out to see if it was real or fake. Any sensible cat would do this.
Was it real fur? If it was, some human had hunted and killed it, just like we cats kill mice. But without an excuse. We have a natural instinct to hunt and kill, but at least we don't just do it to wear fur that isn't our own. And, although we "play" with our prey (because we can't help it; the instinct is hard wired), at least we don't keep mice in tiny cages just to wear their fur.
Well done ruining the evening...  If your humans must entertain people who wear real fur, they should do it in a restaurant away from temptation!
I always wonder why humans wear clothes and fur. Why not grow their own?
PS. Not sure what she meant about a "night watchman." Odd remark. But humans are odd. Something to do with the Rembrandt painting or the horror movie?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Catwalk – Milan, September 2017

Dear George, 
I must tell you I was “the sensation” at the Fashion Week in Milan this September.
I was fundamentally modern (as you can see in the photo attached) with the cutest natural design. I was admired by most famous fashion designers in the world and envied by most famous movie stars especially for my natural make-up! Probably the only one not jealous of me but rather smitten by my beauty was our dear friend Karl Lagerfeld (he LOVES cats). You might wonder how I managed to get there. Well, I live with young fashion designers as my house pets! They are painfully young, trying to design tight leather pants and jackets which they even wear as it seems they can’t grow their own hair/fur.
Actually that’s the reason I’m writing to you if you can help with advice for humans how to grow hair? My humans take excellent care of me; my coat and I would like to return the favour and help them grow a nice fur all over their bodies! Some “pret-a-porter” but more on a fancy, luxurious side….like a nice, fluffy Himalayan coat or Norwegian Forest? Also, I’m planning to open my own “kitty model” agency to help young kittens to become famous! So, if you know of any…just tell me!
What do you think George? Good plan? 
But, first help me with my humans, please!
Mille grazie,

Dear Cara,
Sensational photo. Not just the beautiful fur coat (your own) but the true catwalk gait. I particularly like the bi-colour ginger and black facial fur. A really brave design. 
Sad to say we can't help humans grow fur. They have just a little - on the head, face (but no proper whiskers), armpits and pubes.
They often shave off these pathetic patches currently even the top of the head. Is it because they compare themselves with us and feel naked and ashamed? Or, in the case of bald headed males, they try to grow more facial hair to compensate. It can look a bit sad - bald on top, furry on the bottom of the head.
No. Nothing will work. We must accept them as they are in all their nakedness.
A model agency for cats? Why not. Internet opportunities grow daily. There are many cats more famous than the pathetic humans called Kardashians. Got for it. You could make millions.
PS. Karl Largerfeld's cat, Choupette, is already a fashion icon - read here

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Will L-Lysine help with cat 'flu? And a footnote about Toby Trumping.

Dear George,
Why do rescued cats get sick with upper respiratory infections even when they don’t live outdoors anymore? I live in a house with some rescued cats and it seems that their health problem won’t go away! They have been rescued for almost six months now, have been spayed and neutered, checked and treated by good doctors and yet, once in a while the problems reoccur: fever, eyes’ stain/tears, loss of appetite, etc.  Someone suggested to give them L-Lysine? Is this safe? Or do you know if there is some kind of vaccine for this? Like the “flu vaccine” for humans?
I’m not worried about me getting it from them but it’s painful to see them suffer.
Any advice George?

Dear Sophie,
If the rescue cats are suffering from the kind of cat 'flu which is Feline Herpes Virus, then even after treatment, the virus doesn't go away entirely. It stays dormant but can flare up when the cat is stressed. And although it is wonderful that the rescued cats are now warm and safe, the change of routine and living quarters will be difficult for some of them at first, possibly leading to a flare-up.
Yes, L-Lysine has often been offered as a treatment and the first studies looked promising. But since then, further studies suggest it is not much use and the latest scientific research suggests that it doesn't do any good (the summary of the article is here). So your human can save her money.  
What is important is that when the cats catch FVH for the first time, they are very infectious. You, Sophie, should be kept away from them, not share any of their dishes, or litter trays till the infection is finished. There is more information about FHV at International Cat Care. It is also worth asking the vet whether temporary flare ups of the disease make the cats infectious again: I got Celia to google and it wasn't very clear. 
PS. I am worried about my friend, Toby. He has started wearing his hair like Donald Trump. Is he going mad? Or does he just want to get online with Cats That Look Like Donald Trump?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Good manners means starting at the nose not the tail.

Dear George, 
I wonder if you can help me with my human. I believe, if what I read on your admirable blog is representative, that she is not really any more stupid than the average for her species, but she seems unable to understand the correct procedure for eating wild food. My mother, a cat of impeccable manners and breeding, taught me that the correct way to eat a rabbit is to start with the head. Then, if your appetite is delicate, you can leave the body to be shared by your family. Amy Vanderbilt’s invaluable Complete Book of Cattiquette confirms that this is how prey is consumed in the best circles, and I have followed her additional advice to leave an eyeball uneaten for “Mr Manners.” My human seems unable to understand this basic concept and keeps asking me why I eat the head first. She seems unsatisfied when I tell her that this is simply the right way to do it. How can I make her understand? 
Yours ever, 

Dear Scaramouche,
Humans don't understand fur. They don't have any (except for some long fur on the head and some in the pits and pubes). Males have a few bristles and that it that. But mice and rats have fur - lots of it. If you eat it from the head first, the fur lies down flat. If you eat it from the backside forward, the fur gets ruffled up and makes it difficult to eat.
So it's not just good manners to eat that way: it's good practice. I do know of a bad mannered cat called Toby who starts in the middle. But he has lost 7 teeth and grew up on the street. You can take a cat out of the slum but you can't take the slum out of the cat. 
Keep up the good manners.
Yours respectfully, brother,
PS. I leave the scut of a rabbit for Mr Manners.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Movember - the annual festival of whisker envy.

Dear George,
Here we are -  worried about our male human's behaviour and deeply contemplating (as you can see in the picture) the idea of getting him some professional help.
Therefore you were commissioned by us to help us understand his behaviour and eventually help him get back to his senses. We have to alert you thou that he does this ONLY in November. He did it last year and he did it again this year. Although he is not delusional we think he firmly believes he is in some sort of competition with us.  
What make us think so? Well, the fact that he's trying to grow "whiskers" each November. We truly believe he is jealous of our beautiful, long whiskers and he desperately is trying to beat us with his "whiskers" but all he grows is some ugly, bushy hair under his nose. Nothing compared to our elegant, long whiskers. He is not trying to grow hair on any other part of his body; at least we did see it. Such a pity! We tried to show him how to groom properly; we "licked and washed " his face, his head, we tried "to pull" the hair from under his nose and we could tell he did not appreciate our efforts. By the end of November he got rid of that bush under his nose. Why? What was the purpose? Could this be a "November syndrome" that our daddy is suffering of? Is there any treatment? George, what do you think?
In gratitude
Blackie &Spokie

Dear Blackie and Spokie,
This is a very sad case, isn't it! Humans have a deep unconscious whisker envy. Whatever they do, however long they try, they cannot produce cats' whiskers. Even the longest ones are floppy rather than properly stiff and they have no feeling in them at all. They are a poor excuse for a proper whisker.
But the deep whisker envy makes them keep trying and a good cause such as Movember (in favour of male human cancer) gives them an excuse. Each year thousands of male humans try to grow whiskers. They concentrate their efforts between the mouth and nose, where a proper whisker pad, of the kind we have, might be expected.
They grow a pathetic half inch or so. Then they realise that this is fundamentally thick fur, rather than proper whisker. There is no feeling and no movement in it. We can move our whiskers forwards and back and feel the struggles of a mouse we are carrying. They can do nothing of that.
So at the end of November, they give up - pretending that they meant to do this all along, denying their own whisker envy.
Be kind to him. He has suffered a grievous disappointment.
Yours pityingly,


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Naked but not as nature intended.... these humans!

Dear George,
Look at me (and please don’t laugh)! Who did this?
Believe it or not ….ME! Yes, I did this to myself. Hard to believe but it is true! How did I manage to get this hairdo? Very simple!
By training my humans too well. See, I never thought there was such a delicate balance within the human brain between ignorance and willingness to please.
Don’t get me wrong; my humans are extremely nice and love me very much. They try to please me in any way they can; they attend to all my meows and needs day and night.
But, please allow me to introduce myself; my name is Mojo and, of course, I was blessed with beautiful long hair. A while ago my humans decided to get a new brush which I totally disliked. Each time they try to brush my coat I would cry and meow and cry again.
When they stopped brushing me I thought I’m living up to my name and use my magic power to make them do whatever I want them to. Well…the rest is history as you can imagine my coat got so matted they had to give me a shave instead of brushing.
But, don’t you think they should have got more knowledgeable about brushes first? Couldn’t they see that horrible little brush won’t work on my long hair?
George, do you think I fail in training my humans? What do I do now?
I can’t even go outside – I feel naked.
Very upset

Dear Mojo, 
Would a human being like it if their hairdresser pulled their hair, or scraped their scalp with a comb, or hurt them in every way? Of course, they would not. They would never go to that particular hairdresser again. So why expect us cats to put up with this? 
You didn't fail to train them. You trained them not to brush you! Brilliant bit of training, I agree, but not such a good idea.
You should have been training them to groom you daily in the right way. They should combine the brushing with a delicious treat and never brush too long time. They should lure you with the treat to a place which suits them, where the brush is ready, and then brush for two or three minutes, finally giving you the treat. And then they should stop. If more brushing is needed they can start again after half an hour.
They need the right equipment. Zoomgrooms are gentle and most cats enjoy them, but they don't do a good job on lots of hair. Slicker brushes, used with care, are more effective as are metal combs (fairly wide ones). The cheap small human hairbrushes used for permed hair can be useful too.
Then, having given you a break, they can start again.  If they as gentle as possible, generous with the treat, and always patient, you will find it easier. They should (for the time being) cut out any knots rather than try to brush them out. Most cats dislike being brushed, because their humans tug at the hair impatiently, don't leave enough time to brush little by little, and pull out knots forcibly. Knots should either be cut out, or (for show cats) teased with the fingers gently, gently, and brushed a tiny bit at a time.
If you are now severely phobic about being groomed, there are some instructions dictated by me to my website secretary here   Get to work with those purrs and claws to help them learn this new trick.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Indecent? No cat can be indecent. That's human behaviour.

Dear George,
I know it’s been Halloween again and I’m black but I wasn't concerned about the dangers or “tricks or treats” but my human pets! I have less to complain about “her” since she is beautiful, good mannered and very well trained in responding positively to my demands but I’m quite fed-up with him! Over the years I was accused (by him) for many things such as peeing in the plants’ pots or stealing food or biting people but NEVER EVER was I accused of being indecent until now! The other day I was sunbathing when he came shouting that I was indecent! He is such a prude! George, you be the judge! I’m a senor, I’m 14 years old not a kitten anymore! Did I go topless? No! I know most people in Hollywood go topless, I heard even the royals! Did I take my coat off? No! Then, what was his problem? How was I indecent? I think he’s jealous of me. The truth is that I am better looking then him; I’m black, long hair, huge green eyes! Him? Fair skin, short, fair hair (almost no hair) and blue eyes! Phew! When I enter a room… people gasp! Him? Phew! He doesn’t realize that I am the Alpha Cat and he is a mere housekeeper! George what should I do? Ignore him or better…. fire him?

Dear Choppy,

Insulting remarks about indecency are out of order. We cats have sex in season only. Humans are up for it every day, in and out of season. What's more they are naked without fur, except in areas which highlight their private bits. You look perfectly decent in the photo.  If he was lying naked on his back, that would be indecency..
Ignore him. This is a useful training tool for us cats. Give him the shunning treatment. Refuse to share the bed or sofa with him. If he sits beside you, get up ostentatiously and move away. If you choose to stay in the same room as him, turn your back on him at all times. Should you make eye contact, give a withering sneering look. We cats are usually good at this. No more nice cat for him!
At the same time smother your female pet with love. Purr on her and at her. Climb on to her lap. Give her little cat kisses.  Gaze adoringly. Play with her hair (if she likes that). Make little friendly noises. Roll on your back if she so much as glances your way.
The contrast in your behaviour will be hurtful to him. As it should be. Only relent when his behaviour has reformed.
These humans... who do they think they are?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A few Feline Oscar nominations.....

Here are some of the great cats that I would like to nominate for an Oscar. This is my personal choice. There is also an actual UK Oscar award organised by Cats Protection.
My selection this week. Further photos will go on in two week's time.....From the top here goes:

CAT VICTORIA for her STAR QUALITY. Victoria has what all cats have - charisma, charm, beauty. She has all these qualities and more. She is a natural star.

FLUFFY. Fluffy has devoted her life to making sure her human has healthy eating patterns. On
e of her training methods is to sit firmly in the box showing that it is empty and reminding her human that she should order some more fruit.

SID. Sid is nominated for his hai
r style. It's not just his long fine hair which all Maine coons have. His ear hair is particularly charming, with great tufts coming out at the top. He also has great whiskers and a beautifully marked whisker pad with regular lines of dark whisker roots.

SPEEDY. Speedy has proved th
at cats can dance. As a kitten he practised on his human's bed throwing his toy mouse up and dancing below before catching it. Now he has taken his dance routine into the outside world, where it is much admired.

COCO. What-a-tail-my-cat has got award. Like all Birmans she has white gloves and white slippers but her glory is her tail.

MISS RUBY FOU. Miss Ruby Four (she does not like her name being truncated in any way) is nominated for her human training skills. Her humans obey and, if they don't, her firm tones make their life intolerable. She is the Mrs Woodhouse of cats, only a great deal more beautiful though noisier. At night she allows her humans to sleep either side of her, or (if she feels in the right mood) will sleep in the female human's arms.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bunny bullying - the human obsession with cleaning

Dear George,
How do I put a stop to bunny bullying? Every morning my stuff is moved about, cleaned and tidied, replaced with dozing mats that don't smell of me and washed to within an inch of its life.The same happens to my two litter trays. As if this is not enough I am man-woman handled and whipped upside down while my err.... bottom is inspected. If it doesn't come up to their standards it is doused with my wet bunny flannel then bits of my precious fur is snipped off with a pair of dangerous looking scissors.What's a bit of poop between friends? I am then cuddled and horror of horrors, she sings to me!
I am getting old, George. I will be nine soon and I should be left alone to dream of piles of carrots and green fields. I have used every trick in my book to deter them from this manic, daily routine but they ignore me. Any ideas?

Dear Harvey,
The human obsession with cleaning is irritating for all of us. We cats like a clean litter tray (no lumps or clumps) but one which has a nice familiar latrine smell. When humans scoop out the clumps, that is fine and we like that doing twice a day. But when they start cleaning up with smelling things or even putting in disgusting deodorant products, we vote with our feet. We go elsewhere. Just leaving a little heap outside the litter tray does the trick. Try it.
At least your human has the wit to give you two trays. Some human pets try to get away with one litter tray for two or three cats. It's horrible. Some don't clean up twice daily either and the clumps build up so that our paws get into it when we dig. I always try to tell my human that I like a clean tray by waiting till they have cleaned it then ostentatiously popping in to use it while they can see me. They seem to find this irritating and some don't get the message at all. Dumb animals, of course.

The bottom cleaning sounds really awful, Harvey. What does she think she is doing? A wet flannel, indeed! Luckily most humans leave feline bottoms well alone, since we have the claws to make them suffer if they interfere with private bits of our anatomy. The only time Celia put a hand on a feline bottom was when she was fostering Pushkin at his fattest. He just couldn't reach. So she snipped away at his fur, while he was forcibly held by her nephew. As soon as he lost a few ounces, he attended to his own bottom and made it clear to her that she had no further business with that area. She's stupid like all humans, but she got the message after he gave her a sharp nip.
I suppose rabbits can't bite but you could try giving her a good kicking. My local rabbits have had some kind of fight (mating season?) and there are tufts of fur all over the garden.
Have a go at her, Harvey. Let her know who's boss.

PS. What's this singing? I don't approve of human caterwauls. They don't get their miaows in tune.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The latest New York hairstyle - should cats shave?

Dear George,
Your blog is getting better that any fashion magazine. Better then "In Style" or "Vogue"! I like to think of myself as a fashionista ....always interested in the last fashion trend!
Blue hues, hats, nail covers, etc. Really impressive! How about hairstyle?
But..let me introduce myself! My name is Bondocella and I live in New York! And ...look at my picture....THAT'S hot & trendy in NY!
What do you think? I personally would love to be a little more of a "shaggy cat" but my human thinks that this is cool (or hot...whatever). What do you think? What is trendy in UK?

Dear Bondocella,
Your photograph without the fur took me by surprise.
You look pretty good to me, Bondocella. I like the way that the beautiful fur round your face emerges from the shaved body - very very hot. Or rather, as we used to say, cool. Your human has been really thoughtful in making sure you don't suffer from heat stroke.
In the UK, where it is cold and wet most of the time, the only cats that need shaving are those who have neglected matted fur. So cats don't shave in this part of the world. Only humans shave. (You can see why. Their facial hair is so bristly and odd - neither proper whiskers nor proper fur.)
However, I do acknowledge that some cats need to shave, particularly if they are living in hot climates and have too much fur. Is it possible to have too much fur? I fear that in hot climates it is. Long fur, of the kind humans cannot grow for themselves, is extremely helpful for cats living in cold climates, but difficult for cats in hot places.
Once again, the fault lies with humans. If they had left our species alone, we would all have naturally adapted to whatever climate we live in. My ancestors in England might have grown slightly longer hair, while cats in Finland would be very furry indeed. New Yorks cats would be sleek and short haired.
Humans have stopped us breeding naturally and have invented all kinds of breeding programmes that result in long fur, snubby faces, weird coloured fur, strange ears, and even stumpy legs. Frankly, it is not right. Some of us now suffer serious health difficulties because of a limited gene pool.
It is moments like this that make me feel it was a mistake to domesticate humans. That we have domesticated monsters who now have too much influence in our lives. I mean, it isn't as if they have good pedigrees, is it? Celia is just a mongrel. There's no class there. So why should cats have to have pedigrees? I am happy to say that I don't. I wouldn't like to have so much hair that Celia had to shave me. On the other hand, I might look rather cool like you if she did.
PS. It's important not to let shaved or hairless animals to spend too much time in direct sunlight, according to a vet that works in Spain. They can be sunburned very easily.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hats, cats, and bunnies - does my bun look good in this?

Dear George,
It's not just cats that can wear hats you know, whatever Harry Spotter may think (see a posting two weeks ago). With the help of my carer's husband, Mike, I have been trying to decide if a bowler (like Harry Spotter's) or a para red beret would suit me best. What do you think? Do I look really amazing in these? Or do I look sort of odd? Janet, my chief carer, finds it difficult to decide. I wonder, are the humans making fun of me with these images?
Yours Cautiously (in view of your past record with rabbits)


Dear Harve,
I think that the bowler suits you best, as you are a rather British kind of rabbit, stiff upper lip, liking your daily routine, generally anxious to make sure your humans keep to the correct kind of behaviours at all times. Janet and Mike are almost like your butler and parlourmaid, to my mind. You accept their care with a very correct kind of upper class acceptance.
The red beret, on the other hand, is military verging on the savage. Better for tough cats like me, who are quite prepared to go in there and slaughter whatever wildlife we can. We go for the kill. Rabbits like you just don't do the carnivorous thing at all. So to my mind, it's a bowler for a bunny.
More on fashion for cats next week. I hear you are on Facebook....
My only anxiety is that humans will get above themselves and (instead of using Photoshop) start dressing up cats. We cats have dignity and style without any nonsense about wearing clothes like pathetic humans.
Love (oh yes, I love bunnies)
PS. Celia has signed the petition on my behalf against poisoning feral cats in Australia.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Where is my Bowler? Male fashion for cats.

Dear George,
As you know, Fiona is my sphynx sister and Sweet Pea is my two legged siser who is 5 years old. They find great delight in chasing me around the house trying to abscound with my Bowler. My Bowler is a very important part of who I am, without it I feel I am not the proper British Mancat who is well Suited and Booted. I feel I cannot show my face or spots witho
ut it. Ever since it has gone missing my chin has been down to the ground. What will I do without it I ask myself? Buying another Bowler to replace the one they lost will not do. That Bowler has special meaning to me, it was/is my very first British Bowler, it fits just right. Oh...what will I do? Can you help?
Harry Spotter, at
PS. I have three large blue spots, blue toupee markings and a blue tail.

Dear Harry,
Are you sure you want a Bowler? What about a Topper? Or a Yorkshire flat 'at? Finding the right size hat for a British (or any other nationality) cat is not going to be easy. Maybe you should have Ratcatcher riding gear (so called among the human hunting set, see ) to go with it - buff or yellow breeches with a tweed riding jacket? Ratcatcher used to be for cub hunting but now has caught on during the proper season. I like to think that humans have taken advice from ratting cats and are wearing as near as the poor souls can get to tabby or dark tortoiseshell fur.
My owner, Oh no, my secretary*, Celia, bought me a
Father Christmas hat (see photo left) by buying a Father Christmas soft toy and then detaching the hat. She then gave the doll (which was bald beneath the hat) to a rather puzzled human kitten.
I personally did not appreciate that hat, as you can see from my expression. I felt it was demeaning for me to
be dressed like any human being, the inferior species, and worse stlll one that went down chimneys and vocalised "Ho, ho, ho!" (A meaningless bit of human vocalisation but mind you, most of it is, anyway.). I do not wish to go up and down chimneys though I quite like terrifying my humans by getting on the roof.
Your spots bring to mind another thing. Why on earth are there so few cats in the Harry Potter books? Mrs Norris, the cat belonging to Filch the caretaker, is a bad 'un and only Hermione Granger seems to have a proper witches' cat, Crookshanks. Crookshanks is ginger and long haired. Why is there no Grimalkin, the traditional witch's black cat, I ask. We black cats need an PR image consultant.
Sincerely (not love because we are being British)
*How could I have made such a mistake. Humans owning cats is just laughable. Everybody knows cats own humans.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

If our humans had fur, what would they look like?

Dear George,
Humans are so odd about issues like fur. And why are humans fattist? Why do they think I am fat? I am Mustapha.... I glory in a symmetric fluffy white bib and I step out with my tail up. There are misunderstandings about my weight because I a big fluffy and solid. Like humans say, I have a heavy frame. I am not fat - just fluffy. My winter coat turns this brownish colour towards spring and the more stupid humans (yes, some are even more stupid than others) think I am a tortoiseshell. Usually only females are tortoiseshell. Here in Australia, we have to keep our humans in at night. It is a way of stopping them straying, roaming round looking for fights or sex. They believe they are keeping us indoors - when we are keeping them inside. What a species!

Love Mustapha

Dear Mustapha,
We cats have to realise that human cognitive powers are very limited. Can they even think? Many of us believe that they are incapable of abstract thought, though they can be trained by rigorous use of stick (claws) and carrot (purrs). They may think you are fat because they do understand that weight is not the same as apparent size.
I have purrsuaded my pet Celia to purchase a weighing scale, so that she can just read out the weight from it. A baby scale via amazon will do very nicely indeed. Vet scales are often those big ones used for dogs - quite unsuitable for cats. Pushkin, her current foster cat, who is meant to be losing weight, has taught her about High Fives.
Poor deluded human, she thinks she has taught him to sit and do an upwards high fives. It is the other way round. He has taught her to offer cat biscuits for this behaviour. This naturally extracts more food from her, though she doesn't realise it. Not bright. Not bright at all. His plan is to put on weight despite the obesity diet. He may well succeed. His vet records showed he put on an extra kilogram over two months on the diet (before Celia had him).
Looking at your photo, it makes me realise how attractive humans would be if only they were not bald. They wouldn't have pink fur, fur sure. Pink is just wrong. Celia could be a black and white, with white paws and face. Ronnie would look rather sleeker than he does, if he was black all over like me. Jacqui, the friend of your human pet, would make a very nice tortoiseshell. It is an amusing game, as we doze in the warm down under sun, to think what our naked humans pet would be like - fluffy versus sleek; black, black and white, tortoiseshell, pure white, or black feet; pedigree versus non pedigree...
Think about it and give your thoughts on this topic to me.
Love George

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