Saturday, August 24, 2019
No, we do not want strangers to grope us in certain areas - the butt, under the tail, or just before the tail, the belly or even all the way down the back.
Yet humans ignore our feelings and purrsist in doing this. They will pet us.
They put their hands onto and into our private places and then are upset if we nip them.
What else are we meant to do? Just put up with it?
Message to humans: Respect our bodies. Don't touch without our consent.
Or get bitten.
* Coming shortly, my guide to human management and training
Saturday, February 23, 2019
I’ve turned upside down (as you can see in the photo) to understand them and understand their signs of love. How do they tell us “I love you”? What signs should we look for?
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Summon your pride, congratulate yourself on your beauty, and remind yourself that these unspeakable devices are beneath your notice. We all hate them. When I see the vacuum cleaner come out of the cupboard or hear the hair dryer being switched on, I make myself scarce. Either I leave the house altogether or find my own safe haven.
What is your safe haven? Every cat needs a safe haven. Mine is on top of a wardrobe in the spare bedroom. It's high up, admittedly a bit dusty, but away from human interference. For some of us it's under the bed: others go and sit in a garden shed: or find a hiding place with the clean clothes inside the airing cupboard.
Humans should never ever disturb us while we are there. There are thoughtless humans that pull us out from under the bed, or harass us while we are on the top of the wardrobe. They should be trained to leave us alone for as long as we need to stay there.
Regaining our composure may take a little time.... But when we feel serene again we can stroll back into our humans' life.
PS. One of the compensations for becoming deaf in old age is that these devices become less scary.
Saturday, January 07, 2017
I am Lila (the fluffy) and my sister is Angel (the tabby). We came from same litter and we are about 10 weeks old now. Before being rescued we were living under a deck but now we live in a mansion! We spent our first Christmas with our new family and their relatives and sure enough people can be fun! At some point they all were talking about New Year’s resolutions. We don’t fully understand what that is but it seems like a good plan to follow in the year ahead! Our list would be very short: sleep, eat, play and getting lots of love from our humans. I also understood that in cats' ‘world it is a MUST to train one’s humans. I’ve heard you even wrote a book on the subject, is that so George? Then, we definitely need your help! Where do we start?
Establish petting boundaries. Some humans are cat harassers. They want to kiss and hug and stroke for hours. Or they insist on petting in no-go areas like the lower tummy. A sharp nip will usually train them to stop. Punishment teaches them what is acceptable. Be humane - just a nip, rather than a bite which draws blood.
Litter trays (one for each cat) should be cleaned twice a day. If your human is idle about this, show them what you want. As soon as they clean the tray, use it. This makes the point that you were waiting for it to be cleaned. If they still don't get the message, and the tray is filthy, pee outside the litter tray.
You can learn more about rewards and punishments in my book, One Hundred Ways for a Cat to Train its Human. Celia pretended she had written it but her role was purely secretarial, as I cannot type. I was the real author.
George, the real author.
Friday, September 09, 2016
I own a store on a very busy street in Amsterdam. I’m my own store Master Mouser.
I watch out for rodents and other small creatures that might sneak in off the street to steal! (photo on left). But people, especially tourists can be very distracting; they think I’m part of the decor and that seems to be so cool for them.! Some even try to take pictures of me and some try to pet me. How do I tell them that I’m not here for their amusement or entertainment? How do I tell them I’m serious business and they better buy things from me instead of petting me! I’m not looking to get cozy with anybody! Just purely business! Buy a Van Gogh! Buy a windmill! Buy Dutch chocolate! Buy something!
Annoyed by tourists
The Dutch Moggy
Dear Dutch Master,
Fending off human harassment is one of the most severe irritations for working cats. Humans cannot accept the idea that we are on duty: we do not wish to be interrupted: and, most of all, we don't want complete human strangers to walk up and without even a by-your-leave try to cuddle us.
It's bad enough in daily life when we are just mooching around patrolling territory. They pounce on us and try to pick us up. But if we are shop cats, brewery cats or garden centre cats, they seem unable to understand that we are busy with our jobs. And worse still, if we are in retail we have to pretend to be nice.
How would they like it? When we sleep on the keyboard or just walk across it, they get very upset. No empathy for us. That's what it is.
Yours in sympathy,
Saturday, May 16, 2015
I live in a small market town, in a busy street. As you can see from the photo, I enjoy sitting on the end of the fence, when the weather is suitable. However, I am harassed by humans.
Some of them just stop to admire me. Some take photographs (like this one) which I feel I have a duty to the public to tolerate. Naturally these are spread about social media - but that is the price of beauty.
However, what I loathe is humans that want to pet me. They seem to think that I will enjoy this. Why? I am a cat who is careful about her friends. I only admit a few humans into that category.
So why should any old passerby think I want their sticky hands on my fur. They have no right to intrude into my personal space.
How can I prevent this?
You need to be more proactive when you see humans approaching. Put your ears back as soon as you see them. Crouch lower and bare your teeth. As soon as they are close enough, hiss loudly. Any closer, give them a good scratch!
Be honest.... Are you enjoying the admiration too much? Do you like being a Facebook pin-up? Your serene and beautiful demeanour may be causing the problems in the first place. Think about changing your image from beauty to the beast.....
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Lately I've heard a lot of stories about people spying on other people or dogs or cats or whatever.
At the beginning I didn't pay much attention as I learned from your blog that humans are strange creatures with strange habits, quite unsecured, emotionally unbalanced and pretty limited when it comes to their IQ.
But, I was happy with mine until last week when I learned that they have installed a hidden camera to spy on us (we are 4 cats in the house) while they were away. I was stunned watching them laughing and making fun of us.
Well, this required immediate action and drastic measures. So I decided to use the most sophisticated "hidden camera" that ever existed. It senses any motion, detects any smell, can "see" in 3D and can see in the dark.
My hidden camera is my brother Bentley....can you see him? No! Nor do my humans!
Tonight, it will be Bentley's first night on his "hidden camera" mission. We'll start with their master bedroom. I'm sure by morning we (the cats) will have a good laugh!
But, George....I need your help clarifying one issue! Is it legal or illegal to use a hidden camera?
Yours in good fun,
We cats are the best spies in the world. Most humans don't realise that they are only about ten yards away from a cat - wherever they are. We watch.... we watch all the time. We can hear the footfall of a mouse or the rustle of a rat. We can detect the smallest of movements in the bushes or near the dustbins in the street.
I share your irritation with humans who laugh at us - yes, they actually have the unbounde cheek to laugh at their superiors. It won't take much to find the hidden cameras and I suggest you topple them to the ground, wherever they are. Or use a bolder strategy. Just back up to the camera and let fly a well aimed jet of urine. That will fix it.
Bentley's technique looks to me as if he will be more effective than any camera. Because he is black, he can hide in the shadows. The only thing that gives him away in the photo is one golden eye half open. He has now in line to became the James Bond of the feline world. Indeed he will be better than Bond, since he won't be distracted (due to an unfortunate operation) by the presence of Pussy Galores!
Best of luck, Vegas.
Saturday, March 09, 2013
As for your vocal commands. Just don't worry. Keep them easy to the limited brain power of humans to understand. That means, for instance, a special sounding meow for 'Food now', another for 'Open the door,' and a third for 'Leave me alone.'
Saturday, February 23, 2013
At least you are off the street in a nice warm place. Whatever happens next is not going to be nearly as bad as trying to survive outside in the cold without human help. Any human who has taken you in will be responsible enough to rehome you somehow, even if it does mean a stay in a cat rescue pen for a bit.
Humans have an old trades union rule which is First In, First Out. For once, these human pets have the right idea. The interests of older resident cats must come first. When you get older, yourself, and have lived in a home for years, you may appreciate it more. Nothing is more irritating to us middle aged or elderly cats than a manic adolescent feline chasing us and generally harassing us.
I am not sure if it is any use telling you to control yourself, to stop the chasing, to leave the other cats alone. You may not be able to do this. Have they made arrangements to help the other cats avoid you? Time sharing space perhaps. Putting you in the spare bedroom at night so the older cats have time out from you? Adding cardboard boxes for them to retreat to? Making sure there is one litter tray per cat (and one over if necessary), in different locations. Installing two seperate feeding locations so you can't ambush the oldies. Has enough time gone by - ie about 3 months - to make sure it won't come right? Do they give you enough games with fishing rod toys to tire you out?
If all this is done and they rehome you, it won't break your heart. I tell you now cats break their hearts over humans rarely if at all. Humans just aren't worth it. You are so gorgeous you will find another home, hopefully one which you can have all to yourself. As long as the food is good and the house is warm, one human is much like another when it comes down to it.
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.
Friday, April 13, 2012
I desperately need your help as I think I’m in real trouble. I’m too young to know better but you as a human behavior specialist can help.
My problem is that each time my human has guests in the house I have this urge to attack, bite and scratch them. Of course my human doesn’t like it and I really don’t care if he does or not since he never bothered asking me if I like all these noisy people on my territory. George, why people make me do this? Why do they bring out the worst in me? Now, my human planned another trip and he invited over a friend to move in and stay with me while he’s away. This “live-in” guest is afraid of me now and I’m afraid that she won’t move in and she won’t take care of me. George, do you see my problem? I can’t risk being home alone for two weeks without a human feeding me or cleaning after me. What should I do? How can I assure her that I’m not going to attack her?
Any suggestion will be highly appreciated as time is of essence right now.
Are you just hunting them? Without any mice in the house, some of us cats turn and hunt our humans. Life indoors is so boring without any hunting opportunities, we treat humans like mice. We ambush them round corners, leap on them from a height, and enjoy hearing them scream as our claws go into their bare legs. Sensible humans wear thick clothes, ignore us (thus ruining the fun), and give us lots more to do by way of hunting games with string. Get your humans working on giving you hunting alternatives. Or just keep hunting them. It's good fun and they enjoy it really.
Sometimes we bite because we are just scared. And it's the humans' fault. They will harass us - pick us up, cuddle us, "make a fuss" of us, and generally treat us like a soft toy. If we are anxious cats, then we strike out at them. It works very well. Once bitten or scratched, the human harasser usually stops behaving in this way. But some persist....
Purrsonally, I feel safest with humans that let me take control. I go to them: they don't go to me. I choose if I will accept affection from them. They do not offer it unless I make it clear I want it. We cats feel best in control. Humans don't understand cat manners, so they don't realise how rude it is to harass us. It is our duty to try and teach them by tooth and claw.
Have you ever noticed that the humans who hate cats have purrfect manners. They ignore us. They stay away from us. They may even try to avoid us. It's really, really attractive. I love humans like that. I jump on their laps. I purr all over them even while they are shuddering with distaste for me. That's amusing too, of course.
If the live-in guest cleans your litter tray twice a day and puts down food and water, that is all she has to do. The less she interacts with you the better. She should let you decide if you want petting or any other kind of body contact.
Control..... Cats like it. Dumb humans don't understand.
Friday, October 01, 2010
I am really fed up with human beings (apes, Whicky Whudler calls them). They want a cat which fits into their lifestyle and I have just been put back for the second time into cat rescue. The problem is that I swipe at them. They call me aggressive. I'm not. I am just terrified. They keep getting in my face and they expect me to be OK with that. I went back to a new home and the first thing they did on day one was expect to cuddle me. I didn't know these people. So I clawed my way free. Next day I was back here.
PS. ISP troubles mean my photo is late arriving.
This is one of the most difficult bits of owning a human. They just don't understand us. Most of them think we are like dogs - that we will accept being harassed and mauled as if we were stuffed toys. They would be better off getting a Postman Pat toy. It would help it some of them just bought a book... but they think they know it all already. An arrogant species.
My friend Francesca Riccomini (almost, thoug not quite as sensible as a cat) has written a nice easy text for them - with great photos. I don't suppose the rescue shelter where you are will give these away but it might help if they had them on sale. It would make a bit of money for rescue AND educate this pathetically ignorant species. Homo sapiens - wise humans. I don't think so.
Here are some of the things we dislike when we adopt a new human -- instant cuddling without proper foreplay at a suitable distance, suddden new dogs, sudden new cats (we don't like 'em), human kittens that maul us, having to eat close to other cats instead of privacy, having to share litter trays with other cats, litter trays in the wrong place, change of litter, dirty litter boxes (purrlease clean them twice a day), cheap food ... This list could go on forever.
They expect us to put up with a lot and then they moan when we object... Breeze, you need a quiet home with a properly respectful human. See if you can purrsuade her to buy this book as a start.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
We are quite disturbed that one of our friends is not allowed to play outside because he was “aggressive” with one of his mom’s friends. To protest and make our mommy “do something” about this stupid situation we decided to wrack the house (as you can see in this photo – and we are allowed (sic)!).
Here is what happened; let’s call our friend “Mister” (not his real name).
Two days ago a friend of Mister’s mommy pay her a visit.
So….they were talking for a while when M’s mommy went to the kitchen to make a coffee. M was sitting quietly in the living room with his mom’s friend
We don’t know what happened there, we don’t know if she tried to pet him or do something, all we know is that M attacked her really bad. She couldn’t really defend herself since she had one leg in a cast. M was taken to a vet right away.
He was okay but scared since everybody was scramming at him.
We think that this is not right. We know that this friend of M’s mom has a cat. Could be her cat’s smell that drove M crazy? We are really worried about his welfare.
He is a really sweet, big, purring guy! Our “mommy” is working on his mom to calm her down and make her ask for some advice before jumping to conclusions.
We thought to ask for your help! What do you think it could trigger M’s reaction? Can you ask Celia to help, please (with typing, of course)?
Love & hugs
Fluffy & Cayenne
Dear Fluffy and Cayenne,
It may be that Mister saw something through the kitchen window and turned on the human in what is called redirected aggression (because he couldn't reach what was outside). More likely he was scared. Most aggressive cats are frightened cats. It may be that the human did something which terrified him (which she didn't realise) and he lashed out from fear. Could the plaster cast have hit him without the human realising it? If it was a big bite or a big scratch, it is likely to be fear. We can't be sure because it is not clear what happened.
Tell Mister's human not to jump to conclusions that he is an aggressive cat. He may just - at that moment - have been a very frightened cat. She should wait to see if Mister does this to anybody else. Keeping us cats indoors has its downside. If she is going to do this, she need to think how to give him more to do in the house - details for keeping indoor cats happy are on www.celiahaddon.com
One bite doesn't make an aggressive dog and one attack doesn't make an aggressive cat. Get Mister's human to read Celia's website on aggression and email her via that if necessary. We cats don't attack humans because we are "aggressive". We attack them because we are terrified, because we are frightened and want to make a human keep its distance, because we are starved of hunting opportunities (if we are indoor cats), or just occasionally because we are super confident cats that have learned to bite humans to get their attention.
Punishing us doesn't work. It makes us even more frightened and desperate. Take time to analyse what went wrong, and change things so that we cats can be our calm and loving selves. When the cat human relationship goes wrong, the human has to change the situation. We can't.
GeorgePS. I added on a photo of a cat looking aggressive. She was actually terrified.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Why do humans think we are fluffy toys? Mine keeps trying to pick me up. I don't like it. I have made my wishes perfectly plain. I am not a soft toy to be mauled about and harassed when she chooses. I find it demeaning when she swoops down from a superior (the only superior thing about her) height, grabs me round the stomach and pulls me upward on to her shoulder making revolting cooing noises. And I don't care to sit on her lap either.
I feel your pain. Indeed I feel your indignation. Human non-sexual harassment is a serious issue among us cats. It is an embarassing one too. Some felines take the view that is it enjoyable and let their humans do it at will. Some even solicit it. All this makes it a tricky question to rule on. In my view, those cats that ask for it (so to speak) are letting the side down badly. So they enjoy it? Well that's no reason to allow a human to get above its status in this way.
The way I see it is that you have the right to your own boundaries. When humans step over these, it is harassment pure and simple. There is no excuse, no explanation, no possible reason why they should be allowed to do this. This is a species that will go too far only too easily. This is a claw and order issue. Use the claw to restore order, Tigger. For a first time human offender, a serious wriggle may be enough deterrent. But for a serial harasser, strong measures are needed. Draw blood. It's the only thing they understand.
A word to those cats, the minority, who enjoy being cuddled. Please don't give your human the idea that the human can choose to do this any time they like. This will seriously compromise the proper relationship between cat (top of the dominance order) and human (bottom of the dominance order). If you must enjoy some caresses, solicit your human in your own time, not theirs. A good way to keep them in hand, so to speak, is to ask for a cuddle while they are doing something else like reading or cooking or using the computer. Make them jump to it then.
Remember - immediate and willing human obedience is always the aim of any human-cat interaction.