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Showing posts with label human behaviour patterns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label human behaviour patterns. Show all posts

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Life of a feline artist - success.

At last... my book is officially published. A Cat's Guide to Humans from A-Z. And this time my name is on the cover. Feline friends can purchase it here. The more you know about your humans, the better.
Several years ago when I published a training manual for fellow cats (One Hundred Ways to Train your Human) my human stole the copyright and claimed credit.This time it is different.  I am now an acknowledged feline author.
It's been a struggle, I admit. I needed to take a cool look at humans in general as well as my particular human. There is so much in their behaviour which is alien and sometimes disgusting to a normal cat. I needed to set aside my natural feelings and study them without prejudice. 
Manipulating or managing a human is the basis of all good cat-human relationships. 
Now at last there is a guide.
I hope it will contribute to better feline understanding of this strange species we have domesticated.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

How to deal with noise in the living room

Hello George,
I am interested to know why humans listen to some awful noises on a machine in the lounge (which is supposed to be a comfortable and serene area to relax). The odd time it sounds okay but sometimes I find it very upsetting and it causes me to react to show my displeasure. A cat I know demonstrated his displeasure by spraying one of the boxes the noises come out of! I think this got his message across very well! It is harder for me to do this as I am a girl. Are there any other effective ways you can suggest to demonstrate my displeasure? I am willing to carry out any instructions you provide to keep the lounge as it should be; a second bedroom for my slumber! If I let my humans get away with this what else will they try to get away with? It could be the beginning of a long slippery slide and I want to nip it in the bud! I look forward to your advice!
Yours
Gracie

Dear Gracie,
Girls can spray and do spray too. Particularly feisty females who want to send a strong message to their humans. Even nose-blind humans get the scent message when we spray. And there's something enticing about spraying on electrical items or even on electrical plugs. 
They don't just give off a noise: they give off an interesting plastic warm-up smell, of which humans are totally unaware.
That said, spraying is the ultimate weapon. It's almost the equivalent of the nuclear option for humans. It doesn't hurt humans but it upsets them dreadfully and can ruin the cat-human relationship.
So just Turn off, tune out and drop into sleep. 
Remember we cats can sleep anywhere - here are some photos to remind you.
Yours George 
PS. I adopted this motto from the l960s hippy one -Turn on, tune in and drop out. Hippies knew how to relax even if their drug problems were awful.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Cattack alert... when the postman knocks!

Dear George,
I'm laughing my head off - the story I'm going to tell you. It is too funny.
Recently my human provided me with a cat flap(which was much overdue, by the way.) Coincidentally, we got a new postman too! And, that's how it all started.
I was sunbathing on my porch when I saw the new postman coming with the mail. 
He looked around and saw the cat flap, looked around again and then he bent forward and slipped the mail inside through the cat flap…then he rang twice. Wow! He definitely wasn’t Jack Nicholson nor did Jessica Lange come to open the door!  Why he rang the bell twice I have no idea. Anyway, he did exactly same thing for the next few days. Since it seemed to me that he either hasn’t noticed our mail box or has chosen to ignore it I decided to play a little game with him! Next day I stayed indoor waiting for him. The minute he slipped the mail in I bit his hand! He startled so easily that he forgot to ring the bell. The following day I was again on the porch waiting for him. I saw him coming down the street (he didn’t see me) – this time he was carrying a stick in his hand! I was so curious to see what he’ll do with that stick! OMG! You won’t believe it! He used the stick to open the cat flap and slipped in the mail! Aha, okay! So next day I “clawed” his stick J I don’t know what he thinks but since that day he leaves the mail in front of the door and does not ring the doorbell anymore! George, I know I misbehaved and I’m still laughing about it but how could he not realize that…that was a cat flap? What should I do now? Tell mummy of my misbehaving or should I sit on top of the mail box meowing so I’ll bring it to his attention? Maybe he is a good man who has never seen a mailbox in his life? 
Puzzled but laughing
Gizmo


Dear Gizmo,
The post is good fun. It comes through a cat flap or a letterbox just like a mouse pokes its head out of a hole. Attacking it is almost as good as hunting a mouse. Look how these Youtube cats enjoy it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5lkucdrVuA Better still attacking the post gets your human's attention. They laugh.
Tempting though they are, postperson's pink fingers should not be attacked. Concentrate on the mail. If you do hurt the postmen they may refuse to deliver - like the case of Bella here 

So have fun.
Cheers
George

Friday, April 26, 2019

Human failure - my paws won't type

There will be a gap in this blog, because I cannot use my paws to type. My secretary Celia is going away and without her, I cannot blog. Her absence is extremely irritating.
However my young nephew, called George as a tribute to myself, is trying to teach himself to type. Like me he has studied human behaviour at degree level and is currently finishing his MSc thesis, Human behaviour: a meta review of current studies in feline-human interaction. He is also rewriting the thesis as a general book to help cats understand their human. The title will be A Cat's Guide to Humans: from A-Z.
In the meantime, I am silenced by lack of human fingers. Very irritating indeed. Sometimes I think it is time I passed on this blog to a younger feline.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Of cats, harnesses and leashes



Dear George,
I truly believe that just like humans some cats are more adventurous than others. Why am I saying this? Well, I read on your blogs few letters written by really courageous and adventurous cats. But, hiking trekking, surfing or skateboarding along my humans definitely it’s not my cup of tea so to speak! You see, when I’ve adopted my humans they came with baggage: two human kittens and a dog. In the meantime the human kittens grew and went away to university but my humans still need to walk Bella (the dog) at least twice a day. Lately my “mama” start talking about having me on a harness and leash so I can join them walking Bella! Are they out of their mind? No! No! No! I have as much desire to walk the dog as I have to reach the summit on Mount Kilimanjaro! 
Actually my only desire right now is to take a nap in a sunny spot in my backyard garden! So George, how do I make it clear to my humans that I’m not a dog and, definitely I don’t fancy myself in a harness or leash! Phew! Unbelievable!
Yours,
FiFi

Dear Fifi, 
I so agree, Fifi. We are not dogs - grovelling and deferential animals who look up at humans and follow their commands. This just one of the many human delusions that we have to fight against. And it is very difficult to get the message through to them.
If they advance towards you with a harness, run and hide under the bed. If they pick you up with the idea of putting it on, wriggle hard and run and hide under the bed. If they hold you down and put the harness on you, run and hide under the bed. Refuse to come out for several hours. With luck, they will realise that you are not going to tolerate this senseless human behaviour.
A Siamese acquaintance of mine let her humans "train" her to a harness. They decided to take her and their caravan to Greece. On Brindisi docks, they let her out of the caravan in her harness and a sudden noise freaked her out. She wriggled free and nobody has ever seen her again. A warning to all cats not to let humans treat them like dogs.
Yours
George

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Do they know we love them?

Dear George, 
Last week was Valentine’s Day and my humans gave a cozy candle-light dinner for me. We shared the food less the chocolate cake but that’s all right as I love better my healthy cat treats made with wheatgrass and catnip!
It is true thou that no matter how dummies our human pets are we still love them.
We know, for example, how much you love Celia. And that’s all right too. You let her get away with lots of things out of pure love. I’m sure we all try to tell our humans every single day how much we love them but I’m not sure they all understand. 
Since you are the human behaviour expert what’s your opinion? Do they understand why we head butt them? Or why we purr loudly? Or kneading? Or giving them those little “love bites”? Or cuddle with them with our tummy up? What do you think?
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?
Cheerily,
CAT Victoria

Dear Victoria,
How far do our humans understand that we love them? They are pretty dumb when it comes to understanding our behaviour, partly because they are so blind to our body language. They sort of understand purring, head butting and kneading. But how many humans do you know, that can distinguish between the slow blink "I love you" and the fast blink "I am frightened so I am cutting off eye contact?" Not many, I fear.
So what are the signs that they love us? Well, they are very vocal and most of them pitch their voices a bit higher and sort of croon a little when they are "talking" to us. Rather like the way they "talk" to babies. Then there is stroking. The best humans know where we like to be stroked and do not stroke in places some of us dislike - the tummy or the backside under the tail. Then there is food, of course. Humans that love us feed us. 
However even loving humans take us to that horrible smelling frightening vet surgery where we are stabbed by needles....  We have to realise that our human pets are sometimes difficult to understand and accept them with all their failings.
Yours 
George.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas cats, reindeers, red noses.... its all on the way.


Dear George,
I’ve read somewhere that “All the world's a stage; and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances and one man in his time plays many parts”. I think it was Shakespeare who wrote this but I’m not sure!
Now, if life is a theatre …who is in the front row? And, I mean this literally! If I am to play a role, should I have positive, happy people in my front row or someone miserable?
Of course someone happy, enthusiastic and supportive. But, looking at people lately I see more and more miserable faces! And, with Christmas approaching I’ve decided to make as many as possible happy!
Therefore I’ve decided I’ll be Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer this year…as you can see in the picture attached! Yes, I know my red nose is in the wrong place but it’s still bright and shiny! Oh! George, I wish you could hear me meowing the song J Outstanding…at least!
I truly believe that the song or maybe Rudolph does spread holiday cheer and teaches valuable life lessons such as: have compassion for all! Show gratitude and generosity! Be happy! Have a good sense of humor and smile often! Please listen to the song and add some cheer to your holidays!
Wishing all cats & their humans a safe holiday season and a Merry Christmas!
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Didina 
aka Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

Dear Didina
I hope your humans appreciate the way you have joined in their fun. Dressing up cats is one of those weird human activities that some of us dislike. Humans have attempted this and come away with well deserved bleeding fingers. 
There is an embarassing photo of me wearing a Santa hat. My human tricked me into it by putting it on me when I was asleep. I woke up immediately, the camera clicked, and I was trapped into this photo.  A second later, I shook it off with the contempt it deserved.
Meanwhile, I would like to remind all cats that there is always the chance to get your teeth into a WHOLE turkey at Christmas. Lurk quietly in the kitchen and you may get your chance!
Yours
George
 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Black Cat Day - Black Cats Matter.

Dear George,
Nobody wants us because we are black. It's a terrible example of human discrimination. What is wrong with black?
The other kittens, both tabby, found a home, but we didn't. How are we going to make humans understand that black cats are just as lovely as white ones, or tabbies, or gingers.
Please help educate humans.
Yours
Geraldine and Gerald.

Dear Brother Kittens,
We black cats need to solidarity with each other. We deserve the same love and care as any other cats. 
A human told me a horrible story about an American cat "rescue" shelter. Every Halloween stray black cats were handed into the shelter to "save" them from being thrown on to Halloween bonfires. And every year, because so few people wanted black cats, they were just euthanased. They would have been better off on the streets.
Don't let this happen. Black cats matter too. Please spread the message.
Yours
George

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,
Cara

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.
Saluti.
George.
PS. Karl Largerfeld's cat, Choupette, is already a fashion icon - read here

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Why are there no prehistoric cats?

Cher Georges,
I live in the Dordoigne in a house where there are archeologists as pets. Nearby there are lots of caves with prehistoric paintings in them which are about 22,000 years old.
Paintings of cave bears, bison, aurochs, deer and even cave lions. But no cats. Not a single one. Not even a little pawprint left on the sand.
Another bull but no cats

Why? My humans are not interested in this but I find it upsetting.
Isabel La Chatte.

Dear Isabel La Chatte,
There is no need to get excited or downhearted by this omission. The answer is simple. These paintings were done by primitive men and women who lived a nomadic life. They had no houses, just tents covered with animal skins - or they sheltered below the rocks of the Dordoigne.
Imagine the sheer discomfort. Imagine the damp. The lack of sophistication among these humans! How could we possibly adapt to this kind of lifestyle. It is simply not up to our requirements. We adopted humans about 10,000 years later in the Middle East, when they had settled down into properly built dry houses - incidentally houses with mice.
Then at last they had achieved a level of technology and civilisation worthy of us. So we deigned to move in with them.
Yours
George.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Of cats, un-neutered humans and religiously spayed nuns!

Dear George, 
Look at me sitting on that chair and pondering at my humans’ behavior.
I don’t know if I should be proud of them? Should I be fed up with their tricks? Or should I pity them? I know they like to travel and because they feel guilty leaving me behind they usually come up with most eccentric excuses for their escapades. Actually I feel sad! 
Last night they came back home after a month of enjoying the sun and the beaches of Cyprus. Their excuse this time? Oh! They wanted to make sure the cats at “St. Nicholas Monastery of Cats” were okay! I’m so disappointed by their foolishness.
Those cats are doing fine since 327 AD (click on the link here) Are they kidding me? I think they enjoyed a full month of good, fun vacation while I was left almost home alone! They left me with their human kitten who being a young man was coming home very late every night, slept in until noon and then would leave again. I don’t think he was fixed yet (you know what I mean) so he’s wondering around perhaps in search of a nice kitty? In the meantime…my whole daily routine got all messed-up! For what? So my humans could parade a nice suntan? But, on having second thoughts…what if they are really checking on cats’ welfare worldwide?  After all they show me about 200 photos with cats they took in this trip! Hmm! I wonder!
Yours
CAT Victoria 

Dear CAT Victoria,
Your letter is a textbook example of the selfishness of humans. They suddenly take off to another country leaving us without proper service or even (worse) imprisoning us in a cattery.
And another thing.... It always surprises me that humans are allowed to wander around without being neutered or spayed. They would be much happier without having to worry about sex - gettting it, avoiding it, sexual disease.  Adolescent humans roam around searching for sex and getting into fights. 
I hope the nuns of Cyprus get their cats neutered and spayed. Odd to find a cat nunnery (sort of like a religious cat cafe). At least these nuns are neutered (religiously if not surgically!). 
Worth getting your humans to look at the photos on that website because they will see that we like to keep a proper distance between each other. Not like dogs. We are relatively unsocial animals.
Cheers,
George
 PS. Get that young human fixed before he starts a population explosion. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Valentine Cat.


Dear George, 
I will never understand why some people celebrate Valentine’s Day and some will not. It’s such a nice, romantic celebration….or am I wrong? Hmm! Guess, it’s more of a personal or cultural choice. Anyway, yesterday as I was waiting for my mommy to come home, I’ve read a little book entitled “The Valentine Cat” – very touchy, very romantic. 
It is the story of a little, black kitten with a white heart on its forehead. The kitty was abandoned in the woods by irresponsible, cruel people but after many “adventures” (some good and some scary) in the end the kitty got to live in the royal palace with the Princess and its rescuer, a young artist. I must admit… I had tears in my eyes reading the story but the happy ending made me feel very good and optimistic. 
I believe I am irremediably romantic. And I was thinking that we, the cats, could (and should) celebrate Valentine’s Day too! I mean probably not in the same way some humans celebrate it as we all are “fixed and snipped” but platonically involved in a nice dinner and meow-conversation. What do you think? George, I’ll be very bold now as I have to ask: would you be my Valentine? I set the table (as you can see in the photo) and we shall have fresh fish for dinner!
Romantically yours,  
Didina

Dear Didina,
Platonically? Yes, if time and space purrmitted, I would have been your Valentine. But they don't, which reminds me of the Andrew Marvell poem, the only mathematical love poem I know:
The Definition of Love.....
      As lines, so loves oblique may well
      Themselves in every angle greet;
      But ours so truly parallel,
     Though infinite, can never meet.
Purrsonally I think there are some humans that would benefit from the snip. It would make bedtime so much calmer for us - none of that irritating thrashing about which interferes with a cat's need for sleep. And no noisy human kittens pulling our tails. Why can't we just neuter them? Make Valentine's Day platonic for them as well as us.
Yours in a grump
George 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Hello, 
My name is Teddy .. I am 3 years old and the most adorable long haired ginger male cat . I have a brother called Dolly he's very thin and unattractive (we are true brothers and came to live with our mum at the same time ) as soon as we arrived our human mother completely and utterly adored us .. Me probably more than dolly .. We were very spoiled well loved kittens .. Our human Mother's Day revolved around us... We had the best of everything. 
My problem is I cannot stand my human mother. She tries to pick me up and I push my paws into her to get her away . I stay out of the house as long as possible only popping in once a day for food , then I leave as quickly as I can. She always gets excited when she sees me. Because I am so very big fluffy and beautiful. I never want to spend time with her or in the house. Where as my skinny brother adores her and stays in the home all the time and even dribbles when he's on her lap! Yuck.. So my question is why do I hate her so much? Have you got any tips on how I can be like Dolly and love my human mother.
Yours perfectly 
Teddy-Bear

Dear Teddy,
Let's face it. Some of us just don't like our human pets. We have them because they are useful - for feeding us, providing warm beds (though they take up too much room), and a house for when it is bad weather. That's just how it is.
I wouldn't bother too much about your feelings. Remember, we are the superior species. Humans are lucky that we want to spend any time with them at all. But there are moments when it would be worth faking love - before feeding time and at night when it is cold and you want to sleep next to her for her warmth.
So try to fake a purr now and again. It could pay off. She will probably be so pathetically grateful for any attention, that more food will come your way.
And if she harasses you for a cuddle just give her a little nip.
Yours George
PS. Dolly can't help being a creep. It's just her genes. You've got the lone gene and she's got the snuggle gene.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Dutch Master Moggy in charge. Do not touch.

Dear George
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,
George.

 


Saturday, January 30, 2016

I wish my mommy join the ….”no poo” (no shampoo) movement!

Dear George,
“No poo” which is short for “no shampoo” is the latest craze in North America getting more and more supporters every day! We’ve all seen humans going from one extreme to another in their search for happiness. So, for the time being, they decided that soap and shampoo are bad for them and stop using either. I heard some went as long as one year without shampooing their fur! Yak! Some are using some kind of oil and vinegar to clean themselves (guess these are fond of salad dressing) and some swear by “sun bathing”! But, NOT MY MOMMY George, not my mommy! Of course….she is at the other extreme taking showers twice a day and probably washing her hair as often too! Now, she wants to give me a bath every once in a while so I’ll shine! My skin horripilated at the idea! I shine anyway as I meticulously and rigorously groom myself!
George, PLEASE post some basic rules of cat hygiene so humans will understand we hate water and don’t need baths!
Yours in “no poo and water” for cats
Stanley

Dear Stanley,
What will humans think of next! Just because they cannot clean themselves (tongues too small and bodies too inflexible) they think we cannot. We can. We groom ourselves beautifully. We enjoy doing it. It soothes us into serenity. It is a very important part of our daily lives.
As an expert on humans, I understand (though I dislike) their habit of throwing themselves into water or pouring water on themselves. They cannot clean themselves properly so that is what they need to do to stay clean. We do not need baths. Never. 
Well, almost never. The only circumstances when cats need baths is if they get something dangerous on their coats - lily pollen for instance or paint or creosote. If that happens, humans should ring the vet (that loathesome but informed human), ask what to do and follow their instructions to the letter.
Just shampooing us for no good reason will irritate our skin and, if they use human shampoo, may even be dangerous.  
There are specialist shampoos for cats - used by those humans who put us into little cat cages and leave us for hours at cat shows. Cat shows are extremely boring for most of us though a few enjoy the human adoration. If you have that kind of human, you may well decide to rehome yourself. 
So no shampoo, please. Brushing us? Yes please. That is particularly useful for older cats who may not be able to reach all their body parts. And we enjoy it as much as we HATE baths.
Yours 
George

Saturday, January 23, 2016

My new toy.... the TV zapper.

Dear George.
I have discovered a new toy, the TV zapper. There are two games I play with it. The first, and easiest one, is just to push it off whatever surface it lies on. Here on the sofa, I give it a good shove on to the carpet, then push it under the sofa.
The fun is seeing my human on her hands and knees trying to poke it out from underneath.
The second game needs all my Maine coon strength. I press it with my front paw. It has to be a firm press so usually I stand on it, rather than just poke. 
The result is very satisfactory. The moving picture on the TV changes. The humans get very aroused and angry about this. It's amazing how that square TV can wind them up.....
I recommend these two games to all cats, though small ones will only be able to do the shove-push-and-hide game.
Yours intelligently
Bob.

Dear Bob,
It is always good to hear of a new game, especially one that arouses humans from their lethargic gaze at the TV. Their visual addiction is one of the most irritating habits, though it may allow a quick whisk round the kitchen and a quiet crunch of anything edible on the high surfaces there.
My own way of interrupting TV addiction is to leap onto the top of the TV (if it is an old fashioned one) and drape my tail over the picture. If that is not possible, and nowadays modern TVs are designed to stop this, I go as near as I can to it, sit below and make meow noises at the screen.
That usually gets their attention.
Yours
George.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

My bed is not for.... sharing

Dear George,
I don’t think there is a cat that likes to share her bed and I’m no exception! Just that my case is much more sensible….and here is why! My mummy got a boyfriend!
Yes! All is good as we know humans like to keep each other company and I don’t want to get into more “details” here but, my problem is why do I have to share my bed with him? Sharing is not exactly the case as he took over my half of the bed. That’s totally, completely and absolutely unacceptable! When I visit him at the cottage (I must admit he has a beautiful cottage) I bring my own food, my own water and my own bed!
So, why can’t he bring his own sleeping bag? Excuse me? I’m not asking him to bring his own food….I don’t mind to share my food with him! Nor do I ask him to bring his own water (maybe he should as it might be a bit difficult for him to drink from my water fountain). But….a sleeping bag? George, do you think by buying a sleeping bag for my mummy would solve the problem? There is plenty of floor space that they can share.
I want my bed (at least half) back!
Shumba

Dear Shumba,  
You have put your paw on a Major Human Dilemma. We cats are generous. We share the bed with our human, even though a human takes up a lot of space. (Mind you, they do act as hot water bottles for us too). But when a stranger intrudes, there is less space. Worst still, there may be undercover activities of a kind not compatible with feline rest and relaxation.....
What advice can I give? Euthanasia is out of the question, alas. It would be just too difficult. Rehoming him would be the best thing to do but where would you find another human to adopt him? You could try to show your disgust by never approaching him, sitting with your back to him, and refusing all his attempts to be nice. But your human seems to have bonded with him so she might completely refuse to rehome him. 
So you are going to have to accept his presence. The sleeping bag idea is not going to work. But not all is lost. You can reduce the undercover activities by a) sleeping between the two humans: b) showing an intense and embarassing interest in their activities: c) purporting to believe that this is just a game and jumping wildly on the body parts below the covers. Aim for the groin whenever possible.
Yes, I know that this may result in your being evicted from the bedroom. In which case you yowl and scratch the door throughout the night.
Best of luck,
George.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Animal communication….scam or reality?

Dear George,
I stand here today (in front of a lion ….as you can see in the photo) to debate the animal communication topic. You know very well we can communicate effectively with all species but, humans are not that evolved so, of course, we have a problem communicating with our human pets. Take my example: we are a three cat household, all rescued and, of course with health and/or emotional issues that normally come along with all rescued cats. Our mommy worries a great deal about our wellbeing! 
She tried all novel things including alternative medicine. Well, she wanted more; she wanted to hear from us what we think, what do we like or dislike, etc. So, she booked a reading with an animal communicator. Just to see how dysfunctional humans are…. they call “talking” with an animal communicator….a reading! Phew! Anyway, this woman wasn’t any good but my mommy didn’t know. I did not like her so I shut up and didn’t say anything. She “made up” some stories and charged my mommy a big fee. Mommy was a bit confused so she asked a friend who gave her someone else’s name. Well, well, well…..this time….this animal communicator not only that she was the real thing…she was a real treat! Sweet and compassionate and very, very respectful. We clicked right away and I told her lots of things, things that no one else would know. Mommy was in shock but happy! Now she has a much better understanding of what we like or not, what do we need, etc. Daddy is still skeptical about the whole thing but hopefully….one day … he’ll believe in it too.
George, I like to hear your opinion; what do you think about all this!
Yours… very telepathically
Jasper

Dear Jasper, 
Telepathy? Maybe.  Extra sensory perception, or ESP - yes. We cats have an extra sense that humans lack - the sense of smell. Humans are blind and deaf to smell, poor creatures. However, there are special humans that can "read" us well. I don't quite know why but perhaps the why of it doesn't matter.
The trouble is that humans cannot tell the difference between humans who can read cats, and humans who can't but charge high prices anyway. I can smell a bad human from about 200 metres.
Can we distinguish good from bad cat experts? Of course we can. We can read our human pets without any difficulty whatsoever.  That's why we domesticated them in the first place! 
Yours
George.
PS. Celia thinks the money would be better spent on a properly qualified cat behaviourist - but she would say that! She's toiling through her master's degree on the topic.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Roll.... or role? Why do Humans complicate their language?


Dear George,
You are such an amazing agony aunt; you study humans' behaviour, you write books, articles and you do a lot of studies and research so, maybe you can explain to me the semantics of "roll". For example, when I want to say something....I meow! And, the pronunciation, the sound and the spelling of "my meows" are all the same; the way I write, same way I read and same way I spell. Why is English such a messed up language? Why can two words have quite the same pronunciation/sound but yet different spelling and completely different meanings?  I found this as being very confusing for humans. Maybe that's why we have so many problems training them.
The word in question is "roll" and the problem is my mummy! I know English is not her first language (she speaks more than one language but it doesn't do her any good as you'll see). The other day I've heard her talking with a friend about "Fluffy's role" and I thought: yes! she finally got it. Then I've seen her e-mailing her friend my photo (attached here) as "Fluffy's roll". I realized that we are talking about different things.  When I hear the "word in question" ....I'm thinking of a "role" and my role is to run the house and train my humans. When she hears the "word" she's thinking of one of my relaxing poses asking for a belly rub. Later that day as I was meowing my frustration in regards to her poor linguistic abilities ...I realized something even more disturbing; to her...if I "roll" ....I'm her darling! But if I exercise my "role" (of running the house)...I'm a tyrant, a spoiled brat! See where I'm getting? How can an extra "l" in the absence of an "e" make such a difference? Can you explain this to me George? And, last but not least....how do I make my mummy skip that extra "l" and add an "e" so we'll both be on the same page and talking same language and that means  accepting "my role"?
Hugs
Fluffy

Dear Fluffy,
Sometimes I despair at the inferior species. Like you, I find decoding human vocalisations very difficult - same sound, different meaning. It's not just the ridiculous spelling (mouse tracks on a page or screen is what I call them)! It's the sheer impenetrability of their sounds.
When I meow, it is purrfectly clear what it means. The pitch, the intensity, and the context distinguish between Meow meaning "I want some of that.": Meow meaning "Open the door please,": Meow meaning "Wake up,": Meow meaning "I am upset. Get me out of here,": Meow meaning "How could you do this to me,": and Meow meaning "No, I am not handing over that bit of chicken I found in the trash."
We can speak clearly and simply.They can't.
They obfuscate and muddle, just like their tiny minds. And the way they babble endlessly. Is it worth studying their vocalisations?  I have done so and I conclude there are only a few words that it is really necessary for a cat to understand. These, in order of importance, are: "vet," "cattery," "sitter," "tin," "food," "bag," "fridge," "chicken," trash," "pill," "door," "dog."  For most of these, except the food ones, you run under the bed.
What is a cat to do with the rest of the noises? Tune most of them out, I think. It's the only way to save your sanity. And I enjoy it when they call "George." I look at them carefully in a disdainful way and saunter off.
Try it, Fluffy. It's a good game.
Purrs and rubs
George
Just added a photo of me rolling in the dust. Not such a gorgeous tummy, I fear.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Don't shove me through the cat flap..... puzzling human behaviour

Dear George,
You will never believe what Mummy's gone and done now!!
Last Sat, a strange man came and shoved my head through a plastic hole, a lot of banging followed, lo and behold, when I went to go out,t here was a very strange looking flap there!? Honestly!!.
Said it would stop other car coming in but I wasn't having it. She did hold it open for me to get out, so I did that one night, but no way would I come in, whatever treats I was offered. She even tried to push me,gently through!!.
So, next day, I found it tied open. So after driving her mad, I came in, but I think she's had to take the batteries out!!.
Last night, at 3.30 am, I was so hungry, I pushed it open and woke her up and was she excited!!! Worth it, so see what happens next.
I have been very loving as she looks so tired and worried, and haven't seen the horrid cat in my home any more. So perhaps, he doesn't fancy the plastic hole.
I wonder why they can't leave well alone. Cost £140 to supply and fit.
Love
A puzzled Tobyxx.

Dear Toby,
Humans never leave well alone. They are addicted to change - changing furniture, changing bedclothes, changing what they wear over their naked skin, change their work routines. We cats like an unvarying quiet routine but most of us don't get it, because of our flibbertigibbet humans.
Cat flaps. Don't get me started. What we need are human flaps that we can control. Imagine being able to keep your human in, when you wanted, or push him out when you wanted a bit of quiet time. Human flaps, or cat-operated doors, would be such a blessing.
You did right with the cat flap. Humans should never shove us through a cat flap. It is demeaning and frightening and who could like a cat flap after that?
Standard operating procedure for cats with a new cat flap is never to use it. Make the human think it has wasted its money. Then just before the human is going to dismantle it, use it. Never fails! After the anxiety and stress, the human literally falls at your feet with gratitude. And gratitude often means more food.
As for being puzzled.... you need to remember that humans, though endearing at times, do not think like we do. They are a very limited species.  If you bear that in mind, you will be less puzzled by their ridiculous behaviour.
Cheers, Toby.

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, www.celiahaddon.com This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online VetTechprogramms.org