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Showing posts with label killing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label killing. Show all posts

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Beware the Yule cat.....

It's Christmas time, Yule time, the evenings darken early, snow may be on its way, so may the Yule cat...
It is time for humans to shudder with fear instead of taking cat affection for granted and thinking we are all just pussycats.
Not all cats are drowsing near a fire or upside down under a radiator. Out there in the cold of Iceland, a sinister creature is on the prowl.
According to legends, the Yule Cat is a gigantic huge black cat,  sort of feline troll, that only appears at Christmas time, and if there. are no new clothes among the Christmas gifts, the Yule cat may devour the little children in the house.... More detail here.

An Icelandic poem goes like this:

 If he faintly meowed outside
The misfortune was soon to happen.
Everyone knows, that he fed on men,
But mice he would not eat.’

‘Ef mjálmað var aumlega úti
var ólukkan samstundir vís
Allir vissu´, að hann veiddi menn en vildi ekki mýs.’

Time for some respect from humans....

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Remaining a cool cat in a heat wave

Dear George,
Lately we have been hit with temperatures rising to 36 degrees Celsius and over. I’ve heard about some humans suffering really bad from this unusual heat wave.
I’ve found out that even London was hit with hot weather! The problem is that humans can dress sensible but we have to wear our fur coat year around! So, how does one stay cool and hydrated? I personally have central air conditioning but mommy did set it up on low as she doesn’t like cold indoors! So, she is dropping 2-3 ice cubes in my water bowl before she heads to work and when she comes back she’s always taking a damp washcloth and stroke me. She does this sometimes even in the winter when she thinks the indoor air is too dry even with the humidifier on! I must admit I like this very much! George, I wonder if there are any other ways to keep cats cool and hydrated. What about the stray cats and other animals? I’ve seen mommy going out and placing containers with cold water near bushes and in the ravine nearby. She even asked our neighbours to do the same! A while ago she created a “bathing fountain” in our backyard for the birds but I’m not allowed near it which, I think is totally unfair as I love watching birds bathing. And then….you know what yes, right – I’m daydreaming! Must be the heat …but she did build it. So, George, how do you stay cool & hydrated?
Princess Penelope

Dear Princess Penelope,
I have water bowls inside the house in three different places and one outside just near the cat flap. Of course, normally I prefer to drink from muddy puddles (it winds up humans nicely) but at the moment there are none.  None of the water bowls are near a food bowl, as we cats do not eat and drink at the same time.
There is a bird bath. And a bowl put out on what used to be a lawn and is now a dry dead area, full of water for wildlife such as hedgehogs (if we have any and 1 don't think we do). I sometimes drink from the bird bath but the local pigeons have a horrid habit of defecating in it, so I have to do this early when it is scrubbed and refilled. Drinking from the bird bath is another way of teasing my human.
I stay inside the house during the day, preferably on the tiled floor of the kitchen. At dusk I move out into the warm moonlit evening and start my patrol.... hunting if I can. At about 10pm I am called in for supper. Sometimes I won't come. But normally I am hungry enough to come in. 
Stay cool, your Royal Highness.
PS. You are truly beautiful. If I hadn't had the snip, I would be leaving home and hunting you down.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Of cats and official jobs in government

Dear George,
I was using Google to find out what happened to some high profile cats when I stumbled upon your blog. I must say….your blog is cool! Oh boy! So much information:  I keep reading and reading and reading! But, the last two letters kind of scared me! The one about cats and noises and the other one about cats and cars! You see, I live in the countryside, on a beautiful and rather large domain with lots of trees, flowers, bushes, greens and even some sheep, hens and other little creatures! I love my life but, somehow
I’ve always dreamed of a life in a big City! Well, this opportunity came in a form of employment for my human. She is supposed to take on an important job in a big city!
Now, what do I do? Follow her in the big city or stay back home in the countryside and see her only over the weekends? I must mention that I will have full staff attending to me either way (staying back home or joining her in the big city).
George, another question came to my mind! What happened to the 10 Downing Street cats – I’m thinking of Humphrey? Gladstone? Palmerston? Larry? Oh boy! Wasn’t Larry famous? What happened to them? Are they still in the big city (hopefully not abandoned) or did they retire with their humans? I mean ….if I join my human in the city is there any possibility for her to leave me behind when her mission ends? I don’t want to end up in a shelter!
That’s where I came from in the first place!
Anxiously ….yours
Dear Bijou,
The biggest danger for cats anywhere is traffic. In cities there are many cars but in residential areas, these are often slower. And sometimes the little side roads, where cars drive fast late at night have more cat casualties. But there's danger on all roads. And if you are enjoying country life, being stuck in an apartment might be very frustrating. Can you rehome yourself to a reliable country dweller?The famous government cats survive because of their privileged lifestyle. Gladstone the Treasury cat known as a cold-blooded killer for his mousing prowess is confined to the buildings. Palmerston, the Foreign Office cat, and Larry, the Downing Street cat are based near the relatively safe St James Park, and all of them have security men and police who open and shut doors for them! You have conscientious staff, but not the sheer number of them available to these three privileged cats. Look at their photos below (from Wikipedia).
Actually, one other danger are the fights between Larry and Palmerston. I have written to 10 Downing St to suggest various peacemaking changes to the street - high cat ledges, multiple resources etc - but received no reply. They believe human security comes before feline security showing how wrong their priorities are.

PS. Read Larry's twitter feed here

Larry the Downing St cat

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The love of birds....a certain human-feline incompatibility of opinion.

Dear George, 
After reading your book “One hundred ways for a cat to train its human” I started to apply your suggestions quite actively in my daily life. For the beginning I set up two goals just to see how it goes!  One was to have at least one bed in every single room and as you can see in the photo attached I have totally succeeded! Ah! Don’t be silly; of course I OWN that huge bed in the master bedroom as well….just that my humans don’t know yet!  The second goal was to train our next door neighbour first to like me, then to “catsit” me, then to miss me and finally to fall in love with me! Yes, you heard me right! Why would I stop to my own humans when I have such a cute next door neighbour?
Plus he has a bird! ONE love bird – quite laughable when you think “love birds” come in pairs!  But, I love the fact that he has just one – easy prey for me! Can you imagine the day (or night) when my cute neighbour will take me to his place and hopefully the bird cage door is open?  Ah, George! I can’t stop dreaming of that fresh, juicy dinner waiting for me in a little cage next door. 
But I need your expertise; all the “tricks and tips” as I have to make him fall in love with me first, right?  Where do I start?

Dear Rio, 
I love love-birds. Just the right size for a cat - not too large (like pheasants) or too small (like wrens, only a tiny mouthful). Just to reassure you that it is not necessary for any bird to fall in love with you first. All that is needed is for them to be close enough for a good pounce....
However, I reluctantly have to warn you that humans take an ridiculous view of bird slaughter. They love birds as much as they love cats and get very upset if birds are killed. Particularly if they know the "murderer" (their phrase not mine) or even "serial killer" (again, their phrase not mine).
Leave that love bird alone. Killing it, while naturally enjoyable, would ruin your relationship with the neighbouring human, whom you are so successfully training. You have to take the long view. Are a few mouthfuls of love bird worth the loss of a catsitter, a neighbour who may well offer extra cat treats and even a warmer house sometimes? 
I think not.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

I ate all the treats... so what? Humans are worse.

Dear George,
It looks like I misbehaved this past Thursday and everybody in the house was upset and had something to say! But…..I was celebrating American Thanksgiving! What’s wrong with this? Don’t we all should give “Thanks” regardless of the flag we wear?
What “crime” did I commit? I ate all food I found around plus I opened a small bag of treats and finished it.
And, after that? As you can see in the photo attached.
I couldn’t even move ….but it was a good celebration! Now, the other three cats are upset and won’t play with me. My humans? Ugh! They started worrying if this was “emotional eating”; am I depressed? am I anxious? am I bored? What doctor should they take me to?
What if I’ll become obese? Are they crazy? I am no Bridget Jones! I enjoyed the food and that’s all it happened! Do I suggest they see a shrink if they put on weight? No! Not my business if they want to be chubby. George, are all humans neurotic or just mine?
Yes, I ate all treats….now, what? You tell me as I’m confused about all this fuss!
Full and satisfied 

Dear Vegas,
I once ate a full packet of specially malt flavoured vitamin pills for cats  - about 120, I think. My human got very upset indeed, rushed me to the vet, who stuck a thermometer up my bottom so I bit her. "He seems quite well to me," she said sourly.
Humans are such hypocrites. My own left me alone today (without any food), went out for a four hour lunch, and I heard her admitting she had eaten two portions of Mediterranean meze, followed by a large slab of beef with mashed potato, and a whole bowl of Eton mess (cream, berries and meringue). She gave me a measly envelope of cat food when she returned and sat burping in front of the TV.
When I do some creative foraging and come home with a rat, or a mouse, or pull the bread out of its bag and eat it, or finish up the rice pudding left on the kitchen surface, her reactions are hysterical and unkind. 
I am adding a photo of the rat. I was planning to chase it round the house for about an hour and a half, then eat it, she intervened and "rescued" it.
I was proud of that rat! Humans are the pits. 
Yours with sympathy,

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My human pet (I call him Daddy) stole my prey!

Dear George,
That’s exactly what happened; my human daddy stole my prey!
The other day I took up to some of your readers’ advice and jumped over the fence to discover the world beyond it. That alone made me a “bad, bad girl” – that’s what my humans told me. I had no idea that “jumping over a fence” will make me a bad cat!
Well, I was a bit confused and I thought of a way to make it up to them so I brought them a nice gift – a fat, young baby bird. Were they happy? I don’t think so as they start screaming and he almost kicked my butt (literally) pushing me outside and kept the bird inside. Is that the way humans manifest their joy and appreciation? Now I’m even more confused since I didn’t see the bird since then. What do you think he did with it? Obviously he stole it from me and probably pretended to my mom that he caught the bird for her…. while I was left outside waiting (see photo) like a cold turkey (metaphorically).
Now what? What should I do? Do you think they ate my prey?
Very confused

Dear Zoe,
My blood boiled when I read your letter. I wanted to mew "Me too! Me too! They do it to me too!" This is an absolutely disgusting habit of humans. No, they don't eat it. They just take it off us, before we can eat it. And then.... can you believe it? .. they throw it away. A whole delicious meal just goes into the trash can.
I can see from your expression, with your ears back, that you have been horribly upset by this experience. This abuse often happens when you present a bird to your humans. Why? I just don't know. They eat plenty of chicken, which is just another big bird. But when we show resourcefulness and go out and get a bird of our own, they go berserk.
It isn't just the ingratitude of it. It's the sheer waste. Many of us have decided that our humans don't seem to like any birds smaller than chicken or turkey. So we switch to mice. Or even rats. 
There's nothing more delicious than a plump mouse but they never eat one! The human response to rodents varies between screaming and jumping on a chair, to scooping up the living rodent and taking it to the nearest park. As for rabbits ... the hysteria is the same.
My advice to you it is to take your bird somewhere in the garden where they can't see what you are doing. Then either eat it yourself or leave it there. 
Yours in utter frustration and fury

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Am I really a serial killer? And who are the mass killers?

Dear George,
I was horrified and upset when my human described me (on her Facebook page no less) as "the serial killer with whom I share my bed." How could she be so hurtful? She had been upset because she'd let me out into the garden in the morning and I had shot across the lawn and bagged a bunny. Quite a large one too. As you can imagine, I felt an enormous sense of achievement. 
But somehow being described publically as a serial killer upset me. Should I try to resist my hunting urges?
I might add that she has already labelled me as "the Ugliest Cat in the Shelter".  Personally I think she is very ugly, like all humans. For a start they are bald. And for a follow up, she can't kill rabbits like I can.
Yours in disgust

Dear Tilly,
We do our best for humans, don't we? And then what do they do. Shower us with gratitude for being efficient pest operatives? No such luck. They scream when we bring in mice. They almost faint when we bring in a rat (as I did once). And, as you have discovered, some of them are unhappy about rabbits too.
The latest human survey put cameras on cats and claimed that (in the USA somewhere), our hunting bag consisted of 40% lizards, snakes and frogs, 25% mice, chipmunks and small mammals, and 12% birds.  OK, humans. So live with that. That is what we do. Stop pursing your lips.
Who are the serial killers? Well we are. We kill a mouse. Then we kill another one. But that is nothing to the mass killings by humans. They have completely destroyed the wildlife habitat of various islands by importing rats (as snacks) in their canoes. They have concreted over vast tracks of wild land. They have fouled up rivers with their waste. Now they are destroying the fish stocks in the sea.
They even mass kill their own species. Remember the Hitler death camps? The Stalin-imposed famines? The humans dying in Syria, in North Korea ....
Then what do out pet humans do? Blame us for killing wildlife one by one, while their species kills in the thousands, tens of thousands and millions.
Yours in equal disgust

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween and Fireworks day - be careful out there

Dear George,

I don’t know if Halloween is as popular in UK as it is in North America but I worry for all of us, black cats! We (me and my siblings) are not allowed outside on such day or night but even the kids knocking in the doors can be disturbing. They make so much noise and what for? A candy or a chocolate bar?

Plus, some of them are wearing frightening, ugly costumes and masks. Who could think of this as fun? Some people are even dressing their dogs in ridiculous costumes. Who wants to be a “bat” or “pumpkin” and then taken for a walk? Not us cats, I bet!

I don’t understand what Halloween is all about but, I don’t like it as I don’t like fireworks in the summertime. I think of it as poor taste entertainment! George, what can we do? How can we escape this “sugar rush”?


Dear Bentley,

We have Halloween too and then later on November 5 we have Guy Fawkes day or Fireworks Day. There are bonfires and fireworks. The noise is terrible. In the past boys used to make up guys out of mops and old clothes and collect "a penny for the guy." Now they do trick and treat instead or as well.

But there are also a few feral humans who make the fireworks a chance to torture animals. Occasionally cats get deliberately thrown into bonfires. Or these feral youngsters tie fireworks to dogs' tails. It's not safe out there on the street for the next fortnight. Wildlife suffers too, as hedgehogs sometimes take refuge in the heaped up stuff ready for a bonfire - and then are burned to death.

My advice to all cats is to stay indoors as soon as it gets dark. Go under the bed if you are still scared - sensitive humans will not try to rout you out. They will leave you there where you feel safest. Even in the day time stay away from strange humans just in case they are a feral gang.

There's a special danger for black cats like you and me, Bentley. It is twofold. There is a rumour that black cats are caught and tortured or burned alive by black magic practitioners on Halloween. This probably isn't true. But then what happens is that black cats are scooped off the street by well-wishing humans and handed into animal shelters.

So far so good, you might think. Except that in the US (less so in the UK) "unlucky" black cats are slow to be adopted. So these handed in cats are then quietly euthanised by shelters who feel they can't find them homes. (in the l990s, animals shelters killed up to 70% of the cats handed in).

Please, any humans reading this, don't rescue black cats off the street unless you know a no-kill shelter to take them too. You may be "rescuing" them only to kill them. They are better off taking their chances on the street.....

Be careful out there, all you fellow cats.


Saturday, April 02, 2011

A lionheart or a lynx? Yet why did they give me the snip?

Dear George,

I’m a confused (by human’s behavior) young kitten in need of guidance. My name is Richard (not my choice) and I’m about 6 months old. But, let me tell you how I start getting more and more confused. First of all, I didn’t expect to be named Richard. Richard who? Gere? Chamberlain? May be Richard The Lionheart? Yes! I decided that Richard the Lionheart would be quite appropriate since I’m fighting for my territory, especially the master bed. I’m taking good care of all my servants (quite a few in this household) – they all are well trained or so I thought until now! Not to mention my army of toys – all displayed in strategic spots all over my territory! However, the human kitten called me a wild animal. What did he mean by this? He said that I must be a Lynx! I didn’t respond to his provocation since I didn’t know what a Lynx is! Hope it’s not something derogatory! George, what do you think it is? Do you know what a lynx is? But, let me tell you more! Lately I start having different “feelings” and “urges” and I was meowing more then usual. Instead of showing gratitude for my vocalization, my humans took me to a horrible smelling place and all they said was “snip-snip”. Now, I’m okay but I don’t feel like meowing any more, I feel confused . Why do you think they did this to me? Did they want to make me be more like a human? I mean …..a male human? I’ve observed that most male humans are very quiet! George, I’m looking forward for your input and guidance

Confused, but brave


Dear Richard,
It's good to be called a lynx. Very good. They are large wild cats, well relatively large. They are superb hunters with wonderful tufts of hair on top of their ears. Beautiful animals which need conservation help.Take a look at this photo here.
You do look rather like a lynx - your markings are similar.
You should feel proud.

I am sure that they called you Richard because of Richard the Lionheart, a famous English King who was brave and (probably) gay. He conquered a lot of territory but stayed too long absent from his own, England, where his younger brother John, known as Bad King John, had too much influence. So much for human history - a story of failure and blood lust.
Lions, however, are a great deal more sensible and clever than most humans. They are the only truly social big cat, hunting in family groups to pull down big prey. So there is definitely a compliment in being called Lionheart. To humans it means courageous and kingly.
Richard, let me be frank. With your beauty and brains, it is possible that your humans have given you the snip because they are just jealous. I mean, who would look twice at them if they saw you? This neutering and spaying us is an aspect of human behaviour us cats find difficult to forgive.
If you give it any thought at all, it is obvious that humans (rather than us) should be neutered and spayed. Their sex lives are completely out of control. There are so many of them in the world, that the big cat species like lynxs and lions are dying out. Humans spread concrete everywhere. Humans use up huge resources. Humans hunt cats, big and small. Humans pillage the whole world. They slaughter their own species, for goodness sake. If only we could take them to the vet and get them fixed, the world would be a happier place.
I mean, what would you prefer? More lynxes or more humans.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Humans, not cats, are the true killing machines

Dear George
I spend a lot of time hunting in the nearby hedges, in the village were I live. I brought a mouse home yesterday through the cat flap and there were shrieks as it slipped out of my mouth in the kitchen. My humans don't seem to like the fact that I go hunting almost every day. Yet it's the activity which gives my whole life its joy and meaning.
Yorkshire Patch

Dear Patch,
We all have difficulties with our humans about this one, - that is if we live in a nice family home rather than a barn or stables. Humans like the idea that we keep down the mice numbers but they are also queasy about seeing us doing it. Humans are dreadful hypocrites on this issue.
A few thousand years ago, we noticed that humans needed cats. Indeed mice are the cause of the cat-human relationship. They had started growing grain and building granaries and we moved in. Soon we saw that humans would be better off if we domesticated them, so we moved further into their homes and the close cat-human relationship was off and away. 
However domesticated they are, humans like us don't seem to have lost the killing instinct. Their instinct is worse than ours. We kill mice and usually eat them. They kill each other. That is unimaginable in cat society.
Over the past 9000 years of domestication we have tried to teach them how to live in peace with each other. We keep the peace instinctively. True, there are cat fights over willing females occasionally but more often than not, our toms just line up peacefully for a go. Why fight when there is plenty to go round and our females seem to enjoy it.
We deal with conflict much better than humans do. We avoid it.OK so we do a bit of posturing and hissing but most of the time we just walk round each other. If you look at how cats live together in a home (in a group of unrelated animals which is totally unlike the normal closely related wild cat colony), we manage ourselves by avoiding each other. 
We have our separate beds and favourite places and, unless we are forced to, we eat at seperate times. If we do fight, there may be wounds but we don't kill. We time share rather than sharing - unless we are good friends or relatives in which case we eat together and sleep touching each other.
Humans at low levels of society seem to manage this but once there are thousands of them it all goes wrong. They band together in large packs and slaughter each other. They don't even fight fairly with their feet and hands. They invent weapons which allow themselves to kill each other from thousands of miles away. They even slaughter babies and females. So it is the greatest hypocrisy when they object to the odd dead, or not so dead, mouse.
Yes, we have our hunting instincts. Yes we kill mice and rabbits and lizards and insects. We are predators. But so are humans. They prey on their own kind. We don't kill other cats. They kill each other in the millions. 
Humans could learn from us if they weren't so arrogant.

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