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Showing posts with label name. Show all posts
Showing posts with label name. Show all posts

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Update from the Black Kitty & the Christmas miracle

Dear George,
I wanted to give you and your blog readers an update on my situation.
As I mentioned in my Christmas letter I found my new Mummy and moved to my forever home! She started by looking very carefully at me and trying to find me a name that suits me well. First she tried “Midnight”! It is a beautiful name but, unfortunately it only reminded me of the cold nights when I was living on the streets! I didn’t want to disappoint her so I simply didn’t react to the name! 
Then, she looked at me again and said “Dolce” – that’s it: Dolce! which is Italian for “sweets” something like “sweetie pie” in English! George, I must tell you – I had tears in my eyes! I instantly LOVED the name! I looked at her and meowed my approval and gave her a little kiss! I think that sealed our love forever! She IS the best mum! She plays piano for me …serenading me.
She even left a big empty box in the center of the room (as you can see in the photo) so we can play “hide and seek”! I love her and I’m forever grateful she opened her heart and home to me. I give her lots of kisses and head rubs! I don’t know how else to show her my love and appreciation! George, any other suggestions?
Molto contenta (very happy)

Dear Dolce,
No need to go overboard in appreciation.  You have done her a favour by making her into your pet. Keep a little back... so that she appreciates those head rubs when they come. She will value them more if you do not give them too often.
Now you need to help her understand that rewards such as head rubs have to be earned. As wise trainers say, rewards are contingent on correct behaviour. Head rubs, little licks, loud purrs and a lot of lap time -- this is what humans crave from cats.
It won't be difficult. She is obviously a trainable human. The box was thoughtful even imaginative. The name is really lovely.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

What's in a name? Naming cats....

Dear George, 
My name is Kriketel. You might ask what name is this. To tell you the truth I have no idea. All I know is that I was rescued from a pound on a Christmas day when I was only four week old. I live with two other cats, Minky and Didi. They weren’t too enthusiastic about me joining the family two years ago but I’m happy! I have a lovely Mom and a lovely home. Still… I wonder why was I named Kriketel? 
Not that I don’t like it but what if I want to change it? What cats do if they don’t like their names? How do we tell our humans? Based on what rules are we named? I watched a video about a black leopard who was unhappy with his name and after “talking” with an animal communicator (Anna Breytenbach) was renamed Spirit! But not all of us has access to an animal communicator! So what do we do? Again, how do we tell our humans? And, actually what’s in a name, George?

Dear Kriketel,
Your name is both enigmatic and sophisticated. We cats are enigmatic sophisti-cats. Spare a thought for those poor felines who are called names like Flirtybottom (yes I knew one), Fluffytail, or Paddypaws, or even Sweetiepops (an unfortunate name given to a dignified kitten by my pet Celia who should know better). None of those names have the dignified ring that your name has.
Josephine lives in Spain
Here in the UK cats often have names like Gismo, Speedy, or Ziggy suggesting a lack of obedience (we cats don't do obedience). Or place names like Winchester or Mr Woodstock. Or just nice human female names like Jospephine or Lily or manly names like mine, George, Sam or Burt. Tibbles is a traditional name that goes back to the medieval ages, when an epic poem about animals had Bruin the bear, Reynard the Fox and Thibault the cat! 
Our names say more about our pet humans than about us, but I think Kriketel is a great name and you should stick to it!
Here's a photo of Josephine.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Prime ministerial cats rule!

Dear George,
We’d like to congratulate the Prime Minister of Canada for the latest addition to his family. He and his wife adopted a kitten from Ottawa Humane Society.
Mrs. Harper is well known as an animal lover and she always adopted cats from shelters.
We don’t know how many cats they have but probably more then one.
A poll through Mr. Harper’s Facebook page was created so Canadians could vote for a name. The winning name was Stanley (like in the Stanley Cup).
This is another victory for feline’s world. First Larry in UK and now Stanley in Canada!
He is a sweet, cute grey kitten who made it to the top and this is just wonderful news! Congratulations Stanley!
Fluffy & Cayenne

Dear Fluffy and Cayenne,
This is wonderful news. At last we felines are finding our way up to top rank of political power. We have always known that we were worth it but our humans have had an unfortunate tendency to think of us as second to dogs. At last this outdated idea is being shown up for what it is - nonsense. Cats rule!
However old habits die hard. There was an unfortunate incident last week in Downing St, when the policeman at the door of Number Ten, booted Larry into the house. Larry was merely doing what all we cats enjoy - dithering on the doorstep, while the door was held over for him, deciding whether to go inside or outside. He has already trained the police to open the door for him: now he merely needs to train a "stay" so that they hold the door open long enough. How long is long enough? As long as it ta
kes for him to make up his mind. This will be particularly important when the bad weather comes and Larry wishes to hover in the doorway out of the rain and sleet.
Proper police training will be particularly important when he comes home with a mouse. Will they let him in so that he can give to our David Cameron? Or will they try to take it off him first? What about a rat? Similar dilemmas will face Stanley in his new home.
I tried to offer Larry some advice via a popular newspaper, but they had no space for my words of wisdom. Such are the problems for cats wishing to publish. My book on human behaviour is also stuck in the doldrums, despite it being a ground-breaking volume on coping with and training this popular pet species, Homo sapiens (don't laugh at that last word).
We cats face an uphill task but now we have paws in high places it may become easier.
Nice photo of Stanley on the left.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thank goodness I am not called Sootysnout!

Dear George,
My name is Tilly. A sensible and pleasant name, really, compared with some. But I know a Woodstock, a Camberwell, a Salisbury, a Quinine, a Cadbury, a Didcot, a Treacle, a Splash, a Gene, and even a Jezibel (which sounds rather fun). Why do humans choose these odd names? Admittedly there are lots of nice ordinary names like Sam, Ben, Chloe, Sacha, Daisy and Rosie. But why Didcot, almost the ugliest town in Britain? You might as well call a cat Carterton, undoubtedly the ugliest town in the UK. Just because it was born there? Not a very good reason, I think.
Coat colour seems to bring out naming in humans - Blackie, Sooty, Snowy, Smudge, Dusty, Ginger and so forth. Even the occasional feline, rather than canine, Spot. Perhaps I was lucky not to be called Blacknose or Sootysnout or just Nosey (which I am because I like to keep tabs on my humans). You can't rely on human intelligence, such as it is which is very limited indeed.
Yours, Tilly.

Dear Tilly,
I like my name George. Short so that my dumb human can use it easily. Manly too, which is rather a comfort in view of the snip I had earlier. Brave like my namesake saint who tackled dragons (I'd love to have a crack at a very very small one without fire breathing). We black cats, that are thought lucky in Britain but unlucky in the USA, need all the help we can get from a name. Why are we never called romantic names like Bagheera, like the black panther in Kipling's Mowgli stories, or just Panther, or why not Obama or Cleopatra?
Rescue centres could do so much more in the way of naming us. They often don't even think what a name can do for a cat. Give a cat a bad name and it will never be adapted. I mean "Purring Perly" (for a cat already named Perly) is so much nicer than "Piddles Perly" which I once saw. Other inventive possibilities, without changing the original name just adding to it, are"Playful Perly" or even "Perly the Purring King" or "Perly the Pearly Queen". These might catch the eye and they say something attractive about the cat.
One Rescue centre I know used to have too many black cats, so they photographed one totally black cat which had a good story for the press, named it Max and then as the adoption requests flooded in renamed ALL their black cats Max and homed them that way. Each adopter thought they were getting the original Max. Did that matter? Not at all. Most would be renamed anyway.
The truth is that names for cats show more about humans than about cats. And do we know our names? We do. But we ignore them if they are being used to call us in from the twilight hunting area or used as a rebuke when we have found an open butter dish.
Love George, Would-be Dragon Slayer.
PS. This idea of hunting dragons has sort of stuck in my mind.... small, wriggly and reptilian. Very tempting. Perhaps Oscar Snuggles would email me off the blog to tell me about his lizard techniques for my next blog. Then we could all look out for little dragons.
PPS. Blog a bit early this week as my secretary won't be doing it on Saturday.

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