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Showing posts with label smell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label smell. Show all posts

Friday, July 12, 2019

How cats use cars

Dear George
Why does my human not like it when I climb up on the roof of her car? Doesn't she understand I am only trying to keep vigil so that I can ward off any would be intruders? How can I convey to her that I need higher lookouts to be able to provide even better surveillance and also more of them? This will also help me to spot prey but I won't leave any as a gift according to your previous advice! It is very hard work but if we can get them learn one thing at a time that way we can slowly make them better assistants to ourselves and our objectives.

Dear Rupert,
Humans have not the slightest idea of how useful a parked car can be. They are like trees for urban cats. We can sit on them in order to be vigilant; we can hide below them; we can warm ourselves up on the bonnet of a car that is still warm; and we can leave scent messages on them.
As you say, they don't understand. They have the cheek to object when occasionally we leave paw prints on the car yet they don't give us any decent alternative high sitting points. Why not? Because they don't have the imagination to know we want them.
 So what can we do about this? Just be patient and purrhaps get them to read this blog.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Does your human smell good to you?

Dear George,
I’m sitting here scratching my head as I can’t figure out how we choose our humans. I’m not talking adopting or rescuing them! I’m talking about something that transcends that stage.
Let’s assume we already have adopted/rescued them for, let’s say a month now and, of course we share our forever home with them. We all try to adjust and, if we train them well from the beginning, they’ll make good servants!
Then….boom! We find ourselves more attached to one of them! Why is that? How do we decide which one?
The only thing I can think of … the smell! Even so, how come?
They don’t smell like bacon or cheese or mice (I’ve heard that some humans smell like rats though) or roasted beef? What people smell like? I know my mummy’s friends buy expensive perfumes but, the perfumes smell like flowers or grass…not necessary something to be attracted to. Men don’t use so much perfume, at least not the ones I know.
So, George, what makes humans appealing to us? Why am I so attached to my dad?
Just asking,

Dear Leo,
Why are we attached to them at all, Leo? If we care for humans, is it somehow the instinct to care for kittens? Gone wrong? Or at least gone odd! Obviously we adopt or rescue them because they will  house us in the manner that befits the superior species, and be good butlers, house maids, and cooks.
But why love them?  Why roll in front of them, sit touching them, climb on to their laps, bunt them, and sometimes even groom them? The relationship between cats and humans has only been going on for about 9000 years: they are only semi-domesticated (and some feline scientists argue that humans are not domesticated at all). 
I am sure scent plays a part in why we love one more than the other. I agree that the powerful odours that females use are often aversive to cats. Men have more of a nice cosy human odour. And, of course, who feeds us makes a difference too. Follow the food bowl and you may understand your preference better.
This is one of the great issues of our time, Leo, and I am still struggling for an explanation.
PS. A good job they don't smell of mice. I'd be tempted to eat one.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Of cats and catteries - and how to survive them

Dear George,
I have two questions for you. First: why do humans have that need to wonder away from home for two weeks or more at a time? They call this “holiday” or “vacation” – depending on which side of the pond one lives!
Second: why do they think that placing us in catteries or boarding us on veterinarians’ offices each time they get this “wandering away” itch, that they re doing us a favor?
Hope you can shed some light on the topic as I was put again in a cattery and I came back home sick from the food I ate there. It wasn’t fun. Now, my human is trying to bribe me with two new brushes (as you can see in the photo attached). I love brushes and I love being brushed!
But, I’ve heard of and read about “live-in” cat-sitters or friendly neighbors who come twice a day or even a professional sitter who would come 2-3 times a day to check on us, feed us and clean after us! I rather stay in my home/territory than sharing the space with other cats while we are all constrained in cages.
She doesn’t do me any favor! How do I tell her?
In gratitude for your advice

Dear Shumba,
Catteries? I call them prisons. Hateful, hateful places smelling of disinfectant and other cats. The sheer horror of the smells makes me feel sick. Humans are so nose blind that they don't even realise the stress of the new scents. My human does the same to me. Locks me up in a cat pen. She hasn't got a reliable sitter. I have a cat flap at home, so she feels I might leave home if she deserts me to go on one of her "holidays." And what a shameful dereliction of duty, that is!
I suggest you punish her when you get home. Refuse to talk to her. Refuse to sleep on the same bed as she does. Turn your back on her as much as possible. You might also, if you are very very angry, spray on her bed. Humans hate this: yet all we are doing is mixing our scent with theirs in a masterful exaggerated way. Try it! But make sure you do that first thing, so she links it with having been in the lock-up.
How to survive in the nick (ie a prison cattery)? I always take my own food with me. And my own bedding. And my own toy. And sometimes my own litter, too. It helps to have a little scent of home in these hostile surroundings.


Friday, December 08, 2017

The Universal Language of Cats

Dear George,
I live in a big metropole and, I humbly must admit I live the life of the riches!
Really, I am a rescue who got the chance to live in a Four Season Hotel suite!
But, that’s not the reason I’m writing to you! The reason is that I’m afraid I’m losing my mind and I don’t know if it’s because of the luxurious life I’m living or if it’s because the electro-magnetic/microwave pollution of the big city or what! How am I manifesting my symptoms? Simply….I think there is a Tower of Babel ….in my head!You see…Italian is my mother tongue, my mummy speaks French and my daddy speaks English. They have friends who speak other languages. When we have company …everybody is talking to me in their mother tongue and I DO UNDERSTAND them all!
Isn’t that crazy? How can I understand all these foreign languages?
George, can you explain this to me before I completely lose my mind? Or is it that we are so advanced that cat language transcend any other languages?
Completely confused
Signore Bianco

Dear Signore Bianco,
Of course you understand what humans are saying - in so far as it is worth bothering about. The feline communication system is multi-faceted involving scent, vocalising and body language, far more advanced than the human one. Using those three senses we read our humans. (Admittedly like reading a book for very young kittens as most of their language is unnessary blah).
We read their body language much better than they read it. We read their tone of voice with an ability much better than theirs. We read the way their scent changes with their emotions and we read the family mixture of scent - hers, his, and mine.We can detect if they have been stroking another cat half an hour ago or which supermarket they went to (they smell different).
Human beings only understand vocalisations.  And because their other senses just don't work, they have to do an awful lot of vocalising in different languages. But we read what is behind or underneath the words: so we don't have to bother with the exact way they vocalise. Much of what they say is very boring anyway. Poor nose blind creatures!

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Basil the good little kitten - and why humans should be neutered too

Dear George, 
I’m Basil! Not The Great, not the Holly, not the Italian and, definitely not the Thai basil! I’m simply …..Basil the Good Boy. My mother was rescued off the streets by this good family when she was pregnant.
She had a litter of four and she had the luxury to nurse us until we were about three months old. The good family kept my mother, me and my brother and their relatives adopted the other two kittens. We all have good homes now and good, caring people. 
Actually I was born right in this room you can see in the picture (above). The room is our human grandma’s bedroom. I love this room so much that sometimes I don’t even want to leave it to go eating. During the day my human grandma sits in her favorite armchair solving puzzles and I sleep in her bed. At night we switch – I’ll take the armchair and she’ll sleep in her bed. 
But I need your advice as we have big problems with my brother and I’m afraid he’ll get in trouble. See, his name is Aristotle which I think our parents rush to name him so (after a dozen of other names which none fitted him) – he is no philosopher nor is he wise. The minute he gets indoors he jumps on our human kitten’s bed and pees right there. So, he is mostly an outdoor cat because of this! While outdoors he gets in fights with the west end guys over territory! My mummy can’t catch him on an empty stomach to take him to be “fixed”. We need your advice – how do we catch him before he eats? Once fixed I think he’ll make a really good, wise philosopher! 
But…. until then?
Basil, the good boy 

Dear Basil,
I don't like thinking about the snip, castration, fixing, neutering, sterilising - those are the words used by humans. It makes me feel uncomfortable. It happened to me and because I don't know what life would be like if I still had my mating tackle, I can't be sure  if it was a good thing. But I certainly don't pee in the house or get into fights, roam from home looking for sex or get sexually transmitted diseases.
If Aristotle wants a good life, he will have to submit to this. Perhaps your humans could borrow a trap from the local cat shelter and get him to the vet that way. In ancient Greek literature, I think in a book by Plato, an old man is asked how he feels about no longer being interested in sex. "I feel I have escaped from a violent god," he replies.
A wise philosopher! Humans get into fights, roam round looking for sex, and end up in the STD clinics. But they don't neuter each other, do they? If it is such a good thing, why not?
I leave you with that thought.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Who's my father? Try the armpit test or quit worrying and be yourself

Dear George, 
Hope you can help as I’m living a big dilemma. I know who my biological mother is, I know who my adopted mother is, I know who my adopted father is but how would I know who my biological father is? When humans are looking for child support they do a DNA test and the “bad guy” ends up paying until the human kitten finishes university or is 21 years old. Well, in most cases we don’t get to live that long so our biological fathers won’t have to supply a daily fresh mouse for the next 21 years!
However, I don’t think it’s fair not to make them bring a mouse once in a while! 
My biological mother was rescued when she was very young and very pregnant! I was one of the kittens in the litter. The human who rescued my mother kept all of us so I had a very happy kittyhood! But, I wonder ….could that stray coming for dinner in the backyard be my father? Should I approach him? Ask him for a DNA test?
George, what cats do in such situations?
Eager to hear from you

Dear Speedy,
It's a wise cat that knows its own father. I don't. A fair number of humans don't either: they only think they do. The joy of feline sex is that two or three different toms father a litter. It's nature's way of ensuring diversity. Humans have to have rules about this: we do it naturally. Gingers, blacks, black-and-whites, grey (all shades of) tortoiseshells and tabbies are all brought up as equals.
Forget your father. It's only boring humans care about paternity, and get DNA tests, and worry and upset themselves. It's mothers that count for us. They feed us and teach us. There's no kitten support from our fathers.
Yes, if that stray cat in the backyard looks like you, sniff the air and see if you can recognise a familiar scent. It's the armpit test and some believe cats can recognise their relatives. But that might just be catlore.
Purrsonally I never give my father a second thought. I am Glorious Me and that is all that matters.

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

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! 
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.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Is it time for Bite The Vet week?

Dear George,
Unfortunately ,I was sick the other night, and even though it was outside, Mummy found it, and whipped me to that horrid place where they stuck a glass thing up my bottom, so undignified, and needles in me, shaved off my fur to do this.  And left me in a cage all day with water going in my leg.
What a carry on. I did feel very queasy.
She did collect me at 5 and had cooked me fish, and chicken. Well I was famished so was glad to see food. I stayed out that night, popped in to wake up when I got hungry, and guess what? 

She shut me in at 8am and out came my basket and back we went to the vets, for another injection. Cost her over £300 so that'll teach her a lesson.
Lots more fish and chicken followed, but I've stayed out of the house , only entering to wake her for food at night or a cuddle in the evening, as I know she's is worried, but it has freaked me out.
I suppose it did make me better, but how would she like it?
I know you will understand ,George.
Lots of love,
Toby xx.

Dear Toby,

Vets. I loathe and detest them. I call them torturers.  They are always jabbing needles into us. And as for that thing up the bottom. My friend William used turn round smartly and bite the hand that was trying to stuff a glass tube up his backside. He wouldn't have it. 
And the smell. Each time I go there it smells of feline distress, anxious human, and smelly dogs. In the waiting room the worry smell is almost overpowering. And oddest of all, the humans don't seem able to smell the anxiety in the air. Even the dogs do. But not the humans.
I am thinking of starting a Bite The Vet week among fellow felines. Or maybe we could start a cat gang, kidnap a vet, hold him down and stick a tube up his bottom.
 With sympathy for your suffering,
PS. This blog is early because my human is putting me into captivity for week, as she goes away to enjoy herself. Sickening behaviour.  AND she was too late to put this photo of Mexico Day (May 4) on the previous blog. I wish humans were more efficient.

Friday, April 11, 2014

My humans are stealing my hammock....

Dear George,
Last week I got this wonderful little hammock as a gift from my human kitten.
I must admit he brings me the coolest gifts. Now, who wouldn’t like to take a nap in a hammock? Of course I do – as you can see in the picture.  It’s such a joy to nap and get a little swing in the same time. I can sleep and sleep and sleep!
But, I can’t enjoy my new gift because lately my humans (the old folks) are acting very strange; as soon as they see me in the hammock napping they come and tempt me with treats or rub my belly or literally grab me off the hammock. She is worse than him. I know she’s jealous. But him? Do you think they want my hammock? Do they think they can fit in it? George, how can I make sure they won’t steal it from me? Also, I’d like to punish them for disturbing my sleep! I’d like to wake them up when they are sound asleep. What should I do? Please…..feed me all the tricks.
In love with a hammock
CAT Victoria

Dear CAT Victoria,
That hammock looks really good. I used to have one attached to a radiator but it fell off one day when I leapt on it. There was an enormous clattering sound and it never felt safe to get into again. Yours seems much better designed and fits safely under a chair.
I can do better than just tell you a few ideas for waking your human. I can show you some at  A human (believe it or not)  gave me this information. Michelle in Toronto is one of the least stupid humans I have come across. Cayenne, her owner, says she is really quite bright.
I particularly enjoy the cat who leaps on to his human's groin in the video. I have always found this particularly effective with a sleeping male. For a female, I prefer a slightly less direct approach. I get myself into position and then do what I call a dry spray - quiver my tail in an attractive come-on. The nearer you get to the human face, the more likely they are to wake up.
Biting toes under the duvet is good. My informant Tilly specialising in poking items off the bedside cabinet. She chooses the items that will make the most noise, but she also finds that her human responds well to the sound of her spectacles being poked. 
Grooming is reasonably effective, as the video shows. But it is hard work grooming all that hair - unless your human is bald. That makes it easier.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Challenging those human new year resolutions!

Dear George,

I need your help in deciding if I should support or break my human’s New Year’s resolutions. Every year I hear mummy talking to her friends and decide on one thing or another. This year, with my feet in cold water – metaphorically, of course - (as you can see in the photo) I took the time to actually reflect on my humans’ resolutions. Here are some of them:

1)    Start eating healthy.  Why? This is such a non-sense; my humans are vegetarians anyway….so how much healthier than eating grass can one get? Maybe I should break this one; put some meat in their food. George, what do you think?

2)    Lose weight. That’s a good one! Laughable as it is! I love it as it never happens and never will. I don’t have to worry about this one as mummy is breaking it herself J)) give her a month or so!

3)    Get up early! Yes to this one….only if she’ll take turns with my daddy to serve me breakfast at 4 am or whenever I feel like.

4)    Exercise more! Yes to this one….only if it means holding the door for me each time I want to go out or come back in. If it’s to go to the gym and run like a rat on a wheel definitely “NO” as I’ll be left indoors for hours.

5)    Be nicer; say “hello” to at least one stranger every day! What? Is she nuts? That will get her in trouble. I have to break this one but I don’t know how. Hmm!

George I need your advice here.

6)    Get better organized! Definitely “NO” as this means the whole house will be upside down and things will be moved around. Plus our routine will be changed for months and I don’t like changes.
George….what should I do?
Why can’t humans have resolutions like “sleep longer hours”, “eat more treats,” “play with the mouse Fluffy brought in”, “enjoy more catnip”, etc.
Is there any hope George? Please share your wisdom with me
 Cheers & hugs

Dear Fluffy,
Here we go again. Ridiculous trivial human resolutions which have nothing to do with what really matters - proper cat care and proper human service. Because I am grumpy after the long period of 'festivity" (I'd call it neglect), this kind of thing makes me tired and cynical about the inferior species.
Healthy eating? Vegetarian? Don't make me mew with cynicism. There's no point you trying to break this resolution by bringing a mouse or two. Humans never ever eat them. They spurn our helpful offerings.
Lose weight? Well padded knees make for a softer lap. Who wants a bony human? Not me.
Get up early - now there's something there, as you so wisely point out. I'd like two breakfasts. One at 3am and one at 7am.
Exercise more - yes, if it means more cat games, fishing rod toys, chasing round the house. As you say, rat-on-the-wheel gymnasiums have nothing to offer us - the humans simply leave the house.
Be nicer. Yes but to us not strangers. Ignore strangers. We don't like them.
Get better organised. Omigoodness... all that cleaning and furniture moving absolutely ruins the scent profile that I have been building up in the house by rubbing against doors, walls, furnitures etc.
Is there any hope? Well, luckily there is. Human beings usually fulfill their resolutions for a period of time which is about two weeks. Then life settles back nicely into normal. Don't worry, Fluffy, all this activity will soon be over.
Happy New Year without Resolutions
PS. Get your human to put you on

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Difficulties with household staff - litter tray training

Dear George,
You know my humans, Merrie and Robin so I am writing to you for advice.  With the very cold winter they provided me with an indoor lavatory in the garage and at night moved it into the kitchen as I sleep in the breakfast room. They won't allow me on their bed any more as they say I fidget and wake them up.  When it got warmer and I was able to come and go more easily and visit my house next door without being carried because it was cold, snowy or wet, they had the cheek to remove the tray at night from the kitchen.  They thought as I was peeing in the garden again, Robin didn't want the bother of carting the tray from the garage into the kitchen.  Naturally I piddle in one corner when I wake up in the night or morning.  Why should I go out through the cat flap in the early morning when I am nearly nineteen years?  The staff have no consideration. They are putting disinfectant down  but I am continuing. 
Yours in disgust at human failings,

Dear Lily,
We all have problems with staff. Incompetence and lack of intelligence are common human failings. There are so many human idiocies here, that I hardly know where to start.
First, the litter tray.You are an elderly cat and like other oldies (human as well as feline) you need to be able to get to the loo in time.  You should not have to struggle out in the frost in winter and the rain in the so-called British summer. So, you need a loo indoors in the warm - not too close to the food bowl. Do they have a utility room or  downstairs human lavatory that would be suitable?
Secondly... the disinfectant. Your staff are obviously totally untrained in proper cleaning. I love the smell of disinfectant and I expect you do too. Stupid humans who are smell blind think disinfectant smells of lemon or some other scent. We know that it smells of cat pee. So naturally, we pee on top of it. "Cleaning" cat pee with disinfectant is like putting up a notice "Pee here" for us cats. Tell your human to contact Celia's website on how to clean up.
In general, Lily, I wonder if your humans need more training. Human intelligence is severely limited and household staff really can't cope unless they are properly trained. Put more effort into this. 
Yours George
PS. Reclaim your bed. If you fidget, they can always sleep downstairs on the sofa or in the spare room. What is the world coming to when humans think they can take over our beds.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

A feline intruder into my territory.... or a friend?

Dear George,
It’s past midnight and I barely can hold my head up not to fall asleep on the keyboard but I MUST write this letter because I smell trouble in my house. Actually, I’m afraid to go to sleep or better said…..I’m afraid to wake up in the morning. Let me explain. If you remember I was adopted after my human took a trip to Las Vegas. I was extremely happy; I settled in my new home quite nicely; I started an intensive training with my human BUT yesterday I heard him talking about taking a trip to Mexico. You know by now what’s happening when he takes a trip, right? Yes! It possibly means another cat! And now I’m afraid to go to sleep only to wake up in the morning looking at a tabby “Juanita”. I have mixed feelings (due to the recent letters) about sharing the house with another cat. How can I stop my human from going away or better yet, how can I train him to change his habit?
Sleepy but worried,

Dear Vegas,
This is one of the worst human habits - their idea that they can just fling another feline into our territory and expect us to accept the intruder. We are not dogs. In nature we would only live with our relatives. Yet they expect us to welcome an unrelated stranger into our midst. Sometimes I despair of humans..... their inability to learn anything about us and their irresponsible habit of adding cats to the household.
You can't stop them, Vegas. You can't change them, Vegas. You can train them out of some behaviour but probably this is a human behaviour problem that won't respond to training. If they bother to read this, they should know that the introduction must be slow, starting with the newcomer in a crate or the spare room (with full litter and food facilities). Bedding should be swapped between you and the new kitten (sounds good that is is female rather than male) so that the proper "family" scent can be developed.
Humans are scent blind and lack our exquisitely sensitive noses. Their honkers or schnozzles are pretty useless organs. It is the scent of the intruder which will initially upset you. However if the scents are slowly mixed and she aquires your scent and visa versa, you may find it in your heart to accept her.
You are young, Vegas. She will be young too. I hope and pray that this willl work out good for you and that, after the initial upset, you will acquire not a competitor but a play mate and a friend. The real pity is that you didn't get the chance to do a joint adoption, you and a littermate adopting the humans together.
Humans... idiots but we love them. Sometimes.
Love George

Friday, July 08, 2011

To spray or not to spray - that is the question!

Dear George,
I am currently extremely stressed by my home situation and my human's behaviour. It has really upset me. She has brought home a new human, one who works in a veterinary clinic. Yes, one of those. A complete stranger to me. He smells of dogs, feline fear, vaccination needles and disinfectant (ironically smells a bit like cat pee). True, I have had a few scent hints about his presence in her life. She stayed out one night all night and came back looking very pleased with herself. As if the cat had got the cream, I might almost say. Now he has turned up and spent the night here. Yes, the whole night. He didn't even have the decency to mate and leave.
Shall I spray? I think it might make me feel better. And it would show her how very upset I am by her mating behaviour. What do you think? I rather thought I might do it on the unmade bed after he had got out of it.

Dear Louis,
No wonder you are upset. The sex life of these humans is so outrageous. Any time. Any season. The females are ready for it all year round. Their permanent readiness is really disgusting to felines. We have proper seasons for it, interspersed with kitten bearing and usually we remain abstinent during the winter. Makes sense. Who wants to have kittens that die of cold. As a cat who has had the snip, I really feel sorry for them, at the mercy of their ever present hormones.
Spraying gives the message "Stop it." Or "Piss off". Or both messages at the same time. However, it is the nuclear option for us cats, Louis. It is the ultimate weapon and the final deterrent. It can go wrong. Humans seem unable to read the message - which is "I am upset". They sometimes think we are just being malicious.
So my advice would be to avoid all out final war and try to set up a training programme using more gradual rewards and punishments. Obviously you will refuse to sleep on the bed, as usual. You wouldn't get a wink of sleep anyway. Pace round it making little kitten mewing noises. Jump up on the side of your human, then shudder, crouch and hiss at the new mate beside her.
Run away immediately he comes into the house, making sure that your human sees your fear. Refuse to eat your food (you can probably get a good meal further down the street anyway). In every way treat him as if he was a cat killer. A human who smells of the vet is a killer. They call it euthanasia. I call it murder.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Are teenagers a new subspecies of humans?

Dear George,
I am becoming extremely concerned. One of my humans seems to have morphed into a new subspecies. It was a smallish retarded kitten taking years to learn how to walk, then becoming a chubbier version of its parents. But now it has shot up in size and its behaviour has changed. The excessive vocalisation of the normal human has changed to grunts. It has dermatological problems on its face - in a word, zits. And it spends hours in its room playing disgustingly loud music. It is also challenging the adults for a top place in the dominance hierarchy. Is there anything I can do to restore harmony in the home.
Love Riley

Dear Riley,
You have two alternatives - leave home or wait. In view of the fact that it is winter in the UK, I suggest the latter. We cats are good at waiting. We do it at mouseholes in order to get out daily meals if we live in the wild. All humans are retards compared with cats, but the teenager subspecies is particularly retarded. It is as if it has forgotten what it learned as a kitten.
The subspecies also has sex on its mind all the time. Yes, disgusting as it is, all the time. We cats wait till the females come into season before getting the mating urge. Teenagers have it all the time. Some of them call it "romance". But they are completely at the mercy of their hormones. The loud music has something to do with this but feline neuroscientists have not yet discovered exactly what is going on.
Avoid the teenager's territory. The room will probably smell awful anyway - of sweat and old socks if it is a male, or of revolting artificial perfume if it is a female. Why humans choose these overwhelming pheromones is beyond me. But I suppose it is something to do with the fact that they have a very poor sense of smell, poor things. We have about seven times as many olfactory cells and twice the olfactory membrane of Homo sapiens.
Goodness knows, Riley, humans are dumb creatures. But the teenage subspecies is even dumber. Hang on in there till summer
Love George
P.S. I have to stand and mew at Celia while she puts this on via the Orange dongle.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A cry for help from Miss Penelope

Dear George,
I’m writing on behalf of my friend Miss Penelope. She is too shy and embarrassed to post her picture or write herself but, I think she has a problem and I need your advice.
Miss Penelope is a rescue from a local shelter and she was adopted with two other cats. She was ok until one of the cats started “bullying” her.
I don’t know if she is scared or has a health problem but lately she stop using the litter box. She “goes” in most unusual places through the house.
What it is very unusual ….she kind of peeing standing!
Her human is worried that she might have some health problem even if all tests came back normal. Did you ever hear of a cat peeing standing? Can this be a health issue? May be some lower back problems? Hips? What do you think?
Many thanks & love
Cat Victoria

Dear Victoria
I think Miss Penelope is trying to tell her human that she is very very anxious. Standing up to pee is the way we cats mark our territory rather than just relieving ourselves. This is scentmarking and it's rather like a post-it note to ourselves to tell us that something worrying is round this particular corner. My friend William used to do it against a box tree (they smell like cat pee to a cat) and also at the corner of the field where the foxes would come past on their way to hunt rabbits. It reminded him to take care.
We mark our territory when we think it is under attack or when we are feeling anxious about it. So if our stupid humans punish us, we get even more anxious and mark even more. Also once we have marked, we top up the place to keep our scent there up to date. The smell reminds us. So does the smell of disinfectant put down by humans. Disinfectant smells just like cat pee to us. My secretary Celia tells me that instruction on how to clean up cat pee, and a list of reasons why cats get stressed is on her website at
If Miss Penelope is not getting on with the other cats, she needs help. We are not human. Humans are absurdly social - they eat together and spend time together. Most of them like being near other humans - pubs, parties, holidays, hobbies etc. But it takes between 3- 6 months for most cats to settle into a group. We cats deal with social problems by spacing, keeping a decent distance between each other.
So her human can help her by making sure there are plenty of cat beds, that food is put down at at least two locations (a tea-tray with food can be put in the bedroom), that there is at least one litter tray per cat. Don't just put the litter trays in one location - there should be at least two locations. The idea is that cats can do all the things they need to do - eat, sleep and eliminate - without having to come close to each other.
Miss Penelope needs to feel safe from the bully.
If she is being severely bullied - wounds, fur everywhere etc - she may just need to live in a separate part of the house. A Petporte cat flap into a room of her own might help. Some of us are really anti-social and just are natural loners. There's more on Celia's website about that too. Or in that ridiculous book of hers.
If only we could purrsuade humans to think cat, rather than to assume that we will like the same things as us.
Love George
PS. My secretary is trying to make a Facebook group titled Cats behaving badly but so far she has made a group but nobody seems able to join it. What is she doing wrong? Answers to her on Facebook please or via the website

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I need a friend ... j'ai besoin d'un ami

Dear George,

Your blog might be for cats but I kind of like it! Oh, sorry! Let me introduce myself;

my name is Oliver or in French ….Olivier (guess I need an accent aigue somewhere – not sure- just learning French). Recently I moved to Paris (France, of course) with my mommy. She loves my very much but I don’t have too many friends and I get easily bored. When not in Paris, we spend a good amount of time at the farm (near Paris) but I’m not used to village life either. Last week she took me to Louvre. I liked it (I could pee on the pyramid but don’t tell anybody). Next week will be another museum or something! I mean….how much “Louvre”, “turn Eiffel” “Montparnasse” can I take?

George, I think I need a friend. Should I look for another cute, little dog like me or a house rabbit? Do you know of any parks in Paris where dogs meet? May be I’ll meet the love of my life! O la la!

A bientot


Dear Olivier,

Museums.... boring, boring, boring. Very few if any mice and those that exist as as poor as church mice, who face equally straightened circumstances. No rabbits to chase. Just lots of square things on the wall with labels Leonardo Da Vinci and the like. (Though Leonardo was fond of cats and some rather nice sketches of felines exist).

A house rabbit has interesting and gastronomic possibilities. Research your French recipes for lapin, then start trying to persuade your human that you need this kind of friend. I have been working on Celia but she says I should content myself with the very many rabbits that live in her garden. She says that when she has evidence that I have palled up with one of these, she will have some house rabbits. She pointed out that finding the half eaten rabbit corpse on her doorstep did not count as evidence of a fully functioning rabbit-cat friendship.

My online friend Samurai Raoul, (I dare not go near him as he chases cats), whose photo is on the right, recommends the Bois de Boulogne as a good place for a walk but you should warn your human about the dress code. It must be modest, otherwise she may be mistaken for certain people (male and female) who sell special services to male customers. And it is not a good place to go at night or when offices close, as this is married man's time, when customers pick up a quickie before catching the train home to their wife and family.

I am going online later today to ask Raoul for more tips on the canine vie Francaise (can't do the accents on this blog). He never goes off lead in the Bois, as his humans are dismayed by his fighting attitude. As a warrior dog, despite his small size, he attacks dogs three times his own size and, like us cats, takes no notice of any human instructions. But other dogs enjoy playing peacefully there.

Glad you peed on the pyramid. Why else would it be there? Such a nice shape with a lot of edges at pee height. Made for leg lifting. I dare say passing felines have sprayed there too.



Saturday, September 04, 2010

Help! my sister is attacking me!

Dear George,
I'm quite fed up with my sister Cayenne.
I wasn't feeling well the other day so mommy took me to the vet. They did a whole set of tests and thanks God everything is okay.
I came back quite happy to be home but my sister Cayenne doesn't recognize me
She thinks I'm a different cat. Mommy is upset as she's leaving today for 3 weeks to visit her mother. We'll stay home with daddy but what can I do to make Cayenne realize that it is me, Fluffy? Or may be I just should get into a bag (see photo) and go away with mommy? Some advice will help! I'm sure other cats had this problem too.
Love Fluffy

Dear Fluffy,
Yes, i
t is a common problem after a vet's visit. Vets are the most loathed enemies of all cats. They do awful things to us - stick us with needles, force pills down our throats, force our mouths open to lok at our teeth, and generally maul us around. We hate vets. The bolder among us bite them if we can or scratch if we get the chance. Some purr formercy (and don't get it). Mostof us just sit hunched and miserable onthat awful smelling table.
There's nothing worse than the smell of a vet. Naturally we cats identify friends and foe by scent. But the humans don't understand this because they are scent blind, poor creatures. They just plonk us back into the family home, completely unaware
of the fact that we smell like the enemy. So Cayenne reacted normally and went for you. You smelled horribly frightening to her.
The answer is to give you the smell of home. Home smells of your scent and her scent mixed together with the scent of both your humans (that's why you rub them). It's the homey scent that identified you and her as friends.
Get your human to take a clean cloth like a hankie and wipe it round Cayenne's chin and cheeks
to collect her scent. Then wipe it on your body. Do the same for your chin and cheeks and wipe it on her. Swap her beddding with your bedding. Top this all off by taking a little of your human's scent - from their armpits or (if they are self conscious about this) even atiny little bit of aftershave or perfume and put this also on both cats using a clean hankie.
Voila! ou and Cayenne should smell, not of vets, but of home. If that doesn't put things right, get a Feliway diffuser from the vet to exude a calming scent into the room where you spend most of your time. Oh yes, and next time think of taking both cats to the vet and asking her/him to handle both.
Love George

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online