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Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts

Friday, December 06, 2019

Purrlease.... don't put out the cat.

It's cold and miserable and damp in Britain. And what do some old fashioned humans do? They lock us out of the house, away from warm beds and central heating.
No wonder that some of us leave home or just follow some friendly stranger in the hope that they will let us into their house.This time of year it is too wet and cold for a cat to be left outside.
Besides, night time is the most dangerous time for cats. We get dazzled by car lights and then run over by cars. We get attacked by foxes or stray dogs or (in the US) coyotes.
So don't do it, humans.

Still time to order you copy of my book here. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Cats and bad weather... trust cats not groundhogs.

Dear George
How does one forecast weather? How does one know if it’s going to be cold or warm? Here is North America we mostly relied on our groundhogs to forecast the coming of the spring. The weather on Goundhog Day can influence if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not ... (check here) According to the legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow, then there will be six more weeks of winter.But if he doesn't, then an early spring and above-average temperatures are on the way! So, on Feb. 2 Punxsutawney Phil (of Pennsylvania, USA) saw his shadow and that means six more weeks of winter! But albino Wiarton Willie (of Bruce County, Ontario, Canada, check here) didn’t see his shadow and that means …early spring. 
Now who is to trust? What worries me is that with the “human catnip” legalized in both country I don’t know who’s smoking what and that’s how I found myself stuck indoors between blankets…cozy but still indoor! I love being outdoors! I can “smell” spring in the air but what can I do? We just have been hit with another snow storm today!It seems that Punxsutawney Phil was right! Six more weeks of cold weather! Brrrr!
George, how do you forecast weather in the UK? Do you rely on a groundhog or a weatherman?

Dear Uma,
My human uses me as a weather forecaster. I am very sensitive to the risk of ice, snow, rain and drizzle. I particularly hate wet. I lived on wet concrete under a car for a dreadful six months and only survived because Gaynor picked me up and gave me to Celia. So I never ever want to be out in the rain and wet again.
If I refuse to go out in the morning, which I often do, she knows that it is damp from rain during the night or the rain is coming. I can sense the moisture in the air. I feel the same way about snow. If I look up and see that yellowy cloudy sky, that in the UK means snow, I just stay inside and use my litter tray.
Ice and frost? If it is cold but dry, then I might venture out, walk up the garden, then return. If it is very cold, I use the litter tray because the garden soil is frozen solid. Dry without rain I patrol my garden properly. I don't claim to be entirely accurate, but human forecasters are not accurate either.
My message to our humans is this. Trust cats not groundhogs. If the cat is inside refusing to go out, it means its damp, cold and miserable. Stay indoors and break out some more cat food for us.

Friday, February 15, 2013

She’s installed a Guillotine!

Dear George,
When I last wrote to you I was singing my pets praises. I would now like to retract all I said…she appears to have gone on strike and worse still wants to want bump me off.
She has installed a window at the bottom of the door and seems to want me to dice with death to get out of the house rather than doing her duty of opening the door for me. I established the danger of this device this morning, 10 days after she installed the death trap, which was apparently my Christmas present. I wanted to go outside and she refused to get up to let me out. So you can imagine my horror when with one paw and my head outside I realise it’s snowing. I do what every self-respecting cat would do and retreat….then it strikes; tries to decapitate me, behead me! I scream like Anne Boleyn probably did in her final moments and what did she do – laugh!
Horrified and almost beheaded,
Jake xXx
 Ps – As you can tell from my photo I prefer a bag over a box!

Dear Jake,
What is the world coming to?  It is a sad sign of modern times that humans do not understand being in service. Their duties are clear - cooking and serving food to us at regular intervals: providing warm spaces on the bed throughout the night: and, of course, opening and shutting doors. In my more despairing moments I wonder if we could do a fictional TV series called Cat Abbey, where we see the humans doing proper servant duties, as they ought to be done.
Stay calm. She is not trying to kill you. She is merely trying to avoid work, the hard work that is every human pet's duty. And with typical human stupidity she actually thought you would want to go out in the snow. They just don't think like we do. 
Ignore the window altogether. Sit by the door, just as you used to, when you want to go out. Sit by the door outside when you want to come in. If this means sitting in the cold take a quick peek though the window and (if she is not in visual contact) nip back in through the new device. If she is there, sit and ostentatiously shiver, mew and look very very pitiful.
I have a cat flap - what you call a window device. But mostly I ignore it. I used it when she is out. But when she is in I go in and out of the door. It's a question of being strong minded and not letting her get away with it.
Yours sympathetically
PS. Like the bag. Nice use of available human stuff.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Snow for cats but no harnesses

Dear George,
It’s me Riley! And I LOVE snow! Everybody in my house thinks I’m nuts.
I don’t really see why I must be nuts if I love being outside in the snow.
My only problem is that my humans tend to worry too much about me and won’t let me outside on my own. I mean….each time I want to go outside …one of them has to put that stupid leash on me. WHY? I’M NOT A DOG! I don’t need to be walked! I don’t need or want to inspect my territory with a human bodyguard beside me!
Imagine summer time; they have a boat! What if I like water? Would they be scuba diving with me? Phew!
George, how can I tell them (or even better train them) to let me outside by myself?
How can I tell them to just leave me alone? They are always in my face!
Should I suggest them to get a little dog so they can keep busy?

Dear Riley,
A dog would be a mistake. Nasty smelly snuffling creatures with the ridiculous habit of
obeying humans. As I said last week, no self respecting cat can truly trust a dog. Dogs sometimes even chase, catch and kill cats. Even a really loving family dog will get in the way of proper human training. It may keep them busy but we want humans with plenty of time to lavish on us. Don't even think about it.
Frankly the same goes for the idea of getting another cat. In theory it is nice to have company but most of us only like company if it is a related brother or sister. We can learn to share the house with and more or less get on with others, and just occasionally we become fond of them. But most of the time when we live with others, we are just acquaintances. Some of us hate all other cats. We are not willing to put up with what we don't like and on the whole
cats don't share.
I am in favour of the outdoor life. Try to make your needs known by the following - wistful staring out of windows accompanied by heart-rending mewing; sliding out of the door into freedom every time the human opens it; jumping out of any open windows. In hot weather windows get opened. Most humans are too stupid to remember to install cat-proof netting like
Leashes are for dumb dogs not for bright cats. You can probably lose that harness if you wriggle a bit. Most cats can (and do) wriggle out of one when they are truly frightened - just do it when you want to explore. I knew of a cat that escaped her harness on the Italian docks at Brindisi and was never seen again.
Snow is quite fun if you don't mind getting wet and cold. Wriggle free and whizz off into the nearest drift, Riley. That'll larn 'em.
Love George

Sunday, January 17, 2010

When you gotta go, 'tis best to ensure as much comfort as possible

Dear George,

As noted in your columns there are many ways by which our big friends can make life comfortable for us, of which one of the most civilised is that of a sound toilette, by which I mean the place where we can go for a contemplative dig, not a damp paw over our chops.
I feel that I have been fortunate in this department, for my helper provides a really large tray which is always kept filled with good clumping litter, which he, attentive and caring soul that he is, always cleans and tops up as soon as he notices anything, er, amiss, with the contents. Such as personal additions.
Not that I make a full-time habit of using it, for we live just inside a Dark, Dark Forest, which generally provides me with ample facilities for doing what must be done. Even so, in the current weather, hey, while that great big tray is so very inviting, a girlie puss feels sometimes the need to stretch her claws and feel the cool wind streaming through her whiskers, so once a day I think it only reasonable to brave the snow – which, if I stood still, is taller than me – and take a run outside. See photographs of me in the white stuff.
With my colouring I do stand out a bit, I know, so it was easy for my friend to tail me to a Private Place beneath a dense hedge on the end of his land (mine extends much further, of course) where there is some good-quality dry scratching to be exploited. Even so I did only a gentle squat, not wishing to befoul the landscape, something which I note that our brown furry vegetarian relations have been doing. Those little black currents and a rather bright orange tint to the snow. Still, at least they go outside rather than use their probably cramped quarters in the earth banks.
Duty done, with due regard to avoiding a chilly behind and with a degree of caution due to my normally good camouflage not being effective in this white stuff. Then there is nothing quite as satisfying as a leaping bound back home showing a clean pair of heels. Apart from a warm prawn. And a hot radiator. And a cushion. Quite a few things, come to think about it.
Love to all, and may many birdies survive to the Spring. A shame that we cannot have some inside to stay with us.


Dear Purdey,
Your human has obviously been trained in proper cat care. Many of us cats prefer to go outside but there may not be proper facilities. Having to leap over the wall or through the hedge, into another cat's home territory, can be frightening for the more timid cat, and exhausting for the elderly who have a touch of arthritis. No wonder some of us show our dislike of this by insisting on an indoor facility like the back of the sofa, if no litter tray is provided.
I, myself, go outside most of the time, except when it is very rainy, the ground is frozen solid, or there is snow. Frankly, Purdey, I am more fussy than you. I just don't like snow at all. I admire your British spirit in travelling through it on the way to the area with good quality dry scratching
and seclusion (please note this, all humans reading).
Really thoughtful humans - and they are few and far between - provide an outdoor latrine as well as an indoor litter tray. The location should be under a hedge or shed, a dry area between buildings, or even under a busy shrub (no prickly ones, please). A generous helping of builders' sand, peat, or composted bark mulch will do very well indeed. I prefer the soil prepared for seeds, myself, but I will settle for the latter.
There are instructions on my human's website, for an outdoor feline latrine. However, when it is made this way, it does require proper maintenance - picking up poo every two or three days, and daily hosing down to prevent the urine building up. If your human does not do this, just stop using it when it gets too stinky. Training your human into a proper routine for this is essential.
Poor apes (thank you, Whicky Wuudler for the phrase) can also get it wrong by building the latrine in the wrong place. If your garden has been taken over by the local despot cat three houses down, or if the latrine is close to a noisy factory or road, or if it is just in a piece of scary territory, don't use it. Why should you? Go and do it behind the sofa.
You have to punish them if they refuse to learn.
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