Saturday, February 04, 2012

Fat cats... no, pleasantly rounded and voluptuous

Dear George
I do so agree with what you say about the term ‘fat cats’. And never mind about applying it to humans – it is most impolite ever to combine the words fat and cat. Some of us may be a little portly – I myself am pleasantly rounded, in a way that I feel you would find quite charming! But the human hostess I live with imagines that I am concerned about putting on weight. I am of Russian descent, royal of course – would I worry about a thing like that?
George, she bans eating between meals – is that civilised? I plead for elevenses, afternoon tea, a little snack with cocktails, but she seldom obliges. I sometimes try a little hunting to supplement her so-called correct diet, but the staff have no idea how to dress and serve vole, so it just sits on the mat, unappetisingly furry.

I do hope, George, that you are not one of these gentlemen who has eyes only for the supermodel type. We more voluptuous ladies have so much to offer. Don’t we?
I am so thrilled to be writing to you
Truly yours


Dear Natasha,
I have always thought that the sight of a well rounded female cat was a pleasant one, though my interest (after what happened to me at six months of age) has been purely theoretical. I perturbed that a cat of royal descent should have such difficulty getting proper staff. May I suggest careful attention to
Downton Abbey on the part of your humans. They can learn a lot from that nice butler and parlour maid. Deference. A proper attitude of service to those set above them.
Elevenses, afternoon tea, and a little cocktail snack would be ideal. I get these for myself by hunting. My background was, frankly, low life. I was an orphan of the streets, brought up in a Cats Protection workhouse, from which I adopted a maid of all work, Celia. She does her best, poor soul, but she is belongs more in the kitchen than the parlour.
She has never learned to dress game. I am forced to skin my own baby rabbits, and to pluck birds. But I would like to offer you a tip about small rodents. When eating, start at the head so that the fur is smooth all the way down. It may be if you adopt this technique, that vole will be more appetising.
Yours with all deference to a true aristocat
PS. Prayers and purrs for Cayenne who has so often graced these pages. She is recovering and will appreciate the invisible waves of love from us all.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fat cats of the world unite against bankers.

Dear George,
You have frequently expressed your outrage at the judgmental use of the term ‘fat cat’ to describe an exploitative and possibly criminal rogue capitalist. Now I have discovered this photo on a viral marketing campaign by those Occupy people. This is the photo.
I worry that our humans, whose intelligence is, as we know, so very limited, will blame our chubbier associates for the collapse our
the world banking system. If we marched upon St Paul’s and occupied their tents, do you think they would be more sensitive?
Yours in the struggle,

Dear Scaramouche,

I share your outrage. Not a day goes by without more appalling photos of cats with a certain embonpoint. There's now a whole website devoted to photographs of disgusting humans on Wall St with large cats (I will not use the word "fat" to save the cats concerned embarassment) photoshopped on. Is this website funny? Not if you are a cat.
My friend Pusskin is particularly worried that some idiotic and unfeeling human will steal this photograph, showing him relaxing at home, and put it next to an unpleasant be-suited human. He is a cat of impeccable character, unlike these Wall St spivs, and has nothing to do with banking whatsoever. He is extremely upset that some of the cats on this website look remarkably like him.
Can I reassure him that his reputation is safe? Or that the reputation of any felines of a large size will not be ridiculed. Or even blamed for the collapse of the European economy? I have heard from some Greek tabby and whites that they are particularly anxious. Admittedly most cats in Greece are slim, due to having to scrounge a poor living. One or two of them, lucky enough to find agreeable humans, have put on enough weight to make imposing figures. If the Greek banking system collapses, will they be at risk? I cannot offer much reassurance. These are worrying times for our reputation.
As you so rightly say, Scaramouche, the limited intelligence of humans (bankers in particular) makes one fear the worst. Should we march upon St Pauls and occupy the objectors' tents? I personally am against this idea. Tents let in the wet and are extremely cold. Possibly we could purrsuade the bankers to do something for us, for a change - structured feline fundholdings, special cat derivatives, collateralised moggy swaps, convertible default special purpose entities? Or just plain free cat food....
Yours with rising anxiety
PS. Harry Spotter has added this campaign to his list of political talking points. See this campaign grow at

Friday, January 20, 2012

Individuality, fat cats and judgemental humans

Hello George
I’m Rakishi (photo attached), a woolly black cat with a famously large tail. ( My male human says my father must have been a squirrel – that’s his idea of a joke).
I used to hang out with my friend Woody. We’d potter about the garden and sometimes have a nice lie-down near each other in the flowerbed outside my humans’ flat. I was sorry when he died. My humans said it was because he was so fat. He was only 10 kg.
I turned my attention to his flatmate Squawk, hoping he would be my pal instead. But I didn’t realise he’s a really awkward customer. No matter how hard I try he just won’t socialise with me, and sometimes he’s quite aggressive. When he’s angry and does his slow motion avoidance walk, I wait a minute and then go after him. I don’t like to give up, you see.
My humans are a cynical pair, and say he’s trying to take over my territory as he did with Woody’s, and that I don’t know the meaning of rejection (which is gobbledegook to me). They say that normal cats mostly keep themselves to themselves.

George, do you think I’m odd?
Happy mousing,

Dear Rakishi,
I don't think you are odd. I just think you are you. We cats are all raging individuals. We have different personalities (even human scientists, poor limited souls, admit that). Much of what we do in later life is affected by what happened in our kittenhoods. (If Freud had only studied cats and been less obsessed with sex, he might have had better insight into humans.)
Yes, cats can be very solitary by nature. Some really are the cats that walk by themselves. Others are quite sociable, particularly if they grew up in a home with lots of other cats.
I am a natural loner but my companion cat, William, now alas passed away, liked other cats. He would hang out with next door's Siamese, Miss Ruby Fou. She was probably attracted by his beautiful long hair and elegant tabby and white colouring.
Squawk seems to be one of those natural loners. He may even be aggressive about his territory so I advise you to give him a wide birth. Even your elegant bushy tail may not be enough to make him change his mind. As I said, some cats are just like that and nothing much will change them.
You will have to make do with socialising with your humans. I admit that this isn't as good as the company of other cats. The poor dumb creatures have no idea of how to behave in a proper feline manner. I noticed in a photo that Celia showed me that it looked as if your female human had been influenced by your hair style - hers looked dark and sleek too. The male, alas, hasn't got enough hair to keep up with you.
But they do value you, Rakishi. They do. Put up with their faults and defects.
Remember that kindness to humans pays off, usually with a bigger helping of cat food.
Happy mousing indeed.

PS. Your humans seem rather judgemental about fat cats.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Do humans have a sense of humour?

Dear George,

You'll see from this story in The Daily Mash - click here - that humans find it alarming when a cat is missing from their home. How can I reassure my human that my extended strolls are nothing to worry about?
What I find alarming, of course, is the human sense of humour. They spend hours with this kind of nonsense and completely fail to appreciate the amusement that a dead vole affords.


Dear Scaramouche,

I agree with you that the humans sense of humour is warped and on most occasions non-existent. I have repeatedly brought in small rodents, not just voles but mice, to see if I could interest Celia in a game of Bat-That-Vole. Not a hope.

Once, after a great effort, I brought in a young rat still very much alive. At last, I thought, I have found something she will really enjoy. It leaped out of my mouth and on to the kitchen floor. Did she laugh? She screamed and left the room.

Then she came back with a Wellington boot. That looked better. Perhaps now we could have some sport with it. Maybe she would play Bat-That-Rat using the boot. The rat ran up the corner of the wall. She put the boot below and it fell right in. This seemed a promising first move in the game.

Then she ran outside with the boot and shook the rat out into the hedge. Spoilsport Human! After all my trouble! Humans really irritate me at times.

She also gets very worried about my extended twilight absences. She just doesn't understand that this is the best hunting time. Let her worry, say I. We cannot take responsibility for human feelings. I don't bother to reassure her. It is pointless.

Yours grumpily


Saturday, January 07, 2012

Black, beautiful and very very rich......

Dear George,

I think I’m in love! I KNOW I’m in love! No, not with my so called boyfriend who only comes in for food and eats everything, my food, his food and whatever else he finds. (I know he’s using me just for food but I’m happy I can feed a hungry cat).

Well, I’m in love with Tommaso, the millionaire cat! It took me one look at him and I knew I’m in love. He is by now famous and the richest cat in the world but that’s not the reason I love him even if $13 millions he inherited won’t hurt me, right? Or the houses in Rome, Milan or Calabria! I don’t know how to clip his photo from internet but you’ll find him through Google and see for yourself how handsome he is.

He was rescued as a back alley cat in Rome. He is 4 and black! He looks exactly like you George but I know you won’t ever leave Celia for me! So, I think I’ll give my heart to Tommaso for now (but let me know if you ever change your mind regarding Celia, of course). I want to send Tommaso a note to see if he shares my feelings. I feel bold and wild and I want to impress him! So my dear George, how can I impress a handsome cat?


CAT Victoria

Dear Victoria,

I so approve of your choice. Not because of his money but because of his dark and handsome looks. We black cats are, all of us, handsome as hell. Dark as the devil with angelic hearts. I found this photo of him on the web and have posted it here though I am not sure if it is really him. Can those dollar signs in his eyes be for real? You can read more about him here.

Getting a note to him is going to be difficult. We cats communicate by smell so somehow you have got to send him an item that smells of you - a half-chewed catnip mouse, a little piece of your bedding, or just a little tuft of fur! I am not a sophisticat, so I just don't know how to find out his address. The richer they are, the more difficult they are to contact in my experience.

Doesn't he look gorgeous. And what a wonderful life story - found on the street and then loved so much that his pet human left him her fortune. There is a human I would like to know. She must have had a loving heart to get a street cat rather than a pedigree. Wish there were more like her. We black cats are often the last to be chosen for adoption. Maybe Tomasso's example will inspire others to offer black cats a home.

In the meantime, Victoria, it's good to have a dream. Purr yourself to sleep in this new year with the thought of those deep golden eyes, that sleek black coat, and that dark black nose and those wonderful long black whiskers.....

Love George

PS. Thank you for the comment about his eyes. Yes, they do look green but the green is the dollar signs and behind is golden, I think. Or maybe just a paler shade of green. Not sure.

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