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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Of Cats and Valentines... and the snip.

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Dear George,
My humans had a very romantic Valentine’s Day celebration: dinner by candlelight, a glass (or two) of champagne, chocolate, flowers and all that jazz! Of course, I did get a lot of attention for the occasion but I feel I’m missing romance in my life! Ah! I watched a movie -I think it’s called “a cat tale” – about a tomcat (Marcello) who falls in love with a gorgeous kitty (Jujube). I loved the movie! I can watch it again and again!
George, I think I’m in love with my next door neighbour – a tuxedo tomcat who wears his heart on his chest! He does visit my backyard occasionally but we’ve never been introduced. I’m planning a belated Valentine’s Day cat celebration and I want to invite him over! I need your advice in regards to dinner! Chocolate is out of question (as it is poisonous to us cats) and so is champagne! Then what? A live or dead mouse? What will be more romantic? Maybe ….some catnip? Just recreational, you know!
Yours….in love
Ida

Dear Ida,
Live or dead mouse? A live one is much more exciting. Warm too. You two could share the pleasure of hunting it round the room, but there is one great disadvantage.  It's not big enough to share, and do you have the self control to step back and let him eat all of it?
Dead? Yes, but two of them. Each placed in a separate bowl at a sensible distance. We cats have a tendency to want to eat whatever is in the other cat's bowl, rather than our own. This can lead to discord!
How to court him? Well we cats have a series of ways of flirting. We can roll on our side making come-on noises. We can rub against the feline loved one. We can twine tails. We can also - and this is the ultimate explicit come-on- lower ourselves on our front paws, leaving our backside higher up. This posture is ready for love.
And if you swivel your tail to one side, this a direct invitation. If he ignores this, then there's nothing more you can do. And, if he lives with humans, he might. For him, the snip may have made romance impossible. Like it has for me.
Yours
George

Saturday, February 10, 2018

I hate foster kittens - many of us cats do....

Dear George, 
Maybe you’ll be able to help me understand why my mum got all of a sudden “the fostering fever” – I call it a “fever” as I look at her latest passion for fostering cats as a temporary “disease”! Please don’t judge me! I know it is a very noble thing to do but….why now? I’m getting old, I got used to be the only cat in the house and, honestly I don’t feel like “fighting” for my territory! And, what’s most upsetting is that she does it so deceivingly! She sneaks in at night like a thief bringing in some cat that takes up the guest bedroom! So, the following morning I get up smelling “enemy” in the house! Ugh!  I wish she’ll stop! Last night she even tried to “introduce” to me the intruder – a perky, young kitten who just walked towards me unfazed by my presence! Wow! I gave her THAT look (as you can see in the photo attached), turned around and went to bed!
I am very upset! Not talking with anybody!

Shumba

Dear Shumba,
I so much sympathize. Cat loving human pets sometimes think we are dogs. We are not. Most cats have strong feelings about territory and do not like feline intruders.
My pet Celia does the same. Only, thanks be to the Higher Cat, she never introduces us. Particularly since I dislike all cats, even kittens, in my home territory. I will tolerate their presence in the spare room but nowhere else. Luckily my views are respected and the kittens stay there.
There are laid-back cats that like kittens. My friend Toby is one of them, so while a foster kitten  is still in a kitten pen, Toby goes in to see if there is any food around. Celia does this to assess whether the kitten will be suitable for a home with a resident cat. Some kittens fall instantly in love with him: others hiss. There's a sweet video of this here. Toby and Abby went on to play with each other. He never has to meet hostile kittens a second time.
But he is the exception.
Your human should recognise your stress and keep the foster kittens/cats away from you at all times.
Yours 
George

 

Saturday, February 03, 2018

The joy of eating grass, earthing and soft earth for litter!


Dear George, 
Please look at the photo attached and tell me what do you see?
Of course you see me and, by the look on my face, you probably think I’m being “interrupted” by something or someone from enjoying my grass! Correct? Ok! You are absolutely right! You see, sometimes I chew on this grass and sometimes I sit on it! 
Well, I was sitting on it a minute before this photo was taken but I did shy away when I heard my mummy’s comments! When she saw me sitting there she got excited shouting: “look, look I’m growing a Chicolino in a pot” She start laughing and run to get the camera! How silly! But, by the time she was back I was off the grass.
She took the photo anyway! Then she was telling daddy what a “smart boy” I was as I was earthing, I was grounding! I was what? I did not understand what she was saying!
I assume it was something good as she went on and on saying that most people do it in Europe (by the way, she walks bare feet in the backyard) She said she wish more people knew about this so they can create “grass boxes” for indoor cats so they can ground as well. George, please enlighten us: what is earthing? And how does it benefit us?
Yours,
Chico
PS. There's a website about grounding that she likes here
and cats earthing here. 

  Dear Chico,
I see a cat who has been rescued by Michelle from cold and hunger, and who is enjoying his grass. Grass is so good for cats and you can buy it in pet shops or even grow your own.
Of course, I just go outside and eat my grass in the garden or the nearby cart track. Am I grounded? Well, I am because my paws are on the lawn, on the rough stony cart track and on the soft earth of the newly dug vegetable patch - a really nice large litter tray for a cat. Aren't I lucky?
Not so sure about electrical currents from the earth but I know earth feels good to me. And I am all for earthing if it purrsuades humans to give us a large area of soft earth as a litter tray! There is also some evidence that indoor-only cats may be affected by toxins in the house. 
So cats there are reading this, please get a cat flap, or get some cat grass for your cat. And, if your human won't give you a nearly dug vegetable or flower patch, get them to provide a large litter tray with enough litter in it. At least two and a half inches.
I'm off outside to get grounded.... and maybe catch a mouse.
Yours
George.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Human obsession with weight....

Dear George,
I'll be very short and to the point. What defines a cat's normal weight?
We know that our standards and values are quite different from our humans’ but, still I think we should have this clearly stated and disclosed – what makes a cat normal, fat, overweight and obese? Some graphics will help as well if you have any (visual had always have a stronger impact). The reason I’m asking your help with this is because my mummy is obsessed with her weight (since she moved over to UK). I don’t know how skinny you are over there but she is already as fat as a toothpick! Is she too fat already?  Is this your norm? Why am I concerned? I’m very much concerned since I’ve heard her saying that I need to be on a diet! Ugh! Give me a break! Am I supposed to eat only “greens” as in this photo? Don’t think so, thank you! George, I personally think I’m normal! I’m OK with my weight! So, please help me as I don’t see myself munching all day long on catnip or greens only! Are these standards universal or do they differ from one continent to another? If they do, then tell me, please, of a continent where people have some meat on their bones so when I knead, I actually feel some soft, fat tissues that make me feel GOOD.
In ounces and pounds
Didina


Dear Didina,
I agree. Fat humans have much warmer squashier laps that a cat can really sink into or have a good satisfying knead.  We don't like thin humans. But it is a good idea for us to get too fat - after all, we want to be healthy.
Here's a great chart about cat weight. Useful for humans who are under or over feeding their cat.
Add captionWe
We don't have to eat greens to lose weight. That is for human omnivores, not us obligate carnivores. There are now plenty of cat foods on sale that help us stay trim. Vets can prescribe specialist foods for that.
But more importantly we need fun and exercise not just smaller bowls of food. In fact bowls are boring. If we get fed in food dispensers, meals take longer, are more fun, and give us some exercise. Ideas for fun food toys can be found here.
Yours
George.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Misbehaving and the night watchman.

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Dear George,

I don’t know how active or athletic you still are but I must admit I’ve personally slowed down a lot! I rather get on a cozy pillow and read the letters on your blog than to jump up and down or take the stairs. I believe I didn’t jump up on a counter in the last three years… but last weekend I must have jumped up on the counters at least 200 times! Yes, you heard me right: 200 times! Why? Because that’s what some humans could drive you to do! No, not my humans but their company! Well, my humans decided to entertain post holidays and they invited a group of people for dinner. Among the guests there was this woman who tried to change the rules IN MY HOUSE! No less and no kidding!

Can you imagine that? How dare she? You see, the minute she got in she started to make faces and comments about cats and started telling my mom “Oh, please, THIS CAT can’t touch my fur coat” or “Ah, I hope your cat doesn’t jump up on the counters or tables” or “hope I won’t find any cat hair in my dinner; ha!ha!ha!.” I was speechless! How rude she was! I looked at my mom as she was trying to explain (very politely) that I’m a very well behaved cat and no, I do not jump up on the counters! That just did it! I mean …that woman and her comments drove me to jump 200 times up on the counters that night! She also drove me to jump up right on the dining table and walk between guests and plates. Then, she drove me to pretend I was falling down off the coat hanger (I just climbed on) and had to “grab” her fur coat with my claws…going down! Yes, I did all these things! By the end of the evening I was laughing my head off seeing her speechless! I bet I’ll never see her again! My mom didn’t seem to be overly upset after all but she did mention that I have totally, completely, absolutely misbehaved and I have ruined the night! She also said that I looked like a “night watchman” at times! Is this bad or good? George, I don’t know what a “night watchman” is! I assume it must be something bad, something scary? Is that right?

Honestly George, was I that bad? Would my behaviour make me a “night watchman?” What if I was right? George, please….your opinion!

Your old friend,

CAT Victoria

Dear CAT Victoria,
Shocking behaviour by a visiting human! And your human should also be ashamed of herself for not supporting you in this. This is your home, which you kindly share with your humans. Your home - therefore your rules.
And why not walk on the table? I always do. I enjoy embarrassing my humans in this way. Watching their faces express their anguish is truly amusing.
Naturally you were interested by a fur coat? You were checking it out to see if it was real or fake. Any sensible cat would do this.
Was it real fur? If it was, some human had hunted and killed it, just like we cats kill mice. But without an excuse. We have a natural instinct to hunt and kill, but at least we don't just do it to wear fur that isn't our own. And, although we "play" with our prey (because we can't help it; the instinct is hard wired), at least we don't keep mice in tiny cages just to wear their fur.
Well done ruining the evening...  If your humans must entertain people who wear real fur, they should do it in a restaurant away from temptation!
I always wonder why humans wear clothes and fur. Why not grow their own?
Yours
George.
PS. Not sure what she meant about a "night watchman." Odd remark. But humans are odd. Something to do with the Rembrandt painting or the horror movie?




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, www.celiahaddon.com This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online VetTechprogramms.org