21

Cat Forum: Bert Explains Non-Verbal Communication

(Bert before his release)

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando Kitty. here. Welcome to this month’s edition of Cat Forum. We are very pleased to have as our guest a friend of our human brother, Bert the Tuxie. He is going to display some common cat behaviors and explain their meanings. Bert believes in demonstrating his examples; he is a cat of few words. He will be happy to address any questions you may have.

(Talk to the paw)

Snoops: Hello, Bert. We’re so happy to finally meet you.

Bert: The pleasure is mine.

Snoops: I’ll turn things over to you.

Bert: Thank you very much. As every cat knows, humans do not really understand any cat dialect, regardless of what they claim. You have probably had the experience of asking for a particular type of food only to have your human say something like, “Be patient. I’ll feed you in a few minutes.” Some humans are no better at reading our expressions and/or body language. It can be extremely frustrating.

I have a totally pawsome human, but even so, sometimes I have to look at him and wonder, “Are you paying any attention at all?” I imagine that some of you have this problem more than others.So let’s get to work.

This pose is the one we use when we’re giving you permission to rub our tummies. Some humans would have you believe that no cat likes to have their tummy rubbed. Humans, proceed with caution the first time in case your kitty is showing trust rather than a desire to be petted. Pet gently, we keep food in there and would like to keep it there.

Just because we’ve allowed you the pleasure of rubbing our tummy, does not mean that you can do it forever. This face indicates that you have overstayed your welcome and need to find something else to do for me

.

If you see this face, it means that you have been annoying and need to stop whatever you have been doing. It can also mean that you are being especially human. Meaning that we understand what you are doing, but there is a much better way to do it if you would only listen to us.

This behavior means that I am enjoying my toy and you should go away.

I will look like this if I’ve enjoyed a little too much ‘nip. Humans: Do not share it on Instagram, Facebook, or anywhere else.You have been in the same condition, and I did not make fun of you.

This look should be understood by all humans. I am questioning why you would think that this food is acceptable and you need to fix the situation. Do not give a solid lump of food; I can’t cut it up is one possibility. Or maybe, I don’t recognize this smell. Are you sure it’s edible?

This look can be interpreted as either “What did you bring me?” or “I want what you have or I want to be offered so I can turn it down.” Humans don’t ever seem to learn that they can’t tell us that we won’t like something. We don’t trust humans to know our palates and want to be sure.

These last few pictures are just to remind you how overwhelmingly cute cats are.

I hope that you have enjoyed my presentation. Let Snoops and Kommando Kitty know if you have questions. I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

14

Cat Forum: A Day at the Spa

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Greetings. Snoops and Kommando here. Thanks for joining us here for this month’s Cat Forum. Today we’re looking at the important issue of how you can de-stress after a hard day of supervising the neighborhood, hunting, and looking for the perfect napping spot.

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One of the best ways to relax is to get a massage. Some cats find a human to do this. If you are looking for a human, you need one who uses their whole hand. It feels like extremely good cuddles.

Some humans use their fingertips. They call it acupressure; we call it prodding. However, many cats report that after the prodding, they do feel a lot better.

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We prefer a cat-to-cat massage. No one knows where our stress points are better than another cat. And when they’re done, you don’t need to worry about being dumped on the sofa afterwards. You can just relax and take a nap.

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Some of you say ‘nip is relaxing. We don’t want to recommend it here, because it excites as many kitties as it relaxes. Of course, most kitties do fall asleep after the excitement. So, it probably is relaxing.

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If you do choose to relax with ‘nip, make sure you get it from a reliable trader. Some cats have reported finding oregano and other herbs mixed in. That is definitely not relaxing.

A couple of good, long stretches are good for relaxing. Remember to hold the stretch momentarily to get the most out of it. If you are an active hunter, you may associate stretching with hunting. In that case, we do not recommend trying to relax this way.

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Some kitties like to relax with music. We recommend something in the classical realm, with lots of soothing strings or piano. Do not listen to that current human music with the loud crashes and human yowling. It will cause you more stress than you currently have.

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If the source of your stress is a housemate, there are two ways to deal with it. Our preferred method is to chase them out of the area. Not only will the running help you de-stress, you no longer have to deal with the source of the stress.

The other alternative is to find a quiet space of your own. However, if you’re stressed because someone has invaded your quiet spot, you’ll need to have several back-ups. Pests can usually find you.

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 Last, but not least, is a nice, long nap in a warm spot. We recommend a blanket, a sunny spot, in front of a fire, or in your bed. Do not use a human lap. Just about the time you get settled in, they will decide it’s time for a snack.

Talking about all of this relaxation is making us sleepy. Purrs and snuggles from Cat Forum.

14

Cat Forum: The Purr-Fect Gift

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Greetings Fellow Felines. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. It’s time once again for us to give gift suggestions for the holidays. But unlike last year’s list of gifts for the well-to-do cat, this year we have ideas for you to gift your human. (We know it’s backwards, but we do try to be humorous once in a while.)

Does your human like to work in the garden? Do they come in smelling of dirt (or worse)? Do they complain about you leaving “deposits” among their flowers? Are the tables and counters full of fresh veggies part of the year?

Maybe a gardening companion:

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Or a new plant:

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Does your human like to dress up? Do they leave you alone a lot while they go out?

How about a fancy companion:

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Or some new  clothes:

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Does your human like to do crafts? Knit? Crochet?

Maybe their own living pincushion:

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Or some nice fabric:

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Does your human sleep a lot? When you want to eat? When you want to play?

Maybe a pillow buddy:

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Or some new bedding:

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Haven’t seen anything good?

In that case, we recommend the gift no cat-owned human can resist:

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

10

Feral Purrfessional – Part 4

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Where we are: Katie Kitty has been given a scholarship to Mid-America Animal Tech where she will study providing medical care to the feral cat population. She has discovered that one of her professors is her roommate’s father. Rose is much calmer about leaving Katie since she met the Professor. You can read the beginning of the story here.

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After the first day of school.

Katie: That was tough. I can’t believe how much homework we got on the first day.

Elise: And we have two quizzes on Friday!

Katie: Cats’ vital signs and the systems in the cat’s body.

Elise: Guess we better get started.

Katie: Can you believe some of the cats are going to a nip party tonight? It’s not even the weekend.

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Elise: I know. Maybe they don’t know how hard the program is.

Katie: Did you see that cute boy cat that was looking at you?

Elise: How could I miss him? Every time I turned around he was there.

Katie: Did you talk to him?

Elise: Yeah. All he wanted to talk about was my father, the professor.

Katie: That stinks.

Elise: It’s OK. I’m used to it.

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Katie’s phone rings.

Katie: Hi, Mama. How are you?

Rose: How was your first day of school?

Katie: Great! I think I’m going to like it here.

Rose: Were you OK after we left?

Katie: Yes, we were fine. (Rolls her eyes.)

Rose: What are you doing now?

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Katie: We’re getting ready to study.

Rose: OK. I won’t keep you. Say hello to Elise and her father. Talk to you tomorrow.

Katie: Bye, Mama.

Katie looks at Elise.

Katie: She is going to drive me crazy. I think she’s going to call every day. She says hello to you and your father.

Elise: She just misses you.

Katie: I guess. But I don’t think I’m going to be doing anything very interesting every day.

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Elise: She seemed to like Daddy. I’ll see if he has any ideas.

Katie: That’s a great idea. Thank you!

They decide to go to the cafeteria and eat before studying. After salmon mousse and cream, they return to their room and work until bedtime. The next afternoon, Katie gets another call.

Katie: Hi, Mama. How is everybody?

Rose: We’re all fine. How are you?

Katie: I’m good. Elise and I are going to see a movie tonight. Take a break after studying.

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Rose: You’re not going to be out after dark are you?

Katie: I’m a cat. Dark doesn’t bother me.

Rose: But it’s not safe.

Katie: Don’t you remember what Professor Khatt told you? It’s perfectly safe here. Besides, it’s just down the block.

Rose: OK. But call me when you get home. I want to make sure you’re safe.

Katie: All right. I’ll talk to you then.

Katie disconnects the phone.

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Katie: Meowsers! She is crazy. I have to call when we get back. Did you talk to your dad?

Elise: I almost forgot! He said that he would call her tonight and explain how distracting it would be for you if she called every night.

Katie: I hope he doesn’t hurt her feelings.

After the movie, Katie calls her mother.

Katie: Hi, Mama. We’re home. All safe and sound.

Rose: That’s nice dear. I hope you enjoyed the movie. I got the nicest call from Edgar. He told me that you are adapting well, and I don’t need to worry so much. He is going to call me every Friday to let me know how things are going. He suggested that you call me once a week since you will be very busy. I think Monday.

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Katie (confused): Sure, Mama. Mondays will be fine. Are you sure you’ll be ok with once a week?

Rose: Oh, yes. I don’t want to interfere with your studies. Love you.

Katie: Love you too.

Katie disconnects the call.

Katie: Your father is a magician! I only have to call once a week.

Elise: How’d he manage that?

Katie: He’s going to call her every week to reassure her.

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All goes well for several weeks. Everyone is making plans for the Thanksgiving break. Katie is talking to her mother during the weekly call.

Rose: Edgar tells me you’re doing very well in school.

Katie: So far, everything is fine.

Rose: Did you know he and Elise will be spending Thanksgiving alone?

Katie: She says that’s the way they always do it.

Rose: Well, I think it’s terrible. So, I invited them down here.

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Katie (in disbelief): Really, Mama? I don’t think it’s a good idea to spend that much time with one of my professors. It would look strange.

Rose: Don’t be silly. Cats shouldn’t be alone on holidays. Besides, you can spend your time with Elise.

Katie: I guess, Mama.

Rose: It’s set then. You can all take the train down on Wednesday.

Katie disconnects the call.

Katie: That’s weird. She invited you and your father for Thanksgiving.

Elise: That sounds like fun. I’ve never been south.

Katie: I’m so glad you’re going to be there.

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Rose makes a huge Thanksgiving dinner with an entire turkey. The kittens love Edgar. He has brought some of his cat models down and plays with the kittens. On Sunday, Rose drops Edgar, Elise, and Katie at the station.

Elise: Thank you, Mrs. Kitty. I had a wonderful time.

Rose: You’re very welcome. I enjoyed having you.

Katie: I guess this wasn’t as weird as I thought it was going to be.

Rose: I told you everything would be fine.

Edgar: You were a wonderful hostess, Rose. I’m so glad you invited us.

Rose: Thank you, Edgar. I’m looking forward to seeing you both at Christmas.

Edgar: We’ll see you then. I’m planning special gifts for both you and Katie.

Katie and Elise look at each other.

Next week: The finale. What is going to happen on Christmas?

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24

How to Get Your Human to Buy More Catnip

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Greetings from Snoops and Kommando Kitty. Mom’s not feeling well, so we took over are helping with the post. She didn’t like our first idea, “How to Play Hide-and-Seek with the Annoying Dog Next Door.” She also ruled out, “Games to Play with Potential Prey.”

We are writing about catnip instead. We tried to get Mom to test out the effects of the recipes. She said that she doesn’t like mint tea. We think she’s just being difficult.

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Catnip’s been around for a long time. In fact, the humans used it as medicine until recently. In more enlightened societies they still use it. We were thinking that if we can convince the humans to use it again, there will be a lot more laying around the house.

Try leaving some of these ideas for your humans.

Health Benefits

Humans can eat, drink (juice or tea) or smoke catnip to get results.  Catnip has been used to treat a lot of things. (We don’t know if it works, but don’t tell your humans.)

Stress – If you’ve been telling your human that the best way to de-stress is to cuddle with you, leave this one out.

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Sleep Aid – We recommend highlighting this one. There is nothing more annoying than a restless human sleeper.

Digestive Aid – It’s supposed to help all those tummy things that make your human grumpy and extra smelly. It’s worth a shot.

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Headache Aid – Another thing that makes humans extra grumpy. And they can rub a catnip leaf on their face to help. Unless your human is disgustingly dirty, you can enjoy the leaf when they’re done.

Healing Aid – Helps the body sweat out toxins during a cold or the flu. We recommend staying away from the human at this point. Sick, sweaty humans are a little disgusting and can make your fur damp.

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Anti-Inflammatory Aid – Humans use it for arthritis, gout, sprained muscles and aching joints. It has something to do with chemicals. We don’t understand it and your human probably won’t either. We’d leave it out.

Bug Bite Aid – Humans really don’t like being bitten. It’s a good thing most of them don’t have fleas. But if some bug does get them, catnip can help it hurt less. They’re supposed to use an extract, but nobody explains how to squeeze the plant to get it out.

Nutritional Aid – It’s full of good stuff and not poisonous.

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Catnip Tea

Place 1-2 teaspoons of dried catnip flowers and leaves (2-4 teaspoons fresh catnip) in a teacup.

Pour a cup of hot (not boiling) water into the teacup.

Let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Add honey and lemon (They say this improves the taste. We think they are wrong.)

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Fever Tincture

Fill a glass container 1/3 full with dried catnip

Cover the catnip with gin, vodka, rum or brandy

Secure the lid. Store for 4-6 weeks.

Strain out the herbs (catnip) and bottle it.

Use 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon every half hour for a fever.

(We recommend changing the recipe to fill the container to the top with alcohol so it can be used as a party drink.)

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Calming Herb for Smoking

Dry the leaves and/or flowers of the catnip plant. (It doesn’t say, but we recommend not using your dryer. It seems like that would make a mess.)

Prepare it for smoking. (We have no idea what this means. Hopefully the humans do.)

It will either calm you and make you relaxed or give you a mild sense of giddiness.

(Maybe you want to leave this one out of the project. We think the humans who wrote it might have been taking some other kind of medicine and got confused.)

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We wish you luck in your pursuit of more catnip. Hopefully we have been of some help.

Ed. NoteThis is by cats for cats. Our goal is more catnip, not healthier humans. Therefore, we have not forced any humans to take catnip to see what happens.

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pictures courtesy of Google Images

23

Cat Forum: Interview with Spike

Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. Today we are interviewing Spike from Spike the Scottish Black Cat. He is extremely photogenic (like the vast majority of us) as you will see when you visit his blog. He is also a great ambassador to other cats on WordPress; we have met several new friends through him.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Mum brought me home from The Cats Protection when I was 8 weeks old. I was nervous going in the noisy thing humans call a car. Mum cuddled me all the way so I felt safe in mum’s arms.

 

We saw the pictures of you in the snow. Isn’t that awfully cold on your tummy?

I have a skin problem. I have medication for it. When it flares up my body especially my paws can become so hot. That’s why I love the snow it’s purrfect for cooling me down.

Spike is a really tough name. Do you have a cuddly side?

The people at The Cats Protection gave me my name. When I was born the fur on the top of my head stood up like a Spike. I can be cuddly on my terms.

What is your favorite thing to do?

Nowadays I love to sleep, eat and go out in my garden. Not forgetting to sniff my catnip bushes which are getting bigger every day.

The only things we know about Scottish treats are for humans (shortbread and scones). Nothing for cats. Do you have a favorite local treat?

Fish yummy. Fresh from the fishing boats then brought to the fish market. Prawn, tuna, Salmon. My mouth watering thinking about all that lovely fresh fish.

 

Does your human treat you well (respond to your every need in a timely manner)?

My human adores me. I have my meals when I choose and a nice brush once a day. Then play time but usually mum gets tired out before me. I have 4 beds so I can choose whatever one I want and she makes me catnip toys.

What do you like to do with your human?

I love to be out in the garden with mum. I have fun playing hide and seek and playing with my wand toys. I sometimes sit on mum’s bed and she will put on relaxing music for me it makes me so relaxed.

Horatio Hedgehog always wants us to ask European cats if they know any hedgehogs. Have you ever met one?

Yes I met a hedgehog, only the one but he was gone the next day. I was very curious about this strange looking creature. I tried to paw him but it didn’t feel nice a bit prickly.

Do you have friends in the neighborhood or are they pretty much all snobs?

There is wee ginger Craig next door he had a brother who got killed up on the road. Then along came Andy a friend for Graig but he wandered away and the roaring monster got him too. So it’s just Craig who I put up with as he’s just a youngster. Saying that a white kitten appears in my garden I think to steal my catnip. No snobs here.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I’m now 11 and have enjoyed my life with my mum. I hope I have many years left. I like just being on my own as I get 100% attention.

 

We really enjoyed talking with Spike and hope you’ll go see him.

(His mum broke her arm, so we hope she’s better. We know humans can’t properly cuddle with those things on their arms.)

18

Cat Forum: Interview with Bad Cat Chris

Welcome. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We are very pleased to have Chris from Bad Cat Chris as our guest today. He’s here today talking about himself and his siblings Puck, Frankie and Floki. We’re not really sure why he’s called Bad Cat. He sounds pretty normal to us.

Please introduce your family members (nicely).

Hi everyone. I’m Chris and I will speak for everyone since I am in charge here. I am the oldest at 8 ½ years and just celebrated my eighth Gotcha Day.  They call me a bad cat because I am always doing things that I am not supposed to do but in my defense, rules are stupid. I am also the most affectionate cat in the house and nobody thinks that is bad.

I am a ginger like Frankie, who is the second oldest. Frankie is a rule breaker, like me, but he is younger and skinny and is harder to catch after he escapes, like he did at 4:00 a.m. this morning. Frankie was three years old when we adopted him in February, 2014 so that makes him almost seven.

Puck is a black cat who was adopted as a kitten in 2012. He was always the best behaved cat until he started pooping outside the box two years ago and peeing outside the box six months ago. He peed on the bed this morning so he and Frankie are both in trouble this morning.

Floki is a Siamese cat that we adopted as a kitten on the Fourth of July last year. Floki is now the official “good cat” of the house and the only mamma’s boy.

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Is there an “alpha” cat in the house?

That would be me but Frankie wants the job so I have to watch him closely

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Does everyone get enough time with the human of choice?

That is not a problem, the humans are pretty accommodating. Whenever I see Frankie on Dad’s lap there is always room for me too.

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What’s your favorite treat? Any nipheads among you?

Everybody loves freeze-dried raw food like Stella and Chewey’s and Instinct. We all like the nip too, especially me. Don’t let anyone come between me and my nip.

cat that looks like hippy trying to score some catnip, if you know anyone

Anybody have an odd quirk? (likes taking a bath, eating olives, etc.)

I like to hold Puck and Floki down by the scruff of the neck. Sometimes I drag them across floor that way. I don’t know why the humans think that’s weird.

cats napping in the guest room

What’s your favorite way to relax?

I like to sleep with my head on top of Frankie . . . or Puck or Floki or whoever is around.

Cat meme of overly friendly cat hugging the other.

What do you think is the weirdest thing about humans?

They are always doing this thing called work. I don’t get it. It doesn’t look fun at all. Sometimes they do it at home and sometimes they leave the house to do it. I guess that’s because humans are not as smart as cats.

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How do you feel about your human’s interest in feral cats? Any fear that you may get a new brother/sister?

I think it’s nice that they help those in need and I wouldn’t mind another subject in my kingdom but I think Puck would have a problem. He was still a good cat when it was just me and him.

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Does your human accurately reflect you in his blog or do you think he exaggerates sometimes?

He is not much of an exaggerator except when he talks about my weight. I am not fat! I just have a lot of storage space for energy that I sometimes use when I’m not sleeping.

Cat sitting human like as meme of how it feels when you overeaten and can't understand why your butt won't leave the floor.

Is there anything any of you would like to add?

I just want to thank you for considering us for your interview and I want to say I love all our readers. Also, if you want to get the real scoop, I handle our social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Dad just writes the blog.

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Memes courtesy of Cheezburger