Can a cat be trained?

Cats are NOT allowed in the office! When I first adopted Squeeky and Yo, I had some training to do. They quickly learned that they were not allowed in my office, but on days when I worked too late, I would get an occasional reminder when it was time to quit. Hard to say no to a face like this.

Exploring uncharted territory

Yo has a way of getting into places he’s not allowed to be. He’ll investigate any open door, space, or hole. I’ve got child-proof locks on all my kitchen cabinets, but never thought he’d be able to break into the fireplace too. Good thing he’s deaf, because it gave me a chance to fill the bathtub, grab an old towel and swoop him away before he spread the soot all over the house (and snap this shot of him sleeping so innocently after his adventure). He didn’t like the bath at all.

Meeeeeeow!

I got a call from my friend Charlie at Fox Studios in Rosarito Beach telling me to get down there as quick as I could. He had two 13-week old lion cubs that had been taken from a zoo in Tijuana and brought to the studio. They were being trained for the movies, so were very approachable and gentile. They acted and looked more like dogs than cats, with very large paws muscular bodies. On the cuteness scale they were off the charts, being every bit as playful as any kitten, and chewing on everything.

They are now full-grown and I’m told one of the two was successfully trained for the movie industry, living somewhere north of LA. This was an amazing opportunity to get up close to such amazing cats! You can see a slide show of more photos here.

Can I come along?

Cats have a way of telling their owners that it is not OK to go out of town without them.

Gangsta cat

Wherever I go…cats seem to know…I’m a pushover for a furry face! Hanging out in the hot tub on my patio at Beqa Lagoon in Fiji it didn’t take long for the local gang of kittens to settle in. Most of them were too feral to get this close, but the tough guy of the group was undaunted by my threatening demeanor.

Feral cats are a big problem in many island nations. Efforts to control breeding are futile and the population gets out of control. The locals sometimes resort to very inhumane ways to deal with the problem.

Years ago I was doing some work for Tokoriki Island Resort when I noticed a group of very upset kids gathering around something that had washed up on the beach. It was an almost dead kitten. Some of the kids were in tears trying to revive it, but there was little hope. One of the big Fijian workers there carried it away with a shovel as the children watched in horror.

When I mentioned this to the resort manager, she commented that “the rat poison must not have worked”. I later found out that they also offered a “cat hunt” as a form of entertainment for the resort guests. Obviously these South African managers never had pets, so I explained to her that if they are going to be so inhumane to the animals, they should not flaunt this to the guests. She really didn’t care. They were just damn cats to her.