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Publié le 16 Janvier 2013

Beau’s ringworm (tinea) or the story of his little hole


Evreux 2010 005 


About 3 months ago, whilst Beau was fast asleep on his back, I suddenly noticed a little white hole on his belly.


I rummage around his belly and indeed, on his left side, there is a small hairless hole.  I have a good look at it but notice nothing else.  I tell myself to regularly check it.  I talked about this to Helene, Beau’s breeder and same reaction:  to be checked.


From time to time, I do see this little hole which seems to get a bit bigger.  I dig around his belly sometimes unsuccessfully.  I talked about it with friends, ringworm maybe!  I check it up very regularly but Beau has nothing else and Courtoise nothing at all.

 24 juillet

When suddenly, the day before yesterday, I have a good rummage and notice that the hole got bigger!!!  I immediately make an appointment with my vet, thinking that’s it, Beau has ringworm!!! L  How on earth did he catch it?  And my Courtoise has absolutely nothing!


I am just back from my vet...  I was firmly holding Beau who has been growling non stop (like he always does at the vet’s).  My vet has a good rummage around and find the hole.  She takes the Hood lamp (needed to see if it is ringworm or not) when she suddenly tells me:  I know what it is!  I’ll check with the Hood lamp anyway.  And of course, NOTHING! No ringworm.  My vet was in absolute stiches!!!  She told me to go back home and did not make me pay anything. J


Beau’s little hole is …………………………………………………………his belly button!

Evreux 2010 003


These last few months, as Beau has been taking on his beautiful Chartreux male body shape, he has grown and so has the hole!


During the whole trip back home, I was crying with laughter!





PS:  This story took place 4 years ago.  I have never seen a cat with ringworm.  It made me realized that cats have belly buttons, something I never thought about it.  Since then, Beau has been carefully looking after his little hairless ringworm hole by putting on weight. J





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Publié le 27 Décembre 2012


An old cat

004 (2) 

There was an old discreet Sir in the waiting room. He removed his cap and put it next to him on the bench, an old wicker basket. He speaks quite slowly as if he was afraid of disturbing. He was exchanging some politenesses with our secretary to his desk. I’m in the room of consultation ; I finish writing an index form of hospitalization while lending an ear attentive to the conversation whick leaks out, on the verge of the audible, by the half opened door.

I didn’t recognize him, even if I know that I have already seen his mate. Stuck on the index form of hospitalization, I cannot read the appoinment diary ; so, I listen, I listen to an old man telling his cat. He is 20 years old. He should have die 5 months ago but I saved him. HE came back for an euthanasia two months ago. He still came back with him at Home. This time, according to him, he will not spend Christmas with him, he resigned itself to it. He was able to take advantage of his old tomcat beyond what he would have imagined but he knows that we do not stop the age and the disease. HE would like to bury his companion in his garden.

I’m going to play the innocent. A glance to the index form of the old cat and the memories came back to me. A naughty mammary, enormous tumor which I had punctured. By the age of the animal, I have spread at once the surgery thinking that with the draining  and some medicines with palliative aim, he would still have few weeks in front of him. When he brings back him to me, the cyst wasn’t here again but the old cat had a naughty gastroenteritis. Probably without any link.  He was dehydrated, in low hypothermia. He didn’t eat anymore but I had verified the lack of renal insuffiency and tried a simple medical treatment which had perfectly worked.


And this time ?

« So Sir, What is the problem with the tomcat ? »

« Oh you know…. It’s the end. »

His voice is as soft as in the waiting room. I fall with a tone of my voice. He’s not dead. The old cat grumbles a little bit, but he agrees to come on my knees. As usual in the beginning of consultation, I sit down on the table of examination to bring out the animal of its basket.  Not be anxious, not force him, let him accept cherishes and stay naturally with me. It doesn’t work always, but this time, nothing to say. Immediate humming.

" His tumor drilled, some liquid flowed and that bled, nevertheless it was not big as the first time, you know... "

The old Sir holds his cap and put it between his fingers, pressing and turning it. The joints of the fingers are white because of the squeezing so hardly pale to wait for my verdict. He holds the chin forward cheek discreetly with his dentures. I say nothing, I cherish the cat which I turned on the back. He allow me to scratch his chin, and  lays down quitely. HE has a naughty hole in the middle of the belly, next to the navel.


Three centimeters in diameter, one or two of the depth in the sucutaneous tissue. Around the wound, the hair is smoothed, licked. The wound is apathetic or almost it doens’t bleed. Some tracks of tissue of granulation doubtless due to the incessant licked.
The cat hums, the old sir tells me his voracious appetite, his cuddles and his endless naps near the stove. I say nothing.


A long silence settled down. The old Sir waits that I pronounce my conclusion : « This time, it’ll be the euthanasia »

So, I took a deep breath. The old Sir moves forward the chin, his cap doesn’t move anymore, the fingers are white, so white.

« Well, two injections, one or two boxes of swill, and he comes back home. I’m going to leave you a flask of antiseptic, he will have antibiotics, but he will see a new year. »

The fingers of the old man became red but he didn’t release his cap. He lets escape one « Ah » at the same time surprised and relieved. I tighten him the tomcat.

«  Merry Christmas »

MOKA 010 - Copie

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Publié le 30 Août 2012

Cat and the sense of smell

(Free translation)

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Smells act on temper for humans but also for animals.


The cat has an olfactory system 5 to 7 times more developed than ours (be forwarned that the flatter the nose is, the lesser is the sense of smell).


Some smells will excite the cat, others will make him play, will calm him, infuriate him or make him pee. These are the smells we are to going to see today.


We more and more buy organic products. It is better for the environment. However the cleaning base of such products are based on citrus or orange essential oil. These products kindle aggressivity in cats so much so that some will urinate to mask this aggressive smell.


The same applies to all citrus essential oils (lemon, grapefruit, orange, lemon grass, oranger). Essential oils being inside barks/peels, potpourri and even the citrus fruit dish on the table are to be banned.


We would only use these smells outside the house to stop a stray cat from coming up to your house to taunt your cat or inside one room which might be dangerous for the cat (i.e. a workroom with solvents).

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Think that when you smell an orange, your cat smells it 7 times stronger!


If you find your cat a bit aggressive, or if he suddenly starts peeing on your clothes, check the smells you use! While shopping, do not forget to check the component list of your cleaning products (wax, softener, washing powder, but also deodorant as well as perfumes).


To a cat, these smells are like a declaration of war. They can scratch, bite or attack a friend or a human without wanting too.


Try to use lavender and vanilla smells which are calming and soothing; mint as well as olive or nutmeg to make him play; rosemary or thyme to make him scratch his cat tree, and eucalyptus which is very good to help avoid colds in winter and help the cat to breathe.

 Alter-Ego-di-Diamanti-di-Luna-aka-Prince 0535

Marie-Hélène Bonnet

Cat behaviourist, Nutrition and Bach Flowers specialist


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Publié le 29 Août 2012

Cat and hierarchy

(Free translation)

7 juin 2012 035[1]

For the cat, we cannot really speak about domination or about pack effect. Indeed, the cat is a solitary animal, ethologically speaking, so there is no need of a hierarchy! Contrary to the dog or the wolf, not need to fight to know who will be the most capable of defending a group.


But, the cat having been domesticated, he had to learn to live in community with his fellow creatures, even if it is not what he prefers in his life of a domestic cat.


And it is there that us, human beings, often act wrong! Usually we use anthropomorphism all the time with our animals, but we do not even think of it for hierarchy!

04 SEPT 2011 HEIVA 033[1]

We watch out for the last cat arriving at home, either because it is kitten, or because it still does not know the house but in any case, we very often create a conflict which would never have taken place.


The cat has a very special psychology, he has rites, it is necessary for him to follow the same habits before attending to its activities. Because his rites must be respected, it is inconceivable for him to have to live with another cat obliging him to question his so precious habits. Cat and anarchy are never compatible! Thus, as soon as we are 2, a leader is needed. And this leader must be also accepted by the human beings.


And there, the cat is going to act as we used to before, when families lived all together. Grand-father was the head of the family. The cat is going to decide that the boss will be the one who was there before; not necessarily the oldest, the strongest, a male! No, the cat who arrived first in the house, the one who knows best the house and its customs.

06 juillet 2012 013[1]

So for cats, it is settled. As for human beings, a quarrel can arise about a little something. But as long as we human do not get involved in their cat business, it will not go farther!


And it is very often us, human beings, that destroy all this beautiful balance, by acting for the best in our opinion. By speaking first to the youngest cat, by only letting him sleep in our bedroom, wanting to give him time to get used to us, by scolding the cat who was there first if he spits for example.



You should not forget when we see 2 cats sleeping together, that it is not in his nature to act so, and that this balance is precarious. So, it is necessary to establish the regulation of the boss as soon as the 2nd cat arrives!


Rule no1: the boss is always right.


Rule no2: even if the boss is wrong, rule no1 applies …

7 juin 2012 072[1]

Always speak first to the boss cat, ask him if he wants to eat, drink, play, a cuddle and kiss cession, to go to sleep first. Even if you only spend 10 seconds with him, and one hour to the cat no2, he was first, and that is priceless for his feline dignity!


In a more important community, we can see "clans" being established according to the seniority. And contrary to what we would believe, the bigger the community, the easiest the integration.


The boss cat will lose his status only if he dies or leaves the house. In that case, cat no2 will automatically take the leader's place. Sometimes, a cat will immediately give up his boss position, if he does not feel able to lead the others and manage the conflicts. But it is only for the cat himself to decide.


By thinking of letting the boss cat go first, as we would do with our boss with regard to a colleague, things are very likely to run smoothly with no problem at all.


18 fevrier 2012 013

Marie-Hélène Bonnet

Cat behaviourist, Nutrition and Bach Flowers specialist


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Publié le 28 Août 2012

How can I please my cat?

 Georgia bébés 8jours 034 - Copie

Now this is a question with many answers! Let’s start by reviewing fundamentals: the cat is a territorial carnivorous animal, communicating with pheromones. Remember that we humans continue to give off pheromones although we have lost the ability to consciously decipher them. Our pheromones are 95% identical to cats’.


We can now start thinking of a few things. Talking to your cat, showing him your unconditional love but also to reassure him, and make him understand that without him life would be sad. In my therapies, I always ask people to spend a few minutes everyday really talking to their cats. Telling him what we really feel, that he has nothing to do with our annoyance due to a colleague when we go back home in the evening.

 Georgia bébés 8jours 059 - Copie

Do not forget that once you leave home, your cat completely ignore where you are and what you are doing. Working and shopping simply do not exist for him. For him, when you leave, you are going hunting. And if you come back home upset, it probably is because you had difficulties in finding enough to feed everyone and that you hold it against him for not having helped you.


Another way is to give your cat some delicacy he particularly likes that we would give during moments of complicity and loving. It is like a reward to thank him for being there with you and that you love him.


Inviting your cat to share a moment of playing and pleasure for him. It you cat goes overboard, it is important not to scold him or try to punish him. If claws are out, stop him by saying no, reassure him and start playing again. If he acts like that it is due to the heat of the moment and probably a little bit of lack of psychosocial weaning.


A moment of tenderness can be the most beautiful gift for a cat: on the bed in the morning or on the sofa in the evening. Opportunities are not lacking. It de-stresses us and does him a world of good to know that we take time for his welfare.


Some cats are crazy about the catnip that we grow and which is in fact wheat germs. Smells are important for cats. Catnip, the real one, is a mint variety exciting the cat’s senses. He is then wanting to play, roll over, run everywhere like mad – that too is very pleasant to him.


A happy cat is a cat that does not stress (or almost). A stressless cat is a cat with no behavioural problems! Spending a few minutes here and there with the cat is worth it.

 Georgia bébés 8jours 013 - Copie

Should you have 2 or several cats, please respect the seniority order. You do not cuddle the youngest without having first cuddled the oldest ones!


So you see it is very easy to please your cat, but the reverse is also true: an abrupt tone of voice, a brusque move, being upset against somebody, throwing a ball to the younger one. All of these may start little cataclysms in the life of our domestic cat.


Let me remind you that in the wild, feral cats do not suffer from stress, being too busy to hunt for food. Our cat with his easy life does not have to worry about food. But he must keep his mind busy for fear of going on in circles. Leaving music or the TV on when you leave for work is another way to please him. He will feel less alone.


Being alone is the enemy of our cat. Try not to leave him alone too often: going away every week-end and leaving him alone while you work all week long is just too much for him. Try to get him used to follow you for his pleasure and yours!


Do not think that a second cat will make him feel less alone for sure! Being a solitary territorial animal, living with others is not part of his logic, even if he accepts it. It could be the complete opposite whereas you are doing it for his own good. He will feel that you will cut in half cuddles and playtimes as well as your love for him. He does not understand that you can give as much to each animal. He is used to think as the centre of universe. And everybody knows that the centre of universe cannot have any competition.

 Georgia bébés 8jours 135

Finally, remember that a cat does not like to be forced to do what we want. So by letting him do what he wants when he wants is a great source of pleasure for him. However this does not mean that there can be no limits.


What else but wishing you lots of happiness with your cat can I do!


Marie-Hélène Bonnet


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Publié le 26 Juillet 2012

Cat and food


I will not speak to you about how to feed your cat, no, even if I have a clear preference for high quality dry food.
I'd rather advice  in the understanding of how  cat thinks  about  food.
Once more, we are going to learn ourselves on wildcat.  Indeed, when speaking about the cat's ethology  we always refer to  wildcat.
Wildcat does not know if  he will find the twenty preys or so necessary for his daily feeding.  So he will adopt a pessimistic view towards food: there will never be enough .  Therefore, any thing found will be good, even if he is no more hungry.  Caught is caught and if tomorrow a mouse or 2 are missing, two more today will compensate for tomorrow!
Let us go back to our little Félix, he still has the strong instincts of his ancestor.  And  instinct in front of the food stays pessimistic: almost full bowl for us is almost empty for him!


You have to understood that  cat needs approximately 20 preys a day, domesticated cat, needs to eat 20 times or so a day.  Meals given 2 or 3 times a day are not enough: exactly like a wildcat would have done in time of famine.
Cat is going to throw himself on the food bowl, empty it, and very quickly he will ask for more and more!.  As a result, feeding becomes intolerable for him and for us at the same time …
Thus you will have understood, a cat should have a FULL bowl so that he can eat 4 or 5 kibbles every 30 minutes.  There he will find his own rhythm, and will limit himself.  That is impossible to do when we limit a cat in terms of quantity and number of meals.  Cat put on diet because of his weight will never lose weight if we limit his food and number of meals.   Also a cat who had been restricted food, will stuff himself for a few days when back to food , but however he will limit himself in the weeks which will follow.  No panic, we must learn to trust our cats, and especially not to hinder their instincts by wanting to limit the numbers of meals (as for a human , which he is not )( another behavioural problem  could develop quickly: stress).
cts mangeant1
Have the good reflex if you adopt a cat:
· think of filling up his food bowl every day to the brim, 
· it is better to take a smaller but full bowl than a big half empty one,
· do not limit the number of meals,
· if your cat has to lose weight, do not try to restrict him by the number of meals.
And you will have a happy cat without adding an additional and potential reason to stress!
Marie-Hélène Bonnet
Cat behaviourist, Nutrition and Bach Flowers specialist



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