Dear Tabby is written by Tabs the cat, widely considered “the world’s first plus-size kitty supermodel.” Founded in mid 2012, it has quickly become the most popular cat advice column on earth — known for its fresh, feline perspective on lifestyle, fashion and style issues affecting cats and humans.
Handling an unwanted gift with grace
DEAR TABBY: OK, I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but frankly, I’m lost. Tabby, my assistant — good chap, calm temperament — well, his parents sent over a gift for the office the other day. Yeah, it’s the ugliest cat tower I’ve ever seen.
Very nice gesture, yes, but not only does it seem inappropriate coming from the parents of my employee, but aesthetically it’s — well, it’s just not my style.
Tabby, at your office, have you ever had to deal with anything like this? This is a first for me, and I’m not sure how to proceed.
– Appalled in Appalachia
A little tact goes a long way
DEAR APPALLED: Funny you mention this because, yes, I have had something very similar happen to me before, but it was a piece of exercise equipment.
I’m very close to my assistant’s parents, and one year they gave me one of those long sticks with the large green ball at the end of the string. You know the ones I’m talking about.
So I’m exercising with it one day, and bam! — the ball smacks me square in the face.
I’m like, is this thing broken? I don’t know, but I got rid of it fast.
The next day my employee asked me where it went, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so I just purred and played dumb.
The truth is, I batted it under the couch.
Tact is a tough concept for a lot of cats, and my collar goes off to you for taking it into consideration. I think this is one of those situations, though, that could easily escalate if it isn’t handled properly.
The problem with a cat tower, of course, is that you can’t just brush it under the rug. Literally. It’s huge. It’s there. So you have to deal with it head on.
You’re going to have to tell your assistant something like, you know, I like the cat tower, but I just can’t have it in the office, and then make something up. Tell her that there’s a clause in the contract you have with your interior decorator that expressly prohibits beige cat towers. That way you protect her feelings while getting rid of the tower at the same time.