Dear Tabby is written by Tabs the Cat, commonly regarded as “the world’s first plus-size kitty supermodel.” Founded in mid 2012, it has quickly become the most widely syndicated cat advice column on earth — known for its fresh, feline perspective on lifestyle, fashion and style issues affecting cats and humans.
A career cat dealing with retirement
DEAR TABBY: I’m finding it difficult adjusting to retirement. In my professional life, I worked at Purina as a gravy tester. I gave that company the best 11 years of my life, and it was a great gig. I felt important. Felt like I mattered.
Now, I have nothing but time on my paws, but I have no idea what to do with myself. Maybe I had unrealistic expectations, but everything I try to do — napping, chasing moths, even playing with grocery bags and cardboard — seems frivolous by comparison to the vital work I did at Purina.
Honestly, retirement hasn’t been all it’s cracked up to be. Now I’m wondering if I should perhaps go back to work, or if I should try harder to enjoy my golden years. What do you think, Tabby?
–Discontented in Denton
DEAR DISCONTENTED: I think it boils down to this: some cats are built for retirement, and some cats aren’t.
It’s funny you bring up retirement because I’ve been thinking about it lately. I mean, I’m not quite there yet, but I can’t lie. It would be nice to have the extra time. I could finally finish exploring the hill outside, inventory my toy collection, maybe even build that better mousetrap.
But I know myself. A life of pure leisure wouldn’t be enough for me, and it sounds like you’re the same way.
After you’ve done important work in your life, it’s hard to go back to being a stay-at-home cat. I think a lot of professionals are faced with that.
The truth is, if you don’t want to retire, don’t. You’re a cat. Exercise your independence.
With your experience, you could be a mentor to younger cats, and I say this somewhat selfishly, but I think the world needs your refined gravy palette.
Ambitious cat with branding question
DEAR TABBY: I hope this doesn’t come across as bragging, but my star has begun to rise in the kitty modeling world. Unfortunately, I’m currently faced with a conundrum. I was recently asked to do an infomercial for Fur-Active (“Does your fur look patchy and dull? Try new Fur-Active!”).
The problem is, I’m not sure if I should do it. I’m worried that it could cheapen my brand. What do you think, Tabby? I ask because of your experience as a kitty supermodel, business mogul and branding expert.
–Upwardly Mobile in Mobile
DEAR UPWARDLY MOBILE: You want my advice?
Take the job.
Take every job. Never stop working. Build a reputation as a hard-working feline professional. That’s how you’ll define your brand.
When I first started kitty modeling, I took every job, no matter how small. The only jobs I refused were ones I had ethical problems with (The Anti-Dog Coalition: Cats Against Canine Camaraderie).
Later, once you’ve fur-mly [sic] established yourself as a force to be reckoned with in the kitty modeling industry, you can be more picky.