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.
Cat contemplates closet living
DEAR TABBY: I realize that this may be kind of an odd question, but I was wondering… Do you think it might be possible to set up permanent residence in a closet?
I ask because I’ve found one in the home I’m currently occupying, and I’m enjoying it very much. It’s filled with piles of comforting clothes, several pairs of stinky shoes (my favorite!), and it’s just nice and quiet and dark.
I feel safe in there, and it’s peaceful, unlike my previous residence.
Let me explain…
Before I moved into this closet, I shared an apartment with a family that barely paid any attention to me at all. Feeling unfulfilled, I left that situation to live off the land in the woods behind the complex.
For a while, I enjoyed getting in touch with my wildcat side, but that didn’t last long. I soon learned that some cats are fit for life on the road, but it’s just not my style.
So I took up temporary residence at a bed and breakfast/cat shelter in the area, sharing a condo with several other kitties. I liked the steady meals and the friendly staff, but I still felt like something was missing, you know?
Before long, the proprietors of the establishment placed me in something they called “a forever home” with a nice lady named Denise, with whom I’m living now.
Please understand — I’m not complaining. I like Denise. She’s a competent assistant, fully capable of opening cans of gravy and tending to my whims and needs. It’s just that…I don’t know her very well. I’m also shy, and I don’t feel ready to give my heart to somebody that I’m not sure will still want me around in a few months.
Tabby, do you think it’s crazy of me to live in this closet forever? I’m sure that I could find a way to have my mail forwarded and my meals delivered here, in which case I’d never have to leave. What do you think?
–Hiding in Houston
DEAR HIDING: It sounds like you’ve faced some tough challenges over the past few months, and I commend your wherewithal.
Before we tackle the closet issue, however, let me first say that I think it’s natural to be a little shy around a new assistant. Change like that can be discombobulating, and it’s purr-fectly normal to feel unsure about a new living arrangement. It’s understandable that you’d seek out someplace dark, safe and quiet.
But while closets are wonderful for respite, there’s still a whole, wide world out there in the house to explore. Think of all the birds and neighborhood cats you could watch through the living room windows, or the fun games you could play with Denise.
Imagine how nice it could be to relax with her on the couch. Let me tell you — there are few things in this world better than reclining on a couch while your assistant gives you a deep-tissue kitty massage.
I urge you to live in the moment, let go of your past, and leave the closet for a while.
Take the leap! — and live your life to the fullest.
Fashionable or faux pas?
Is it appropriate to wear a black leather harness/collar to an afternoon tea party?
I recently procured one by McQueen, and I’m very excited about wearing it. I’m just afraid that it might be inappropriate for the venue.
–Fashionably Forward-Thinking Feline in Fort Lauderdale
DEAR FORWARD-THINKING: I believe in wearing what you want, when you want to wear it, so I say go for it!
With that said…I also believe in putting your best paw forward. Will there be press at the event? If so, you may not want to be known in the gossip blogs as the cat who wore black pleather to a tea party.
First impressions count. I love daring collars as much as the next high-fashion feline, but in this case, not knowing the potential for media coverage, I’d advise you to save it for another time. Maybe the next time you and your friends go clubbing?
Think paws-itively! Now you have an excuse to go shopping for a new outfit. Visit my friend Karl over at Chanel, and tell him I sent you. He’ll treat you right.
Overly affectionate coworker makes work a chore
DEAR TABBY: My coworker, whom I’ll call Stan, is an annoyingly affectionate pomeranian. I like the guy — he’s nice enough for a dog — but he’s always getting up in my space! He’s constantly trying to hug me and, in the process, slobbers all over my fur.
Tabby, I’m a Maine Coon, and let me tell you, keeping this coat immaculate takes WORK! Having to deal with the dog drool, on top of my regular daily grooming, makes my job that much more difficult.
I don’t want to alienate Stan — he really is nice — but I’m just so tired of constantly rebuffing his affections. What should I do?
–Struggling in San Francisco
DEAR STRUGGLING: OK, so here’s the deal: any time you share cubicle space with a dog, you’re talking about an entirely different rulebook when it comes to office politics. Consider yourself lucky to be stuck with Stan, because I know plenty of kitties who have to work with brusque canines that absolutely refuse to cooperate. You could have it much worse.
Since you and Stan do get along, I think you should sit him down (catch him when he’s sleepy), and present your case.
Be firm yet thoughtful. Mention that you enjoy his company and like working with him, but be honest. Tell him how many hours the constant hugging is adding to your grooming workload. He’s probably just not aware of it.
And if that doesn’t work, playfully swat him on the nose. He’ll get the hint. Eventually.
The secret to awesome selfies
DEAR TABBY: How do you take such awesome selfies? I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but mine always end up looking a little off.
–Curious in Cambridge
DEAR CURIOUS: I work my angles and try to find the most flattering light. And, truthfully, the real secret is that I’ve trained my assistant to take them for me.
My preferred method of training is paws-itive reinforcement. Whenever she takes a good selfie of me, I reward her with hugs and snuggles.
Works like a charm!
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict(s),
Karen and Tabs