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.
Fur to dye for?
DEAR TABBY: One of my roommate cats, Fluffy, has started going gray. She’s developing patches of salt-and-pepper fur, but the thing is, she’s only four years old!
The other day we were outside looking for lizards together when a tomcat walked by. He gestured toward Fluffy and asked, “mrow?” Is she your mommy cat?
Um…I flipped out. Tabby, Fluffy is only six months older than me.
Fluffy didn’t seem to mind, but I suggested that she dye her fur. I’ve seen some really trendy styles (I love lion cuts) and dye jobs online.
I’ve been toying with the idea of surprising her with a free trip to the kitty salon, but what do you think, Tabby? Would it be an appropriate gift?
— Helpful in Houston
DEAR HELPFUL: Unless you want a big surprise of your own (in the shape of sharp claws and a really angry cat), don’t do it.
I know that in today’s kitten-obessed culture, going gray early isn’t always viewed in a positive light, but it should be. Most cats don’t mind, and some even sport the look on purpose, believing it makes them look more distinguished.
My advice: learn to accept and appreciate your roommate for the kitty she is.
A not-so-model citizen
DEAR TABBY: My co-worker, Buttons, is always asking to borrow money for gravy and catnip, and I usually say yes. But it makes me uncomfortable. We work together at the same kitty modeling agency and see each other every day.
Yesterday at Petco Buttons asked me for 69 cents to buy a can of Fancy Feast. I lied and told him that I didn’t have any money on me, but when I went up to the register to get my gravy with my VISA debit card, Buttons pranced over and told the cashier to also ring up his can on my card.
I was shocked! The nerve…
I work hard for my gravy, Tabby, but I wouldn’t mind so much if Buttons reciprocated. Of course, he never does. What should I do? I’m saving up for grad school right now (I just got accepted into UC Davis’ Catnip Cultivation program), so I need every penny.
— Ticked in Tampa
DEAR TICKED: That is annoying! Way I see it, you can handle it in one of two ways.
You could take the cat by the claws and assertively tell Buttons to knock it off, or you can bide your time until you leave for school.
Whatever you decide, don’t feel bad. You’re not in the wrong. Buttons is taking advantage.
Office romances: yea or nay?
DEAR TABBY: What are your thoughts on inter-office romances? Specifically, I’m referring to two assistants dating.
My executive assistant, Charlene, whom I’ve worked with since I was a kitten, has been spending a great deal of time at another assistant’s office.
The assistant’s name is Bob, and he lives in the apartment next door.
Bob moved in about six months ago, and I recognized his potential shortly after he arrived. He’s friendly, professional, attentive, and gifted in kitty massage. Tabby, he has all the makings of an exemplary executive assistant.
Charlene must have noticed it, too, because she and Bob have been getting along swimmingly. Either she’s at his office, or he’s at ours.
In a way, I have access to two assistants — which I love! I can send Bob out to get gravy while Charlene brushes my fur.
But I’m worried…
What if their relationship sours? I don’t want to have to choose sides.
— Living Large in Los Angeles
DEAR LIVING LARGE: This may sound old-fashioned, but I’m not a huge fan of inter-office romances.
I know they’re common nowadays, but they can be bad news if things don’t work out. And that kind of distraction could be bad for business.
With that said, you’re in a tough spot. It sounds like you have access to two great assistants.
Now, I know another cat who was in a similar situation, and he tried to sabotage the relationship by shredding the office furniture and kicking kitty litter onto the floor.
It did not go well. Both assistants ended up treating him like the villain.
In this case, I think your only option is to go with the flow. Neither you nor I can predict the future, but there is a lesson here. Next time, make sure your company has a policy against inter-office fraternization.
A tricky toy situation
DEAR TABBY: At a charity gala I recently attended, all of the cat guests were asked to leave their toys at the door, as the host had “a thing” about clutter, and didn’t want fuzzy mice and crinkly balls all over the living room (her words).
Wanting to honor the host’s wishes, I left my favorite feather teaser at the door.
Unfortunately, it was stolen.
I contacted the host after the party, and they apologized, but I feel like they should have done something to compensate me, since I never would have brought my teaser with me if I’d known ahead of time that I wasn’t going to be able to bring it in.
Am I asking too much, Tabby? It was my favorite feather toy.
— Stressing in Sausalito
DEAR STRESSING: What happened was very unfortunate, but take it as a valuable lesson.
If you’re ever put in a similar situation again, ask the host to secure your toys in a separate locked room, or don’t give them up at all.
Alternately, if your executive assistant also attends the same event, ask him/her to hold your toys for you.
As for the host’s responsibility for the loss, well, every host is different. You could tell them that the teaser had great sentimental value, which is true. If they have any class at all, they should reimburse you.
DEAR TABBY: My assistant Charlie and I have worked together now for about a year, and we get along well, but he has the most annoying habit…
He never clips his toenails, and they’re longer than my claws! When he pets me with his foot, it’s like I’m being attacked by an eagle.
It’s repulsive and embarrassing, Tabby, especially when he wears flip-flops out in public.
I’ve told him “meow!” Trim your toenails! But he just ignores me or rubs my chin.
Charlie’s great, but this issue isn’t. Help me out, Tabby. How do I get Charlie to take his toenails more seriously?
— Vexed in Vermont
DEAR VEXED: Funny you mention this because I, too, employ a male assistant with incredibly long nails.
I’ve confronted him about it several times, but like your assistant, he just ignores me or rubs my chin (why do they always do that?).
Perhaps your assistant’s terrible toenail maintenance is due to his busy schedule. Or maybe he just likes the look.
Other than asking nicely, I’m not sure what else you can do. I guess you could book him an appointment at a local nail salon — many offer men’s manicures and pedicures these days.
Keep me posted on this one. I’m interested to hear what happens.
Will the real Dear Tabby please stand up?
DEAR TABBY: I’ve been reading your column for years. I love it! But I must know — are you a human or a real cat?
— Curious in Calabasas
DEAR CURIOUS: There was a rumor going around that my column was actually scribed by a short, sassy, makeup-loving cat lady, but I assure you, that rumor was false.
I am 100-percent pure cat, and I write every word of my columns.
From one feline to another, thank you for reading Dear Tabby, and have a great night.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,
Karen and Tabs