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.
Pushed to the breaking point
DEAR TABBY: I can’t take it anymore, Tabby. My humans are pushing me too hard. They’re always trying to get me to kitty model for them and climb the cat tower and teasing me with toys, which they know I can’t resist. They even make me wear these humiliating outfits, which are almost always glittery and too tight. I feel like I’m ready to snap. I’m also lashing out at friends now, and I actually swatted at the neighbor’s kitten yesterday for pouncing on my tail.
Help! What should I do? Should I tell them the truth? That I just want to sit in a sunny corner all day long and play D&D (I love the dice)? I don’t want to hurt their feelings, but I need some time to myself.
–Stressed in Spokane
DEAR STRESSED: I know exactly how you feel. Humans can be incredibly annoying, but they can also be nice to have around. First, most of them have thumbs, which are essential to opening things like doors and cans of gravy. Second, they can be kind of soothing sometimes, and they’re also pretty easy to train.
In fact, I’ve trained mine to perform a number of tasks, including booking all of my public engagements, paying my iPhone bill, and administering my deep-tissue kitty massage.
I really think you should talk to your humans and let them know you’re stressed, but try to understand that they do what they do from a place of love. Definitely grumble when they pick you up, because they might eventually get the hint, but if not, try to catch up on sleep at night, which is when most humans temporarily shut down.
How much is too much love?
DEAR TABBY: I’m worried that I love my human too much, and I’m not sure what it says about me as a cat. I see other cats who treat their humans with apathy or outright disdain, but I just want to love mine. Is that wrong?
My human actually lives with me. She rents a room and works as my assistant (I work at home in performance art). She pets me every morning, prepares my food, cleans the bathroom, and then goes to her other job. And then when she returns home, she pets me again and we hang out.
I know this is weird because she’s just a human, but she’s also my best friend. Tabby, is it possible to love a human too much?
–Devoted in Daytona
DEAR DEVOTED: In a word, no, it is impossible to love a human too much, because they crave attention, but there’s also a flip side to this. The more friendly and loving you are, the more treats and massages you’re likely to get.
Many cats are unwilling to acknowledge this relationship because of our independent nature, but it’s true. I’ve seen it myself.
Try this sometime: when food is scarce, pay even more attention to your human, and see if you receive more treats or an extra serving of gravy. I think you will.
Contrary to what many cats believe, I don’t see a downside to loving humans, and I don’t think you can love them too much. Sure, it’s important to maintain professional work boundaries at the office, but that’s true of any family business.
The thrill is gone
DEAR TABBY: I’ve been with the same human for more than a decade and, you know, we’ve kind of fallen into a routine. Things aren’t as exciting as they used to be. I still love her very much, but we used to do more things. Sometimes she would make tuna and turkey appetizers, and then company would come over and we’d play games. Now, it’s like all we ever do is sit on the couch and watch Law & Order.
I want to explore the world, Tabby, and play with new toys, try new cuisines.
I don’t know. I’m just afraid the spark is gone. Is there anything we can do to reignite it?
–Passionless in Peoria
DEAR PASSIONLESS: Everything you’re feeling is completely normal, so let’s just get that out of the way. There’s a honeymoon period in any relationship, where it seems like every day brings a new treat, toy or experience. Plus, we cats are notoriously fickle.
The good news is that you still love each other. Have you considered taking up a hobby that you two could do together? My assistant and I love to garden. Not only is it therapeutic for both of us, it also gets me outside, where I can chase lizards and kack at birds.
If gardening isn’t your thing, there’s also paper mache, knitting and going for walks on leash, all of which are activities cats often enjoy.
Another personal favorite of mine is to mix things up. Surprise her one day by catching a mouse.
I know! It sounds crazy, but give it a try. Perhaps she’ll see you again as her powerful little lion.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,
Karen and Tabs
P.S. So, when we got home from Tahoe last night (didn’t win anything playing OMG! Kittens, BTW), Tabs was all over me, throwing his head into my shins to give me hard-core kitty hugs, meowing nonstop, and following me around the house like he does whenever I go out of town and come back. He was like, “Where were you!? I missed you, woman!”
Yeah, that only lasted a few hours until I went to bed… When I got up this morning, it was back to business as usual. All day today he’s been Mr. Official, CFO Tabs the Cat of Tabs the Cat Industries, LLC. “Where’s my gravy? Why isn’t my iPhone fully charged? How dare you talk back to me! Why haven’t you taken me for a walk outside? Why aren’t you petting me at this very moment right now!?”
Le sigh… That’s life when you work for an overachieving kitty diva.