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.
DEAR TABBY: While watching Animal Planet on the couch with my assistant last night, I caught a glimpse of what looked like a fluffy tail on the screen of her company-issued iPad.
My assistant, Pam, appearing to notice my sidelong glance, pivoted the screen away from me, at which point I feigned disinterest by intensely grooming my inner thigh (you know how it is).
When Pam got up from the couch to prepare my afternoon snackies, I swiped my paw across the iPad’s screen, entered the code to unlock it and saw what she’d been reading — a dog adoption site for our town’s local shelter.
Quite frankly, Tabby, I was shocked and dismayed. Despite being a shelter kitty myself, I very clearly told Pam when I hired her that I required her undivided attention. I specifically told her that I needed an assistant who could commit to one cat.
This is difficult because Pam has been an exceptional assistant, and I’ve been very happy with our arrangement. When I confronted her about it, she laughed and handed me a treat.
Tabby, I’m trying to be reasonable here, but every time I think of Pam considering other employers, I fly into a jealous rage. Am I overreacting?
— Diva in Detroit
DEAR DIVA: I understand your concern. I enforce a similar arrangement with my assistant.
But consider this: has Pam always tended to your needs? Has she gone above and beyond the call of duty? If so, then perhaps she was merely web surfing.
Haven’t you ever looked at things you didn’t intend to bring home? Window shopping? I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent browsing the Chanel website, filling my cart with Chanel-branded cat towers and toys, knowing full well that I wouldn’t be making a purchase that day.
I monitor my assistant’s Internet usage and have caught her looking at cat adoption sites several times. When it happens, I climb upon her chest, rev up the purr machine, and show her who’s boss.
Now, I can’t speak for Pam, but you may want to postpone taking any disciplinary action, for now. Refrain from making a knee-jerk decision. Be vigilant, but I would bet a bag of Feline Greenies that you’re going to be just fine.
Is middle age too late for a career change?
DEAR TABBY: I am an 8-year-old cat considering a mid-life career change.
I’ve worked security all my life, but now I’m thinking of chasing my dreams of becoming America’s Next Top Kitty Model.
I’m not afraid of crowds and enjoy performing. What do you think? Should I go for it, considering my advanced years?
— Senior Superstar in San Diego
DEAR SENIOR SUPERSTAR: Bravo! I applaud your courage and sense of adventure. I think it’s a great idea. I suggest attending casting calls in your area to test the waters.
While the mature kitty modeling market is a narrow niche, it’s quite possible to have a successful career. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. I wish you luck!
DEAR TABBY: My assistant, George, has absolutely no regard for my privacy. He feels the need to share my every activity with all of our acquaintances and business associates, including the members of his book club and his many Facebook friends.
George even posts pictures of me on his website, and some are rather embarrassing (like when I’m grooming or taking a nap). Sometimes he even tweets!
Whenever I try to talk to him about it, he calls me silly.
I do think that I require more privacy than other cats, but I don’t think it’s right to tell everyone on the planet when I have tummy troubles! What can I do, Tabby? How do I make this stop?
— Private in Petaluma
DEAR PRIVATE: Your assistant may be posting these pictures of you because he’s proud.
I find that’s often the case, but you still have the right to live a life outside the limelight.
To convey this to George, you could try making yourself less available. Hide in closets, boxes and under the bed. I must tell you, though, that hiding can lead to a lonely life. I know many cats who would love to be so adored and revered by their assistants.
Why can’t they cut it out?
DEAR TABBY: When did cat-kind suddenly decide that lion cuts were “stylish”?
I can understand shaving off patches of fur for medical purposes, but to walk around with everything just hanging out like that, except for tiny tufts of fur on your head, your paws and the tip of your tail, seems wrong and ridiculous to me. Please tell the cats of the world to stop shaving their fur!
— Perturbed in Portland
DEAR PERTURBED: I fancy myself a fashion-forward feline, and I can see why you find this upsetting. Lion cuts can look a little questionable on some cats.
However, sometimes it works! Cats blessed with plush, fluffy coats may as well work it, right?
A tum fetish?
DEAR TABBY: I met a cat recently — a cute enough fellow — but the thing is, I really like his tum. Like, really, REALLY like it for some reason.
It just hangs so perfectly, and the way it swings back and forth when he walks or runs…
Anyway, I love how fluffy it is and the shape and everything.
Ironically, I’ve never actually paid much attention to tums before. Just his. So does this count as a fetish? Am I weird?
— Tum Obsessed in Topeka
DEAR TUM OBSESSED: No, I don’t think you’re weird. Now, if tums were the only thing you ever liked about cats, then you might have a belly fetish, but this just sounds like a crush. I wouldn’t go ordering that gimp costume from Amazon just yet.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,
Karen and Tabs