Dear Tabby is written by Tabs the cat, widely considered “the world’s first plus-size kitty supermodel.” Founded in mid 2012, it has quickly become the most popular cat advice column on earth — known for its fresh, feline perspective on lifestyle, fashion and style issues affecting cats and humans.
A kitty who wants to be her own cat
DEAR TABBY: My friends are driving me bonkers.
Especially my best friend. She’s a fluffy, long-haired Persian, and quite the diva — you know, all about going to get her fur groomed, and getting mani-pedis, and all of that high-maintenance kitty stuff.
Which is fine — but I’m more of an au naturel kitty girl. I’m just not the type of cat to wear a tiara on a Tuesday to eat her crunchies, if you know what I’m saying.
Well, um, this friend of mine keeps insisting that I accompany her to the grooming salon, telling me that I need to get my claws filed and get some tinted claw covers, because they’ll “change my life.” (She has bright pink ones.)
But Tabby, I don’t want to do that. I quite like my natural nails and, you know, I don’t need a fancy lion cut or anything like that.
How can I tell her that I don’t want to go to the salon? We’ve been best friends for a really long time, and I don’t want to hurt her feelings.
DEAR PATCHES: You know, we’re lucky. We live in a time when cats can express themselves in a myriad of ways, be it through blogs or YouTube or accessories or clothing or different fur styles and grooming.
Myself? I like to do my own grooming because I’m very particular about it, and I like my claws natural. In your case, the next time your friend insists that you go with her to the grooming salon, I suggest you take her aside, gently, and be straight with her. Don’t make up any excuses; don’t say that you have to go and volunteer at the ASPCA or anything like that. Be upfront with her, but do it gently. Just tell her, “I love how you do your diva thang, and it totally suits you, but it’s not really my style.”
And if she doesn’t believe you, or if she still insists, tell her that you don’t want to take the spotlight away from her. Trust me, that will work. It takes one (a diva) to know one.
Cat seeks fashion advice
DEAR TABBY: I see that you wear cat eye glasses sometimes. Well, I’ve recently been told by my optometrist/veterinarian that I need to procure a pair of glasses because I’ve been diagnosed as near-sighted.
On the one paw, I’m looking forward to seeing the great outdoors again in crisp high-definition, and I do believe that this will also help me catch more mice, but I’m torn over style. I can’t figure out what kind of frames to get.
I’m tempted to get a cat eye shape because, well, I’m a cat, and many cats pull off that look well, but I’m afraid they might look a little hipster. What should I do?
DEAR DIAMOND: When it comes to eyewear, I think it’s trial and error, and if you’re feelin’ the cat eyes, so what if they’re cliché? You do you, boo.
With that said, may I offer one tip? Go with a color that complements your fur.
Couching a delicate subject
DEAR TABBY: What’s that old saying? — “A cat’s house is her castle?”
Well, mine is no longer a castle. It’s a prison with a huge, hideous brown twill couch.
Yes, my assistants purchased a new piece of furniture.
It’s not my taste at all, but that’s not the issue. The issue is that they won’t allow me anywhere near it, whereas my previous couch — it was my playground! They let me jump on it, sleep on it and claw the living daylights out of it.
But this one, they won’t even let me get within paw distance.
I want to dominate this couch, Tabby. What should I do?
DEAR SUNDAE: Oh! I totally understand the need to assert one’s dominance, particularly over furniture. I do this all the time — sometimes outwardly, like by jumping upon the chair that was previously deemed “mom’s chair,” and other times more subtly, like by brushing up against it with my haunches or my tail.
I suggest you start slowly with your campaign. Consider a trial drive-by. Brush a cheek against one of the sofa’s legs, and build up from there. You should eventually be able to at least pounce on the cushions without anybody yelling at you.
Time for a proper introduction
DEAR TABBY: I just moved into a new neighborhood, and I spend most of my time indoors, but occasionally my parents let me go outside.
That’s a lot of fun, but sometimes it also makes me feel a little lonely, because all of the neighborhood cats play together. I’ve seen them, but they never invite me over to hang out.
I see them walking around, staring each other down and hovering around the same pond (it has goldfish), but yet nobody ever invites me to come over.
How can I break the ice?
DEAR FIDDLES: It’s never easy to make new friends in a place where you don’t know anybody. Trust me, I’ve been there.
I think in this case you just have to show them who you are — a kind, sweet, gentle kitty. Perhaps walk over to the pond the next time you see them gathered around and introduce yourself.
You don’t have to stay for long. Just say hello, mention that you live in the house across the way, and perhaps invite them over for catnip.
Be patient. It won’t happen overnight, but soon you’ll have friends to play with in the neighborhood.
Much love, always,