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.
To try or not to try? — that is the question
DEAR TABBY: Ever since I was a tiny little kitten, I’ve loved water. As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved drinking it, loved walking through puddles of it, loved swiping at sprinklers and playing in the rain — I just love water, which I know is kind of unusual for a cat.
Like, I love it when my assistant turns on the faucet so I can drink from the spout (LOVE that), and I’ve even tried to jump into her bath water a few times (wow, she yelled at me). I just love the heck out of water. I don’t really know why.
So, I’m writing you today because of our local swim team and a sign I saw outside my window. The team is holding tryouts, and I’m thinking about going.
The thing is…I don’t think there are any other cats on the team, and I’m afraid they’re just going to reject me. Tabby, do you think I should still try?
DEAR SAVANNAH: Where would any of us cats be if we stopped every time somebody told us “No!” or said we couldn’t do something? I’m all for trying new things and breaking boundaries. Heck, I was the world’s first plus-size kitty supermodel.
Just think about that for a moment.
If I, a stray from the mean streets of Mill Valley, can accomplish something like that, you can be your town’s first superstar cat swimmer. No question about it.
First, I suggest that you practice in your tub when you can — back stroke, butterfly, cat paddle — and bring your “a” game to those tryouts. Strut in there with a positive cattitude and your head and tail held high. Give it your all, and if you make it, great! I’ll see you at the Olympics. If not, at least you tried, and you’ll always have that.
Cat looks for a long-lost loved one
DEAR TABBY: I’ve been reading your column for a long time, and let me just say that you’re my favorite cat advice columnist. 🙂
With that out of the way, I have a serious question for you, and I could really use your help.
Tabby, I was adopted by a very loving assistant when I was pretty young. I’m a three-year-old calico now, and I love my current family very much. It’s just that I always think about one of my littermates. Her name was Shoestring, and Shoestring and I were more than littermates. We were also best friends. I protected her — she was the runt of the litter — from our bossy siblings, and a lot of the time, it was just me and Shoestring against the world.
Unfortunately, my assistant could only adopt one kitty, and even though I meowed and meowed and tried to convince her to take Shoestring as well, she could only take me. Ever since then, I’ve been happy in my life, but I’ve missed my little sister so much. Would it be foolish of me to try and find her now, Tabby? What do you think?
DEAR PIPPY: I absolutely don’t think it’s foolish at all. In fact, I envy you for having shared such a strong bond with one of your siblings. That’s why I created a new iPhone app called Find Your Littermate. It’s a new service where you can add your information, your approximate birthdate and where you were born, and it’s basically genealogy for cats.
The service is new, and we’re still in beta testing, but it’s pretty user-friendly. I really hope it helps you find Shoestring.
An assistant worries about her very vocal employer
DEAR TABBY: My cat Topaz and I have had an excellent working relationship for more than 10 years, during which time I’ve been a devoted assistant. I’ve never once had reason to believe that Topaz was terribly unhappy with my performance.
But something has recently changed. Over the past six months, Topaz has gotten progressively fussier, more ornery and vocal, and by “vocal,” I mean that he constantly meows, all day long, and they aren’t the cute little chirps he did when he was a kitten. These meows are LOUD.
When he wants to eat, he sits in front of his food bowl and meows. When he watches birds, he sits by the window and mewls. When he wants to go outside, he stands in front of the door and mewls. He’s constantly mewling and meowing and moaning and groaning, and at first I thought it was cute. I thought, “Oh, look at Topaz. He’s talking to me,” but now it’s kind of getting annoying.
Tabby, what should I do? I’ve tried talking to Topaz to see if there’s something I can do to improve my performance, but all he does is look at me and meow.
DEAR STEPHANIE: As you know, going to the vet is probably my least favorite thing in the world; however, due to the nature of Topaz’s condition, I strongly recommend making him an appointment to see his personal physician. Topaz may be ornery because he’s uncomfortable, and he may not want to burden you with his troubles.
After that, if everything else checks out, do your best to assure Topaz that things are OK. The cupboards are stocked, so he’s in no danger of starving, and thank him for being such a fantastic employer. Cats love receiving good feedback from their assistants.
Ultimately, it could be his age. As we cats get older, we grow impatient with everything. Time becomes more important to us than ever. We have things we need to accomplish, trees we need to climb and birds we need to chase. Be patient with Topaz, and try to encourage more patience from him.
Assistant questions her cat’s bad behavior
DEAR TABBY: I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions before consulting an expert, but I think my cat might be an @sshole.
He’s constantly doing things that aren’t very nice! — like whenever I set a glass on the table, he walks over and swats it with his paw, and every morning after I finish making my bed, he leaps up onto the sheets and rolls all over them.
At first I thought, well, maybe he just likes to knock cups over and destroy beds, but now I think he’s just a bonafide @sshole. He’s always making @sshole moves, like climbing on me when I don’t want him to, pawing at the cupboards in the middle of the night, pushing open the bathroom door when I need a little privacy, barfing on the treadmill… What do you think, Tabby? Am I off base here, or could my cat be an @sshole?
DEAR BRIGITTE: Without a face-to-face consultation, I can only wager a guess, but frankly, it sounds like your cat is behaving normally. Sometimes we like to do things just because we can. I do crap like that all the time to keep my assistant on her toes. It gives me something to do, and it keeps her busy. It’s a win-win.
Love, kitty hugs and kisses,