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.
Urban cat wants to commune more with nature
DEAR TABBY: I work in a small space in the city. I telecommute from home, from a tiny apartment, and I primarily work in the online space. Thing is, with Earth Day coming up, I’ve been trying to think of ways to bring more of the outdoors inside and get back to my outdoor roots. I was wondering if you had any suggestions. What can I do to get in touch with nature?
DEAR BEIGNET: Cat-friendly flowers! They’re one of the most beautiful ways to commune with nature and purr-fect for small offices.
If you can, enlist your assistant’s help. Have him or her visit your nearby gardening store with a list of cat-friendly flowers upon which you’ll be able to snack or otherwise enjoy. My favorites are snapdragons, gerbera daisies, zinnia, and the very tasty echinacea.
Entrepreneur seeks business advice
DEAR TABBY: I’m a stray cat, or as I like to put it, an independent contractor. I’ve been working for myself for a really long time, and I think I’ve been pretty successful at it, but the thing is, my empire is growing, and I just don’t have enough paws to cover all my bases.
Things are starting to slip through the cracks; I can’t answer all of my phone calls, and I’m just not working effectively anymore. I realize that I need help. So, Tabby, my question for you is this: how do I go about hiring an assistant? I have no idea where to start.
DEAR TEACUP: First of all, congratulations on growing your business! It sounds like you’ve reached the point where hiring an assistant makes total sense, and there’s a myriad of ways to go about it. Some cats use Craigslist, but I can’t recommend it. I just think there are some significant quality control issues in their cat employment area.
You could canvas the neighborhood. That’s what I did. I went door to door and meowed in front of every apartment in my former complex to get to know my neighbors. It was sort of my way of conducting casual interviews.
But I think the easiest way is to ask for referrals. Talk to your cat and human acquaintances because they might know somebody who needs an assisting job.
You never know. Get out there, put out your feelers, and start networking. Good luck!
Loyal assistant worries about her regimented employer
DEAR TABBY: I’ve been assisting my cat Carlisle for about seven years now. Carlisle’s a good employer, but he’s very regimented and hyper-organized to a worrisome degree. Every morning we wake up at the same certain time. Then he has to have his food. Then he has to go outside for meetings. Then he returns to the office to look out a very specific window.
I mean, the schedule is very strict.
Sometimes I worry about him and whether he’s stuck in a loop. I care about him very much. He’s been a great boss. How can I help him loosen up and be more spontaneous?
DEAR STACEY: I understand Carlisle’s need for structure. I mean, we cats naturally like our patterns. It gives us a sense of security and power, which lets us know that the world will not be falling apart anytime soon.
Still, I think you’re right to help Carlisle have more fun and loosen up a little. Might I suggest incorporating impromptu play sessions throughout the day? How about purchasing some catnip mice, or a catnip cigar, or perhaps a flying teaser toy, at the office? Then, when Carlisle least expects it, get the toys up in the mix for an improv team-building exercise.
He may be resistant at first, but I think he’ll start to appreciate more spontaneity after a while.
Cat wishes to overcome his fears
DEAR TABBY: I have a very serious issue. You see, I am a ‘frady cat. I’m one of those cats who, unfortunately, is afraid of everything.
I hardly ever even get to see my assistant. I’m just so scared! I’m afraid of the vacuum cleaner, the door opening and closing, grocery bags — everything. At the slightest sound, I have to run and hide. I’m always afraid that something is about to happen to me or my family.
Tabby, I don’t want to be so afraid all the time. What can I do to build my courage and release my inner lion?
DEAR PEABODY: For some cats — lions come to mind — courage is innate; for others, it’s something they really have to work on. And that’s fine. It’s normal. The secret to overcoming your fears is to take kitten steps, and also to realize that large appliances, despite all appearances, are not out to get you.
Start by investigating the vacuum cleaner when it isn’t roaring. Approach it carefully, sniff it, and maybe paw at it a bit, and then when you’re ready, mark it with your cheeks. Own it.
Same goes for the door. Study it at a time when it isn’t being threatening. Yes, it may be scary, but eventually, slowly but surely, you’ll begin to get used to it. Over time, you’ll feel less fearful overall and finally be able to enjoy your life to the fullest.
I wish you nothing but the best.
Love, kitty hugs and kisses,