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.
A dairy dilemma
DEAR TABBY: What’s the proper etiquette when it comes to disposing of leftover milk in your bowl?
I feel like dumping it out would be wasteful, and when I try to lick up every last drop, the bowl skitters and scoots across the floor, which just seems like bad decorum.
I’m thinking about having my assistant spoon feed it to me, but even that seems a bit much.
Does the answer depend on whether you’re eating in or dining out?
— Got Milk in Grand Junction
DEAR GOT MILK: If you’re dining out — say, visiting a neighbor cat — you should go easy on the bowl. You definitely don’t want to lick it with so much force that it scoots across the floor. That would be faux paw.
But if you’re at home, well, anything goes!
Order your assistant to spoon feed it to you one of these days, and see how she does. I haven’t tried that yet (not yet), but I do have my assistant hand feed me echinacea leaves from my garden, one leaf at a time.
DEAR TABBY: I was wondering, why do some cats get so talkative on catnip? And they always, ALWAYS talk about themselves?
— Curious in Chicago
DEAR CURIOUS: They’re probably doing it because the catnip has lowered their inhibitions, encouraging them to open up.
Or, because they think the subject is fascinating, and you’re a good listener.
Tardy nanny a source of stress
DEAR TABBY: My current assistant/nanny, Laverne, has adequately assisted me and my two kittens for the past six months.
She’s not a terrible assistant by any means, and I know I could do a lot worse. The kittens appear to like her, and I’m generally satisfied with her performance, but I do have two issues with Laverne that I’m not sure how to address.
She spends too much time away from the office, and she’s always late for the afternoon/evening shift. She leaves first thing every morning, and then strolls back in between 6:05-6:15.
Tabby, her shift starts at 6 on the dot. Not 6:10 or 6:05. 6 o’clock sharp.
Maybe it shouldn’t bug me, but it does…
And the other thing is really only a problem this time of year. You see, on hot, humid days, Laverne smells pretty stinky. Like wet dog food.
In the winter, it’s not a problem, but one day last week the smell was so bad that I had to hide in the linen closet all day.
What should I do, Tabby? Am I making mountains out of two mole hills?
— Punctual in Poughkeepsie
DEAR PUNCTUAL: A good employer sets the ground rules, kitty. I trust you made them clear when Laverne was hired.
Remind Laverne about the hours stated in her employment agreement, and inform her that she runs the risk of having her pay docked if her tardiness continues.
If she takes public transportation to and from your office, try to be flexible, but politely suggest that she leave her other engagements a few minutes earlier, to ensure her arrival to work on time.
As for Laverne’s personal hygiene, be direct. Tell her that you expect her to shower and put on fresh clothes before arriving at the office in the evening. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
A message from beyond?
DEAR TABBY: Coco, my precious kitty employer of 15 wonderful years, crossed over to the rainbow bridge earlier this year.
Sometimes the TV will mysteriously turn on in the middle of the night — to Animal Planet, which we would always watch together — and I’m wondering if it’s a technical glitch or a sign of something more.
A fellow assistant suggested that it could be Coco’s spirit letting me know that he’s still thinking about me.
I want to believe, Tabby, but I don’t know. Have you ever heard of anything like this before?
— Mystery in Milwaukee
DEAR MYSTERY: Hmm… Well, once as I was playing with the remote control, the TV mysteriously turned on to a show about ghosts.
But that’s not important. What’s important here is what you believe.
If you feel like Coco is still with you, and it brings you comfort or joy, then it’s real.
Thinking about ink
DEAR TABBY: My assistant of several years is considering having my name and face tattooed on his arm, but I am not a fan of tattoos and would prefer that my name and likeness not be displayed in this manner.
Do I have the legal right to stop him? And if I do, should I even try? My assistant is quite willful, and I’m afraid that if I attempt to put my paw down, it will only encourage him more.
I value your opinion, Tabby. What would you do in this situation?
— No Tats in Toledo
DEAR NO TATS: Unfortunately, you can’t control what your assistant does with his body, but you can enforce an existing employment agreement after the fact. Does your workplace have a dress code? If so, you might want to remind him of that.
I know you’re trying to avoid a conflict, but have you even broached the subject? Sometimes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be polite yet firm. Who knows? He may change his mind.
Good luck, and let me know how it goes.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,
Karen and Tabs