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 career cat dealing with retirement
DEAR TABBY: I’m finding it difficult adjusting to retirement. In my professional life, I worked at Purina as a gravy tester. I gave that company the best 11 years of my life, and it was a great gig. I felt important. Felt like I mattered.
Now, I have nothing but time on my paws, but I have no idea what to do with myself. Maybe I had unrealistic expectations, but everything I try to do — napping, chasing moths, even playing with grocery bags and cardboard — seems frivolous by comparison to the vital work I did at Purina.
Honestly, retirement hasn’t been all it’s cracked up to be. Now I’m wondering if I should perhaps go back to work, or if I should try harder to enjoy my golden years. What do you think, Tabby?
—Discontented in Denton
DEAR DISCONTENTED: I think it boils down to this: some cats are built for retirement, and some cats aren’t.
It’s funny you bring up retirement because I’ve been thinking about it lately. I mean, I’m not quite there yet, but I can’t lie. It would be nice to have the extra time. I could finally finish exploring the hill outside, inventory my toy collection, maybe even build that better mousetrap.
But I know myself. A life of pure leisure wouldn’t be enough for me, and it sounds like you’re the same way.
After you’ve done important work in your life, it’s hard to go back to being a stay-at-home cat. I think a lot of professionals are faced with that.
The truth is, if you don’t want to retire, don’t. You’re a cat. Exercise your independence.
With your experience, you could be a mentor to younger cats, and I say this somewhat selfishly, but I think the world needs your refined gravy palette.
Ambitious cat with branding question
DEAR TABBY: I hope this doesn’t come across as bragging, but my star has begun to rise in the kitty modeling world. Unfortunately, I’m currently faced with a conundrum. I was recently asked to do an infomercial for Fur-Active (“Does your fur look patchy and dull? Try new Fur-Active!”).
The problem is, I’m not sure if I should do it. I’m worried that it could cheapen my brand. What do you think, Tabby? I ask because of your experience as a kitty supermodel, business mogul and branding expert.
—Upwardly Mobile in Mobile
DEAR UPWARDLY MOBILE: You want my advice?
Take the job.
Take every job. Never stop working. Build a reputation as a hard-working feline professional. That’s how you’ll define your brand.
When I first started kitty modeling, I took every job, no matter how small. The only jobs I refused were ones I had ethical problems with (The Anti-Dog Coalition: Cats Against Canine Camaraderie).
Later, once you’ve fur-mly [sic] established yourself as a force to be reckoned with in the kitty modeling industry, you can be more picky.
How to handle an uncooperative kitty
DEAR TABBY: My cat employer, Daisy, and I recently decided to go into business together fostering rescue kitties.
It was Daisy’s idea, which she sold me on by describing it as a bed and breakfast, but now that we have the rescues, Daisy hasn’t been helping.
I just want her to be more invested in the business. Daisy has a world of experience to offer these kitties, but she’s been so uninterested and aloof. What should I do, Tabby?
—Problem Partnership in Pittsburgh
DEAR PROBLEM PARTNERSHIP: First, I applaud you for your efforts. Starting a small business, especially an inter-species partnership, is incredibly difficult.
As to your question, I’ve seen this sort of thing many times before. It happens a lot when professional pet assistants and their employers go into business together.
Daisy is probably feeling that her status as queen bee is being threatened, and she might be experiencing some jealousy. Among cats, it’s actually quite normal.
Reassure her. Let her know that your growing business won’t interfere with your primary responsibilities as her pet assistant. Make an evening of it one night, and talk it over (don’t forget to prepare a nice can of gravy).
Best of luck in your endeavors.
Single cat lady seeks dating advice
DEAR TABBY: I’ve recently started dating again after a long-term relationship ended a year ago, so now I’m single and ready to mingle.
Thing is, I’m not exactly sure when it’s appropriate to bring up the fact that I assist for eight cats, which is perfectly acceptable in cat enthusiast circles, but some of the guys I’ve dated have felt otherwise. One even said that eight cats is seven too many. 🙁
How do I handle this situation?
—Cat Lady Lookin’ for Love
DEAR CAT LADY: I’m all about being true to yourself. You should never have to hide your love for your kitties.
Perhaps be more upfront in your online dating profile. Include more pictures of yourself with your cats (but please get their permission first), and be patient. You’ll find the person who loves your cats just as much as he loves you.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,
Karen and Tabs
What’s so great about a cat?
Show or tell what makes your feline friend special on your favorite social network, and tag your posts with #MyGreatCat. Your pal could be picked to be Purina’s Cat of the Week, which would of course propel them to international stardom and give them the fame and worldwide attention they so richly deserve, like Katniss and Katie Bell here, this week’s Pro Plan Felines of the Week…
— Pro Plan Cat (@ProPlanCat) August 17, 2014
About Purina Pro Plan Cat food
You know how Tabs is about gravy, right? He’s a fiend for the stuff! He can’t get enough — literally, he can’t, because if you do happen to give him too much, he’ll devour it, barf, and then want more. Seriously, he doesn’t even care about the actual food in the wet food. He really just likes the sauce…
He likes to have his gravy for dinner, but his daytime food of choice is Purina Pro Plan Focus Indoor Care dry cat food, which he supplements with Pro Plan Savory Bites snacks (he likes a few treats first thing in the morning to prep his tum). Purina Pro Plan’s wide range of dry and wet cat foods and snacks, sold exclusively at pet specialty stores, can be found in three unique nutritional platforms — Savor, Finesse, and Focus — with each formula designed to provide advanced nutrition to help bring out the best in your cat. For more information, visit www.proplan.com/cat.