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 plant sitter’s dilema
A feline friend of mine recently left on a month-long vacation and put me in charge of her favorite catnip plant. The other day, in a moment of weakness, I ate it…
The entire plant, leaving nothing but stems.
And my friend had left detailed instructions on the plant’s proper care. Nowhere on her list did it say, “Eat plant.”
What should I do?? Should I come clean and admit my crime, even though it’s too late to save the plant, or secretly have my assistant bring home a replacement from the gardening store?
— Not So Green Thumb
DEAR NOT SO GREEN THUMB:
Believe it or not, yours is a very common problem, and I’ve been on both sides of the situation.
On a vacation last year I left my cherished catnip plant, which I use strictly for medicinal purposes, under the care of the Russian Blue next door.
Upon my return, all I found was an empty pot lying on its side.
Robbers? I thought, but then the Russian Blue confessed. He admitted to eating it, which angered me at first, but then he offered to purchase me a new one.
I accepted his offer and appreciated his honestly. After all, we all make mistakes. I’ve certainly made a few of mine…
So, yes, I think you should come clean. Apologize, and offer to buy her a new plant. Maybe also include a few cans of gravy to make peace.
Truthfully, even if you tried to replace the plant without your friend knowing, chances are she’d figure it out. It’s not easy to find thriving, mature catnip plants at local gardening stores (trust me, I’ve looked).
New roommate rocks one cat’s world
My landlord/assistant (don’t ask) recently invited a new kitty roommate into our home, and let me be frank — I hate him.
He hogs the bed, the bathroom, steals my toys and even sleeps in MY stinky sock drawer. Oh, and he likes to nap in the same sunny patches that I like to nap in on the floor.
On top of all that…he’s always trying to be cute, so I feel like I have to be in “performance mode” all day long, constantly flashing my tum and looking adorable.
What should I do? I’m tempted to just run away, but I still have a pretty sweet thing going here. There’s a steady supply of gravy, daily walks, and my pet assistant is also a licensed massage therapist.
— Roommate Troubles in Rohnert Park
DEAR ROOMMATE TROUBLES:
You know the old saying, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”? Truer words were never spoken. I believe every cat should have that phrase crossed-stitched on a pillow.
In your case, I think you should make the next move. Do something nice for the intruder, like offer to groom him or spoon the next time you’re both napping.
Build up some trust, because not only will it bring you peace of mind, it’s also a good way to carefully monitor the new cat’s activities.
And who knows? Maybe one day the two of you will become real friends.
Cat fashion statement or feline faux pas?
After a wild night with friends and one too many catnip cocktails, I pulled a Britney and shaved my fur!
Well, not all of it. I got one of those lion cuts, and now I deeply regret it…
I know I’m just going to have to wait for my fur to grow out, but do you have any fashion suggestions to help ease the transition?
— I’m Not Lyin’
DEAR I’M NOT LYIN’,
Try to look on the bright side. Your impromptu fur care decision gives you an excuse to go all out with edgy fashion!
One word: accessories. Kitties today have a ton of stylish choices.
Also, with the holidays here, this is a great time to stock up on Christmas sweaters — festive greens and reds look great with most fur patterns.
Just try to avoid sweaters with round, red pom-poms, a la Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer… You don’t want to look any more undignified, unless you’re trying to play the part of an ironic hipster kitty.
Lately when I’ve been sweater shopping, I look for snowflake patterns and sequins.
Of course, if sweaters aren’t your thing, you could always try ribbons. They’re super affordable (very often free this time of year) and come in an assortment of colors and patterns.
Give it a try one of these days. I’m telling you, ribbons are great when you want to look polished but don’t have a lot of free time between playing and napping.
As for your fur, all you can do is be patient (and try not to make the same mistake twice).
A pet assistant seeking guidance on gift giving
I’m a brand new pet assistant (three months in!), and I want to make a good first holiday impression with my feline employer.
I’d like to get her a gift, but I’m not sure what’s appropriate. I don’t want to cross any pet/pet assistant boundaries by getting something too personal, but then again, I want to look like I’m trying.
What do you suggest?
— Clueless at Gift Giving
How about a carefully curated gift basket filled with your feline’s favorite treats and treasures? Maybe a few snacks, perhaps a few toys (does she like feathers? lasers?). I know that in my case, gifts like that are always appreciated.
Another thing, personally, I usually prefer gifts with a personal touch to high-ticket pieces, like Prada collars (but shhhh, please don’t tell my family, because I really hope to get some Chanel this Christmas).
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,
Karen and Tabs