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.
Indoor cat misses her wild outdoor life
First — fangirl moment! — I really enjoy your column, Tabs. I’ve been reading it since the very beginning and always trust your advice. Love ya!
Okay, I’ll cut to the chase. I’m a former outdoor kitty who’s having a hard time adjusting to indoor life.
I had been living on my own for years, mostly camping outdoors, before meeting my assistant, Mary, whom I now care for deeply.
When Mary got her new place, she asked me to move in with her, and I said, “meow!” Why not? Since we got along so well.
Thing is, the move came with a condition: I had to relinquish my outdoor privileges.
Tabs, I love my assistant more than gravy (well…) and want to make this arrangement work, but I’m struggling with adjusting to life indoors. I spend hours gazing out the windows, wondering what the other cats in the neighborhood are doing and wishing I could be out there with them, hunting, playing and having a good old time.
I feel myself resenting Mary a little more each day, and I’m turning into a cranky cat. Once, last week, I even tried to make a break for it behind Mary’s back when she opened the door.
Tabby, what should I do? I love my assistant, but I just don’t know if I’m cut out to be an indoor kitty.
— Indoors in Indiana
I completely understand. I spent my entire kitten-hood outdoors cruising the mean streets of Mill Valley before committing to a full-time indoor environment.
It’s hard…not having the freedom to roam.
But try to remember the perks that come with indoor living. Think about it! No more having to hunt for food and always having a warm place to nap. Plus, recent advancements in cat toy technology mean that indoor kitties have more entertainment options than ever.
Here’s another idea: have you considered learning to walk on a leash? I’ve found that long walks outdoors with my assistant have definitely made indoor living easier.
On leash, you can still get your fix for the outdoors, and you can get it without any outdoor cat drama (ugh! I’m so over territorial skirmishes!). It’s also a great way to spend quality time with your assistant.
Fashion-forward feline seeks collar advice
Sometimes, because I think it’s stylish and different, I like to wear my collar slightly askew, but some humans think it’s perfectly acceptable to readjust my collar without asking!
“Mrrow!” It drives me batty! And it’s bad enough when my assistant does it, but at least I know her. I’ve even had professional acquaintances and complete strangers do it without asking.
The last time it happened, I hissed, and the woman — get this — took offense.
Tabs, am I wrong to think my collar is off limits?
— Cranky in Cupertino
I’ve had the same thing happen before, and you know, I don’t understand it either.
Perhaps it’s just people trying to be helpful, or maybe it’s an impulsive/compulsive behavior.
The most important thing is that it made you uncomfortable, so you had every right to hiss. The woman should’ve asked you first. It would’ve been the polite thing to do. Hello, newsflash. Cats are sensitive about their personal space.
New roommate can’t stop re-living his glory days
I’m a three-year-old Abyssinian cat who, until recently, has been very happy living with my assistant.
That all changed when my assistant’s boyfriend and Kevin moved in…
Kevin is a 12-year-old Persian cat.
Tabs, I’m a pretty even-keeled girl, but Kevin gets on my last nerve.
Apparently, he was some kind of big shot kitty model back in the early 2000s, and he talks about it constantly! He’s such a braggart!
When I told him that I did a Petco runway show last year, he couldn’t just say, “Meow.” That sounds cool. He had to regale me about the time he starred in a national Friskies TV ad.
If I tell him I got my fur done, he’ll go on about how he used to get groomed by the same groomer who worked with Morris.
Yeah, THE Morris.
It’s like he’s always trying to one-up me.
What should I do? I’m a simple cat. I just want to live a peaceful life at home with my assistant, but I’m getting tired of listening to Kevin’s stories.
— Over It in Ontario
DEAR OVER IT:
You sound very mature for your age. Kevin is lucky to have you as a roommate, even if he doesn’t show it.
Hmm… Have you considered that Kevin brags because of how much he misses his younger glory days?
Next time he starts one of his stories, politely remind him that you’ve heard it before, and calmly walk out of the room.
Fashion advice that never fails
I recently accepted a position assisting an incredibly fashion-forward feline. My problem? I have no style.
The dress code here at work is like the Devil Wears Prada, whereas I’m more of a sweats and T-shirt gal.
I’m clueless when it comes to fashion. I don’t know where to start. Do I go all out with cat-themed clothing from head to toe? Get a bunch of T-shirts with cats on them? Leopard-print leggings?
I have no clue. Please help!
— Fashion-less in Fremont
DEAR NO FASHION-LESS:
Here’s something I learned from my mentor, Tim Gunn, that never fails me: start with one big statement piece. Then build around it with simple, classic pieces you like.
Say you start with a pair of leopard-print shoes. Those could be your statement, and you could pair them with a simple black shift dress or skinny jeans and a loose black tee.
Just like that, you’d have a functional, yet fashionable, work-appropriate outfit.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,
Karen and Tabs