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.
Shelter cat fears showing favoritism at the office
DEAR TABBY: I can’t believe I’m actually writing THE Tabs the cat! — or rather, Tabby. You’re a big celebrity where I work. When I told my cat coworkers that I was writing you, they said I was crazy. They all said that you would never respond, but I’m keeping my paws crossed.
Tabby, my name is Sasha, and I’m the director of cat career placement at a local cat charm school and management training facility here in Gainesville (officially, the organization is called the Gainesville ASPCA). It’s my job to help our graduates, who range in age from three-month-old kittens to 18-year-old senior cats looking for a career change, find rewarding careers, and to place them with talented pet assistants in the area.
I love my job, but I see a lot of feline faces come and go, and sometimes that gets me a little sad… I know I’m performing a valuable service in the community, but sometimes I do wish I had an easier job.
Oops! — got a little sidetracked there for a moment.
I wanted to ask you about working with professional pet assistants. I work with about a dozen of them here. We maintain a very large staff, but I’ve grown particularly attached to one of them. Her name is Kelly, and I think she’s just fantastic. She understands my quirks and how I like to take my breakfast at a certain time, keeps the office tidy, and even massages my shoulders when I’m tense.
But as I’ve said, she’s not my only employee. She’s just my favorite.
I would really like to do something special for her — just something small to recognize her exemplary job performance — but I don’t know what’s appropriate. I don’t want to be seen as showing favoritism at the office.
DEAR SASHA: What a wonderful job you do! I greatly admire career counselors and teachers like you because you’re shaping the future of the entire cat community. Who knows? One of your graduates could go on to become the next Morris, so bravo to you.
Now, about your question… First of all, I actually think it’s perfectly acceptable to show favoritism at the office. In fact, I do it all the time. I employ two full-time executive assistants and an army of part-time personal chefs, nutritionists and massage therapists — not to mention a driver — and I favor whichever one is doing the best job at any given time.
I do this because 1) we’re cats, and we’re allowed to be fickle, and 2) I feel that favoritism of this sort creates a competitive work environment, and competition breeds excellence. I think you’ll find that by rewarding one of your assistants, many of the others will try harder.
Give it a shot. As for appropriate forms of recognition, kitty hugs are nice.
Good gift for a mommy cat
DEAR TABBY: I think mine is kind of an interesting situation… See, I work literally next door to my mommy cat.
Yeah! It’s kind of weird. I’m the concierge at an apartment building, and my mommy cat works in the building next door to me as a kitty model. Long story short, I was raised there and home-schooled, and then after graduating, I took a job here because it was right next door. Basically, I was looking for my first job and bumped into the head assistant on the sidewalk one day. We had lunch — he prepared tuna — and then he offered me the job.
So now I see my mommy cat every once in a while. We’re both very busy with our careers, though, so it’s not an everyday thing, but we keep in touch.
I had to work today on Mother’s Day, so we couldn’t get together, but we made a date for next week.
I’d like to get her a little something when I see her. Tabby, what’s a good gift for a kitty model?
DEAR BRADY: Hmm… Well, what kind of modeling does she do? If it’s mainly print, I suggest canned tuna. The fish oil is great for your fur. But if she does runway or TV, then some catnip, or perhaps a crinkly ball, would be nice.
Also, you can never go wrong with a mouse.
Assistant wonders how far is too far to push her luck at work
DEAR TABBY: I should probably just keep my mouth shut and be thankful for what I have, but sometimes I feel like I’m taking advantage of my employer. Mr. FancyPants is the best boss I’ve ever had. He lets me come and go as I please, he gives me positive reinforcement, he never lashes out. I get free purrs, kitty hugs and forehead taps all the time. Oh, and biscuits! More biscuits than anyone could ever want.
I’m also an aspiring style blogger, and he models for me. For free! He lets me pose him with props for pictures and never complains. Sometimes I feel like I’m the one who should be paying him!
I’m writing you today because, well, I’ve been thinking about taking on a second kitty employer — another kitty model to help me grow my blog — but I really don’t want to insult Mr. FancyPants. He’s been so good to me.
Am I being selfish here? What should I do?
DEAR EVA: Guurl, you better tell that cat how much he means to you, and don’t you go hiring someone else without checking with him first. Mr. FancyPants sounds like a Mr. Wonderful to me.
Do you know if he works well with other cats? I would try to find that out first. If there are any other cat-owned businesses in the neighborhood, see about scheduling a meeting between Mr. FancyPants and their CEOs (Cat Executive Officers) to gauge the feasibility of any future mergers.
It’s what a top-tier pet assistant would do.
A literary lover looks for recs
DEAR TABBY: I’ve been getting into audio books lately. I like to listen to them in my cat tower with my iPad. Do you have any recs? I just finished the last Game of Thrones.
Aren’t audio books the greatest? I just wish there were more of them written by cats.
Kitty hugs and whisker kisses,