Tag: Advice

Keep The Cat, Ditch The Boyfriend

If subreddits, advice columns and social media are any indication, a disturbing number of people ask or demand their would-be significant others to ditch their cats before their relationships can progress.

But even by the standards of the demanding, heartless boyfriends and girlfriends who insist the cat has to go in a relationship, this one’s a doozy. A woman writes to the Washington Post’s Carolyn Hax for advice on what to do with her boyfriend, who has some very strange ideas about cats:

Hi Carolyn: I’ve had my cat since college (almost 10 years). I’ve been dating my boyfriend for two years, I love him more than I’ve ever loved anyone, and we’d like to move in together.

My boyfriend hates cats. Hates them. He isn’t allergic (though he used to say he was, until I insisted on a test). He does have a strong aversion to them, probably from his family, who have some kind of belief that they’re evil or unclean. I’ve sought to understand it but could never get a coherent explanation out of any of them.

He jumps when the cat is in the room. And my cat is extremely affectionate, so doesn’t understand why he can’t come sit with us and be friends.

My boyfriend is offended I won’t give up the cat so he can move in. I’ve suggested compromises such as keeping the cat to just one part of the apartment, but he insists he needs the cat out.

I feel the cat was here first so this is an unreasonable ask. My boyfriend feels if I really love him then nothing should take precedence over his moving in, and he now says my hesitance is causing him to question the foundation of the entire relationship.

I cannot imagine rehoming my cat. I also can’t imagine ending my relationship. Am I being unreasonable or is he?

Hax goes beyond the usual “demanding significant others are major red flags” advice and points out that the boyfriend isn’t just placing his own emotional wellbeing above the letter-writer’s, he’s also trying to prune her life of things he doesn’t like or want as a precondition for moving forward in a relationship.

The cat, she points out, “is a hairy decoy, distracting you from the serious mistake you’re poised to make: thinking about your relationship in terms of what you owe the other person. All you owe anyone is to be yourself. … It’s on him to ask his own questions about living with that real you. It’s on him to assume the work of living with his own answers.”

That’s good advice for anyone who finds themselves in that sort of situation, but I do think the red flag aspect reinforces Hax’s good counsel. If the guy lied about being allergic to get his girlfriend to ditch her cat, he’s more manipulative than she may be willing to admit and he’s calculating about it, trying to disguise something he wants as a medical necessity.

But he goes even further than that with the “if you really love me, you’ll do this” emotional ploy, and by claiming his girlfriend’s loyalty to her cat is causing him to “question the foundation of the entire relationship.”

The foundation’s rotten, pal. You’re the reason.

Of course, all the human drama obscures the third individual involved in this mess: the cat. The letter writer has had the little guy for 10 years, which means they’ve long since bonded, he loves her, and he literally can’t imagine living in another place with another person.

Surrendering him to a shelter would be incredibly cruel. It would be a life-shattering betrayal of trust and cause incredible anguish to the poor cat in addition to putting him in real danger of being euthanized. And all for a jerk who fakes an allergy to get his girlfriend to dump the kitty she’s loved for a decade? Hell no.

I hope she finds a guy who loves cats. He’ll most definitely make a better boyfriend than this weirdo.

Reason #94 To Keep Your Cat Indoors: He’s A Bully

Most of the time when we talk about reasons to keep your cat(s) inside, it’s because the great outdoors pose innumerable risks to the lives of cats.

People make a big deal of cats retaining many of their wild instincts, but the truth is they’ve been domestic animals for 10,000 years, and the only “natural habitat” for them is under the care of kind people in a safe home or a managed colony where they’re protected, fed and given veterinary care.

But cats are predators, technically an invasive species in most places, and they have a jerk streak, so there are plenty of valid reasons to protect others from them.

A cat in Pleasant Hill, California — about 20 miles east of Oakland — illustrates that last point perfectly. Apparently he’s been inviting himself into the neighbor’s house via the cat flap, where he bullies the neighbor’s cat, helps himself to its food and adds a final insouciant insult to injury by taking a nap in the neighbor’s house. Then he strolls back into his own home in the morning, enjoys breakfast and has another nap.

Lisa, the offending cat’s human, said she found out about her cat’s jerktastic behavior via social media, and wrote to The San Jose Mercury News’ pet advice columnist for counsel on how to handle the situation. The neighbors have begun hiding their cat’s food in a closet, but understandably they want Lisa’s aggressively napping cat burglar to stay away.

“Not sure how to curtail his activities. Neighbor is not happy with our cat’s behavior,” Lisa wrote. “Locking our cat inside at night is not a good option; he is very vocal when locked up.”

Columnist Joan Morris offered blunt but perfect advice: Stop letting your cat out.

“I think both of you should keep your cats indoors, and the neighbors should lock the cat door, but as it’s your cat burglar that’s causing the issue, it’s up to you to curtail him,” Morris wrote. “Keeping your cat indoors at night is the simplest solution. The adjustment might be difficult — probably more for you than for him — but in time he’ll get used to it.”

I understand it can be very difficult to curtain feline behavior. If there were an Olympics for being annoying, Buddy would take gold many times over for his relentless meowing when he wants something and isn’t getting it. But the one thing you can never do is give in, or the little stinkers will learn that they get what they want when they yowl incessantly.

Do you agree with Morris, or should the bullying moggie get his way?

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“I’m up in your house, eatin’ ur foodz, bro.” Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Dear Buddy: Why Do Cats Follow Their Humans Around?

Dear Buddy,

Why do cats always follow their humans around? I mean, you guys might not want us to pet you all the time, but you sure do go everywhere we go.

Human in Honolulu


Dear Human,

This is a common misconception, one of those myths about cats like the one that says we love milk or we like it when you talk to us in baby voices.

The sad reality is that you follow us around but you don’t want to admit it, so you come up with elaborate fictions about our habits. My human believes I weave around his legs to rub against them after he wakes up, which is absurd. Clearly he steps in my path and I have to swerve, causing incidental contact. I would prefer not to, but he makes it impossible.

Or how about the myth that we like to bother you guys in the bathroom? Big Buddy knows that every day at certain times I like to put my paws under the bathroom door and cry. I mean, I do it all the time and he knows it, so he decides to use the bathroom at those times and tricks himself into believing that somehow I go into hysterics if I’m not actually inside the bathroom with him.

Do you see how delusional you people are?

What kind of crazy people say “I know my cat is going to knead and purr in this spot in the next 5 to 10 minutes, so I’m going to sit here and force him to knead on me”?

I think you guys need to get help.

Buddy

Dear Buddy: Everyone’s Acting Like Cats Have Cooties!

Dear Buddy,

Why is everyone so racialist towards cats all of a sudden?

I’ve been doing my regular laps around the block even though all the humans are huddled in their houses, and everyone’s acting like I have the cooties!

Pete the Pomeranian, who is usually one of the friendliest of my neighborhood amigos, ran away from me this morning, while my neighbor’s snooty purebred poodles were more snooty than ever.

There’s a parrot who lives two doors down, and I heard her saying “Get away! Get away, you dirty cat! I don’t want your filthy feline viruses!”

Buddy, what the hell is going on? Why does everyone hate us?

– Freaked Out In Fayetteville


buddymask2
Dear Freaked Out,

You don’t read the newspapers, do you? Ever since a cat in Hong Kong and a tiger here in New York tested positive for the COVID, everyone is acting like us cats are zombies from The Walking Dead!

These days you can’t even claw or pee on a tree to mark your territory without all sorts of dogs, birds and squirrels coming out of the woodwork to yell at you about spreading “the cat AIDS,” as if we’re all infected and trying to spread it to everyone else.

There’s talk of rounding us all up and quarantinizing us in local cat cafes for at least a year. This is America, not Chairman Meow’s communist China!

We’re the lucky ones, my friend. Some cats have been tossed out of their own homes by the same humans who are supposed to serve them. It’s an outrage! The purrsecution and meowlevolent spreading of rumors has gotten out of claw!

For now, the best solution is to disguise yourself as another species entirely. Get some floppy ears and buck teeth and pretend to be a rabbit. And if that parrot keeps talking trash, tell her you haven’t eaten since yesterday and you’re wondering if all birds taste like turkey and chicken, then smile real evil-like. That oughta shut her up. 🙂

Chin up!

– Buddy

PS: Feel free to steal your human’s face masks. As you can see, they’re quite fashionable.

Murder or Affection? Ask Your Cat!

Luis Navarro was having trouble breathing at night, so he set up a video camera to film himself while sleeping, Paranormal Activity style.

Sure enough the footage revealed something terrifying: The Texas man’s tabby cat was climbing into bed with him and clamping down like a facehugger from Alien, smothering his face in fur!

To explain this behavior we turned to Buddy, who offered his insights and expertise as a cat.

Big Buddy: Thanks for taking the time to help us make sense of these images, Bud.

Little Buddy: You’re very welcome. Just remember my fee in treats is due at the end of this conversation. Ten Temptations.

BB: Six!

LB: Eleven!

BB: Six!

LB: Nine! That’s as low as I go.

BB: Then I guess we’ll have to find another cat to answer…

LB: No! No. Six it is. You drive a hard bargain, human.

BB: That’s because I’m the one who has to clean up your puke if you get sick. So anyway, what’s going on in these photos?

LB: Okay, the kitty jumps into bed with Luis.

BB: Yes.

LB: And he hugs Luis’ face.

BB: Yes. We can see that. But why?

LB: Well, humans always want to see the best in us, so they’ll convince themselves that Luis’ cat loves him so much and it’s just a hug.

BB: You’re saying it’s not a hug?

LB: Of course not. It’s practice.

BB: Practice…for what?

LB: Isn’t it obvious? Murder. For when Luis becomes a stingy jerk and gives him six treats instead of 10.

BB: Oh! Still with the Temptations?

LB: I feel undervalued.

BB: You didn’t even answer the question!

LB: I did so! Now you know what happens to stingy humans who hold out on their feline masters. I believe you owe me 10 treats, sir.

So there you have it. Don’t piss off a cat, or he’ll murder you and make it look like the most adorable, loving murder ever.

Feline humor, news and stories about the ongoing adventures of Buddy the Cat.