Hello my little toy pouncers and welcome to my third Mailbag of 2020. As always, your questions will be answered with kindness, intelligence, and kibble breath.
Dear Miss Sugar, I was a shelter kitten before I recently came to the beautiful home of my human beans. This is my first Christmas, and while I’m thrilled to be part of such a warm, loving family, I’m a little bit stressed. I have noticed that my human beans did not decorate the bottom of their Christmas tree. I’ve reached as far as my little body will go, but the beautiful, shiny ornaments dangle just out of my grasp. My question is this: Am I expected to decorate the bottom third of the tree? Is it possible they are waiting for me to find – or worse, make my own decorations? I worry that by doing nothing, I’m disappointing my human family and perhaps the fat man in the red suit will forget to bring me a gift. Can you help? Thank you, Robin the cat.
Dearest Robin, thank you for putting your trust in me. Your problem, while clearly troubling, isn’t unique. A new home is confusing enough without the complication of Christmas thrown in. I can tell that you have a sweet and generous nature and it’s lovely of you to want to join in the trimming of the tree but no, my little tinsel chaser. You are not expected to decorate the cat-handy portion of the tree. This is another case of human beans asserting their dominance over our clearly superior species. Robin, they do not want you to touch the ornaments. I know it’s hard to imagine. After all, don’t they toss ornament-like toys on the floor for your amusement? They are perplexing creatures.
Take heart, my sweet friend, as I relay for you the horror of what my otherwise loving human beans have done to our tree. Two words: tin foil. Or is it one word? No matter. It’s what’s wrapped around the bottom of the family tree to foil my attempts to reach its charms. The needles. The lights. The delicate ornaments! All kept from me with that horrible, crinkly substance.
Fret not. Do as Miss Sugar does and forgive them, dear Robin, for they alone have the secret to your happiness: a can opener.
Dear Miss Sugar, how can I gently tell my human beans that they are not paying enough attention to – that is to say, they’re not doing enough to – oh hairball! What I’m trying to say is, my litterbox is disgusting! They rarely clean it and it takes all of my nerves to enter it when I feel the need. What, Miss Sugar, can I do? Signed, Sticky Footpads in Pelham.
Dear Sticky, Miss Sugar bristles at the thought of what you must endure. Perhaps it’s because we share bathroom space, or perhaps it’s her nature, but Mother is fastidious about my loo. I believe all human beans should be so attentive to the delicate sensibilities of us felines.
I’m terribly sorry that your beans are not as sensitive. Kitties in your situation have attempted various tactics, from howling loudly upon approach, to stinking outside the box.
Miss Sugar’s advice? Stand firm beside that steaming plastic receptacle and let them know your feelings from the top of your tiny lungs! Sing the lament of the downtrodden, the overlooked, and the chronically ignored! Howl until the walls shake and your humans plead with you to give them peace!
If that doesn’t work, pee in their slippers.
Dear Miss Sugar, I am but a humble housecat who longs to feel the grass beneath my feet. To lunge at the fleeing butterfly. To sniff the air and get the latest news on the wind. Why won’t my people let me outside? Signed, Inside Looking Out
Dear Inside, please allow me to answer your question with some questions of my own. Do you know the rules of the road and how to escape the murderous intent of a vehicle’s wheels? Have you made the acquaintance of neighbourhood cats, including the bully tabby down the street? Do you know how to defend yourself against a hungry fox, an angry skunk, or a foul-tempered and filthy dog? Do you know where to seek shelter from a sudden snowstorm or pounding, cold rain?
Instead of wondering what you’re missing outside, I suggest you concentrate on the many things you have inside. Warmth, safety, food, and human beans who love you. Don’t risk your life for the lure of the outdoors. It’s a jungle out there, and there are many other creatures who mean you harm. Be grateful for what you have, my friend. Many kitties wish they were as lucky as you.
Please remember to send your queries to my Mother bean at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, I remain your friend,