A problem involving the felines

Dear "khortnee",

I have a problem. I actually have four problems. Well, to be honest, I have a lot more than that, but for purposes of this letter I will confine myself to four. The four problems are my four cats.

Now, I realize that since you are the alter ego of Betsy, who "gotnocats", you might also "gotnocats", and cats may be the last thing you wish to think about.  However, I am desperate. My cats are ruining my life. We started out with two cats, brothers raised from kittenhood. One got sick and died. The other was lonely. So we got another cat to keep him company. All was well. Shoulda stopped there.

But then we took in our daughter's cat because, well, it's a long story, but that's what you do, isn't it, when your offspring love their cat but can't keep it? And this cat cannot be trusted with the other cats because he is huge and powerful while they are (1) a scaredy cat (talk about stereotypes!) and (2) a lame and overweight dowager, and both would come out the worse for wear, or possibly dead, in prolonged contact with daughter's cat.

Enter the fourth cat. She is a stray with a big, bad attitude. She can't be trusted with the other cats either because she is very territorial and will fight to maim or kill. On her own she is okay, and at the time we took her in, the SPCA was full and we also didn't know we'd be keeping daughter's cat forever.

So we've been keeping the aggressive cats separate from the original two and from each other, which is a real pain in the heinie. Is that how you spell "rear end"? I should look that up. Do you do two questions in one letter? If so, can you tell me if that's spelled right? Thanks!

Back to the original question: What would you, as a non-cat-owner, do about this situation IF you were a cat owner and gave a cr ... fig?

P. S. I sincerely apologize for the length of this letter. I felt the gory details were absolutely necessary for a proper understanding of this complex issue! Of earth-shattering importance to the world! Or maybe just to me. Almost the same thing, right?

Dear "Jennio",

Oh, the cats.  They take up so much space on the Internet and in our homes and thoughts too.  Well, not mine, but I've heard of cats before, although I find them so very confusing.  Not to stray from your problems, but I saw something on Craigslist yesterday about free cat food -- a huge costly bag, being given away, because the cat doesn't like that kind anymore.  Huh?  Do the freeloading animals get to be so picky?  (Do I sound like that irritable grandparent, "In MY day, the kids ate what was on the table or we mailed it directly to the starving children in India...")  But seriously, which is the pet and which is the owner in that scenario?

The other thing that creeps me out about cats, as I've noted, is that they seem like they have locked in syndrome, where they're totally aware but can't communicate verbally, and they stare at you when you talk as if you're saying something dumb.  Gives me the willies.

I have no idea what to suggest to a kind person like yourself who's willing to take in angry, aggressive, orphaned cats that bully the family cats.  No idea at all.  Your problem seems so complicated, like that brain-teaser with the fox, the chickens, the farmer, the feed, and the rowboat.  But, as I'm just getting this whole advice biz off the ground and I want to look like I know what I'm doing, I'll fake an answer.

Fill the five quart container, and pour it into the three quart container.  This will leave two cups.  Voila!  Oh, wait, I think that's the answer to a different problem.  Lemme try again.

I suggest that you move.  You and your husband can find a sweet little house for just the two of you, and let the cats work it out amongst themselves.  You'll be like children who grow up and move away and can't keep cats anymore.  The felines can live in the big house and pay the damn mortgage and deal with all the hassles of home ownership like trying to get someone to put gutters on the house, GRR, for like, 20 years while the house rots, and they can figure out how to change the light bulbs and drag the garbage can all the way down to the road and greet the Jehovah's Witnesses when they come to proselytize and clean the shower every so often.  See if they have the guts to be so angry when they're actually in charge.  Kind of like the republicans.  Meanwhile, you and your husband will be blissfully enjoying an uncluttered tiny little home overlooking the water with just the perfect amount of things, nothing extra, and you'll love your home so much that you'll give it an ironic name like, oh, I don't know what, you'll think of something because you'll have a bunch more brain space available without this cat war.  And you'll spend your days sitting on the porch sipping beverage of choice, watching the sun go down and the moon come up and waiting for the cats to grow thumbs.  And guess what?  It will be too small to host thanksgiving.  Oh well.  AND, with all the time that the cats have freed up, you and your person can play this game.  

PS.  Your letter was just the right length.

PPS.  I didn't automatically put you in the Witness Protection Program, but I did put your name in quotes.  Does that help?


  1. Aaaagh! Now it seems the cats have a contract out on me ... the least you could have done was spell my name ackwards-bay so they wouldn't know it was me ... If I disappear from blogland, you'll know th-

  2. Why didn't I think of this when grand-cats came home to stay.

  3. When the Animal Gods choose us we must suffer and enjoy it.

  4. Once again and for the 50th time on various comments I have made...I am so glad I am allergic to cats!

  5. After seven years of maniac cat hell, we took the feral shredder to the pound. I tracked her process and lo and behold, someone adopted her so I was un-guilted (not a word, I know). And the remaining survivors get to live in peace except for the dog who loves to chase them and eat their food. At least he doesn't try to kill them.

    Other than that, I have no story except that the cats of this world rule everything. They are inscrutable because they are superior beings and they know it.

  6. I have eleven cats and they put me on the witless protection program. Sometimes I feel like a hostage, but they allow me to eat and work enough to keep them fed. It could be worse.

    1. Okay, now I just feel like a whiny little complainer :)


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