Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sick Leave for Sammy

Dear Loyal Readers of Sammy's Advice Column,

Sammy is currently recovering from an illness that effected a rather embarrassing part of his anatomy. I won't go into the details, as they are not for the faint of heart. Suffice it to say he won't be eating seafood in the foreseeable future.

The good news is, he is recovering nicely, and has been catching up on reading the letters sent to him by kitties in need of his wisdom. He hopes to be back on track posting answers to your letters shortly.


Sammy's Doctor

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Strange Doings

I apologize for the length of time it has been since my last post. I was very busy knocking things off of counters and fell behind on my nap quota. I'm all caught up now, and am looking forward to getting back on schedule dispensing wise advice to my fellow cats. So, if you are one of the cats who are still waiting for an answer, you should be seeing it here soon. - Sammy

My person is usually pretty sane, but once a year she goes through a phase of multiple personalities. I’m not sure what’s going on with her, but it seems like every day, she’s a different person. Sometimes her hair is green and long, and the next day, it will be red and short. The other night, I wasn’t even sure it was her. She had a white face with black eyes, and went around cackling all night at a bunch of kids who came to the door. Oh, by the way, they were all dressed strange, too. This goes on for about a week, and then she’s back to normal for another year. Should I be worried? I've attached a picture of one of her more unusual looks.

Puzzled in Petaluma

Dear Puzzled,

This is not a new phenomenon , and it’s not unique to your person. For decades prominent psy-cat-atrists have studied this reoccurring behavior in people, and have discovered the reason for it. People wish they were cats. It’s true. Every person has feelings in inadequacy because the recognize the superiority of cats, and know they can never be on the same level. Even though we cats recognize this flaw and don’t hold it against them, for some people, sometimes it gets too hard to bear and they have to do something.

When your person dresses strangely, she is trying to shake off her feelings of cat envy by transforming herself into a new creature. Once transformed, she needs to assert her new status with others, and so will go mingle with similarly decked out people, or in the case of children (you can see this syndrome starts young) who don’t have cars will go door to door to show off their new personas. This need to be something other than what they are eventually wears off as they realize they can never achieve the perfection of cats, and they revert to their normal selves and just enjoy being around us.

For most people, this is a once a year occurrence and they get it out of their systems within a week or two. However, some people have more serious cases. For them, there is no cure. Luckily, there are places where they can go and live with like-minded people. The most famous of these colonies are in Hollywood and New York. There’s even one treatment center where the people dress, and really think they are, cats. Be grateful your person is of the once a year variety.

Be patient with her and good luck.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lazy Legs

Dear Sammy,

I think I may be allergic to my people. Every time they come near me, my legs collapse and I end up on my back. I worry it may be a problem with my stomach because as soon as someone rubs it, everything is fine again. Is it possible to be allergic to people? It only happens when one or both of my people are in the room with me, and it happens with both of them. Right now, it only happens when I’m safely inside, but I’m concerned that it may get worse. What happens if my legs suddenly give out when I’m chasing a bird, or worse, being chased by that big dog next door? If it gets worse, could I end up paralyzed.

Have you ever heard of this malady before?

Worried in Weimar

Dear Worried,

You can stop fretting. You don’t have some mysterious disease. It’s not a disease, nor is it mysterious. On the contrary, it’s quite common in cats who have good homes. You have what is known as RMBS, or Rub My Belly Syndrome. When someone you love approaches, your body reacts to what you want without you having to think about it, and what you want is a good belly rub. You’re never disappointed, are you? It’s a scientific fact that people cannot walk by a furry tummy without giving it a good rub. They are complementary instincts that have developed in cats and people over millions of years.

Don’t worry that it will happen at an awkward time. You will only experience this reaction when you are in a secure place, so roll over and enjoy it. It’s nothing but good. You get a good belly rub, and the bond between you and your people gets stronger.



Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year's Musing

Dear Readers,

As we start a new year, I want to take the time to reflect on the things that have made me happy this year.

I like when my person sleeps late on weekends. We cuddle up on the bed and watch the Food Network until we see something we want to make for brunch. It usually involves bacon.

My brothers and sister make me happy because I can almost always blame one of them when I do something perfectly acceptable to me, but not so much to my people.

Winter makes me happy because there’s always a fire by which to relax. Spring makes me happy because that’s when there are plenty of birds to watch through the window. Summer makes me happy because it’s naturally a lazy time. And Autumn makes me happy because it smells so good.

I like watching Animal Planet, especially “It’s Me or the Dog.” Too bad they always choose the dog.

I love movie night because it means popcorn. I love popcorn!

I’m happy that there are cat beds and cushion strategically located all through the house. I never have to go far when I feel a nap attack coming on.

Mostly, I’m grateful for my people. Despite some of their silly rules (stay off the kitchen counters) they were easy to train and are great to have around.

Happy New Year to Cats, People and even Dogs!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Confusion

Dear Sammy,

I’m confused about all the strange way my people act around this time of year. They go around talking about “the spirit of giving” and “the happiest time of the year,” and then they yell at me for trying to join in the festivities. I think the stress of the season may cause them to take on multiple personalities. Let me explain.

First, they go to all the trouble of putting up a new cat tree for me. They spend hours placing shiny balls and other tempting treats on it. It’s obvious, they want me to take advantage of it. So, just to make them happy, I try to play with each of the toys on the tree, even though they sometimes goof, and put some too high for me to reach without climbing the tree. Then, they yell at me if I happen to knock something off the tree. The other day, when I made it to the top of the tree to play with the pretty angel, they, to put it mildly, freaked out. I haven’t heard my person squeal so loud since I brought her that mouse. It startled me so much, I lost my grip on the tree and had to grab the window blinds to keep from crashing to the ground, which unfortunately, the tree did. It gets worse. Instead of be grateful I wasn’t injured, they yelled at me about the blinds. What gives? Why do they put all those cat toys out if they don’t want me to play with them. If I wasn’t around, they would just go to waste. I never see my people playing with them, unless they do it while I’m napping, but I doubt it.

So, what do I do? Ignore the presents, which would be rude, and probably, impossible, or put up with the yelling.

Perplexed in Petaluma

Dear Perplexed,

I don’t know how many letters I get like this around the holidays. Despite all the songs about “peace on earth” and “ho ho ho,” people go completely nuts around the holidays. They try so hard to make merry, that they forget that not everyone enjoys the same things.

I know you may find this hard to believe, but people put up tempting trees and other decorations just to look at them. No, I’m not kidding. Even more extraordinary, they expect us cats to subscribe to the same outrageous theory. They don’t realize that it is quite impossible for use to pass shiny, swingy things without giving them at least a little bat. Still, you can avoid the yelling. I’ve lived with people for years, and I’ve learned to play with the decorations when no one is around to see. Even if you do knock a few things down, they have no proof it was you, unless they actually find you in the tree. If you have brothers or sisters, you can always point paws. It’s even better if you live with a dog. Dogs are always good to take the blame. They don’t even mind.

So, you can enjoy the holiday decorations to your heart’s content. Just learn to be a little sneaky.

Happy batting!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Curious Sleeping Habits

Dear Sammy,

I’ve been wondering something about people. Yes, I know, most things they do are strange, but my people have some very curious sleeping habits that have me wondering. Everyone knows sleep is a natural state, more natural than being awake. I know that people are not as good as it as we are, and they rarely take their, much needed, afternoon naps. Actually, my people only take one nap a week. That’s not my question. I know people are strange. What I’m wondering is why they need to use the television as a nap-aid. Every Sunday, when they sit down for their weekly nap, they need to put on the nap aid show in order to go to sleep. Sometimes it’s cars droning round and round, and sometimes it’s people throwing a ball back and forth. A few minutes into the show and they’re sound asleep.

They use this method at night sometimes, too, though then it’s usually someone droning on and on. What is so hard about falling asleep? We cats can do it at the drop of a hat, we don’t even need the hat.

It’s not really a problem, though we could be watching Animal Planet if we’re just going to sleep through it. I’m just curious, and want to know a little more about the people I let feed me.

Drowsy in Drum Forbay

Dear Drowsy,

Oh, to understand humans. There are cats who spend their whole waking lives devoted to the study, about two hours a day, and still we haven’t solved all the mysteries of why they act so strangely. There are several theories as to why people are bad at sleeping. The most accepted one has to do with the way they are built. Walking on two legs may be fine and dandy for doing useless things like running or waiting in line, but it gets in the way of more important things.

People’s need for sleep aids can be blamed on their inability to curl up. Curled in a ball is the most natural sleep position there is. Everything is nicely tucked in and you stay warm from your own body heat. Poor people, either have to sleep all stretched out, or in a very poor attempt at the ball curl. Some catsperts think that when they lost their tails, they lost their ability to curl. So, they try to compensate for it. Some take pills, some read books, and some use TV shows that are guaranteed to put you to sleep. My person uses the ring-around-the-rosy car show, and I have to admit, it works. Even if I’ve just woken up from a refreshing nap, that show will put be to sleep.

Instead of worrying about their strange behavior, use this time to bond with your person. Some of my best naps are when I’m sitting in his lap and we’re watching the cars with our eyes closed.

Sweet Dreams,


Friday, October 21, 2011

Feeling Abandoned

Dear Sammy,

My person and I make a great team, I think. We’ve got a good routine going. In the morning, we get up and she gets me breakfast and we watch the news together. Then she goes off to make money while I have my morning to mid-afternoon nap. When she gets home, I’m ready for a little playtime and dinner. She’ll do some people stuff while I take my post-dinner nap, and then we’ll watch Animal Planet until it’s time for bed. Some days, she’ll stay home and I’ll help with chores like making the bed and keeping out of the way while the loud sucking machine picks up all the hair I’ve carefully placed, but for the most part, things run smoothly.

Lately though, things have changed. She gets out a big bag and throws clothes in it, and then I won’t see her for days. Sometimes, it’s just overnight, and I don’t really notice between naps. But more often lately, it’s been days and days and days. When this happens, the girl next door makes sure I have food and keeps my space clean, and will stay awhile to play. I like her, but it’s not the same.

I want to find out where she goes, and I’ve tried jumping into the bag, but she always kicks me out. Why does she suddenly feel the need to abandon me? Does she have another cat stashed somewhere? Or worse, a dog?! She always comes home, but should I be worried?

Missing Her in Modesto

Dear Missing,

Before I became a world famous cat columnist, I would have said there was something about which to worry. However, experience has taught me differently.

In the human world, there is something called a “business trip.” It’s not something your person can control, they just pop up from time to time when other people want to see them. They are not pleasant, and trust me, your person would much rather stay home with you.

I know, because now and then, I am forced to take one to meet my fans. I can tell you it’s not fun being put in a box and carted off to distant locales. Even though I travel first class, of course, traveling is still a pain in the tail. It’s even worse for people. They have to go through many lines, take their shoes off, put their shoes on. Open the bags, close the bags. And for some reason, they feel the need to slurp down a bottle of water right before getting into those long lines. Traveling is worse than going to the vet.

Instead of worrying about being left behind, you should feel sorry for her, and let her know you feel her pain. When my person goes away without me (and after traveling a few times, I’m glad to be left at home) I put one of my toys in her bag so at least she’ll have something to play with when she’s gone. She’ll thank you for it when she gets home.

All the best,