Pebbles from Coventry is worried! Paul or new man Tim… who seems to mysteriously disappear…

Dear Nellie Cat

Hoping you or one of your angels can help me – you see I’ve got myself into a bit of a situation and I don’t know what to do.

I’ve been with my owner Eddie for three years and in the beginning it was great, he was affectionate, always checking I was happy, buying me little gifts – nothing was too much trouble for my comfort. But gradually, over the years, he seems to care less and less. He was almost taking me for granted. There’s not so many belly rubs, I get those cheap brands of food from discount stores and the gifts have all but dried up.

Then four weeks ago I was out doing my evening patrol when I accidentally met a nice man Tim. First off it was just the odd ear rub or back scratch but we kept on bumping into each other behind the bike sheds, (ok, so I kinda was waited for him) but after a few weeks of this he lured me to follow him back to his place and, oh man I gotta tell you, I’m definitely punching above my weight! He tempted me with gorgeous fresh fish every time I was there, I got snuggles on the sofa and nothing’s too much trouble. But just as I was thinking I was going to take the leap to move in full time (we hadn’t discussed it, but it felt right) he just disappeared on me for nearly a week, no explanation, no nothing. When he got back he didn’t even try to tell me where he’d been or even if there was another cat or even one of those horribly smelly dogs on the scene. There was nothing, he just expected me to go back to how we were just as though nothing had ever happened.

Now I’m confused Nellie. Do I stay with my owner Eddie, my steady eddie, or do I trade up to a new owner Tim, who’s a bit mysterious and is probably unreliable??

Pebbles, Worried in Coventry

Dearest Pebbles

Honey, this has sure taken lots of brain-time thinkin’ about what’s best to do, me an’ my angels are well divided on this one. So in utter desperation we turned to our friendly veterinary Mildred, because she’s a real expert on men with her always being on the look-out for one – especially with all that love stuff she does. But honey, we get lots of letters like yours.

Look, we kitties aren’t exactly known for our loyalty are we. We’re not dogs, we’re independent free spirits, it’s our genes, we’re still romantic roamers at heart an’ I can’t ever see us giving that up. Those dogs are just mindless slatherers, dogs are so obedient an’ pathetically adorin’ to their owners it wants to make us cats puke. You know, before I myself was wrenched away an’ kidnapped from my mom when I was a little kitty, I’d cringe when I watched puppies in that puppy orphanage desperate to be loved by waggin’ their little tails an’ all that. Now that’s not us cats is it Pebbles.

Because of all that harebrained loyalty dogs dollop out in great ladles of mindless worship, owners then expect us kitties to do the same. When will owners learn that us cats are the ones who decide the way things are gonna be, it’s never gonna be the other way around is it. Sure we can be just as loyal as any bone-headed dog, we can outmatch them anytime when it comes to suckin’ up, that is until there’s a good chance of good fish. Then it’s just a matter of dumpin’ that dried food crap that’s supposed to be nutritious, that toadish munch that helps us clean our teeth, you’re always gonna go for the fish.

But, as you know Pebbles, I’ve learned the hard way what it’s like to be unloved. My head says go for the fish, but the inside of my heart is sayin’ to me somethin’ else. My little beatin’ heart hurts so bad it must surely be some ancient thousand year instinct from somewhere buried deep inside all us kitties, somethin’ that says to stay right where you know your food is gonna be there for you. That discounted canned trash doesn’t cut it, all us cats know this, neither is that horrible dried stuff we have to endure but, you know, it keeps us alive. Fresh fish, even if it’s that line-caught boneless pink Pacific salmon all cats keeps bangin’ on about surely isn’t gonna be there for you forever. It might be to start off with, but you already know in your heart what’s gonna happen next my dear little Pebbles. Tim’s gonna be out to lure you, that’s what fresh fish does, fresh fish is an old trick to buy cat loyalty an’ it works way too often… an’ we angels are the ones who pick up the pieces. 

So it’s a real tough one honeypot. Perhaps you think about what most cats do, why don’t you think about stayin’ with that Steady Eddie, then playing away games whenever takes your fancy. Do you know what I mean?

When it comes to choosin’ men though, Mildred our friendly veterinary says to flip a coin. That’s what she does, either that or she does that eeny, meeny, miny moe kids catch a squirrel nursery-rhyme thing. Mildred says that works every time.

Nellie, The Ship’s Cat

September 2020

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