Would you take advice from your cat?


And then there was the time we tried writing an advice column. What do you think? We’re cats, so we’re full of opinions. Superior opinions. Send us your questions! We like telling other people what to do.

We find our true calling
We’re grown up now. We’ve been watching the world outside our windows for a long time – cats are keen observers – and we read books, too. Interesting people come to our house and we eavesdrop on their conversations. We’re published authors. With all those qualifications, we’re ready – and willing – to offer advice to others. So, we bring to you Ask the Meezers!

Tip of the week!

Tip of the week (from Mischief, who doesn’t take his own advice): Don’t chew on rose bushes. Even the small ones have prickles.

Dear Meezers: What’s a “mee-zher?”
— A New Reader
Trouble: Uh, that would be us. We’re Sia-meeze cats, right? Meezers.
Mischief: Are all the questions going to be this dumb? Instead of wasting time like this, we could be napping.
***
Dear Meezers: Why?
— Karma Kat
Trouble: Why not? It’s the curious cat’s mantra. Or you want to know why we want to nap? Now that’s a dumb question. We’re cats. It’s what we do.
Mischief: Miao.
***
Dear Meezers: Miao? Are you French?
— Un nouvel admirateur
Trouble: (Rolls eyes)
Mischief: We’re Siamese. We say “Miao.” Draw it out. Breathe deep from the chest. “My-yaaaao-oo.”
***
Dear Meezers: My cat prefers playing with empty boxes to all of the sweet little mousies and fluffy toys we buy for her. What am I doing wrong?
— Confused in Carlisle
Trouble: Nothing! You’re providing boxes, that’s a good start. But make sure you’re letting her play with the packages the toys come in, too.
Mischief: Especially if the packaging is crinkly. Trouble won’t admit it, but he likes to lick cellophane and plastic bags. Ick. If your girl doesn’t like the fluffy things, send them my way. I love fuzziness. And feathers. Got any with feathers?
***
Dear Meezers: My house and yard are full of loud monsters that disturb my sleep and – I admit it – make me puff my tail up to three times its normal size. They’re scary. My heart races. Why won’t my family consider my feelings and get rid of these things?
— Frightened in Fairview
Mischief: Let me go first on this one. Don’t be afraid to call these “monsters” by their proper names. Blender. Disposal. Vacuum. Mower. See? Saying it won’t hurt you. And neither will the machines. Be bold. Let everyone know how you feel. Arch your back and spit at them. If all else fails, a timely nip on the operator’s ankle should help. (Note: This is not recommended for the lawn mower. What are you doing out there anyway?)
Trouble: Ha! Face your fears. I agree with that one. In fact, I’ve found that if you curl up with one of these monsters, people will get all googly over how cute you are and find something else to do rather than disturb you. But I gotta say, Mischief just talks a good game. He won’t go up the stairs if the bedroom ceiling fans are on.
***
Dear Meezers: I get so tired of deciding what to have for dinner. So I ask you, tuna or salmon?
— Gourmand in Gettysburg
Trouble: Tuna!
Mischief: Salmon!
***
Dear Meezers: You guys seem to get along pretty well for siblings. What’s your secret?
— Chocolatepoint in Hershey
Trouble: Two halves make a whole. In our case, I like wet food, Mischief likes dry. I like to play with bottle caps and crumpled foil. He prefers trying to catch dangly things and chasing foam golf balls. I like to sleep on top of the kitchen cabinets. He likes to curl up on a chair. I like laps. He likes to sit next to people.
Mischief: You take my food. You take my toys. You take her lap. You hog the bed. You call that getting along??
Trouble: You pounce on me when I’m sleeping. You bite my neck. You chase me!
Mischief: Decca likes me better than you.
Trouble: Nuh-uh. She likes me better!
Mischief: Wuss!
Trouble: Brat!
Mischief: Hisss!
Trouble: Hisssssss!
Mischief: Hey! What are we fighting for? It must be time for a nap.
Trouble: Pssst. You’re lying on my tail. Mischief. Mischief!
Mischief: Snoor.
***
Dear Ask A Meezer: What’s “snoor?”
— Sleepless in Shamokin
….
Trouble and Mischief are the pen names of two midstate Pennsylvania cats who blog about books, life and the world outside their windows. Got a question for Ask the Meezers? Post a comment here or send it to deccablog@gmail.com You can follow the Meezers on Twitter at @DeccaCats.

(Ask A Meezer was first published at Central Penn Parent as part of the Tail Tales blog in 2013.)

We’ve got hairballs – is that a problem?


Since we wrote this column on our hairball “problem” last year, it seems to have gone away on its own. Our Decca is really baffled, because nothing changed in our diet or our behavior. Maybe it was just a teen-ager thing?? What do you think?

*Cough* Hairballs *cough*

There's something donw thre on the floor...

Pardon us, but there’s something disgusting down there on the floor you need to take care of. (Trouble, left; and Mischief)

Friends, are you embarrassing yourself in front of yourself and others? Does your pep suddenly turn into pooped when you stop in the middle of a good run to hack and heave? Are hairballs making you unpopular around the house?

Friends, the answer to all of your problems is — well, to tell the truth, we don’t know what the answer is. But now that we’ve gotten older, hairballs are more of an issue in our lives. They’re interfering with our play time. They’re interfering with our social life.

Yes, we do too have a social life! People come to our house. They fuss over us, they play with us, they admire us.

And then one of us hacks up and everybody backs off. Talk about bad timing. But, sheesh! You’re around cats and you don’t expect a little lump of wet, compacted hair on your carpet once in a while? It’s what we do.

Even our dearest Decca is giving us the hairy eyeball more often.

Now we’ve checked, and there’s nothing abnormal going on with us. Once a week, each, especially now that the weather’s hot and we’re eager to shed some of our gorgeous fur.

Hairballs are actually a sign we’re grown up and become better at grooming ourselves (as long as we don’t overdo it. We’ve also read that “excessive” grooming can be a sign of health problems.)

But that’s not how Decca sees it. She keeps trying to get us to eat stuff that’s supposed to “help” us with our hairballs. Just because she doesn’t like stepping on them in her bare feet… Put shoes on! Wear your glasses!

Have we mentioned that we’re picky about what we put in our mouths — when it comes to food? (We’ll give anything else a try: Bugs — dead or alive — paper, organic matter that isn’t intended to be food, like leaves or grass, a blueberry that falls on the floor; you name it, we have to taste it.)
This hairball “treatment” thing isn’t going so well, from her point of view.

The best-selling commerical products, according to Amazon? We’ve spurned them all, from the Pet Naturals Fun-Shaped Chews (fish!) to the Nutri-Vet Hairball Paw-Gel for Cats (both flavors). We liked the caped super-cat on the chews package, so we gave that one a trial.

Decca got so excited when Trouble ate two pieces — he’s the primary hairball producer of the two of us — that she couldn’t wait to grab the package the next day to give us “treats.” (Really? You think we were fooled?)

There was no repeat performance, so she snuck them into our food bowls. That worked once, too. Now, instead of white emptiness in the bottom of our bowls after we eat, these gooey, sad-looking fish-shaped bits appear. Yuck.

As to those gels and pastes in tubes, no thanks. It’s not that we’re bothered over the controversy over whether petroleum-based hairball treatments are a bad idea, we just think they’re icky. And don’t you dare smear it on our beautiful paws!

We’re been reading the Internet over Decca’s shoulder as she looks for new ideas. There are some pretty crazy home remedies out there. Mayonnaise? Crisco? Yogurt? (We know she won’t try that one – like many adult cats, we’re lactose intolerant.)

Hmmm. Canned pumpkin puree? Is that a vegetable?? You do know we’re carnivores, right?
But, hey, here’s one that sounds good — catnip!!

This one is even better, though: The experts at Cornell University say you should brush and comb your cat frequently.

Yes! We’d like that. A lot. Bring it on.

We’ll start purring now.

This is an updated version of a post that first appeared on Central Penn Parent.