Scratchington Post

Dear Dr. Jill

Question:

Dear Dr. Jill,
I like to hang out on high perches around the house. Some might say it's because it makes me feel superior, but I'm actually just doing my part for homeland security (my home, anyway). Unfortunately, my elevated options of choice are mostly covered by books and fragile things that break after falling when I jump, land and skid on them. While I think this is fun, it makes my owner say things like "bad kitty" and "no,no,no,no" -- How can I keep my owner happy while still monitoring the house for suspicious activity?

Sincerely,
Treed in Tuscaloosa

Answer:

Dear Treed,
You are correct that a desire to be in high places is only natural for a kitty. However, you will need a high place to hang out that is more appealing for you than where your human companions keep their fragile belongings. A place to call your own would be most ideal. So, I recommend you try to convince your human companions to buy (or make) for you a kitty tree with several elevated perches. This will give you an acceptable outlet for your desire to be up high. Ask your housemates to position your new kitty tree where it has a good view -- maybe by a window that looks onto the back yard where critters tend to roam, or near a front window where you can survey the comings and goings in your neighborhood. In addition to an outside view, you will want to have your kitty tree in the room where the family gathers most often. It is likely that watching your family from your kitty tree will soon be one of your favorite activities.

Sincerely,
Dr. Jill


Question:

Dear Dr. Jill,
Most cats dislike water, but I have a confession: I love playing with it. Mesmerized during teeth-brushing time, I bat at dripping faucets, dip my paw into glasses of water (knocking it over is fun too, but not encouraged) and even watch my owner wash dishes. I would love to have a tap dripping all the time, but that’s wasteful. What is the best way for me to enjoy fun with water in a safe, environmentally friendly and economical way? And how can you explain my fondness for water when it’s well-known that the thought of getting a bath turns most of us into scaredy cats? Is there something wrong with me?

Sincerely,
Nervous in Nevada

Answer:

Dear Nervous,
There is nothing wrong with you. In fact, the Friskies cat cams revealed many other cats share your love of playing with water. But you are right; most human companions frown upon making a big watery mess. And wasting water makes you feel bad. But don’t worry; there is an easy solution. There are commercial water fountains on the market. Or, your human companion could make one especially for you with a heavy decorative bowl, some tubing, and a small water pump (like those used in fish aquariums). Don’t be nervous and feel free to embrace your love of water secure in the knowledge that you are hardly alone.

Sincerely,
Dr. Jill


Question:

Dear Dr. Jill,
My owner loves me and I know she wants me to be happy. But lately she's been trying new ways to keep me company while she's away at work. First it was animal programming on TV. Then it was the radio...jazz...talk...classical...even country. I'll admit it can get lonely, but she's driving me crazy with her experimentation. Can you clarify the best sounds to keep on in the house while I'm home alone?

Sincerely,
Distracted in Decatur

Answer:

Dear Distracted,
Many cats do indeed like variety in their TV and radio programming--obviously you are not one of them. My advice is for your owner to learn what programming you do enjoy. Once she has noted what type of music or television you enjoy when you are both together, then she can play that for you when she is away. These radio/television programs will then be far more calming for you, because they are the programs you selected together.

Sincerely,
Dr. Jill