Dear Journal,

I often worry that too many new cat owners have unrealistic assumptions when it comes to the expectations and responsibilities of sharing your home with one or more cats. Because of their romanticized preconception of cat behavior (and for that I blame cat food commercials that hire supernaturally unfinicky actors, cat litter ads that hire one of the few cats alive that actually cover their disgusting waste, and Sarah McLachlan), these stereotypically lonely yet good intentioned people quickly regret their decision. This can result in lashing out when the cat behaves as nature intended it to, returning the cat like an unwanted gift after Christmas, or re-homing the cat who thought it finally found its forever home.

And that’s why I’m here, to enlighten humans on the reality of cat care and cohabitation. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not encouraging you to reconsider cat rescue; I’m encouraging you to make an informed decision.

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Dear Journal,

Mom spent the week with my husband and me, and from this visit, I learned that a list of expectations for overnight house guests may be necessary. Not everyone has five cats confined in their home. Not everyone has two handicats. Not everyone is stupid like me, I guess.

The next time we have an overnight visitor, they should expect to see this list waiting on the pillow of the guest bedroom:

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Come to Depression

May 19, 2016 — 16 Comments

The following ad was paid for by the Depression Tourism Council.

It’s summer again, and many of you are planning your annual holiday away from work. If you’ve done this before, you know that getaways are exhausting and expensive. You can empty your wallet on an excursion to Hawaii, the Caribbean, or your Mom’s house, but have you considered Depression? It’s the most visited vacation spot that barely anyone talks about.

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Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here today to mourn the sad and untimely passing of the apology.

The offspring of Greek parents (Apo and -Logia), the apology is survived by two sisters (Amends and Atonement), twin brothers (Remorse and Regret), two cousins (Excuse and Vindication), and one wicked step-mother (Repudiation).

Now that the apology is no more, the simple word combination of “I’m sorry” should be remembered for its powerful ability to disengage conflict, convey courtesy and respect, and promote civil behavior among family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, stranger, pets, and major appliances.

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Dear Journal,

Friday afternoon, I received news that pushed me to the verge of shitting my pants with joy:

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Ten years ago, if you were to tell me that by May 3, 2016, I would be sharing my home with five cats, I would have taken you as seriously as Bristol Palin speaking at an abstinence rally. Back then, animals belonged in the wild, on a farm, in a zoo, or on my plate. I was adamant that they did not belong inside of a human establishment because they were incapable of learning the basic rules of civilized habitation such as not shitting on the floor, putting your things away when you are done with them, and not shedding. Yet here I am in my 9th year of cohabiting with felines, and I’ve learned that it’s not so bad after all. As a matter of fact, in most cases, I find it generally more pleasant than human interaction.

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A dear friend recently asked,

Dear Reluctant Cat Owner,

My cat refuses to cover her shit. What do I do? Is he trying to murder me with the smell of his deuces?

I hope you can take solace in the fact that you are not alone, so much so that I believe there are support groups for victims of this issue. Uncovered cat poop is as common in our home as my use of profanity. It’s disheartening to come home from work on a fresh, spring evening only to wonder if your toilet backed up while you were away. And you can’t trust your friends because even though they say, “No. It smell’s fine in here,” when you ask them upon entrance, you know they’re talking about it behind your back. At least, that’s what I do.

This mainly occurs with our skittish cat, Reese. I have witnessed her bolting from the litter box like a race horse the moment her last brownie drops. I assume the plopping turd slapping the back of her leg like a riding crop startles her. For this, I can’t blame her because if I felt something tickling my cheeks while sitting on the toilet, I would bolt from the bathroom, too, hands flailing in the air, pants around my ankles, and butt unwiped.

Unfortunately, I have had no luck with deterring her unhygienic behavior. Wait. Let me rephrase that. Unfortunately, I have not attempted to deter her unhygienic behavior because I am too busy wiping cat vomit off the floors, vacuuming hairballs, and breaking up ultra-violent cat fights, but I have read that there may be many reasons why this occurs. And while I would not doubt that your cat is feeding off of your misery, there’s a chance this is something that may be alleviated with a little work.

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A New Chapter

April 6, 2016 — 29 Comments

Dear diareaders,

Welcome to a new chapter of The Reluctant Cat Owner’s Journal.

Due to a recent discovery, I feel that the tone and content of this website should change. So what are the changes?

  • The heading has been changed from “Dear Journal” to “Dear diareaders.” Diareaders is a portmanteau for “diary readers.” I chose it because I couldn’t do anything with “Journal Readers,” and “diareaders” made me giggle.
  • The tone of the content will be less abrasive towards any of my five cats (except maybe Elvis) and more supportive.

So why the change?

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Dear Journal,

I recently read an article that shared eight things I should never do to my cat. While it was a pleasant reminder of general cat care, we live in an age where companies have to label hair dryers with warnings so people won’t fry themselves with it in a running shower. Because common sense doesn’t seem to equate common practice, I feet it’s necessary to share eight more things that people should never do to their cats.

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Your Cat is Family

March 31, 2016 — 22 Comments

Dear Journal,

Nine years ago, Mr. Tiddles was left behind when his owners moved away. As a matter of fact, the rumor was that when his former owners left, the cat was stranded inside the empty apartment with nothing more than an open bag of cat food. When the new tenant moved in, she kicked him out. With nowhere to go, Mr. Tiddles wasted his days roaming the apartment complex’s parking lot, crouching under parked cars for shade and lapping up the dirty water that collected in the potholes.

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Print Book vs. E-Book

March 28, 2016 — 4 Comments

Dear Journal,

I recently read an article on the Online Bible of Gratuitous Opinion (or what others call The Huffington Post) about why “print books are better than E-books.” I’ve noticed this subject has been given attention on other heavy-traffic sites such as Mental Floss, Business Insider, and The Washington Post as well, and I wonder to myself every time, “Why should we care?”

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Dear Journal,

I can’t fit into my pants, so I’m dieting again. It’s either that or buying fat clothes, and I can’t afford a new wardrobe.

Now that I have committed to cutting sugar and carbs from my plate and replaced it with a high fiber/water/protein/artificial sweeter diet, you know what that means, right? It’s not safe to fart.

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Dear Journal,

It may be unbelievable, but I once enjoyed having company. Years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for me to host an impromptu dinner gathering or welcome unannounced company into my home to share a bottle of wine. It was easy because my home was in a constant state of cleanliness and order. But then cats happened.

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Reviewing Cat Products

March 7, 2016 — 16 Comments

Dear Journal,

If you want to know what it feels like to diarrhea money, own a cat. For the care, health, safety, and entertainment of an ungrateful feline, your wallet will have to spread open more than your mom’s vagina. And much like your mom’s vagina, it’ll make you double over with cramps and moans. Your face will flush and a cold sweat will spread over your brow as dollar bills spew forth, dousing the pet store cash register with money you could have spent on that Autoblow2 you’ve had your eye on for 6 months.

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There Goes the Gayborhood

February 10, 2016 — 5 Comments

Dear Journal,

I’m assuming the process of moving is a bigger pain in the ass than having a prostate exam with sandpaper gloves worn by Dr. Jackhammer during a hemorrhoid flare-up. Closing on the house you own at the same time as closing on the one you are buying requires the alignment of Venus and Saturn during a full moon while sacrificing a virgin midget to the Gods of the Republican party, and since all the midgets I know are immoral whores, the home closings have been pushed to an undetermined date because the buyer’s mortgage company decided to order the appraisal shortly before our already-scheduled-months-ago closing date.

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