Ignore the suckage, be thankful!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

I am glad that your teacher FINALLY remembered to send me tuna! She asked that this week I discuss thankfulness. No problem! I am sure that she is thankful for me and my letters, just as you are, and just as you should be!

You humans always show that you don’t really understand thankfulness. I’ve seen your ads on television. You’re not the only one who can work a remote! The message that commercials and spokes-fools shout about is how to GET more, BE more, and whoever has MORE wins! Geez, no wonder you humans are never happy!!! Everyone tells you that you’re not happy enough!!!

You go straight from Halloween to Christmas. Thanksgiving seems to be more of a transition holiday that just lets everyone have another food-related event before the bigger Christmas holiday.

Seriously, have you ever paid attention to the conversations at the Thanksgiving table? Everyone takes all of five seconds to say what they are thankful for and then BAM! The conversation changes to planning for Christmas, or shopping for Black Friday, or even Cyber Monday! It’s all about the MORE and less about the satisfaction and thankfulness for having what you’ve got!

Now okay, I get that there’s a debate about the history of Thanksgiving and whether it is a good or bad event, but the modern spirit behind Thanksgiving is right. Families should get together more often, eat lots of turkey, and appreciate what they have. But they never really do! They’re always so busy rushing and fussing to make everything “perfect”! And instead of just enjoying the time they have they shift their focus onto the next thing to come!

Live in the moment I say!

Let me help you out baby-kittens! I am gonna teach you and your classmates how to have year-long Thanksgiving! Ask yourself if you have food. Is the answer yes? Like, if you went to bed hungry was it because you didn’t have food, or was it because you couldn’t make yourself eat that bizarre salt-brined casserole your dad made last night? (Seriously, even the dogs wouldn’t eat it!) If your clothes get dirty, do you have other clothes to war? (Don’t panic—I won’t tell anyone about your Naruto cosplay!) When you come home, do you have somewhere safe in the home? Can you leave your stuff in your room and feel okay, like no one will take it?

If you can answer yes to at least two of those you have a LOT to be thankful for! This kind of stuff seems like your “normal” but you have a lot of things other kids don’t have! Okay, so maybe it would be nice to be rich or be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, but can you maybe—just maybe—be glad for what you have now?

Yes, your parents are total dorks and yes, sometimes things are soaked in suckage, but you still have a lot of good things like those stink-bomb pest-hounds, your siblings, and ME! If you have nothing else you have the world’s most wonderful cat in your life and my sister Trixie, so you should be thankful more than one day a year. You should be thankful every second!!! You’re welcome!!!
LuLu the Yes-I-Can-Be-Bribed-With-Tuna Calico Cat

P.S. If you want to eat turkey at Thanksgiving, good luck! I have plans for it!!!

Cereal killers are NOT what you’d think!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Another day, another lesson! So, I heard your mom was giving a special lecture on cereal killers and I went to see what kinds of cereal are involved. I wondered if she was talking about froot loops, or cheerios, or raisin bran, or the oat n’goats stuff your dad likes? Is there a meat cereal? I would dive into a big bowl of chicken chips, beef bonanza, or salmon snacks, are those a thing? If you’re killing it, it’s probably delicious. UMMMM…NOPE!

Do you know what your mom was looking at because there were NO bowls of cereal involved! It was all dead bodies, buckets of blood and body parts, and people with creepy eyes! I mean, I know they were just photos, but some of those folks made my tail bristle!

I get that she likes to talk about why people do stuff. That’s part of your mom’s Psychology schtick, am I right? She looks at people’s brains and behaviors and tries to figure them out. Okay, that’s not so bad. But this stuff? Crazy!

Look baby-kittens, I think that is a human mistake that you humans all try to make. You all look for what prompts someone to kill cereal. (I still don’t get how bowls of grains figure into this.) Whether it’s the just-world hippopotamus (your mom said hypothesis, but that’s not a real word, so I’m pretty sure it’s hippopotamus) where folks look for a reason that bad things happen or some type of brain abnormality that makes humans more aggressive, you humans all have to have a “why.”

Bad news kiddos, there isn’t always a reason. Sometimes bad things and bad people just happen. There are bad cats and dogs too. Not many (well, not many bad cats, dogs on the other paw…), but once in a while you have an animal whose brain is one fish short of a full pond. Not every awful moment in life can be prevented. I also heard that some kids at school got kind of violent and it was scary. Everyone kept asking if they could have done more. Maybe they could, maybe they couldn’t, but here’s a different question: Do you want to think the best of everybody or the worst of everybody?

Bullies and bad guys are gonna exist, but friends and good people are gonna exist too. How do you know who is which? You don’t, at least not at first. You have to wait and see what they do.

See, it doesn’t matter what their past is like, it matters what they choose their present to be.

Sometimes, kids and adults have a lot of bad stuff happen to them, like when you were bullied. That was really awful. But you didn’t let it stop you from being decent and standing up for others. Why not? Because there is more to being human—even for you—than just living through good and bad experiences.

Human minds and hearts work together in rough situations and the human actively chooses the next steps. You both chose good steps because you (although it kills me to admit it) have good minds and good hearts (except for loving that fart-factory you call a dog). Other people choose bad steps because their minds and hearts just don’t work together well. Trust your gut (NOT your dog’s gut! Yuck!) and if you feel uncomfortable walk away from that person. If you give them a chance and they betray you, well, you know for the future not to trust them.

You’ll learn over time when to trust and when not to trust. And if you trust wisely, you’ll never have to look at breakfast bowls filled with body parts. (Seriously, you have GOT to talk to your mom about this!!!)

Okay, I’m done being nice to you now. I need a nap. Go fetch me a fish.

Your favorite feline,

LuLu the Calico Cat

P.S. If your teacher doesn’t like the topic this week that’s her problem. Do you see me with a new pouch of tuna? No, you do not! No tuna means that I get to pick the topic! So there!

Just all kinds of wrong!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Well, LAST week did not work out as planned!

Whose cockamamie idea was it to take me to the vet? Do you people think I WANTED all those shots and bubble wands placed in inappropriate places? That so-called physical was so inordinately invasive that I got sick after! Have you seen what goes on when you let those people “weigh” me behind closed doors? It is NOT good back there, more like a warning to domesticated animals to avoid getting caught by the animal control folks.

Oh sure, the vet techs are all saccharine-sweet with how they talk, as if I’m a baby kitten, but all that sweet talk masks the sounds of vial and needles and manhandling (cat-handling?) of body parts I would rather not have touched, thank you very much!

Then my reaction to the trauma of that vet visit—essentially a conversion disorder—sent your parents into a panic. I thought they were supposed to be smart, but they’re kind of dumb, aren’t they? It’s a simple psychological concept: conversion.

I was upset at having my beauteous body kneaded like bread dough (DUH!), and the trauma meant that my tummy got sick and I was lethargic for a couple of days. Wouldn’t you be sick too? Seriously, unless you’re a show cat there is no reason for anyone to ever physically grab and play with your jolly bits!

So what do you ape-minded parents do when I was simply trying to recover? They took me back to the vet’s office! They were so panicked that they insisted the vet check me again and then—GET THIS—the vet called me a drama queen!!! AS IF!!!

LOOK, I do NOT mind being—on occasion, on my terms—touched, and I do NOT mind—again, on my terms—letting someone weigh me or hold me, but the needle thingys! Those are EVIL! That vet-person drew blood and gave me shots!!! My terrific tuckus had all kinds of holes in it by the time she was done!
So NOOOOOO! I AM NOT A DRAMA QUEEN! I DID NOT NEED YOUR PARENTS HOVERING AND SMOTHERING AND…wait, it just occurred to me.

Your parents—while entirely wrong to take me back to the vet—were showing through their terror of potentially losing me that they finally understand their true, lowly place in the world. They have finally realized that I am in charge, I am their universe, and without me they are NOTHING. Hmmm….this works for me!

I have changed my mind. The vet stuff is still warped, twisted, and all kinds of wrong, but if it scared your parents into finally comprehending how worthless they are without me, that’s not too bad.

I’m exhausted now. Go fetch me some fish.

LuLu the Magnificent Calico Cat

All humans are addicts!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Well, even though your teacher forgot my tuna for today’s letter, I am writing to you anyway because WOW you humans have problems! What is WRONG with you human-people???

Never mind, I already know. You guys are addicts! Seriously! ALL OF YOU!

You’re addicted to sweets, coffee, and pills! I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’m a cat!

First, your parents wake up and have coffee. They act all grumpy and mean until they get their brown java bean juice! Then, they suddenly act nicer! Hello—addicted much?

Then they go out of the house and later come home with more coffee!!! Day in and day out it’s coffee, coffee, coffee! You know that coffee is a drug, right? Your mom’s silly Psychology book says that drugs are anything that changes your brain or body. If your parents go from monsters to mouses because of coffee, ergo, coffee is a drug!

But wait—there’s more! Your t.v. has ads for all sorts of rainbow relaxer-style pills! There’s pills if you need to calm down, pills if you need more energy, pills if you can’t go to the bathroom, and pills if you go too much!!! If the pill factories shut down the world would shut down too!

The other day when your mom was watching some stupid show all of these commercials came on one right after the other, and none of them seemed to agree on anything! Some wanted you to sleep more but others wanted you to sleep less. Feeling sad? Grab a pill! So happy that they think you’re manic? Grab a different pill!

Then there’s the food ads!!!

This crunchy snack is just what you’re craving, unless it isn’t! Then you want this sweet cake or that u-mama noodle or the soba soybean surprise. While I respect the concept of having constant yumminess, you human-people have these bizarre extremes where you have to have bright colors and candies on top of perfectly ordinary things plus lots and lots of variety. You’d never make it in the feline world, I can tell you that one for sure!


Humans have never learned to manage emotions and physical urges. It’s way too obvious from all the in-your-face advertising. Let me help you understand why you humans are wrong, baby kitten.


Cats do not need constant food variety. Sure, we don’t mind the occasional extra treat, but our variety is more about toys and mental activities. With food, consistency ensures a clean plate and a semi-clean litterbox. We want our regular diet at regular times. If, on occasion, you have food we want like turkey or chicken, we know how to get it for ourselves. You can’t guard the table every second!


Cats rarely need pills, and then it is only the sickest cats. You humans are so used to using pills that you never even think to try other things first. Sometimes changing a diet, sleeping more, less screen time, or even a bit of exercise can help right your tilted windmill of a mind. But do you try to stretch or get balanced when you have a headache? Nope! You people go straight for the plastic bottle filled with terrible tablets that curl my whiskers when I get near them.

See, cats don’t need a sugar-rush or a tush-tabs because we understand the importance of processing our emotions. If we’re angry, we strike. If you scare us, we bite. If we get sad, we may (may) use you for a quick cuddle. Then we’ll swipe you after so you don’t get too self-important.

If we can’t sleep and it’s 3a.m. we don’t panic and pill-pop! We race around and around the house and knock over a few things until we’re finally exhausted and contented enough to curl back up into our own cushy furry body-woven blanket. I can sleep for HOURS after a good rip and roar around the house!

That’s why we don’t constantly need pills or drinks or desserts. Face it. Cats are just happier than humans!

Is it any wonder that you humans don’t have much in the way of real-world survival skills? You can’t function without pill-popping, coffee-sludge-slurping, and snack time! If you really want to survive, give up your addictions and learn to be a cat. You’ll be much happier baby-kittens!

I’m off for a well-deserved nap!
LuLu the Calico Cat

Multi-factorial idiocy

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Well, THAT didn’t work out as planned! I thought your teacher would get annoyed that I’m so blunt, but the silly human thinks that I just show a-how did she put it?-“strength of character and understanding of my personal truth!” GEEZ!!! 

I just want to talk about fish and get gifts (for me, of course) and instead she wants me to continue to lead you human-children up the wisdom mountain-top! I do not have time for you human people, don’t you know how difficult a cat’s life already is?

I have to nap several times a day, eat several times a day, and run around the house at 3a.m.! Do you not realize how much is involved in knocking plants and dishes off of the shelves while everyone is sleeping? It takes physical strength, inner determination, and mental planning. My life is not easy!!!

So FINE, I will teach you more. Plus you’ve been bringing home more pouches of tuna from your teachers and classmates, and I have to admit that I can be bought. Well, I can be borrowed for an hour or until my next nap.

Last time I talked how idiotic the world has gotten (big surprise!)

Everyone is a panic about shipping times and getting packages filled with stuff they don’t really need. Quite frankly, if it isn’t a case of tuna or turkey-flavored Temptations cat treats, I really don’t care what happens to those shipments. But if you really want to understand the situation, I will give you a term most humans don’t understand, multifactorial causation.

Great term, am I right???

See, adult-humans try to tell you poor human-kittens that “this politician” caused something or “that policy” made stuff go wrong, but it’s never that easy! There’s a complex process happening!

Let me put it into an example you can better understand. Remember when that lizard got into the house last week? Sure, you saw me pounce and catch it not once but twice! It was an awesome game! I released it, your mom screamed, and I chased it again! Snap! Straight into my feline jaws for a quick moment!

NOW…do you think that was easy? Heck, no!

I had to determine the lizard’s leg span, his potential running speed based on his body type and age, I had to analyze the sunlight patterns in the room to better understand if he would swish-tail towards the triple window or slashy-slink under the couch near the darker double window.

That takes a lot of brain power, and that’s before the chase begins! I had microseconds to perform a mental catabolic interpretation of the data. Not easy, little ones, not easy! Then I have to factor in my own pounce rate and how I will need to set up my bounce-and-pounce routine based on the furniture placement.

Adding to all of that was the confounding variable of how the lizard might react to your mother’s panicked screeches as they echoed up to the ceiling and ball-bounced on the walls! Catching lizards is serious business!!!

The triumph of catching the tasty treat has multi-factorial causation, and all of the points must converge while all the planets align in just such a meticulous manner that then allows for munching of said intruder!

SOOOO…when people are panicking and looking for a one-source solution to a problem with multi-factorial causation, YOU baby-kittens, need to set them right.

You want to survive the up-and-coming chaos? Learn to work together. Stop worrying about who is to blame and start looking at how you ALL can fix the situation!!! Multi-factors need multi-approaches, so fix this! I HAVE SPOKEN!!!

And now I’m exhausted, so now I will nap!

Ciao baby kittens!
LuLu the Calico Cat

Groupthink is Goopthink!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Well, here I am again, acting like I care about you. I do and I don’t, it’s complicated. Yeah, you’re my human family and on rare occasions you serve me well (usually at breakfast time, lunch time, snack time, and dinner time) but there are other moments that you annoy the litterbox out of me.

It’s very difficult being a wise, dignified, ancient creature when everyone around you tries to pet you while you’re napping and calls you a “sweet little kitty.” UGH!!!! I will accept Devine Goddess Feline or even Queen Calico LuLu, but “sweet kitty” is demeaning and insulting. IT HAS TO STOP!

Now, your semi-foolish teacher FINALLY understood my hint and has sent some cat treats. That officially makes me a paid author now, am I right??? I have to develop my CV to reflect this! For that reason (yes, I can be bribed) I will consent to imparting my Psychology wisdom to you yet again. Everyone else gets paid to teach, so why shouldn’t I?

The prophets got offerings of food and various rich-type gifts, so it is only fitting that when I share my wisdom you share your wealth via foods, gifts, or even a credit card that I can use online for one of the animal-devoted web sites. (FYI your mom’s credit card now has zero credit available—not sure why, since it turns out that “1000 live mice” option was pick-up only, so they cancelled the order this morning! Wilting whiskers! You can’t trust anybody!)

My online shopping for myself made me pay attention when those weird talking head-people on the news were discussing Christmas-buying worries and how everything is going to be delayed or not be available at all.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love and DEMAND Christmas gifts, but I think you humans panic yourself into your problems! Think about it: someone says stuff is going to be hard to get, so everyone goes all beheaded-chicken-crazy and starts blindly running around to buy everything in sight! Ridunculous!

This is groupthink at its worst! Groupthink is a fancy way of saying that everyone in a mob achieves the same conclusion whether or not the conclusion is logical. You humans have heard there may be less items available or shipped in time to place under your Christmas trees, so instead of enjoying the harvest season you are flipping out and buying everything you can for a holiday that is two months away.

It’s just like the toilet paper thing! Everyone hears there’s going to a shortage on toilet paper, so everyone panics and buys as much as they can!

HELLO!!! Ever heard of rationing your supplies to make them last? Did World War II teach you people nothing about learning to preserve and carefully use what you have? Did the rationing back then mean that people had a little less? Of course it did! But seeing as new generations of foolish humans were created from those who made it through World War II it is quite clear that staying calm and sensibly planning ahead made all of the difference. Having less and being careful with what you already had meant that you could survive. No panic was required!

Now, will Christmas be less fun if you have one less terroristic-noise-making toy or glow-in-the-dark didgeridoo? Possibly! But if everyone you love is alive and safe, who flipping cares?

Seriously, I never thought I would advocate that everyone pay attention to the wisdom of some whackadoodle human who created a furry green monster who terrorized a town, but that Dr. Seuss fellow was right. Christmas should be more than the stuff. It should be about the moment.

STOP PANICKING. IGNORE GROUPTHINK. You humans are making your own problems! Enjoy what you have and tell others to do that as well.

You have your family, you have the other dumbo pets, and you have your magnificent Calico Queen Goddess Divine Prophet Cat LuLu, i.e., ME. You already have everything. By the way, I may add to my title later, I like how it sounds!

Since everyone else is looking towards what will happen at Christmas, I will be planning the future of Thanksgiving. Don’t plan on eating turkey—I have plans of my own that will confiscate your tasty bird!

Be an individual! Ignore groupthink! Buy me some treats!

Ciao!

LuLu  the Calico Queen Goddess Divine Prophet Cat

Narcissists=Insta-ham and good deeds!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

You and your teacher disgust me. Seriously!

For one tiny, barely significant bite of tuna I am expected to continue discussing Psychology? Mind you, EVEYRTHING is Psychology, but not everyone is capable of understanding it! Cats understand Psychology because we are experts on the topic. That’s how we control humans so easily.

It’s not that hard, you humans are pretty stupid.

You’re also narcissistic. That’s a MAJOR issue and how we control you. You think you are the most amazing creatures on the planet and you think that everything has some personal connection to YOU. YOU. YOU. YOU. You humans are all about the “YOU!”

Now, you and your silly friends are going to try to say that it isn’t true, that you care about the community, that you’re socially responsible, only buy from companies that support the environment, blah, blah, blechy-blah. Sure, you do these things.

You know what else you do? You post it on Insta-ham, Fish-book, Twattler, Tik-Lox, and other little social platforms.

Think about it, you do good only when others are watching!

Before you get all mad at me and give me some garbage about how you are just trying to inspire others to do more good works, look at what you are saying: If others look at what YOU do, THEY will do better.

Because. Of. YOU.

UMMMMM….Narcissism in action! Proof! Done! Drop the mic!

Well, drop the keyboard, which I can’t do, because your mom will start locking up her computer after that.

You humans and every celebrity in the world are litterboxes full of narcissism. If you really cared and wanted to do good things you would be out in the world DOING not just posting.

Some people are semi-decent, they only post once in a while. That’s not so bad. But the people who are on those platforms CONSTANTLY posting everything from what they do to what they eat are bogus.

Humans aren’t that difficult to understand. Do you really think that we adore you and purr when you are near because you’re so special? For halibut’s sake! Of course not!

We purr because you want to be adored, and then you think that you randomly give us treat and pets. PUH-LEASE!!! We purr-pull your strings!

Want to prove that I’m wrong? Do it! Do nice things for others and don’t post about it.

Okay, if you HAVE to post, make sure you post only post twice, once to ask others to come along and help and once when everything is done. But don’t post every minute or take 200 photos.

I bet you another tuna pouch it’ll be harder to get people to help with an anonymous community project than one they can put on their look-at-me-insta-resume.

See, that how cats know that humans are narcissists.

If you donate food to a food bank you get all proud of how you are a good person, but did you ever close your eyes and think about the family that was scared because they’d run out of food? Sure, you might build a house or donate time at a youth shelter, but do you ever try to visualize what it would be like to have to beg for that level of help? Sometimes the heroes are the ones who get enough courage to ask for help. It takes a lot of fish guts to tell someone what you need and accept it graciously!!!

Once you silly humans focus on others and less on yourself, THAT’S when things will get better.

Sure, you’ll read this letter to your friends and laugh at how a cat doesn’t know much, but we cats watch everything and know a lot more than you think we do.

Stop being narcissists. Prove me wrong.

Do something good for someone and don’t tell anyone. Use that anonymity-power, just don’t be creepy about it. If you really need someone to witness you doing good, learn to be a witness for yourself. That’s the only way to really be a decent human.

Just sayin’,

LuLu the Calico Cat

World peace=Nonexistent Venn Diagrams

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Well, this has gotten ridunculous! And yes, that IS a word if I say it is!!!

First, I wrote to you out of kindness and pity; it has to be difficult to be away from my gorgeousness every day. Plus, when you’re upset your mom gets upset and the food becomes substandard quickly!

Now your teacher wants me to do MORE???

Plus, she wants more of Psychology! I won’t do it! I am a cat! I am not some plaything of humans, only existing to serve their bidding! That’s what dogs are for! Mind you, your teacher did put her request with a packet of tuna, so I guess it is more of a paid commission than a favor, so…

FINE. I will write more stupid letters to you monkey-children, but you had better recognize my superiority!

Let’s talk about world peace and why it will never happen. That should make Miss Kum-By-Yah happy!

That stupid spaniel-dog of yours gave you some garbage about dogs being the key to world peace. NOT! Let me lay some Social Psychology down on you and correct this stupidity. World Peace is impossible.

There are in-groups and out-groups, and no in between. You are (despite my objections) part of our household, so you are part of our in-group as you are one of us. I will defend you against anyone who is not part of our in group, i.e., those in the out-group.

Before you get to comforted by the thought of me protecting you please realize that I am only protecting you from others. As far as I am concerned, you are still a combination can opener and scratching post and I can treat you however I want.

Human society loves to have “us” and “them.” Even the “unity” and “diversity” stuff is garbage because everyone makes a show of hugging and loving someone “different.”

HELLLLLOOOOO!!!!

If you are making a show of caring for someone as DIFFERENT than you see them as DIFFERENT! How can they ever be part of your in-group if you only focus on the differences?

You’ve got to make new in-groups if you really want to get along! You humans need to Venn diagram each other! Yeah! I said it! Venn your way to getting along and you might have a chance!

Since your hippy-dippy teacher wants me to write letters you can share with everyone, here goes (she’s gonna regret this!):

On your desk or your work table, take a massive piece of paper and write all the important things about yourself inside of a circle. Write down favorite books, music groups, television shows, sport, hobbies, cosplay—whatever tickles your toenails! Then I want you to take a picture with the cell phone we all know you are hiding under your desk. Now take that photo and go around and see what others have in their circles.

If you find anyone who doe NOT have something in their circle that overlaps with yours—wait for it—MAKE A NEW CIRCLE! Talk to that other human for five minutes and find out what you have in common, possibly something you haven’t thought of!

Maybe they’re like your family of weirdos and put sprinkles on mashed potatoes! Maybe they apologize to furniture when they bump into it (stop lying and denying—you know this is you!) Maybe they’re like you and can sing Monty Python’s Philosopher’s Drinking Song 20 times in a row and still want to sing it more! You’ll never know until you ask!

THAT is why world peace cannot happen for humans! You always look for easy in-groups and easy out-groups. You look at what color someone’s skin is, or what style of clothing the wear, or you look at how much tech-stuff they have and how new it is.

But you know what baby-kittens? None of that garbage matters.

There are natural equalizers in this world. When you get the flu and your friend gets the flu, you both have the flu no matter how many devices you have. And when you lose a friend and they lose a friend, you both feel sad and lost, and what clothes you’re wearing at that moment isn’t important at all.

Humans will never have peace until they learn to find their in-group connection in others. Sorry baby-kittens and Miss Kum-By-Yah, but that’s the truth. I’m not really sorry by the way.

The solution to making everyone part of the same in-group is for you all to learn to worship cats, especially me. Then my world, if not yours, will definitely be better!

Ciao, human-kitten-apes, I’m off to open my tuna pouch!
LuLu the Calico Cat

Cats like Gestalt therapy!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Holy Garfield, I think you human-kittens are broken! 

Mention two or three little things about Psychology and now you act like I’m a therapist! You keep thinking that I’m listening to you!

HELLO! I’M NOT!!!

I do NOT want to hear about your problems, I do NOT want to see your school projects, and I do NOT want to know every detail about your day! These letters are about ME and how fabulous I am!

Yes, I get Psychology! Cats are brilliant regarding Psychology, we just don’t share this information with YOU! We are also well-versed in poetry (love us some T. S. Elliot!) and physics (how else would we know the right angles from which to jump to the top of the china cabinet?) Cats are brilliant and always have been. Humans, well, you aren’t all you’re cracked up to be.

Let me help you understand this from a Darwinian perspective: Yes, humans are more physically evolved, whereas cats have retained a close-to-our-archetype form. That is because we did not have as far to go, whereas you monkey-people were wayyyyyy far away from a semi-decent form. But more proof that our evolution was less of a need due to our already obtaining genetic perfection is that fact that cats can survive with or without humans, whereas humans cannot survive without cats.

You see, I choose to live in a house and allow your parents to feed me and(rarely) cuddle me. I purr as if I enjoy laps and snuggle time, and it is not always the most repulsive part of my day, but I do it to keep your parents trained. Yes, that is another reference to operant conditioning!

Your parents give me treats or catnip toys, so I positively reinforce such behaviors by deigning to act as if I care about them. I do not. The instant I decide I am not being treated as I royally deserve I can and will leave this place if I choose to do so!

Unlike humans or dumb pest-hounds, I have the ability to survive in the wild. My physics knowledge allows me to climb tall trees for safety and shelter, and it also provides the understanding of which angle can help me pounce a rodent or capture a fish. I only stay at your house because your parents are pathetic and I feel sorry for them.

You humans cannot survive without some sort of shelter, and if you ever had to catch food in the wild you would be starved by lunch time. When I have I ever seen you catch and eat a rat? Heck, you had a hamster IN A CAGE and instead of eating it, you gave it a name and bought it toys! Ridiculous!!!

Humans also need cats because we are alert to dangers on this worldly dimension and well as in the spiritual dimension. You can sage the house and salt the window sills all you people like, but if you don’t know where the ghosts are, that silly approach is NOT going to help you!

Cats can tell you when something is dangerous versus when it is worth sleeping through. Watch us and obey baby-kittens, it’s the only way you will ever make it!

Hmmm..Perhaps I am your therapist, although it is clear that I follow the Gestalt confrontational therapeutic tactic! That’s a fancy way of saying that I tell it like it is!

You’re welcome!
LuLu the Calico Cat

Maslow was wrong!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

The more I read your mother’s Psychology book, the more I realize how stupid you humans are. You’re almost as dumb as dogs!

You seem to need reasons to help you understand why you are happy and unhappy! PUH-LEASE!

Who is this Maslow and why does he need a pyramid? He wasn’t even Egyptian!!!

I looked at each of the levels and not ONE mentioned cats!!!

He starts with “basic survival needs” but everyone know you need a cat for survival!

Why in the name of Garfield are we not listed???

Safety is up there, but why??? If you have a cat on the basic survival level, you will have safety! Our claws aren’t just for show! And as for love and affection, well, if you worship a cat you are showing love and affection, am I right?

That’s just a hypothetical question by the way, of COURSE I am right! I’m always right!

Now, that whole self-esteem level is stupid. If you have a cat at home and we are willing to put up with you, that should be enough. Esteem is a strong word, it just makes humans act all uppity, but “cat happy” will work.

Last, of course, Maslow had that ridiculous self-actualization stuff, which really should be “realizes cats are royalty.”

Look baby-kittens, those levels are fishier than a tuna net! I’m gonna help you out with LuLu’s Pyramid instead. Egyptians worshipped cats, so we deserve a pyramid more than that Maslow fellow!

Here goes:

Bottom Level—Survival needs, a.k.a., adopt as many cats as you can afford to feed. Don’t worry if you can’t afford food for yourself, cats can catch mice for you. You’re wlecome!

Next level—Safety need>See Bottom level. Cats will keep you safe. Unless we’re sleeping, then we don’t care. Anyone who dares to wake us will NEED safety because we will destroy you and everything around you. We may do that anyway. Just saying!

Next-up Level—Belongingness is easy. You belong to us. Done.

There is no level for self-esteem. You don’t need self-esteem if you live with a cat. It will just get in your way when we start dominating you. Why complicate things?

The top level is Feline Realization instead of Self-Actualization. Once you realize that WE are in charge and that you cannot live without cats, then your life is complete.

You do not need books, or theories, or research to be happy. You need cats. Cats alone can make you happy! Oh, and if you really want to keep a dumb pest-hound dog you can. Someone’s gotta lick the floor clean, I’m not gonna do it!

Now go away, all this talk of snacks and naps has me hungry!
LuLu the Calico Cat