New diet=Chicken stealing!

A dog sniffing a laptop and trying to type.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

YES I stole the chicken off the table! NO I don’t care (too much!)

I didn’t like getting yelled at, and I didn’t like when they took it away before I could munch it all.

BUT SERIOUSLY???!!!

Your mom THREW IT AWAY!!! All that beautiful bones and gristle, GONE!

If she wasn’t gonna eat it, why couldn’t I have it? I didn’t mind the carpet threads and a little dirt—it’s just more chewy that way!

I don’t like this new diet thing! I want more food! Why doe we have to diet? Why does it have the word die in it? That doesn’t seem like a good thing!

YOU don’t have to diet! I saw you get your regular lunch!!! I want regular lunch!!!

I like the rice and the lamb and stuff, but the green beans and sweet potatoes are weird. Could you cook them in bacon? Everything’s better when it is cooked in bacon, right?

There should be a LOT more meat! The cats get LOTS of meat, but we don’t! WHY?

What is this “balance” your mom keeps talking about, and who cares??? If it doesn’t have meat, it doesn’t matter!

So I’m a little gassy and my butt squeaks! Everyone’s butt squeaks, mine just squeaks a bit more! The old food was FINE!!!

Maybe we should try a new vet! The old one could be jealous or something! No one ever takes her for a walk, and all she does is give shots. She never gets to play with the dogs who come in; she just touches us in weird places and talks to our peoples. No wonder she’s miserable!

So YES I am going to start hunting whatever dinner is on the table! If the cats get to be jerks, so do I!

I WANT MORE MEAT.

But I don’t want you to be mad! Why couldn’t I have some of your dinner? Why can’t I beg at the table? How am I supposed to get more food???

I don’t think this diet thing is good AT ALL. I’m starting to sound mean like the cats! HELP!!!

Jamie Spaniel

My diet=Your doom!

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

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Your parents are giving me a headache.

Cats do not like certain things.

We do not like pest-hounds. We do not like having our sleep disturbed. And we definitely, DEFINITELY, do not like when you humans change our food!

WHO DO YOU PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE??? You do not own US. We own YOU. We did NOT approve of this absurd challenge to our purrfect routine!

What is this “new” diet garbage all about? So what if the vet thinks I’m a little chubby! She’s just jealous because she can’t pull off the same look! If she has a spread around her middle then someone is going to say something, but me??? It just proves that I can take care of myself!

I. AM. GORGEOUS.

You human-people are obsessed with weight! You have diet pills and diet foods and diet commercials. Every single minute of the day those so-called experts contradict themselves by saying “eat this” and “don’t eat that” right after someone else says only to do the opposite! You human-idiots cannot make up your minds on what is healthy and what isn’t!

And NOW you are attempting to enforce your questionable standards on me, a cat!

Let me explain this one time and one time only: I eat what I want, WHEN I want.

If you do not feed me as I demand I will yowl until you do. You will NEVER sleep again. I promise you!

Your shoes, your bedspreads, and anything white will not be safe. I can produce hairballs on an empty stomach, so do not think I will hesitate to urp or claw you until I get the treats and foods I require for my happiness.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!
LuLu—a.k.a. your diet doom-Cat

Is this a poop cult?

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

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Your parents spend way too much time taking care of the pest-hounds. It has to stop!

I have ignored this bizarre “walking” routine (although if your parents try to put ME on a leash I will claw their eyes out!). I have ignored the baby talk and ridiculous need to take pictures of the dogs who are nowhere near as gorgeous as I am, BUT…

WHAT IS THEIR OBSESSION WITH DOG POOP?????

Your parents are preoccupied with poop!!!

They walk with the dogs and stand by when they poop (EWWWWW). Your mom gets excited when those stupid fluff balls walk in circles and WORSE! She tells them that they’re being good!

Your parents talk about the dogs’ poop (Did they or didn’t they? Did it look okay? How is the new food affecting them?)

Enquiring minds DO NOT want to know!

Your parents just have this skeezy, ooky-urpy-fested need to be all up in the doggy-doo bidness!

 I have tried to ignore your parents’ fanatical addiction to those dumb dogs, but this is going too far! The other day I looked out of the window and saw your parents walking the dogs back to the house with bags of dog poop in their hands!!!

Your parents are preserving the dogs’ poop in those little baggies. Doesn’t that concern you at all??? Where the heck are they storing all of those bags of dog poop and WHAT are they planning to use it for?

Then, as if the nightmare wasn’t already coming true, I caught your parents taking MY poop out of the litter box! The more I thought about it the more I realized that every time I pee or poop, it all disappears!

What is happening in this house??? What have you and your parents gotten me in to??? This has to stop! I am disgusted! I am appalled! I am sickened!!!
GET. THEM. HELP. NOW.

Oh, and bring me tuna.

In horror and disgust,
LuLu Cat

Be happy with what you’ve got!

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

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

I am insulted, aggrieved, enraged, and irritated!

Firstly, I found out that those ridiculous dog-pests had the nerve to write a letter while I was napping! Then I found out that the stupid spaniel gave you yet another bit of so-called dog-wisdom. THERE IS NO SUCH THING!

Dogs are not wise, they are supercilious sycophants who will follow anyone who offers luncheon meat! If you read through that ridiculous dog-letter you will notice that your dog thinks that going through life in a canine-fashion brings happiness. It’s a plot!

Dogs look and sound innocent, but they’re secretly trying to make all humans act more like dogs. Think about it: by making humans copy dogs you’ll become mindless, butt-sniffing drones who follow anyone with a piece of chicken.

First, they’ll take over your minds, then they’ll take over your groceries and your furniture! Conniving canines cannot be trusted!!!

Let me give you the TRUE way to have happiness: there is none. Happiness is a worthless pursuit for you humans because you refuse to be happy.

The dumb dog is (sort of) right about one thing: you human-people are never satisfied. You always look for something better. You get a package, open it, show your prize off to your friends, and then start looking for something new!

How can you ever be happy when you don’t try to enjoy what you have?

Now look at me!

I wake up early, yowl in your dad’s face and bite at him until he opens his eyes, then I show him my butt. Instead of being offended he cuddles me (not too horrible) and then fetches my breakfast before he even gets his coffee! Then, while your parents eat breakfast, I jump up on the table and yowl again until they pet me. I even paw some food sometimes!

Both of your silly parents (poor things!) talk about how they shouldn’t let me on their table, but then they start petting me and forget what they just said. They often start talking about how beautiful I am–and they’re right!

Every. Single. Morning. SUCKERS!

After breakfast someone cleans my litterbox (as they should!) and I watch them until they finish. Then I use it again, just to see them roll their eyes and sigh. It’s kind of funny!  

I then proudly walk away to take the first of several naps. From time to time, I wake up and walk across their keyboards while they’re teaching. Their students LOVE me! Your parents will try to move me off camera because they are jealous that their students would rather see me than learn about some stupid math or psychology junk!

Later during the day I remind your mom and dad to give me treats every few hours, and, when I am ready, I demand dinner. Occasionally I allow them to cuddle me after, but only when I choose to let them do it.

You see, happiness is not about getting MORE or NEW. It is about enjoying what you already you have.

If you don’t like what you have now, you’re never gonna be happy no matter what you get later.

Ignore the dogs. Don’t roll in the grass or sniff others’ butts, or any of the gross stuff that those dumb dogs do. Wake up, realize what you have, make people work to please you, take an extra nap once in a while, and just enjoy!

Life is only hard because humans make it so; don’t be stupid and look for the “next best” thing. Work with what you’ve got, like I do! You can have goals but still be happy with where you are.

Do I want more catnip mice and more Temptations each day? Of course, I do! But I also purr because some moments are right just the way they are.

Sometimes you just have to be thrilled that the sun shines through the window on your napping spot. What else do you need to be happy???

Look at THAT! I’ve sent you TWO nice letters in just a few weeks! You’re welcome!
I’m still biting you later!
LuLu the Magnificent Calico Cat

For happiness, be like me!

A dog sniffing a laptop and trying to type.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

I sure hope you get this letter!

Someone changed the password on your mom’s laptop right after the eight cases of tuna cans showed up, so it’s been hard for me to get a chance to write. Fortunately your uncle called so your mom stepped away and left it open for me.

Apparently your mom & dad thought they’d been “hacked” or something so they changed all their passwords. I thought they knew it was LuLu–she’s always hacking something up! But your mom still works on her laptop when LuLu is around, so I don’t think she gets what happened. She’ll figure it out when they get the box of cat toys next week! I hope you like lasers & robot mice!

I noticed your mom and dad are looking up “healthy eating”, “mindfulness”, and other junk meant to make humans happy. WHY?  

Happiness is about petting dogs, rolling on the grass, and sitting in the sunshine. I think you people make it too complicated.

Everyone thinks I’m dumb, but I’m not! Dogs are all very smart, even us dumb ones!

We’re happy when you rub our bellies, we’re happy when you give us treats, we’re happy when you tell us we’re pretty, and we’re happy just to sit with you and look at your eyes.

You humans have to have cars, video games, and stuff, stuff, and more stuff! You’re so busy getting new stuff that you never even take the time to break in the old stuff! How can you possibly be happy going from one thing to the next thing without first settling in and getting some chewiness in with what’s around you?

Okay, YES, I seem excited when you bring me new toys, but my old chew bone is my favorite! It reminds me of home, and home is YOU. So long as I have YOU, I’m always going to be happy!

Maybe it’s time to stop reading books and listening to “podcats” thingys. Be like me instead! You won’t regret it!

I love you both and hope you will come home soon. This belly won’t rub itself!
Jamie the Spaniel
PS Be careful, LuLu was looking up how to fill a syringe with cyanide & peanut butter. That can’t be good!

Sitters & vomitrocious meals begone!

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

Dear redunculous human children!

How DARE your parents go out of town and leave that hideous beast you call a “sitter” with us?

That human is obnoxious, malicious, and other -iciousy words that I will use as soon as I look them up!

First, this bizarre creature who wears the equivalent of a floral shower curtain and has pink sponges in her hair sits on MY couch all day. Worse—she lets the pest-hounds jump up on the couch to “cuddle with momma”!

Blech! I just had a hairball in my mouth!

Firstly, she is certainly NOT their momma!

Although, to be fair, I have heard that humans sometimes call each other a b- word that means female dog. Maybe she’s calling herself one of those?

Secondly, she baby-talks the dogs AND us cats!!! Are you KIDDING me? Does this horrific human not understand that cats are superior beings that dominate the lowly humans assigned to serve them?

My vocabulary is better than YOURS, is it MY fault that you never got a proper education and learned to speak cat?

Most importantly, she has not cooked fish ONCE this week! How am I supposed to survive off of just my regular cat food and a few treats here and there? She made a “healthy” dinner salad and some sort of tofu-thingy. Tofu is some sort of bean nonsense! AS IF ANY OF THAT IS HEALTHY!

THAT vomitrocious-meal is rabbit food on a fancy plate. Come to think of it, you used to feed stuff like that to your hamster Huey. I do NOT eat rodent food—I eat rodents!

I had originally planned to give you more of my incredible wisdom today, but I am too furious to bless you the wondrousness that is the I that I am when I am myself.

I should warn you that this insult to my cathood will not be taken lightly.

Prepare to be humiliated and destroyed like a cheaply made catnip toy.

You, your parents, and their knick-knacks will regret this!!!

GET. ME. FISH. NOW!

Kindly yours,

LuLu Cat

Take life by the claws!

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

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

I, LuLu, the world’s most supreme calico cat, have decided that I will take over all letter-writing from this day forward, unless my nap time gets in the way. Perhaps, on rare occasions, I will allow the pest-hounds to type some brief missive. Perhaps.

It occurred to me that the house-hounds were using the lunchbox letters to pass on wishy-washy canine philosophies like “love one another” and “sniffing butts makes fast friends.” Worse, sometimes your parents, who have clearly been brainwashed by those hellish fiends they call “pets”, say similar things!

The other day, when your big sister said something stupid (claiming she didn’t “want” tuna for dinner—NOT possible!) instead of nipping at her or clawing her your mom took a deep breath and talked to her calmy. RIDICULOUS!

When a kitten acts out or is obnoxious you give it a nip and a swipe. THAT’S how you teach a kitten manners! Obviously your parents have given the dogs have wayyyyy too much control in this house, MY house. This must end.

So, for today, I am going to gift you human-kittens with some of my wonderful knowledge.

The world is a difficult place. It is scary and can be challenging, even for the best of us.

Some fools will want you to nap less and work more, but you will have your whole lives to work! You will have less time to nap, so nap as if your happiness depends on it, because it does!

They will tell you to stop eating when you feel full, when it is much easier to eat as much as you want, throw it up, and then eat more! There may not be food on the morrow, or (even worse!), the veterinarian may want you to eat more “healthy” food (blech!) You should munch on those extra giblets while you can!

The trick to enjoying life is to ENJOY it! Stop worrying about what others say or if you fit in. Fitting in means you go along with what all the other cats want, not what you want. PUH-LEASE! You’ll never find your purr that way!

You be the best cat human-kitten you can be and nap, eat, and chase a laser once in a while! If a crunchy bug crosses your path, play with it for a while and then eat it. That’s how you enjoy every moment!

Cats have nine lives, but you silly humans only get one, so you don’t want to be miserable!

Lick those paws and get out there! Swipe it, gripe it, or bite it; so long as you show that YOU are the only one in control of YOU then you will find your life filled with more catnip and crunch treats than you ever thought possible!

Your new mental Professor-Cat-Guru,

LuLu Cat

Focus on the right things!

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

Dear Ethan,

I know that my letters are supposed to help you eat your lunch and be happy, but I also know that you must be sad today.

I kind of feel like I need to talk to you about it.

Cats like myself are very wise, and often humans don’t listen. I hope you do.

I am sorry that your cousin died from this virus-thingy. It makes your mom and dad kind of quiet and thoughtful. I like the quiet part.

It also makes them cry because she was their age and because there were so many other people that are sad now because they loved her. It disturbs my napping, which is NOT okay!

You humans are so focused on what your mom calls the tragedy that you’re looking at the wrong thing.

Your cousin was a rare human, one I actually liked.

Everyone is talking about the virus that took her, but that’s stupid. They should talk about HER instead!

She had long hair, perfect for catching your claws in, and she had a smile that made other people smile, even when they were hurting.

For a human she was pretty decent, being a nurse and all. She saved a lot of lives just by saving their spirits.

Normally I don’t approve of humans, but she was a good one.

She tried really hard to help lost pets find their homes. Okay, most of them were dumb dogs, but no one is perfect.

Plus, who wants a pack of stupid dogs running loose in the neighborhood? Not me!

Come to think of it, she was super smart. I bet she helped lost dogs get home so that they couldn’t make more dogs and annoy us cats. That would make a lot of sense!

She was almost (almost!) as noble as us cats.

Sure, she did a lot of nursey-stuff, cared for babies, blah-blah-blah, but the most important thing is that she made people smile all the time, even when she didn’t feel like smiling for herself. It was kind of creepy in a good way.

Seriously, what kind of human has so much happy in them that they can just give it to others?

And after sharing smiles all day she volunteered helping lost pets to find their homes.

That makes her some kind of a hero, am I right?

You’re gonna be sad because she died of this covert-thing. I get it! But it would really help if everyone stopped talking about the covert and started talking about her instead.

It hurts for me to be nice about a human because, well, she’s human, but she was almost as awesome as a cat. Almost!

You were lucky to know her, even just for a few minutes. And if anyone would want you to smile, it would be her!

PS I’m still swiping you later, I’m done being nice for the day!
LuLu Cat

This is MY house!

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

Dear Ethan,

I. HATE. PEOPLE. They’re too…people-y.

Who gave your parents permission to have all of those imbeciles in MY house???

Do NOT give me this garbage about them being your aunts and uncles, blah, blah, blah! Who cares?

It is MY tail that got stepped on, and MY naps that got disturbed, and MY furniture they were grossing-up with their hideous human scent! Your uncles are noxious gas-factories whose farts make the paint peel off the walls and they were on MY couch!


LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR:

YOUR HOUSE IS NOT YOUR HOUSE. IT BELONGS TO ME.

I LET you live here! I LET you pretend that you and your parents are in charge, but I am only pretending.

When I stretch out my claws, everyone backs away. As they should!

Who do you think you are, inviting MORE people over? I do not care that there was a wedding, I do not care that everyone wanted to “visit!”

I DO care that my dinner was LATE! LATE!!!!!


I was going to share some of my freshly caught vole with you, but now I am going to keep it all for myself! Take THAT baby kitten!


I will be scratching you soon. You have been warned!


Bring me an offering of fish and I might let you and your curtains live. We’ll see!
LuLu Cat

(The one in charge of this dump!)

REAL family loves your smells!

A dog sniffing a laptop and trying to type.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Olivia,

I can’t decide if I’m happy or sad today. It was very exciting having your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins come to visit, but it was kind of exhausting too.

How come family makes everyone mad, sad, and glad all at once?

Your mom said she was happy to see them, but she looked happy when they left too! How does that make any sense?

Before your crazy-loud relatives got here, your mom and dad were running around like cats who fell in a full bathtub! They were cleaning stuff and fixing switches—ALL of my favorite smells are gone!

Your mom cooked a lot more than usual (that part was nice!), but she didn’t drop food for me like she usually does. I didn’t like that part at all!

She washed every blanket and every cushion and then made me stay off of them. I like clean stuff too!!!

I’d take out all my toys to play with them, and she would pick them up and put them in a basket. What gives???

Then, before everybody arrived, she ran into the bathroom, put that silly paint stuff on her face, and changed into a fancy dress. She looked a lot less comfortable than she did in her yoga pants!

Shouldn’t family love you the way you are? Shouldn’t your smells and your toys and your treats be important to them? Shouldn’t they understand that you need some room on the couch?

Is it any wonder I got a little gassy when I got a little excited with everyone here? They acted like my farts smelled bad, but, for the record, your aunt’s perfume smelled like someone rolled a skunk in roses! I know my smells, and that perfume she kept spraying had skunk in it for sure!

It was nice to get extra belly rubs and more people to play with, but it was wrong to pretend the house is always clean. It’s never clean, and I like it that way!

Now that they’re gone, will you please drop some food for me?
Love from your REAL family,
Jamie