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!

The secret to life is keeping me happy

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

Dear Ethan,

Since I’m not supposed to start with “the dog is an idiot” anymore (even though it’s true!) I will start with this: don’t get your life advice from a dumb dog who, by the way, happens to be an idiot. Hah!

Life is not–no disrespect to your mom–a game of Tetris. It is not about fitting together the happy and sad so that you concentrate more on the happy. Sheesh! She has GOT to stop watching television, it’s increasing her dumbness!

Life is about fish and naps and having more yarn than the other cats. No one cares about happy or sad because there is no sad when you have fish. DUH.

The problem is that your family has what some call “special needs” and you know a lot of families with “special needs” so you hear more bad stuff than good stuff. You hear a lot about people dying or going to the doctor or being unhappy. But you have to ignore all of that.

Bad stuff, heck, bad DAYS are gonna happen if you’re a human. You do it to yourselves really. You worry about bills and events and automobiles. WHY???


Do you know what an automobile is? It’s a death trap. Seriously. It either runs over us cats or it takes us to the vets. That thing they stick inside your tush when you’re at the vet is NOT a bubble wand! And they put needles in you. Yikes! Needles are bad, automobiles are bad, and….

Wait. Automobiles are how your mom gets to the store to buy my treats. She also uses one to buy seafood, and I love all the seafood I see! She also buys my cat litter using her automobile. A clean litterbox is VERY important for ALL of us. Seriously.

Okay, automobiles aren’t so bad, but they aren’t so good either. And comparing your automobile to someone else’s won’t make you happy, it will only upset you. Humans should be happy for any automobile they have because then they have a way to buy fresh fish and clean cat litter.

THAT is what life is about–keeping your cat happy.

Our happiness should be your happiness, because if we are unhappy we will make sure that you’re unhappy too. Usually at 3a.m., so watch it.

Since I am not supposed to start letters with a certain phrase anymore, I can end it that way. The dog is an idiot.

Whatever,
LuLu