Your mom deals ‘nip

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

Dear Ethan,

WOW. Just WOW. Your dumb dog thinks that a kid in your 5th grade class got busted because he was smoking grass. The problem is that the big dummy thinks that means grass like what’s on the lawn.

Do you want to tell the dog what’s really going on or should I?

You’d better hope your dog never runs away from the house. If she gets lost, some alley cat is gonna feed her to the lions at the zoo. And she’s so stupid, she’ll walk into the cage!

A lot of kids your age try drugs at some point. Sometimes they try them on purpose because they want to get high. Sometimes they get pressured into it.

Clearly, these kids do not have cats or they would be pressure-trained already. It’s our job as cats to pressure you, but we just want you to open a can of tuna. Geez!

I’m not worried about you spending your money on drugs. You spend wayyyy too much money on Pokemon cards and manga. I’m a little upset that you don’t spend more money on me.

That reminds me, I should throw up in your shoes later.

I know your mom and dad were trying to help you by talking to you about drugs and how they are dangerous and stuff, but they really just told you a bunch of lies. At least, that’s what it sounded like. I feel asleep, ‘cuz it mostly just sounded like blah-blah-awkward-blah.

They said that you had to be in charge of you and that cool kids ignore what everyone else is doing. Lame-o!

It’s easy for adult humans to tell kids to walk away or to call home and ask for help. Those adults aren’t around when someone offers up a joint or something (or the person wouldn’t offer you drugs, DUH). With everybody staring at you and acting like you’re a loser if you DON’T try stuff, well, it’s a lot harder to resist.

Just remember that if you do drugs you’ll smell funny, kind of like the kid next door who always smells like skunk. Trust me, it isn’t skunk. Of course, that kid also has the IQ of a dog. Well, maybe he’s not THAT bad, but he doesn’t like books.

How can you not like books? You can read them, sleep on them, and even squish the pages under your butt to get more comfortable. Plus you can chew the corners when you need a little crunchy-munchy. What’s not to like?

Books are like a good drug. You get addicted to a good story and you ignore everything else until you get to the last page. If it’s a book about Garfield or why cats are superior, then it’s also educational, entertaining, and amazing!

Anyways, if you take drugs, you’ll start seeing floating flowers and junk like in that weird cop movie. Ben Stiller saw birds around Owen Wilson’s head, hilarious! Plus, you won’t have enough money left to buy treats for me, and THAT is totally unacceptable.

Do I do drugs? Sure, I try a little catnip now and then, but I don’t have problem. And technically, your mom is my dealer since she’s the one who buys it.

Come to think of it, your mom’s a Hippocratic! Or hippogriff? Or hip-to-be square? I don’t know, I just know she’s a hippy-something. She tells you not to “do” drugs, but she buys catnip for Trixie and me! Double-talk much?

When we try the ‘nip we get all racey-clawy-wall-climby. It’s like we can’t zoom fast enough! But afterwards we sleep. We sleep a LOT. One time I even missed dinner!

YOU definitely can’t handle catnip or any other drugs. Remember how you were spinning and threw up after you ate that doughnut burger and the cotton candy and had soda at the state fair? If you can’t handle a little sugar, you REALLY can’t handle the strong stuff, like catnip.

So, don’t do drugs because you’ll miss meals, smell like a skunk, and have no cash to buy me gifts. If that happens, I will have to swipe you. Problem solved.



Humans just don’t understand!

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

Dear Olivia,

Why can’t I bite the landscapers? I don’t like them AT ALL.

They took my favorite tree. They said it was dead, but it was still useful! I could use it to scratch my back and the squirrels would jump from branch to branch. Okay, so maybe it WAS about to fall on the house, but they still could have left it!

Now I’m mad. Just plain mad. And I don’t get mad much, so there.

You humans do NOT understand anything about nature. I heard that some kid in your class got in trouble because he brought grass to school! Grass is good!

You can roll on it when you want to wiggle, you can eat it when your tummy feels sick, you can pee on it. It’s like outdoor carpet with munchy crunchy bugs for snack time!

Clearly the adults got something wrong because they said the kid “rolled” grass. You don’t ROLL it, you roll IN it!

Then your mom said this kid was SMOKING grass. That doesn’t even make any sense! If you burn it, how are you gonna chew it later? Did he think he was supposed to cook it first?

Sometimes I think humans don’t deserve nature. You never bark at anything, you don’t chase butterflies when they land on your nose, and you never sniff anyone’s butt (which is the only polite thing to do when you first meet someone!)

You humans really don’t know much about how the world works at all, do you? You just….wait.

LuLu cat said grass is another name for pot. That doesn’t make any sense either, unless the student maybe lit a fire under the pot?

I know that everyone says I’m a dim bulb, but I’m really starting to believe that you humans are the ones who need some brain dumb help.

I love you anyway. I might not be able to help you with your homework, but I can help you eat your sandwich later.



Life & death are Tetris

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

Dear Olivia,

Today’s letter is kind of a happy/sad thing. I’m sorry to still have sad stuff, but your mom says that life is like Tetris where you have to pack good and bad together, and that if you stack the blocks the right way you can break the bad memories into small pieces so that only the good blocks stand out. I hope she’s right.

As you probably noticed (how could you miss it?!!!) your big sister is very weepy tonight because her friend died. It’s kind of hard to understand, isn’t it? It’s weird when someone super young drops dead. It doesn’t seem to make sense to go to sleep and not wake up.

But it does happen. That’s part of being a “special needs” family. Some days are scary, some days fun, some are ordinary, and others are weird and make you feel like you have it easy compared to someone else. That’s just the way it is I guess.

I guess it might also make you scared to go to sleep. That’s okay though, because I will lick you awake if there are any issues. I’ve noticed that when I lick your mom’s teeth, she wakes up right away. She also screams. I’m not sure why. But anyway, I’ll lick you on your mouth if you start to get sick or something and then you can get your mom and dad to help.

Why are the needs “special”? Doesn’t everyone have needs that are important? I think they do. Maybe they just don’t say it. Your mom says that everyone would have a diagnosis if we look close enough, but we don’t look if there’s no need. Your family is DEFINITELY special. You put sprinkles on your mashed potatoes!

Sprinkles on mashed potatoes are weird! But it makes everyone laugh to see the sprinkles on top because they remember the time your dad accidentally used vanilla soy milk instead of plain and the mashed potatoes tasted sweet and yucky. That’s a happy block for your life Tetris!

I guess that’s all I want to say today. I know it’s scary and sad and can even make you angry when a friend dies, because that is a big cluster of sad blocks. But if you surround that cluster with happy blocks, then they can break up the sad blocks and soon you will be able to concentrate more on the happy.

I wuff you!


Even cats ask for (demand) help!

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

Dear Ethan,

Your poor dumb dog Jamie is trying to understand stigmas and mental illness. Sigh…I think we should get your dog earmuffs as she keeps hearing about stuff she doesn’t understand.

I NEED to nap; I do NOT have all day to answer her dumb questions!!!

I tried to explain it to her: stigma is like a stereotype of a reputation. It’s usually the way someone thinks about someone else when they don’t have all the information.

Like, cats are stigmatized because everyone assumes we are lazy since we like to sleep. What non-felines don’t understand is that even when we are sleeping, our minds are plotting against you active and awake. Duh.

People who have a mental illness deal with the same kind of stigma (well, I guess it’s worse because no one gives them any fish). Basically, they get a bad reputation.

It’s because other people don’t understand them or they get afraid. It’s stupid, really.

Humans are meaner to other humans, even meaner than they are to animals.

Do I make fun of you just because you have to wear glasses? Nope. The glasses help you tell which food is mine and which food is the dog’s food. That is VERY important.

Do I make fun of your mom just because she is deaf in one ear? Heck no! She may have to ask somebody to repeat something, but she makes a point to show that she considers the other person important. She doesn’t just ignore that somebody said something (although she would be happier if she did!)

If someone needs medication or one of those therapist-people, then so what??? It takes a lot of fur to ask for help. More humans should respect that.

Do I hesitate to ask for your mom to work the can opener and get that tuna can open? No, I do not! I swipe at her to get her to hurry up! And if a human has a breakdown or needs a little extra something-something to do what needs to be done, then other humans should encourage them and help them to keep going. That’s how it should be.

This whole stigma-thing is a scam to make humans hate each other. Don’t you believe it! Don’t go with the stigma-hate thing. Stick with the adore-cats-as-gods thing instead, and we’ll all be much happier!

Tuna out!

What’s a stigma?

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

Dear Olivia,

I guess today’s letter is kind of serious. I’m sorry. I want to help you wag your tail at lunchtime, but you’re the only one who gets my letters, and I need answers. It takes a long time to type with my paws!

What’s a stigma? Your mom talked about how some people are mean and are “stigmatizing” people, but it doesn’t sound like a good word. She said some humans face a “stigma” because they have a mental illness. Does that make sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to me!

Your mom said that sometimes humans get bullied or neglected and have a hard time making friends because they have depression or schizophrenia, but that’s just dumb. It’s an illness, right? If it’s an illness, you should help them!

When you are sick you stay home from school (which I love!) Your mom fixes soup and crackers for you (which is great when you spill it!), and you get extra cuddles. Cuddles are always good! So, if someone’s mental is sick, shouldn’t they get soup and cuddles too?

LuLu Cat says it isn’t that simple, but I’m not so sure. Do you think that (no offense since you’re a human, but…) humans sometimes make things difficult? If dogs are sick, sometimes they go away from their packs to keep them safe. But no one teases them or calls them useless.

Sometimes if a family dog is sick, some dogs will stay nearby and protect them. It just depends on how the pack is established. But the thing is, us dogs understand that sometimes somebody gets sick. It’s part of nature. Should a mental sickness really be different?

When your mom is sick, like when she got that stomach flu stuff, that little yappy twerp Felix stayed by her and growled if anyone got near her.  She told Felix “thank you” and everything! Felix is a loud, hyper little fuzzball, but he is also a good protector. Maybe more humans need fuzzball protectors to help them get better too. Maybe feeling safe is part of feeling better!

It all goes back to what I told you a few weeks ago. The only way to be truly happy is to get a dog.

Usually, I think that I am confused, but the more I type, the more I think humans are the ones who are confused. If we all protect each other, this stigma-thing wouldn’t be an issue!

Just my two dog biscuits! Wuff you!

Not all dogs are bad!

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

Dear Olivia,

Why do some people say dogs are bad?  I know sometimes we can get upset. We have feelings like everyone else. But not all dogs are bad. When someone says a dog “turns on you,” it seems like a silly complaint. You have to turn around to sit down!

Oh, Babbie says that “turning on someone” means something not nice. Sorry. No one ever explains this stuff until after I’ve typed it.

See, someone on the news said the dog “turned on its owner” and that the owner got hurt. But maybe there was just some kind of confusion?

Remember the other day when you accidentally stepped on my tail when I was sleeping? I growled for a second ‘cuz I was half asleep. Once I got all wakey-wakey I was okay. I even apologized to you and let you pet me! I was just sleepy-scaredy-confused. It happens to everyone!

I don’t think dogs are really bad. I bet they’re just scared sometimes. Not every dog can type, and humans never seem to understand when we talk, so stuff gets misunderstood. A lot.

I think that happens with humans too, am I right? Maybe sometimes instead of saying that you’re scared or upset, you get snappy.

It sounded like you were going to bite your brother’s face off yesterday, all ‘cuz he got better grades than you on a test. But he was studying all weekend, while you went to a slumber party. Maybe it’s a trade-off kind of thing?

I don’t think most dogs or most people are bad. I think they just need to be understood. Or maybe they’re scared because someone understands them and knows that they’re scared, if that makes sense. It makes sense to me at least.

Just for the record, I am a GOOD dog, and if I ever snap at you, it’s just because you woke me up. I love you!


Productive bodily function production

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

Dear Ethan,

The dog is an idiot. You’re welcome. That stupid pest-hound told your sister that it’s okay to pee on everything in existence. Ummmmm, NO! That is NOT how this works!

Yes, peeing is normal, but it should not be done in public or even randomly!

Look at me. I use a nice, clean litterbox. That litterbox is inside a nice, clean wood litter box house. That allows me to do my business yet not be harassed by dogs, humans, or other ridiculous creatures.

I NEVER go outside of the litterbox (except for that one time I had an infection, but that is wayyyy too embarrassing to discuss right now and the vet fixed it anyway, so who cares?)

The point is that urination designation must have an element of pride. One cannot just squat anywhere, one must have a specific spot that is pristine and somewhat secluded. After all, you wouldn’t want just anyone happening upon you while you are in a prone position, would you?

Urination, defecation, and regurgitation deliberation are the keys to a happy life. Well, that and fish; lots of fish.

We cats learned long ago that our body waste has power. Well, it’s not waste so much as purified putrid product that is an expression of your love for us. It shows if you feed us well. That will be revealed via our stool and, depending on placement of said excrement, we are okay with that.

If it is inside of the litterbox then, well, you are welcome. We cats have allowed you the privilege of daily cleaning of our litterbox. If it is outside of our litterbox then SHAME ON YOU. If it is outside of the litterbox then you are not keeping our box clean or we have an illness. Either way, it’s your fault. You’re the human. Your job is to serve us cats and keep us healthy and happy.

As a cat owner you are automatically a member of the Feline Fanatics Club. Membership includes cuddling us (only when we allow it), feeding us (and it better be the good food!), and adoring us (always). Plus you must give us fresh, clean water and clean our litter. Would you use a messy toilet? No! So why would you want your cat to use one?

We cats express ourselves through yowls, howls, and bowels. Sometimes it is through our elimination, but sometimes it is via directed regurgitation. All bodily expectoration are, in essence, communication. (Will you listen to that fabulous wording? I really need to write more feline poetry!)

Writing these letters to you is art. Scratching a human is an art. Throwing up a hairball is an art. All physical feline expressions are calculated; all serve our own feline-centric purpose.

You puke up a glutinous glob in your dad’s favorite dress shoes, the ones hidden at the back of the closet, and I PROMISE you will get his attention. Urinate on the new rug you hate and they will get rid of it, guaranteed!

All production of bodily function can be productive if you know what you are doing. Bodily functions are normal so you might as well enjoy them!

Certain showers can be fun!

Grumbling is smiling for some!

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

Dear Ethan,

What simpleton let that dog get into the coffee? The pest-hound was running around for hours the other day! She nipped, yipped, and flopped at us cats as if were common house pets! Then your mom came home and realized Jamie had eaten a bunch of coffee grounds and she carried that stupid pest to the vet’s office!

Apparently, the veterinarian made Jamie vomit a bunch. I wish I had seen THAT! Did you know that coffee can kill a dog? I might have to give Jamie some, just to check. If it’s a science experiment, then it’s legal, right???

Jamie said that she had solved the issues with riots and protesters by announcing a grand plan to force everyone to sit down at what she called a “coffee summit.”

This is proof that your dumb dog is just that, a dumb dog. This coffee stuff almost killed her and now she want to share the poison with everybody to “make them happy.” Sounds kind of twisted to me!

Fixing world issues is not as simple as coffee. As I have mentioned before it requires fish, but even fish will not be enough with some humans.

Some humans are out getting loud because no one listened to them when they were quiet, so they don’t know what else to do. Coffee definitely won’t be better than being heard (especially if it’s toxic), so it’s not gonna help much.

Other humans aren’t fighting for anything, they’re just miserable people who just want to fight or stay miserable. They’re out there you know.

That’s probably hard for a baby-human-kitten like yourself to understand, but there are weirdos who are only happy when they’re unhappy. Kind of like those bullies you had to deal with, am I right? They only felt good when someone else felt bad. That’s kind of messed up.

Here’s the deal kiddo. Don’t run away with this or anything, but I might, on RARE occasions care about you. Before you get excited, if it’s between you and a case of fresh fish, you’re history, but if I don’t have to choose I would let you stay and watch me eat.

(You can’t have any of the fish, so don’t take this too far…actually, now I’m wanting fish, so I had better wrap this up.)

The whisker I’m trying to curl here is that YOU have to be YOU, and if someone else tries to make you feel that you are less than what you are because they’re a miserable twerp, just hiss loudly and then swipe ‘em and walk away.

Sure, you might get some strange looks, but nobody messes with a cat more than once. At least not if they want to sleep with their eyes closed!

You’re welcome, baby kitten, you’re welcome!

Dogs can’t have coffee, but they want to!

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


I WAS GOING THROUGH THE TRASH. You know the trash right? I don’t mean that you KNOW the trash. It’s not like you’ve been introduced or anything. But I mean that you know what I mean when I mention trash, right?

So anyway I was smelling all the wonderful smells and chewing on a paper towel when I started chomping on that WONDERFUL stuff your mom calls COFFEE! COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE I LOVE COFFEE!

I don’t know why your mom puts it in the coffee pot ‘cause the old wet coffee grains were FANTASTIC!

The coffee filter was like an amazing chewy cookie! No cup required!

I LOVE COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The VET, however, did NOT want me to have coffee, so I had to go in and she gave me yucky stuff that made me vomit. It was NOT as much fun as eating the trash.

By the way, what does “toxic” mean? Sounds like a human code for don’t-share-with-the-dog.

So, like, the whole world peace thingy would go faster if everyone drank coffee! Coffee, coffee, coffee! Your human juice makes me happy (well, it did, for a minute, before your mom freaked out), and it would make everyone happy, and we could all be happy together!

The next big gathering when everyone is arguing and getting all cranky, just bring out the coffee! The smell rivers up through your nose and flows to your brain and then you start to smile. Then you swallow some and KAPOW! Happiness!

If all the humans sat down and shared some really, really, good coffee, then everyone would get along forever (or until the coffee runs out!)

I have to go run around in circles now. I can’t wait to get some more of this stuff. Your mom says it’s not going to happen, but there has to be a way. She’s going to slip up and throw out coffee grounds again one of these days, and I’m gonna eat it just like I ate your dad’s underwear. I’m going through the garbage every hour of every day for the rest of my life!


Your favorite Jamie,


OH—The letter’s from me. Jamie. The dog. The cute young one, not the old grumpy one. The one you like who talks. Gotta run!

The first ever dog poem!

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

Dear Olivia,

          Your mom has started reading a lot of poetry lately. She says it helps her refocus when people get mean to each other. She says that a lot of people have been angry and that they yell a lot because the world is going through growing pains. I’m not sure what that means, but I know that I love you and your family.

Now that I can type I thought that I would help cheer you up, so here is a special poem. It might even be the first poem written by a dog! That means extra treats tonight, right???

Windy Days

I love the feel of windy days,

Mother Nature is playing with me.

She throws extra branches for me to fetch

And laughs by moving the leaves.

She pushes me forward

So I bark right back

As we run along the hill.

I feel that I just might fly away

And that gives me a bit of a thrill.

The wind briskly reminds us

We’re all joined together–

The planet, the wind, and the sun.

So I’m thankful when the wind comes to play.

Windy weather can be so much fun!

          Of course, LuLu hates windy days, so that’s another plus, but why ruin my poem by mentioning her? I hope it’s windy again today. Yesterday was great! I love the feel of my ears flapping in the breeze.

See ya after school!