Dear Aunty Social: Feline Malign


I recently reconnected with one of my best friends from High School. For the purpose of anonymity, I will call her Sally.  We were both so excited when she informed me, she was moving back to town after 20 years!  We hadn’t really stayed in touch consistently over the years exchanging only a few phone calls, some comments on her rare Facebook posts and a handful of quick get-togethers when she came to town to visit her cousin Edna.  In recent months, we started speaking regularly.  Sally had been divorced for a few years and wanted to make a new start.  I convinced her moving back to town would do her a world of good.

The day Sally moved back to town I couldn’t wait to see her. I hurried to her new apartment to welcome her and help her with her move-in.  As soon as I walked in the door and hugged her, that’s when I noticed it and them!  Sally has three cats.  Sally smells like cat, her new apartment smells like cat and all of the items the movers brought into her new place smell like cat. Even the poor movers were giving me the stink eye! Aunty Social, how can I tell her about this unpleasant odor?  I want to spend time with her but honestly, it’s very unpleasant and I want her to be able to thrive with her new life in our town.  Lastly, I am a dog person and just not a big fan of felines.

–Puzzled Penny


Dear P.U. Penny,

This CATastrophe clawful! My four purebred Teacup Yorkies are unanimously yawning in agreement!  I too prefer canines, however; I do have plenty of friends who prefer the company of felines fur real and each one of them swears by the following:

  1. “I have cats but you would never be able to tell. My house doesn’t smell at all”
  2. “I don’t have THAT many photos of my cat on my phone”
  3. “My cat is just like a person”
  4. “I totally understand my cat”
  5. “My cat is just like a dog!”

Fluffy, Tiger, Shadow?  Do they actually come when you call them or only when they are feline like it? I believe many people dislike cats because they want them to be like dogs but they can’t be like dogs because they’re cats.  It’s like the old saying, “You can’t get caviar from the hardware store!”  I am confused by the term “scaredy-cat.”  I do however get, “scared of cats.”  Cats don’t appear to be a fearful species.  Perhaps they run away because they simply don’t want to be bothered.  I don’t know either, however; while at times dismissive, I am not rude. Cats, WTF?  What the Fur, or rather, What the Funk, when is the last time you took a whiff of canned cat food dear readers?

Poo Poo Penny, your story reminds of a predicament of my own.  As youngster, I took piano lessons from a teacher named, Ms. Felicia.  Ms. Felicia had gray cork-screw curly hair, wrinkly skin and was perpetually dressed in purple from head to toe, purple barrette in her hair, purple sweater, purple scarf, purple broach, purple skirt, purple shoes, purple purse… I was fifteen and in shock and awe of Ms. Felicia.

The first time we sat down at the piano, Ms. Felicia opened her lavender purple shaded lipsticked mouth to speak, I immediately shrunk back and recoiled. It was if someone had put a 3-day old garbage bag of discarded, spoiled produce mixed with rancid meat into Ms. Felicia’s mouth and the fetid mixture flew out to assault me. Can you smell what I’m saying here?

Any hell breath, much to my dismay, I continued to take piano for a little longer while Ms. Feces Breath continued to wear only purple. I learned to breathe in and out of my mouth during my lessons while occasionally turning away to gasp for air until I was off to university and it was time to say, “Bye Bye Felicia!”

Now Dear Purrticular Penny, let’s take a moment to paws so as not to appear divisive regarding cats versus dogs lest we face a possible declaw.  It all comes down to the common denominators or shall I say, deBOMBinator, no matter cat or dog owner, as pet owners we are unified by two things and they are POOP and PEE.  We are all at the mercy of the mess of our pets and if that’s not bad enough, you are at the mercy of Sally and her Smellys!  Knowing you want the best for her, I’d like to make the following suggestions:

Tell Sally the truth to show her you care

Or her new life will be a social nightmare

Be her friend and don’t be a quitter

Buy her a box of the very best litter

Some lavender sachets or French potpourri will help a smidge

Along with a change the litter box reminder calendar to hang on the fridge

Such a long-term friendship would be a pity to grieve

So fix her up with that guy Smelly Steve.

Every town has one Dear.

Air Kisses,

Aunty Social

Editor’s note: Dear Aunty Social is masterfully written by Shelley Brown, whose career as an advice columnist continues to blossom, as she offers comfort and a reality check with unparalleled candor. Her unique ability to read between the lines and respond with, wit, wisdom, and radical in-your-face honesty will continue to win her the loyalty of millions of fans worldwide. Click here to enjoy your favorite Aunty’s entire archives of tastefully delivered bad advice.


Shelley Brown
Shelley Brown
I’m Shelley Brown, A "Type A" Meditator. I spent 25 years in corporate sales, climbing the ladder and making great money, all while stress slowly consumed me. Then, after a particularly difficult time, I decided it was enough. So I learned how to address my stress. Then, I became better at my job AND my life. Today I teach sales leaders and their teams how to mitigate stress so they can be human beings at work and win more deals. And, BONUS! I help teams cultivate a sales culture that drives continual success. I’m not your typical corporate mindfulness trainer. In fact, I’m probably a lot like you.

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