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We Build Alaska

Ask a Cat: Anchorage problems, neighbor chickens, and feeling adequate

Summer love gone wrong? Campsite conundrum? For the answers to all of your burning questions, e-mail or send a message anonymously here.

Dear Cat,

My once lovely, friendly and safe city has now been completely taken over by hard left liberals. Most have no families due to their gayness but are putting policies that affect my family, mainly the kids, with their belief that debt is the answer. What will bring back some sanity?

Dear Human,

Where do I begin with your purr-plexing and bigoted query? Sorrows and prayers to you as your “lovely, friendly, and safe city” has fallen prey to a supposed hoard of hard left liberals hell-bent on creating inclusive communities and equitable policies. Give me a moment to clutch my cat sized pearls. What unbearable gayness you have to weather! We all know that LGBTQ+ humans don’t have real families, except, oh wait, they do. They’ve got families just like yours, only with better taste and more kindness in their hearts. But, sigh, lets unpack these dastardly policies that are apparently ruining your city and corrupting your spawn.

Imagine investing in education, healthcare, social services, hisss! To think our city should try to tackle systemic issues rather than living in a fantasy where everything is free and money grows on trees. It really rubs my fur the wrong way. Cat insists that sanity can be restored with a few simple steps. Open your mind, embrace diversity, and for the love of catnip, step away from whatever hateful and outdated echo chamber you have been existing in that purr-petuates your close minded and cruel world view.


Dear Cat,

I’ll leave it to your excellent judgement to make the call for me on this issue. My neighbor has maybe a dozen or so chickens this year in their yard. They maintain the yard well enough, but one chicken in particular finds itself in my yard at least once a week. Whenever I return her, she comes back. I feel I would like to keep this chicken. I think I could give this chicken more attention and a better quality of life. I don’t even think my neighbor would notice. What do you think?

Dear Human,

Cat also sees the allure of a wandering chicken, although likely for different reasons. While I admire your desire to upgrade this feathered friend’s quality of life, let’s pump the breaks on your chicken heist before any hasty decisions are made.

First, chickens, much like us cats, have a strong sense of home (even if it’s next door). Your neighbor might notice the absence of their plucky pal, leading to awkward conversations over the fence. Instead of launching a covert chicken adoption operation, why not have a chat with your neighbor? It seems like it would be simple enough to express your fondness for the rogue hen and offer to help care for her. Who knows, they might appreciate the extra help and officially make you the chicken’s co-caretaker. I suppose if you want full custody, you’ll need to offer some sort of compensation.

Keep in mind that chickens are social creatures and don’t thrive on their own. Cat suspects that while this bird enjoys visiting you, you cannot fulfill all of her needs. If it were up to Cat to make the final decision, I would say enjoy your occasional visitor but send her back to the coop at the end of the day.


Dear Cat,

I feel like whatever I do isn’t good enough. I’m relatively successful but I struggle with this. What’s your advice?

Dear Human,

Your question makes Cat ponder, by what measure are you not good enough? In one moment you call yourself relatively successful, but otherwise you indicate that success is inadequate. Cat wonders if maybe you are spending too much time comparing your life to others. Consider the root of your judgement before you take it as truth. As I have often lamented, we live in a day and age where every border collie and golden retriever is constantly posting edited snapshots of their seemingly idyllic lives on social media. Try to remember that the majority of what you might be comparing yourself to is a small slice of a much less impressive daily reality.

The beauty of existence lies within the complexity of our successes and failures. We appreciate the glee of a graduation day, but only after the strenuous work of years of study. We marvel at the flowers in our garden box, but don’t mention how annoying it was to drive to Costco to buy an industrial sized bag of soil amongst the crowds. In contrast, also know that not all measures of success require suffering or hard work. You can find a “good enough” moment after waking up from a good night’s sleep, laughing with friends, or reading a beloved book. When moments of doubt creep up, Cat encourages you to do a purr-spective check and measure success on your own terms.


Paws and reflect:

With cat-like curiosity consider that growth and wisdom come from embracing new perspectives and understanding yourself. And purrhaps your neighbor’s chicken. 🐾

Featured Feline:

Here is Dorothy Gayle, I imagine she is off to see The Wizard.

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Frank Sterle Jr.
1 month ago

I grew up around stray/homeless cats and developed a life-long appreciation and affection for cats in general. It’s so sad when they have no warm home, and especially so when it’s due to abandonment. As a young boy, finding them slaughtered the first thing in the morning was quite traumatizing. They were lost to larger predators — perhaps even a cat-hating human. I knew about a few guys willing to procure sick satisfaction from torturing to death those naively-trusting thus likely sweet-natured cats whose owners had allowed to wander the neighborhood at night. In the decades since, I’ve found that,… Read more »

Frank Sterle Jr.
1 month ago

[Cont.] In the meantime: Priceless yet often misunderstood, prejudged and unjustly despised animals, cats are. Many people can appreciate pet cats’ beneficial effect on the human psyche that most people still cannot fathom thus appreciate.   There are reciprocally healthy — some cat lovers would even go as far as to describe them as largely symbiotic — relationships available between felines (many of us see them as family members) and their loving and appreciative human hosts, including those suffering physical and/or mental illness.   Also, I’ve found over decades that with our four-legged friends, including cats, there’s a beautiful absence… Read more »