Advertisement. For information about purchasing ads, please click here.

We Build Alaska

Ask a Cat: Dating, house guests, and problem moose

Ask a cat is an advice column featured in the Alaska Landmine. Have a question for the Cat? Email or click here to submit via a form (anonymous) to get the answers to any of life’s problems.

Dear Cat,

I’m a guy that’s just getting back into dating. My last relationship ended about six months ago, but we were together for seven years. I’m in my mid 40’s and am thinking about downloading one of the dating apps to meet women. My question is, what is normal for a first date these days? Am I paying? Are we going to dinner or should it be more casual for a first meeting?

Dear Human:

Best of luck getting out there, from what Cat hears, the dating scene in this town is purrticularly tricky. Cat gets questionable reports about the success of dating apps, but it’s probably worth a shot. As to your question about what a “normal” first date looks like, Cat says this depends on the comfort level of both parties involved. As a general rule, it seems like most women are primarily concerned with safety when it comes to meeting men off the apps. Don’t suggest a location that is isolated for your first meet up. Cat thinks it should go without saying but just in case: please do not suggest either person’s home as the location of a first date either. Cat thinks that if you’re ready to really date and meet someone new, it’s a good idea to approach an invitation with initiative and enthusiasm. Suggest a time frame and offer a couple options.

Cat thinks that if you are the one extending the invitation, it is polite to pay for the date. Cat isn’t so old school as to say that a man should pay for everything, but it is a nice gesture in this scenario if you are inviting someone out. A coffee shop is a safe bet where you two can get to know one another, dinner is an ideal option if you want to make your intentions a bit more serious. Getting a drink is also an option, but keep in mind those establishments tend to be pretty noisy and make it a little more difficult when it comes to conversation.

Cat’s last piece of advice is to take the conversation offline fairly quickly. If you are interested in meeting someone new, don’t drag a conversation on in your dating app for weeks. A couple of days of chatting should be more than enough time for you to figure out if you’d like to meet a person in real life.


Dear Cat,

My boyfriend and I live together. His mom will be in town in a couple of months and he invited her to stay with us for a week without even asking me. We’ve been living together for less than a year, and together for about a year and a half, and this hasn’t ever come up. We live in a 1-bedroom apartment and I’m really uncomfortable with this. We don’t really ever host friends at our house for parties, and we definitely haven’t had anyone stay the night. I’ve only met his mom once before, she’s nice enough but is basically a stranger. Am I the asshole in this situation? I feel like the least he could have done was ask since we both pay the same amount of money to live there, but he’s acting like I’m an awful person for even suggesting she should stay elsewhere.

Dear Human,

This is a hard question for Cat to answer, as Cat is naturally introverted and very averse to sharing their environment in general. To begin, no, Cat does not think you are the asshole in this situation. There is a lot of presumption in your boyfriend inviting a guest to stay for a week, especially when the rent is equally shared and there is no guest room in your space. Boyfriend should not have a problem discussing this, especially as it’s not something you two have dealt with before as a couple. How you two handle this will be a good indicator for you as to what a longer term/potential marriage could look like. Not taking into consideration your partner’s feelings when making decisions and then acting like you’re an “awful person” is not exactly a green flag.

Unfortunately, there likely isn’t a happy outcome for all involved. If mom stays elsewhere, there may be tension because she knew she was uninvited. If you acquiesce and play hostess, you may be uncomfortable and resentful. In reality, assuming you have a full-time job, it is possible that her presence won’t actually be too troublesome. What you really need to decide here is if this oversight by your boyfriend is the kind of behavior you can live with in the future. Cat knows this isn’t a direct solution to your predicament, but the truth is that the decision needs to be sussed out between you and your partner. Because it was upsetting to be left out of his choice to invite a guest, it will be important to find the solution as a couple.


Dear Cat,

How do I keep a sexually frustrated moose out of my yard? This damn bull moose is tearing up my trees and shrubs this time of year on what I assume is his hunt for love.

Dear Human:

Ah, yes, the (moose) heart wants what the heart wants. Loud noises and keeping a safe distance are your best bet. Cat finds moose to be far less reasonable when it comes to rutting season, so I would not suggest trying to console them with logic. Surrounding your more tender foliage with chicken wire is a safe bet any time of year to keep unruly moose from having their way with your garden. If you catch a moose in the act, you can always slam doors or ring a loud bell to try and startle him away. Again, Cat cannot emphasize this enough, do this from a safe distance. You can also use a product easily purchased around town or online made of dried blood (usually pig or cow) that naturally repels moose while not being harmful to your plants. Keep in mind that the season of love for a moose is short. Before you know it, their work will be done and hopefully your plants will have survived.


Feline Forecasting:

Cat hopes my devoted readers made it through the weekend unscathed by the purrticularly aggressive full moon on Friday night. With the fall equinox past us, now is the time to settle into our descent toward winter. Libra season allows us to thrive when we find a distinct balance between purring and hissing. 🐾

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments