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We Build Alaska

Ask a Cat: End times, driving, and physical combability

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 have always thought of myself as an optimist, but have been finding myself struggling with thoughts about the future. Health and housing costs are high, inequality is increasing, and there is the looming threat of my job being automated (at best) or the whole world falling apart in another pandemic, nuclear war, or AI-driven apocalypse. How the heck can we be expected to get up in the morning, brush our teeth, and go to work as if the world isn’t teetering on the brink of ruin and nothingness?

Sincerely, Debbie Downer Dachshund

Dear Debbie Downer Dachshund,

What an exhausting tail you have told yourself. If, as you say, we are all doomed- what is stopping you from living your life exactly as you see fit? If a cat-aclysam is impending, it seems you would have nothing to lose. Cat admits to being a bit facetious at this point, but does ask you to ponder why you would only mull over the negative aspects of the forthcoming apocalypse when you could just as easily consider robbing a bank or pulling of an art heist in your final days. Giving equal brain space to both good and bad scenarios is a task humans are notoriously bad at. Additionally, Cat can see you are grappling with some anxiety, possibly depression. Cat suggests you seek professional advice from whomever you find wise (beyond Cat, of course) for potential counseling services and comfort.


Dear Cat,

I’m confounded by driver’s unwillingness to pull out into the intersection on green lights when trying to turn left without the arrow. If I’m the only one doing it am I the problem? Secondly, on streets with two right turn lanes e.g. UAA drive onto Northern Lights, cars turn right on red from the second lane and I won’t because I think it’s not allowed.

To be honest, I failed the Alaska drivers written test when I relocated here a decade ago so it’s possible or maybe likely that I just don’t know the rules.

Dear Human,

While Cat tends to stay off the roads, I have taken the liberty of consulting my dear friend, Toonces the Driving Cat. Toonces (and purrhaps Google) suggest that in all 50 states it is legal to take a right at a red light if there are no clear signs prohibiting so. Additionally, it is allowable to do so if there are two right turn lanes and no signage to the contrary. As to your inquiry about pulling in to an intersection when trying to turn left without an arrow, Cat suggests that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, as this is often just a ploy to turn at the last possible second as the light changes. Perhaps in the last ten years you have not noticed that fairly often, drivers will have trouble breaking on the ice. Should you be in the intersection at that time due to your hasty Havanese nature, Cat hopes you have nine lives to spare. As Cat’s mother often laments, better safe than sorry. Also, driving advice from Cat is more of a matter of opinion than fact, do with it what you will.


Dear Cat,

I’ve got a relationship question. I’m 6’3 and have found myself in a flirtation with a beautiful woman who is 4’11. She is pretty amazing and I’m just wondering if a long term thing ever works when there is such a difference in heigh. TIA! -Tall guy in Tok

Dear Tall Guy,

Cat finds that you don’t seem to have a relationship question, rather a question of physical compatibility. Given that you describe human lady as “beautiful” and “pretty amazing” Cat wonders if there is truly any concern to be had. Cat keeps humans around to pour kibble with their opposable thumbs and provide entertainment. Are you looking for a partner to reach items from high shelves? If so, Cat suggests you move on or buy this lady a step stool. If not, Cat suspects you have found yourself a purrfectly fine partner.


Cat Counsel:

Cat feels the humans this week are blessed with fairly negligible concerns. With the fickle promise of impending spring in the air, Cat encourages you to take to the road with the fur-vor of an unlicensed feline, embrace each day and seek adventure… apocalypse be damned.

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1 year ago

Dear Cat,
Today I tried a her- she bar
I have enjoyed them in the past but this one had nuts. Should I have spit or swallowed?