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We Build Alaska

Ask a Cat: Incoming tourists, sensitive people, and gaslighting

Feeling triggered? Seasonal ennui? Desperate to be chosen for Featured Feline? The Cat can help. Reach out anonymously here or e-mail

Dear Most Wondrous and Wise Cat:

What does one do about the fact that the tourists are coming? Yes, we want their money. But they…damage my calm. Thank you,

-Counting Down the Days and Grimacing

Dear Counting Human,

Ah, the perennial return of the tourists. The plight of living in a tourist hotspot is a blessing and a curse, as you pointed out. As it were, the answer to your question is probably “nothing.” Because truly, there is nothing to be done about the return of these visitors, unless you have another pandemic up your sleeve and are in the mood to resort to desperate measures. Let’s assume you are not operating from such a place and instead focus on your delicate sense of calm. Purrhaps you are working in an industry that serves tourists, or you are preemptively mourning the loss of enjoying your home state amongst a bunch of eager strangers.

While a tourist may trample our favorite camping spots, disrupt our tranquility, and clog up reservations at our favorite downtown eateries, it doesn’t mean we should banish them all to the cat box. As you pointed out, these enthusiastic travelers contribute to the economy and often remind us not to take for granted living in such a lovely place.

Make your own reservations early, avoid obvious hot spots, and cool your jets. Consider taking a long weekend and being a tourist yourself. We all benefit from those outside that want to escape to our fair state, try to have a good sense of humor about it. If needed, Cat recommends a well-timed swat or hiss to warn a naïve sightseer from disturbing your treasured sense of calm.


Dear Cat,

Why the fuck is everyone so sensitive about everything? You can’t even exist without “triggering” someone. We are wasting our lives coddling everyone.

Dear Human,

Cat doesn’t necessarily disagree with your sentiments, with few exceptions. I’ll explain. First, take a deep breath, you’re sounding a little triggered and hysterical.

Cat is a fan of holding those accountable that have previously benefited from the oppression of others. So, in some ways, the “woke culture” that embraces being “triggered” doesn’t bother Cat. Assuming you are not referring to being able to discriminate against someone based on age/sex/religion/etc. Cat agrees with you. There has to be a balance between not discriminating against folks and also being able to have an opinion and a personality without consoling every idiot that purports you make them uncomfy.

Cat believes we can’t spend our lives pandering to the purrpetually offended. Cat suggests it’s always good to check in with ourselves to make sure our exasperation isn’t seated in a lack of empathy. That being said, Cat thinks you should reserve this for those you interact with regularly. We cannot spend our whole lives walking on eggshells and attempting to avoid every possible trigger under the sun.

The problem with this issue is that you humans view it in black and white. One group screams “Cry baby snowflakes!” while harboring discriminatory assholes, and the other group cries “My feelings are valid!!” while insisting the whole world revolve around them. Cat believes that meeting in the middle is the only way to maintain some semblance of sanity. Good luck with that.


Dear Cat,

Every time something happens at work that is disruptive or doesn’t make sense, my boss gaslights me and says I react too emotionally. Am I just supposed to not react at all to things that are making my job harder?

Dear Human,

Well, I guess it depends on what exactly these scenarios en-tail. If you’re reacting to things that make the essential functions of your job difficult or impossible, it sounds like your boss is a jerk. If you’re bemoaning the quality of the coffee in the breakroom and how the border collie on the other side of your cubicle is looking at you funny, you may be the problem.

As Cat stated in their previous response, these issues usually need to be addressed from a middle ground. It is likely time for you to take a step back and see how you can approach your job from a more dispassionate place. The things that are actually affecting your ability to complete job tasks can be addressed in practical language to your boss. Save your passion, humor, and emotional involvement for your loved ones, friends, and maybe one or two trusted coworkers (if you have them.)

Clearly your boss does not have the capacity, emotional intelligence, or personality to hear you when you voice concerns with any semblance of human emotion. Remove the emotion, stick to the facts, and if necessary, bring in a neutral (human) third party to ensure things get resolved.


Cat Chat:

Me-ow! It’s funny how you humans seem to have similar issues week to week. Something in the spring air must be stirring these feelings. Once again, Cat insists on leaving you with this wisdom: If something is triggering you, then something outside you is controlling you. You are responsible for your emotions. Does that mean someone else isn’t being an asshole? No. But you alone choose your reaction and the purrspective from which you operate and react. So quit crying. 🐾


Featured Felines:

Theo enjoys long naps followed by great bellowing cat screams.

Hazel lives next door to Jeff Landfield and has seen and heard things that will trigger her for her next eight lives.

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