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We Build Alaska

Ask a Cat: Party gone wrong, dating problems, and Downtown Anchorage

Need advice from Alaska’s most felicitous feline? Send the Cat your questions via e-mail at askacat@alaskalandmine.com or send your query anonymously here.

Dear Cat,

I hosted a solstice party this year with everything from a full on fairy theme to a garden full of decorations and amazing food. It wasn’t a huge group, just me and my boyfriend’s usual group of friends. At the end of the party they left our yard a huge mess, someone even let their dog crap on our lawn and didn’t clean up after. I would literally never leave a friend’s party with my food trash and dog’s mess lying around. Should I say something or just never volunteer to host again?

Dear Human,

When you associate with dogs, this is what you get. But no really, let me extend a paw in sympathy for your plight and give you some advice. Cat is of two minds when it comes to a party. As a guest, Cat doesn’t expect to be washing their own kibble bowl and sweeping up afterwards. That being said, creating a gratuitous mess and literally leaving shit on your lawn is also completely unacceptable. The thing that purr-turbs Cat in this scenario is that you refer to this group as your “usual group of friends.” Maybe you just have sloppy, rude friends.

Should you say something? Maybe. It sounds like you are all adults, and generally adults don’t change their behavior unless they want to- not because someone nags them. If you’re dying to be hostess again because party-planning is something you truly enjoy, then either lower your expectations or proactively recruit a friend or two to cohost/participate in clean up. Your boyfriend should also be taking responsibility for how to handle this, and hopefully he was cleaning up right alongside you after your last soirée.

 

Dear Cat,

I swear every guy I’ve dated has at one point told me I’m “mean.” I’ve tried over the years to be more careful with my words, to phrase things with more curiosity, and to chill when I feel judgmental, but even if I do that, I feel like these guys act like any conversation that isn’t 100% sweet is a woman being horrible and mean. What am I doing wrong here?

Dear Human,

Purrhaps you’re mean, or maybe you’ve exclusively dated fragile, tender-hearted souls that wither at honest conversation. Maybe the problem isn’t your delivery, but their inability to handle anything less than sugar-coated compliments. Cat is a firm believer that being direct isn’t the same thing as being mean. On the other hand…it’s also pawsible you’re mean.

Cat does think its commendable that you’ve done some work on yourself to reflect on your own sense of judgment and general level of kindness. Cat suspects that the real answer is that you haven’t found the kind of person that suits you yet. If there’s one thing Cat knows from listening to the humans, it’s that fulfilling and happy relationships are one of the most elusive and challenging parts of life. Each relationship contains at least one lesson to grow from.

It sounds like more often than not, you’ve been getting the same feedback. Whether or not some of these men may be gaslighting you is hard to say. Cat does know that sometimes the things we judge people for most harshly (or what we’re apt to be “mean” about) are the things we fear in ourselves. Whether that be disorganization, tardiness, rudeness, etc. If nothing else, make sure you are not being mean to yourself, and don’t stop trying to connect with new people altogether.

 

Dear Cat,

I recently took my visiting relatives to downtown Anchorage because the town square used to have some of the best flower garden displays in town. The experience was downright scary. Homeless people were openly doing drugs. I couldn’t walk five feet without constantly being asked for money. And obviously the city isn’t even making much effort with the landscaping there anymore, probably because it would be destroyed. Is Downtown Anchorage just completely lost now?

Dear Human,

Was Downtown Anchorage ever a shining beacon of wholesome good times? Cat doesn’t really know. Cat does understand the feeling of grief that comes with the loss of safety in any community space. Your question does not have a simple answer. Your experience downtown is a symptom of a much larger problem in our once fair city. While the current state of downtown is disheartening, It’s not entirely lost.

Please channel your frustration into positive action. Supporting local homeless shelters, educating yourself on local policies, contacting your representatives, and continuing to support businesses downtown are all small ways to be part of a solution. Does this mean you should endeavor to take your visiting family to a dangerous area? Certainly not. The answer here is not a quick fix, and if you really care beyond reaching out to Cat, you’ll get involved in your community and be part of the change. In the meantime, Cat suggests enjoying some of the other natural beauty Anchorage has to offer. The Alaska Botanical Garden is a nonprofit with unparalleled garden displays, and the Alaska Zoo also has lovely foliage and arctic animals your guests might enjoy.

 

Featured Feline:

Sam contains a complex tapestry of diverse traits and an abundance of toe beans.

Cat Chat:

Cat feels this week’s wisdom boils down to this: Address issues directly but with care, embrace personal reflection and growth, and channel frustration into paw-sitive community action.  🐾

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