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We Build Alaska

Ask a Cat: Seasonal depression, relationships, and inflation

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 haaattte this time of year. It’s so depressing and it’s getting so dark and cold. There’s going to be snow on the ground before you know it. How am I supposed to tolerate this again?

Dear Human,


You haven’t given Cat a good reason as to why you can’t, so are you just a miserable person? Really, is there some reason you truly cannot relocate your sad self elsewhere? Cat has said it before and Cat will say it again, you humans live just one life, so you may as well not wallow in despondency. Sell off your inessential belongings and chart a course for sunnier spots.

Alternately, stop whining and embrace your whereabouts. On the other hand, there are so many things that can make winter more tolerable in our Arctic locale. Plan a vacation during the darkest time of the year, invest in a high-quality full spectrum light, or speak to a mental health professional. Purrhaps your problem is chemical and you are actually experiencing a form of depression and could benefit from medical intervention. Cat implores you not to wish away your precious days just because a predictable natural phenomenon (winter) torments you each year. No more hissing, take action. 


Dear Cat,

I think my relationship is over, but I don’t have the desire or energy to actually end it. All we do is have the same dumb fights. Things seem good for a day or two, and then we go right back to square one. Honestly, I think we’re both miserable more than half the time, but neither of us wants to end it because we love each other. What do you think?

Dear Human,

Cat thinks you should probably end it. Sometimes the prospect of discomfort motivates us to stay the course. No cat gets off a comfy couch. Moving on from your relationship likely will be sad and painful, so Cat suggests you change your purrspective. Try to look at the change as an opportunity to be miserable way less than half of the time. Honestly, you and your partner both deserve that. 

While Cat knows that relationships are not without their challenges, what you describe truly seems to be a detriment to your happiness. You say you lack the desire and energy to initiate a breakup. Clearly, the depressing nature of this situation is already taking a toll on your health. You’re going to have to just rip the band off and end things. You may find that once that is done, you start to enjoy life again and find that interactions with new people actually excite and motivate you. You can still feel love for someone but know that being with them isn’t the best thing for either of you. Best of luck!


Dear Cat,

Lately the price of groceries in this town is insane. I never thought about it before but for myself and my kids I can’t believe how much the costs have changed for our house in the last year. Does Cat have any idea how to fix this?

Dear Human,

If you’re asking if Cat has any sway on the economy and inflation in general, the answer is no. Cat can, however, give you some basic ideas as to how a human might cut down on their kibble cost. The way I see it, grocery prices go down based on how much time a human is willing to invest in preparing/cooking their food and visiting different stores. The most expensive food is generally going to be the most processed and convenient, followed by meat products. If you don’t already have a Costco card and a crock pot, now is probably the time to invest in one. Buying in bulk and prepping meals to freeze is one way to save money, but it does involve dedication of your time and brain. Cat is aware that there is an entire online community of humans that seem to make it their life’s work to cook in bulk and pinch every penny from their grocery bill. In the end, you may find that your time is more valuable than preparing recipes and planning ahead, and that’s ok. We pay for what we value.


Cat Chat:

You don’t always have to know where you’re going in order to get moving. Sometimes the trajectory of a first step is all you humans need to make meaningful change. To paraphrase Lao Tzu, even a really long journey starts with just one skitter of your paws.🐾

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