DEAREST MOST BEAUTIFUL PET LADY,
I am a grown-up single lady with a cat named Mabel. I have a boyfriend and a bird, too, but they're not the problem. See, lately I've been catching myself using baby talk when I talk to Mabel. Much to my horror, I've noticed my normally normal voice going up a few octaves when she rolls over onto her back and begs me to scratch her stomach. I have cute little nicknames and find myself saying retarded things like "Who's the boo?" in a voice that is NOT my own! What is wrong with me? My entire life, nothing has chapped my ass like adults who speak like 3-year-olds. It drives me crazy, and now I'm a culprit—though thankfully nobody but my cat has witnessed it. Please, Pet Lady, I need your help!
DEAR SCARED STUPID,
Who, indeed, is the boo? The Pet Lady often ponders this question for the ages as well—but only in the privacy of her own Pet Manse, and silently at that. The sudden lack of control over one's utterances is frightening indeed, and few things are more disturbing than grown-up single ladies fawning over their feline friends—from there it is just a hop, skip, and a jump to piling up periodicals around the house, eating directly from the packages of packaged food, and, well, utter madness. However, sometimes Mabels and their ilk are just too damnably cute, provoking their otherwise sensible (not to say cynical) keepers to say silly, shameful things. For this, sad to say, there is little help, dear Scared. Take comfort in the fact that at least your shame is private, just between you and Mabel and the bird (and if the bird begins imitating you in front of guests, shrieking, "WHO'S THE BOO! WHO'S THE BOO!" you may always blame this on a previous owner). If you are truly in the throes of desperation, you might try some mild form of aversion therapy, such as hitting yourself with a rolled-up newspaper whenever you say something idiotic to Mabel. And if you do find yourself carrying on in front of other humans, seek immediate help from a mental health professional—the Pet Lady believes medication is available for this type of condition.
Best to you, the bird, the boyfriend, and Mabel, and courage!
The Pet Lady
Need professional help? Write the Pet Lady, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104, or e-mail email@example.com. Include a photo of your cat, bird, boyfriend, or what have you and receive a special gift!