The Pet Lady

DEAR PET LADY,

My 8-year-old cat Amigo has a personality quirk that I hope you can explain. He's a black shorthair, neutered, and an Only Pet. I've had him since he was small enough to hold in one hand. He's very loving and affectionate with me. The quirk, you ask? He isn't very friendly with other people. In fact, sometimes he's downright hostile! As you can imagine, this presents certain problems for me socially. My theory is he was weaned too early and now he has all sorts of codependent tendencies (insert your favorite pop-psychology term). What do you think? More importantly, how do I teach him to behave as the angel he really is?

Fleabittenmutt

DEAR FLEABITTENMUTT,

What an interesting name you have. Are you of German descent? The Pet Lady raises a stein of cerveza to you and Amigo, whose quirk, the P.L. might add, could also be interpreted as an ongoing demonstration of his very discriminating good taste in humans and extreme loyalty. Has it occurred to you, Fleabittenmutt, that Amigo is behaving as the angel he is—a jealous, dark little angel who wants only you, and to scratch and/or bite anyone making advances on his territory (which is, of course, you)? The P.L. is reminded of an evening in her young petwomanhood when she had a gentleman caller at whom the Pet Family's pet dog Sophie would only bark, insanely and incessantly, having none of extended hands or attempted pats. The P.L. was slightly embarrassed by Sophie's antisocial behavior; that is, until the gentleman caller made an unwanted advance upon the P.L. and the P.L. was forced to cry "Masher!" and turn him out on his proverbial ear, at which point she realized that Sophie in her canine wisdom knew things that the P.L. was yet to learn.

Best to you and Amigo, and happy Bactine to your guests,

The Pet Lady

HELLO, PET LADY,

I was trying to find information on cairn terriers and found the column that you do. Anyway, I am looking for a breeder that has cairn terriers. I am hoping to purchase one for my wife. She had one as a child and continuously talks about "Bonnie." I also have two little girls that have finally earned a family pet and think the cairn terrier would be an excellent choice based on my research. I am having a difficult time finding a place that sells these terriers, though, and was hoping that you could help me. Any information that you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.

Gene

DEAR GENE,

Considering that your wife continuously speaks of someone by the name of Bonnie, you have a far more severe difficulty than the inability to locate a purveyor of cairn terriers, you poor, dear man. But fear not; this kind of monolalia and/or obsession may be addressed by mental health professionals, who are apparently easier to locate than cairn terriers. Perhaps in the interim, dear Gene, you might get the girls a kitten small enough to fit in one hand who will be loyal to them and them alone.

Best to you and yours, and courage!

The Pet Lady

Pet problem? Write the Pet Lady, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104, or e-mail thepetlady@seattleweekly.com. Include a photo of just about anything and receive a special gift!

 
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