The Pet Lady

Dear Pet Lady,

I have no pet and no plans to ever have a pet. I don’t appreciate the pressure I get from my pet-owning friends to enjoy their pets. What, Pet Lady, can I do about this?


Dear Aunty Pet,

Children can benefit from many, many things, including learning about life’s rich pageantry from our animal friends: how to eat from a dish on the floor, where baby doggies come from, the ineluctable nature of the hereafter. But when Kitty is having seizures on the carpet, it is indeed difficult to know what to say. You might try the time-honored good cop/bad cop approach; your stern partner—the Pet Lady won’t speculate about the exact nature of your domestic arrangements—might boom, “Well, kids, LIFE isn’t fair,” after which you hold their little sob-wracked bodies and dry their tiny tears. In Europe, they just say “C’est la vie,” and enjoy a glass of wine at the caf頷hile the children remain leashed outside. The Pet Lady recommends taking a page from their book.


Dear Pet Lady,

What’s the deal with the wet food vs. dry food thing? I don’t want to be cheap, but I’d just as soon go with dry.


Dear F.F.,

Nester was actually a fan-tailed goldfish that the first Mr. Pet Lady won on an outing to the World’s Fair, if the Pet Lady recollects correctly. The Pet Lady never knew why he—Nester, not the original Mr. Pet Lady—succumbed to the existential despair that prompted his untimely demise, only that he lay motionless at the bottom of the bowl for weeks. There, ennui-ridden, he remained oblivious to the charm of his jaunty blue pebbles and faux scuba diver companion, merely swaying gently as the footfalls of passersby vibrated the bureau upon which his bowl rested. As if extreme listlessness were not enough of a problem, Nester then commenced turning from gold-colored to black from the tail forward, gradually changing from goldfish to entirely blackfish—a not unattractive but certainly alarming transition. The festive black-tie cocktail party held in Nester’s honor failed to cheer him, though he did take a few swift turns around the bowl as partygoers tapped greetings upon the glass. Only days later, he drifted up to the surface, lifeless, and Mr. Pet Lady le premier heartlessly threw his cold, wet corpse out a second-story window into the Pet Lady’s prized rose bushes below.


No, there is no way to get rid of the smell of cat urine. Just get new suitcases. E-mail or have the postman carry your letter to the Pet Lady, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle WA 98104.