This month, in re-sponse to numerous requests, we answer your cat behavioral questions. Luckily for cat owners, the answer is usually the same.
Dear Cathouse: My cat, Fooshes, likes to bite my hand when I reach down to give her dinner. How can I make her stop?
— Bitten in Bernal Heights
Dear Bitten: Intro-ducing a cat into your household is akin to making a long-term commitment to reciting The Serenity Prayer every day, in particular the part about asking God to “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” Wear oven mitts at feeding time. She’s a cat. There’s nothing you can do.
Dear Cathouse: I love my 10-year-old tabby, Goofball, so much. But he sprays. Help! I don’t want to cover my lovely new carpets and furniture in
— Mopping Up in the Marina
Dear Mopping: Buy as much plastic as if you were attending a Gallagher concert. He’s a cat. There’s nothing you can do.
Dear Cathouse: My two cats no longer sleep on my bed at night; instead, they spend their nocturnal hours in the living room or on the floor of my bedroom. I know it sounds silly, but I miss falling asleep to their contented purring. How can I get them back on the bed? When I pick them up and put them next to my pillow, they just jump off and run away.
— Sleepless in Sea Cliff
Dear Sleepless: They’re cats. There’s nothing you can do.
Dear Cathouse: Ten years ago, after my marriage fell apart, and I lost my job because the company’s owner embezzled all of the profits, I moved from Atlanta to San Francisco. It was difficult finding a home here, even in those less-crazy times. But after renting a studio above a bodega for three months, I finally was able to make an offer on a slightly worn but still beautiful Victorian in Cow Hollow. It was much larger than I actually needed — my ex got all three kids and I lost all of my furniture paying off legal bills defending myself against charges related to my boss’s embezzlement. Long story.
Anyway, I spent that first year fixing up the place. Paint. New railing. I discovered an original stained-glass window in the basement and returned it to its rightful place in the stairwell. I bought some wonderful period furniture that was made when my home was built. And when I had it all set up, I knew the only thing missing was some furry friends to share it with. So I got a dog and a cat. The dog is perfect. A little too perfect; she follows me around and obeys me like a North Korean stadium crowd. But she’s a dog, so that’s OK.
The cat, Hades, is another story. She is all nice and friendly for most of the day, but if her food isn’t put in her plate at exactly the right times, she howls and jumps at my hands and knocks things off the mantel. She won’t let me clip her nails, so she scratches my 80-year-old antique furniture. She even managed to break my stained-glass window when she leaped onto the windowsill because she spotted a bird outside. Maybe I should have used better sealant. Whatever.
The cat is driving me crazy. Is there a cat military school I can send her to?
— Crazy in Cow Hollow
Dear Crazy: She’s a cat. There’s nothing you can do.
And there you go, dear readers! Good luck!