Captain Fussy Britches
I was wondering if you could settle an ongoing argument I have had with my feline counterpart, Captain Fussy Britches. His real name is actually Mittens, but I just call him Captain Fussy Britches because I know he hates it. The Captain and I get along for the most part, but whenever my human starts giving me attention, he calls me a ‘sell-out’.
What is a ‘sell-out’ and how can I get him to stop??? I’ve had to make pretend that I know what it means, but I really don’t.
What bothers me most is that he does it right in front of our human too. My human will be petting me while we are both on the couch and all of a sudden I will hear “tsk, tsk” just loud enough for me to hear. I will then catch him out of the corner of my eye mouthing the word ‘sell out’ and then he will run out of the room at break neck speed and then run back in again like nothing happened. Our human laughs at Captain’s shenanigans, but I do not find this the least bit funny.
It took the Captain and me a long time to get where we are now and I would hate to have to break our armistice over this. Please help us.
“I heart my human”
I know you signed your letter anonymously but you reminded me of a dog I knew once whose name was Kenny and it’s just easier for me to come up with a solution for you this way. I hope you don’t mind.
Let’s put first things first though. You asked me to explain the term ‘sell-out’. It’s an idiomatic expression used to describe someone when they compromise their integrity for personal gain or glory. Based upon this definition and speaking as a representative of the canine world, I do not think you are a sell-out. I have a theory as to why your feline counterpart is busting your chops. Get ready, because I am about to blow your mind.
He can’t stand to see you doing uncat-like things because I think that he sees you as part of his ‘pride’. I use that term loosely because a typical house cat does not have the need to be part of a larger social group, unlike their distant cousins, the lions. However, when forced to be in a social setting, they can start to bond with the other members of their animal group. The more I think about it, the more I believe I am right.
So how do you get him to stop taunting you? The answer is simple. Make him a part of your pack! To be fair, warn him that you will not tolerate his behavior any longer and there will be consequences if he continues. Captain Fussy Britches will probably knock over a plant or something to let you know what he really thinks of you and your terms.
If he does not comply, then start sending subtle signals that he is now in your pack by wagging your tail when he enters the room, or whenever he looks at you for that matter. Make sure you do this in front of someone else too. There has to be another being in the room or it never happened in the cat’s mind. It can even be in front of a mirror if need be. Cats hate unwanted attention.
If you are feeling brave enough and are nimble, try smelling his butt. He will jump three feet in the air which will give you ample time to run far, far away. He is going to be mad at you for at least a week for that one. This is really a last resort and only used if you have planned out your escape routes well in advance.
Perhaps another thing to try is engaging him in play. Bring a ball to him, bow, then bark excitedly. He will want to slap you across the face for even suggesting such an idea. Don’t be shocked if he does. Captain Fussy Britches will not know what to do with himself after a while and will start to avoid you more and more. This is fine because it will leave you with more one on one time with your human, and you won’t be so self-conscious when you get belly rubs.
Thanks for writing Kenny. Perhaps your letter will help another dog out there.