Dear Squirt

I’m at my wit’s end. A big bruising bully in my street set upon me yesterday and I had to visit the place where they take your manly appendages – you know where I mean, don’t you? Anyway, I feel such a fool; I’m having to wear one of those lampshade things around my neck so that I don’t lick or pick at my stitches.

Denver with LampshadeIt’s so unfair because I love my human so much and I can’t show her because it gets in the way. I’m not allowed out so can’t bring her back some of the delicacies I know she loves so much. I thought I’d try giving her kisses and headbutts – but the darned collar beats me to it!

The other problem I experiencing is that I have to have pills a couple of times a day. To be honest, this has to be one of the worst things a human has to do for us and of course, I put up a lot of resistance – which upsets my human. Is there a good way which doesn’t involve claws, blood and visits to the human vets? 

Squirt, I know you’re a cat of the world so I would value and respect your timely advice.

Sincerely and with a headbutt or two (if only the lampshade didn’t get in the way)

Denver from Devon (UK)


Dear Denver,

Oh dear, you have had a hard time of it, haven’t you?  Don’t worry, help is at hand.

First of all my condolences that you had to visit one of those appendage thieves.  The technical term for one of these cat assaulters in white coats is a ‘Box Man’.  However unpleasant their methods and practices, it is a fact that at times we need them and they can do us a lot of good when we’re injured or sick. 

The collar sounds utterly horrid.  I’ve never had to wear one and can understand why you don’t like it; the sheer inconvenience and embarrassment can’t be a lot of fun.  I have a suggestion if you can communicate it to your human, unreceptive as they can be I’m sure she wants you to be comfortable.  You don’t say where your injuries are.  Depending on which bits of you are stitched perhaps she could use some other means of protection?  If your stitches are on your body (i.e. not the head, leg or paw bits, or tail) I’ve heard of humans who have put their cats in small size doggy t-shirts to protect wounds and stitches.  Would that work for you?  Failing that, I did once hear of a cat that was dressed in a Babygro to protect stitches and bandages on two of her legs, though if you want my opinion I think I’d rather have a collar on than that.  I hope your human could try an alternative then you can give her head butts and cheek rubs.  Thus you could let her know that you love her and forgive her for taking you to the BM.  You could reinforce that by bringing her a nice juicy mouse which will be guaranteed to improve her day.

This brings me to the thorny subject of pills.  Are they antibiotics?  I ask because I’ve needed them twice and my BM said that instead of Staff and I having pill problems he would just give me an antibiotic injection that was long acting.  I think this is a much better option.  Unless your human reads this and asks for the injection instead I’m afraid it looks like you are stuck with the pills.  Here’s a suggestion which a friend of Staff’s used with success.  She ground up the pill and mixed it with liquidised tinned fish or cooked chicken.  Her cat lapped up every pill in total ignorance and with relish.  Job done.  If you could bear to eat the pills that way then that’s best all round and would save your human having to get stitches as well.  Also, she wouldn’t feel bad because our humans don’t like having to do anything nasty to us if it can be avoided.

Now let’s tackle the root of your problem, being beaten up by the local bully.  This is a bad situation and I suggest you toughen up.  Devon, I know this is a hard thing to face but you really do need to learn how to deal with him or you are in danger of not being allowed outside if you get bashed again.  You must either avoid him altogether or face up to him by being the strong, brave cat that I’m sure you are.  At the heart of every bully is a coward.  It might only take a few banshee yells, fang baring and angry ears to make him think he has met his match; if you try this he might back down.  It could lead to a fight but, if so, your inner ninja cat will know what to do.  Trust me, I’m a seasoned warrior.  Just have faith and you will surprise yourself with your ferocity and prowess.

Denver, I hope I’ve been able to help solve your troubles and mend your strained relationship with your beloved human. 

Wishing you a speedy recovery,


Your friend,

Squirt x

Here's a short Youtube video of a cat wearing a babygro:

Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)

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