In Bubba’s Bad Advice, Bubba Lee Kinsey, a 15-year-old gray tabby from Kansas City, Missouri, attempts to answer your burning questions and calm your deepest, darkest fears. The only problem: He’s kind of a jerk about it.
Dear Bubba Lee Kinsey,
Spring is my favorite time of year. The days get longer, the trees sprout leaves, and everyone slowly emerges from hibernation. The only downside: Pool season is right around the corner, meaning everyone has started ranting about “beach bodies” — what they are, who has good ones, and how you can get one.
On the one hand, I wholeheartedly reject the idea that anyone needs to do anything other than put on a swimsuit to get their body ready for the beach. Problem is, while I find it easy to see the beauty in other people, every time I look at myself in the mirror, I only see my flaws — the five pounds I never lost, my frizzy hair, my weird dimpled knees.
So I guess what I’m asking is this: Instead of wondering how I can get in shape physically for summer, I’d like to know how I can get in shape mentally. How can I get more confident in time for swimsuit season? You cats always seem so sure of yourselves — please tell me your secrets!
First we need to address this “mirror” of which you speak. If I remember correctly, that’s where the identical gray tabby who likes to mock me lives. When I raise my left paw to swat him across the face, he swats me at exactly the same time. He stares back at me in such a vulnerable, revealing way that I can’t stand to look at him without wanting to attack him, but he already knows my every move. It’s almost like he can read my mind.
Generally, I try to avoid the mirror, but if I must interact with it, I try to remember that the other cat who lives inside isn’t real. When I leave the room, he doesn’t follow me. When I’m head-butting the male human on the couch or walking across the female human’s keyboard, that other cat is nowhere to be found. He doesn’t know the magnificent reward of a good belly rub or the euphoric flavor of bacon. He doesn’t stretch out in the sun puddle while the female human insists he’s the most handsome old man she’s ever seen. Therefore, I can only conclude that the gray tabby who lives in the mirror doesn’t really matter.
Then there’s the issue of confidence, and no one understand that better than my sister, Phoenix. Normally I find her to be rather needy and irritating, always insisting I snuggle with her and lick her face while I’m trying to nap, but she certainly feels good about letting it all hang out. One time, a new human came to the house and laughed at Phoenix. “I can’t believe how fat that cat is,” the human said. “She needs to go on a diet.”
Phoenix responded to this rude comment in the best way possible. Instead of hiding, she rolled onto her back with her legs in the air, forcing everyone to bask in the glory of her fluffy, round, white belly. Even the rude human had to admit Phoenix looked pretty cute in that moment. No one is going to make Phoenix feel bad about herself — well, except for me, after she steals my treats.
If cats have a secret, Bum, I’d say that’s it: We approach any manner of negativity with a healthy dose of indifference. Your one-step plan for getting bikini-ready is as follows: Stop giving a crap. As long as you feel good about yourself, I’d say you’re ready to go to the beach.
Of course, we could address the obvious underlying issues that would make anyone want to visit a place as loud and wet as the beach in the first place — especially when, if we’re being honest here, the whole place is just a giant litter box — but I’ll save that for another column.
Bubba Lee Kinsey
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Read more by Bubba’s human:
About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she’s an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her three cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey, Phoenix, and Salvador.