In Bubba’s Bad Advice, Bubba Lee Kinsey, a 14-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,
Every time I look at Facebook or Instagram, I feel an enormous sense of longing. It seems like everyone I know is living their best lives — they’re creating great art, making music, traveling the world, falling in love, having babies, making lots of money.
I feel like I should be happy for them, but instead I almost immediately get jealous because I’m sitting on the couch at home watching Law & Order again while they’re out there being awesome. I start to worry that I’m missing out, and then I feel resentful, which causes me to become depressed, which causes me to watch more Law & Order on the couch. It’s a vicious cycle.
How do I get over my fear of missing out so I can enjoy what’s in front of me right now?
Dear Detective Benson,
First, I’d like to remind you that social media is a damn stinking lie. Just the other day, the female human took a picture of me napping and posted it to Instagram with the hashtag #mostmajestichandsomenappingkittyever — or something to that effect (I might be a bit off).
In any case, she used a “filter” — which I think should be called a “lie tint” — to make my image appear glowing and ethereal, as if the photo were somehow taken at dusk, underwater, through that giant blue diamond from the movie Titanic. Well, let me tell you something, Detective — I can assure you the moment she captured was nothing special. I was just lounging on the couch farting and sleeping off another epic kibble binge. In fact, I’m pretty sure I threw up on the rug later.
My point, of course, is that social media lets us manipulate reality. Your friends’ lives might look perfect, but what you don’t see is the hour they spent yesterday trying to fish the toy mouse out from under the record player, or that time they fell asleep in the linen closet and had to wait until someone else got home to let them out. Those things happen to everybody, but nobody talks about them on social media. So there’s your first mistake, Detective: Never confuse Instagram with reality.
Now. About the fear of missing out. To a certain extent, this is healthy; I mean, it’s good to have goals. But if I’m so worried that I’m going to miss out on the female human giving me a bite of her granola bar that I overlook the chance to slap Salvador the kitten upside the back of his adorable striped head — well, that is a damn crying shame, and I’ve no one to blame but myself.
Instead of always looking forward to the next big thing, I try to look at familiar things with new eyes. I might have seen the living room rug 100 times this week, but hey, I’ve never noticed that frayed loop of carpet before — I bet it would be terribly exciting if I tugged on that with my teeth. And I don’t think I’ve ever tried to climb the television stand from behind. It would probably give me unprecedented access to the blue glass vase the humans keep up there.
If I’m afraid of missing out on one big thing, I’ll never notice the countless fascinating little things that could add up and totally transform my existence — or at least finally give me the chance to eat the dried roses the female human keeps on top of the record player.
I think it’s also important to remember that, like the litter box, fear and other feelings have a way of magically renewing themselves. What one moment might be reeking and laden with literal poop will be clean and glistening with fresh sand if I only wait a few hours.
I guess I’m saying that whenever one opportunity vanishes, another will arrive — and you’ll totally miss it if you’re too busy wondering when the male human will come home and give you more bacon. Sooner or later he will walk back through that door, and if you keep waiting you’ll be the first in line — but in the meantime you’ll miss the sun puddle on the living room floor, the pile of laundry in the closet, and that dirty napkin hanging out of the garbage.
It’s good to have goals, Detective, but not at the expense of other such immense opportunities.
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 two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.