Ask Ambrose – a Quartet of Troublesome Pets

Grim Puss Problem

Dear Ambrose,

My cat is always very serious. I am worried he may have a heart attack and drop dead. What can I do to make him lighten up?

Worried Cat Owner,


Dear Worried Cat Owner,

I suggest sitting your cat down on the couch and showing him some funny movies. The Marx brothers are always a good bet – I myself have seen at least two cats laughing hysterically at “Duck Soup.” If this fails, you may want to sit him down in front of YouTube and take him through some videos of politicians making promises. As a last resort, I suggest putting on a colorful clown costume, swaying from side to side and waving your hands while repeating in a comical voice, “Why so serious? Why so serious?” If none of this works, you may be in the unfortunate position of owning a cat who is the reincarnation of a corporate accountant.

Hoping your cat soon lightens up,


Cat is easily offended

Dear Ambrose,

My cat freaks out every time he sees me naked. What can I do?

Naked in Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee

Dear Naked in Nashville,

The answer to this problem is as clear as the nose on your face — you must put a blindfold on your cat. This way you can roam around naked without disturbing your cat’s equanimity. If the cat then has trouble finding his way around the house, it may be time to get him a white cane or some sort of sonar system like bats use. This latter solution will not only make it easier for your cat to not bump into the furniture, but will also give you an excuse to dress him as Batman every time Halloween comes round.

Hoping I have been of help,


Dark Days in Dogtown

Dear Ambrose,

My dog always looks very suspicious. I suspect that economic and political woes are making her jaded and cynical. Please help.

Concerned Canine Owner
North Carolina

Dear Concerned Canine Owner,

What you ask is unreasonable. I am only one man — I can do nothing about the state of the global economy or the political system. As a matter of fact, until last week I thought the Federal Reserve had something to do with shy bureaucrats, and the last time I tried to vote I mysteriously wound up trapped inside a Porta Potty for a whole day. All I can suggest is that you get your dog to focus on less stressful matters, perhaps getting her to spend more time reading the comics page and less time reading the finance section would help.

Your friend,


Too Much Generosity

Dear Ambrose,

My raccoon keeps bringing me cats. The problem is that I already have several cats and don’t want any more. How can I stop this behavior without making him feel like an inadequate gift-giver?

Sick of Cats,

Dear Sick of Cats,

Try leaving subtle clues around the house that you would like him to bring you some different animals. Maybe leaving dog toys or hamster wheels lying around will give him the right idea. Perhaps you can sit him down and watch some Animal Planet with him, taking the opportunity to make comments such as “Wow, those meerkats are really cute, aren’t they?” and “You know what’s really handy around the house? A moose!” Raccoons being intelligent animals, it shouldn’t be long before he stops boring you with the same old gifts.

Hoping I have been of help,

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