Ask Ambrose – “Help! My cat’s a bastard!”

Cat Has Bad Hygiene Habits

Dear Ambrose,

I was horrified the other day to find out that my cat has been using my toothbrush to clean his own teeth. My girlfriend tells me that she has known about this for weeks but that she has been afraid to speak up because if I tell the cat to not use my toothbrush he might resort to using hers! I have nothing against cats but am uncomfortable with letting one use my toothbrush. I know cats can be very sensitive animals so I am afraid to bring up the matter lest he take offence or think that I am some sort of bigot. I am at a loss as to what to do. Please help.

Cats Gross Me Out

San Fernando Valley, California

cat uses my toothbrush
Dear Cats Gross Me Out,

Luckily the answer to your problem is an easy one – you must let your cat keep your current toothbrush and simply buy yourself a new one (a new toothbrush, not a new cat.) This new toothbrush must be hidden from sight, just in case your cat’s behavior is some kind of bizarre territorial thing rather than an innocent mistake. A good place to hide your new brush would be inside a ceramic toilet tank as most cats have difficulty lifting the heavy lid – if you do not have a ceramic tank you must go out and buy one. In the unlikely event that your cat somehow finds your new brush you may want to switch to an electric toothbrush – when your cat turns it on and it starts making that weird whirring noise he will probably run out of the bathroom all the way into another state, which will make it very difficult for him to access your bathroom.

Hoping I have been of help,



Cat’s Eating Habits Annoy Owner


Dear Ambrose,

My cat eats all the pizza. When I have friends over and we order pizza he lurks under the couch until we open the box, then jumps out and very quickly eats all the pizza while giving us all blank looks. He then nonchalantly curls up in the box and goes to sleep as if pretending that nothing has happened. He does this not only when my friends and I are home but also when I am at work and he has the house all to himself. He has gone so far as to order in and then charge it to my credit card, though to his credit he usually pays for the pizza boy’s tip from his own allowance. What can I do about my pizza-loving puss?

Missing My Pizza,

Detroit, Michigan

cat sleeping pizza box
Dear Missing My Pizza,

Since part of your cat’s strategy is to hide under the couch, the best solution to  your problem is to stay away from said furniture. Try eating the pizza in the kitchen, but only after having checked under the couch to make sure the cat is there rather than under the kitchen table. By the time the cat figures out what is going on it will be too late. He will no doubt be chagrined but you can mollify him by dipping the leftover crusts in ketchup and offering them to him. If the cat catches on and this tactic stops being effective you and your friends may have to take more extreme measures by eating your pizza while floating on a raft made from large air mattresses placed in the middle of your swimming pool. As everyone knows, cats hate water and not even pizza will make one of them take a dunking. If you do not have a pool you can still use this strategy by substituting a bathtub for the swimming pool, though this may get a bit crowded depending on how many friends you have and how big your bathtub is.

Hoping I have been of help,



Caterwauling Cat Causes Consternation

Dear Ambrose,

Recently my cat Sisley has developed an unpleasant habit of sneaking into the bathroom late at night, climbing up onto the toilet as if it were some sort of stage and then singing very loudly. This would be problematic even if he had a good voice but he is almost tone deaf and his chiaroscuro has too much scuro and not enough chiaro. In the picture I have enclosed he is performing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” at around 3am and at 143 decibels, which according to the Encyclopedia Britannica is at the same level of noise as artillery fire. Although his version is slightly better than the original it is still very irritating and nobody in the building could get any sleep that night. Please help.

Owner of Gaga Cat

Boston, Massachusetts


toilet cat singing at 3am
Dear Owner of Gaga Cat,

I fear there is no effective way to make a singing cat shut up, not without doing the kind of thing that will end up getting you a featured role on one of those Animal Planet shows about The Humane Society. The news is not all bad, though, as you can always try to change your cat’s musical tastes. For example, you could start playing some Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin around your house. This may make your cat more likely to emulate some of these classic crooners rather than the more sleep-depriving music he is currently into, and I’m sure we can all agree that a cat singing “Sway” or “The Summer Wind” at 3am is preferable by far to him yelling about a “Bad Romance” or his “disco stick.” Whatever you do, do not allow your cat to listen to death metal, as a cat singing songs such as “At Midnight I Will Eat Your Entrails” is likely to give one of your elderly neighbors a heart attack.

Hoping I have been of help,



Cat Shows Troubling Antisocial Tendencies

Dear Ambrose,

My cat Felix has recently been assassinating the neighbors. It started a few weeks ago when he began chasing after Mormons with a baseball bat, then he progressed to throwing rocks at the postman, and now things have deteriorated to the point where every day at around 6 pm he sits at the window with his automatic rifle, cackling in an evil manner and shooting down the neighbors as they come home from work. Not only is his unexpected behavior having a negative impact on my social standing in the community but every time he kills someone I am the one who has to clean up the blood off the concrete and my knees are starting to get chafed. Please help.

Bugged By Bastard Cat


kitten with gun
Dear Bugged By Bastard Cat,

I fear the behaviors you describe indicate that your cat has gone beyond the realm of mere bastardry into that of actual psychopathy. If you do not get him some help soon, Felix may turn out to the world’s most prolific cat serial killer. This could have a serious impact not only on Felix’s chances of not being gassed by the authorities but could also have a seriously detrimental effect on your own life – nobody wants to be known as the guy who owned the feline world’s answer to Charles Whitman. I see several courses of action that may be able to help you. The most obvious is to sit him down and tell him in a stern voice, “Killing people is bad! Bad!” Try this several times a week for about a month and see if the killing stops. If it does not it may be advisable to try putting some valium or Thorazine in his daily bowl of milk. Another possible course of action is to redirect your kitty’s murderous impulses back towards a cat’s natural prey, namely mice and birds. This is best done gradually by persuading some of the local birds to dress up as office workers and then tricking your cat into thinking they are humans – this can be achieved by getting the birds to stand around inanely blabbing into their mobile phones or staring blankly at their email inboxes. Once Felix has become accustomed to shooting the faux-human birds his natural instincts should kick in and he should start to kill regular, non-fancy-dress-type feathered critters.  If none of these methods work, you may need to have him lobotomized, something which can be achieved with the aid of chloroform and an electric drill. If you do not have chloroform and an electric drill you can just sit him down in front of a marathon screening of all eight seasons of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” I realize this last measure may seem a little extreme, but it’s either your cat’s brain or your standing in the community — it’s up to you.

Hoping I have been of help,