What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

Dear Cattykism,

Although I pride myself on my aplomb, between you and me, there are occasions that catch me by surprise. How can I buy a little time to consider the correct reaction to a situation without revealing my uncertainty?


Dear Obfuscat,

We all find ourselves in these situations, especially those of us who live with humans, who are so frequently bewildering or eccentric in their behaviors. There are several ways to postpone a reaction while determining a suitable course in a new or confounding situation.

If the circumstance is more one of confusion than threat, spontaneous grooming sessions are never inappropriate. Distraction by potential prey is also entirely permissible. This includes prey that may not be perceptible to the blunted vision of humans.

If the situation is potentially alarming, we recommend an interlude of post scratching (or whatever is available). While this is not as overtly hostile as a stare, hiss or snarl, it subtly underscores one’s readiness for battle, should battle become necessary.

Finally, retiring to a location of established safety from which you can reconnoiter may be a prudent strategy. This time-honored tactic is preferred by many of our readers who are of a more conservative disposition.

We hope these suggestions have been of assistance, and commend you for your diligence in upholding the dignity of all felines.

The Cattychism Panel