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Dear Uncle Mat


Do you give feline advice? My cat is a little OCD and is pulling out chunks of fur ... any advice?

— Crazy Cat House Mom

Dear Madam,

I know very little about felines, but that’s why I have a Cabinet. I took counsel with my BFF and Lesbian in Chief, Lisa, as well as my Pet Guru General and friend, Dana Montana.

Montana put great emphasis on diet. “CATS ARE CARNIVORES!” Which really is true, I suppose. When was the last time you caught your cat eating a bush? Read labels. Try to avoid meat byproducts, even meat “meals” as ingredients. You might try exploring a raw diet. Recent vaccinations and bad litter (try a natural corn or soy product here) might also make a kitty go cuckoo for hairballs.

Lisa mentions that there are synthetic pheromone products for the home that mimic the pheromones cats naturally release when rubbing up against you and furniture. They are reputed to be a natural and indirect way to calm your kitty. (I find that a little disturbing. I’d check for human side effects, like giving birth in litters or licking your own butt.) She also mentioned diet: Have you changed your cat’s food lately?

All three of us asked the question: Has there been an environment change? New pets, boyfriends, or furniture? Are you stressed out, wishing you could pull out your fur? Pets are connected to us like little empathy voodoo dolls.

Never rule out the frustrated visionary theory. Possibly s/he is a performance artist, a political activist, or this is some strange evolutionary experiment. What is he doing with these chunks of fur?

Good luck and remember that any changes in your pets’ lives should be gradual, especially dietary modifications.

Much love and fewer bald patches,

Your Uncle Mat

I met this guy at a friend’s barbecue in August. He is both sweet and handsome. He has a great job, a house, a car, and real life goals, like he wants to travel. He says he wants a medium-sized family. He is perfect for me! We have been dating ever since and all of my friends and family like him. Our talks are becoming more serious and involve “our future.” We are planning our first trip together this fall. This is what I don’t understand: He is booking us separate hotel rooms and we still haven’t had sex yet. He wants to wait till he is married or at least certain he is going to marry the girl. He isn’t a virgin, he just says that he isn’t proud of the sex he has had with previous girls and he wants to know that God approves of his next choice. I’m Catholic and all, but I still think we can have sex if we are in a committed relationship and love each other. Sex helps strengthen a good relationship. How do I convince him I’m not one of the girls from his past and only want our relationship to grow? I know in my heart God blesses and believes in us.

— Impatient for love

If God hasn’t convinced your boyfriend to sleep with you yet, do you really think I can? You want me to palm God a few bills?

It really isn’t all that bad that the guy has standards and willpower. As you work to lure the prude prince into your bed, be careful not to compromise too much of his resolve. He clearly takes this idea of celibacy-till-marriage or whatever very seriously. Breaking it could cause some serious personal re-evaluation and/or damage for him and his feelings for you. You’ve known each other two months. That really isn’t that long. Pressure might be giving him pause. I am guessing he has trust issues and you have to overcome them if you want his goodies. This will take patience. For now, enjoy your private hotel suite and relax.

You might ask yourself, how religious is this guy? Am I that religious? What other beliefs do we share or not? How many wives are in a medium-sized family? What else does he require God’s approval for? Can he hear God? Religion gets tricky as soon as more than one person is involved — just ask one Joan of Arc’s exes. Best to check his Bible’s earmarks.

Much luck and love,

Your Uncle Mat

Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at dear or
Your true identity is safe with him.


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