Thursday, November 27, 2014

A List Of Thankfuls - Tazi's Annual Thanksgiving Message

Dear Readers:

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States of America, a day we set aside each year to give pause and think about the blessings in our lives. Whatever your personal beliefs about the holiday - political, religious, or a lack of either - today is a day to give appreciation for those who make our lives special. Today, I would like to use this space to offer praise to those who make my life special; and thanks for the things that make me a happy kitty!

I am thankful for:

My Mommie, who rescued me from the shelter when I reached out to her - literally. More dead than alive when the shelter brought me in, I would huddle in the back of my cage; fearful of everyone. When she walked in, something about her attracted me. My instincts told me she would be a good Mommie, so I rushed forward; stuck my paw through the cage; hooked my claws into her sweater; and pulled her close to me. We have been inseparable ever since.

My Co-Mommie, who is actually my Grand-Mommie, but she does not like being called that. Every night, after a long day of napping (on my part, not hers) she provides a lap for me to curl up in and cuddle. I love my evening snuggles!

I don't bite when given snuggles, but belly rubs are another story!

Every morning, Co-Mommie wakes early to keep me company and take care of my needs. She claims that she wakes early to get ready for work, but I know the truth: she just wants some alone time with me, before my nap schedule kicks in for the day.

My Daddy, who was promoted from "Uncle Person" after leaving work to let me in when I got locked out and it was threatening rain.  How many men do you know would punch-out of work to rescue their girlfriend's cat from the impending rain?  Exactly!  Now you know why he is my very favorite person in the whole, wide world, and I know that he feels the same way about me! How could he not? He comes over every day just to visit with me! (He claims he comes by to see my Mommie, but I know better!).

Or maybe Daddy just knew the consequences of wetting a cat!

For something my humans call "treats". I am not sure why they taste so much better than my cat cereal (what my humans call "dry food") but there is something about them that makes me want to gorge myself...and then throw them all up on the rug to make room for more!

Pancakes are Mommie's favorite, and so I loves them, too!

For cat-nip; and for the fact that humans have yet to discover how awesome it is!

For soft blankets, on which I take my naps, and for those holes in the walls and floors where warm air blows out of when it is cold. What a great invention!

Whoever invented these things was a genius!

For all of you, who read my column; write me letters; and leave me comments. I truly enjoy writing this column; and thank you for letting me be a part of your life!

Once upon a time, I was an abandoned kitty; left on the streets to fend for myself in the cold and the snow. Now, I am safe and warm; pampered and attended to; surrounded by people who care about me, who love me no matter what (even when I jump on their pool table in the middle of a game!).

Do YOU want to be the one to tell "Morris" to move?
I have a lot for which to be thankful...and it is my hope, dear Readers, that you do as well! A Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


P.S. Reduce, reuse, recycle! Think globally and act locally by giving your turkey scraps to the cat in your life!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pregnant Teenage Neighbor Has Mother Worried For Her Own Daughter

[Editor's Note: The pseudonym "Jezebel" was chosen by the letter writer; the pseudonym"Carrie" was chosen by Tazi.]

Dear Tazi:

My daughter "Carrie" is seventeen. I have done my best to raise her with solid, Christian morals that are lacking in today's world. Carrie has always been a good girl, who has never given me a lick of trouble, but I am concerned about the kind of influence the girl across the street is on her.

Carrie's best friend "Jezebel" is not the good Christian girl my daughter is, as evidenced by her unplanned, pre-marital pregnancy. Jezebel's mother is thrilled that she is going to be a Grandma, and cannot stop beaming about this horrendous news. I have heard from Carrie that Jezebel's mother is redecorating a wing of her house to create a suite for Jezebel, the baby's father, and their bastard child. She is also talking about hiring a nanny to assist with the care of the child so Jezebel can finish high school and go to college.

Tazi, I have always warned my Carrie that premarital sex is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, and would result in pregnancy, which would result in a life of poverty. In one fell swoop, Jezebel's mother has destroyed all that I have tried to teach my daughter! I have informed Carrie that if she were to come home pregnant not to expect the same welcome that Jezebel has received from her mother. I have told Carrie she is no longer allowed to hang out with Jezebel.

My husband travels frequently for work, so he is not here to assist me with Carrie; raising a child alone is hard enough when you are married! Knowing this, I have altered Carrie's allowance structure. She still gets the same $100/week, but only $20 of it in cash and the rest is on a prepaid debit card. This way, I can track her purchases and see what she is buying. (Condoms? Birth control pills? An abortion?). Carrie is upset about this change, saying it is proof that I do not trust her to behave, and my husband thinks I am over-reacting; both argue that I have raised Carrie to be a certain kind of woman, and that she is not going to turn her back on that upbringing. I, however, am not convinced. Carrie suggested that I write to you, and we have agreed to abide by your decision. Tazi, am I over-reacting?

High Moral Mom

Dear High Moral Mom:

Your decision to raise Carrie to believe in an angry, vengeful God over a loving, forgiving God is your business - not your neighbors' business, so please climb down off of your high horse and stop judging them because they do not conform to your standards; let go of your anger over your neighbor's decision to support her daughter in her time of need, to welcome the birth of her first grandchild. Would you rather see the young couple dropping out of school, living in an inner-city apartment, and collecting welfare just to prove a point to your daughter? This does not sound like a very Christian attitude!

You cannot isolate your daughter from the world, so you must trust that you raised her well enough that she will want to make you proud and be the type of person you raised her to become. Jezebel (did you really have to call her that?) is going to need all the love and support she can get during a time that is bound to be stressful. However, between completing her senior year of high school, studying for her SAT's, giving birth, applying for colleges, and caring for a newborn I doubt she is going to have a whole lot of free time to hang out with her friends. Seeing this may be enough to reinforce that which you have taught your daughter about the side effects of having sex.

Your decision to keep a closer eye on Carrie's spending is one I can get behind, if only because I believe that a parent should monitor their children's spending habits, in order to help them learn responsible spending habits. Since a debit card cannot be used everywhere, and can be inconvenient for small purchases, Carrie should have some money in her pocket. It is your reasoning for switching Carrie's allowance from all cash to minimal cash and a prepaid card is, to put it bluntly, insulting. If your daughter wanted to purchase any of the things you think she might be purchasing she would find a way to do it without alerting you, by either going through friends or squirreling away money each week. For the record, on $20 cash per week, she would have to save for the duration of her pregnancy to have an abortion, which makes this worry moot.

I think you need to dial back the control you seek to have over your daughter and have an open and honest conversation with her about the fact that she will soon be an adult, off at college and on her own. Will you give her the chance to show you that she is ready to accept the challenges of being a Christian adult in a secular world?


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In-Law Trouble Puts Family At Odds

Dear Tazi:

My sister-in-law "Jolene" (my brother's wife) and my husband have never gotten along; but I only recently discovered that the rest of my family is not too fond of my husband, either. "George" can be an overbearing, temperamental, insulting know-it-all at times; but he can also be sweet, and kind, and caring, too. This is the side of him my family does not seem to notice.

A few weeks ago, my mother held a party for my father's 65th birthday celebration. Everyone was having a great time, but after the cake was cut and slices of it were being passed around, things melted down quicker than the ice cream. My two and a half year old daughter, "Sassi" had somehow gotten hold of the knife used to slice the cake - the one metal knife among the plastic - and was about to stick it into an electrical outlet. Jolene saw what was about to happen and since she was too far away from Sassi to stop her in time, she yelled at her. She said, "NO, Sassi! You put that down RIGHT NOW!". Sassi was so surprised she did drop the knife - and then started to cry, which upset George.

George, not liking Jolene to begin with, reprimanded Jolene in front of everyone; saying it was inappropriate of her to yell at Sassi and demanded that Jolene apologize to Sassi for upsetting her. The look on Jolene's face told me this was not going to happen and I tried to intervene before things got worse, but George shushed me. Seeing this sent Jolene - a feminist - over the edge, and she told George exactly where he could shove the knife that Sassi had been holding, before storming off. My family just stood by and laughed - partly to relieve the tension, and partly because it was kind of funny to everyone but George. George then proceeded to turn on my mother, asking her why the house was not child-proofed; to which she responded, "because no children live here". George insisted we leave immediately, which we did.

It has been two weeks since we left the party, and George is still steaming about it. He will not allow my brother or sister-in-law to see Sassi until "she gets the apology she deserves" and refuses to allow me bring Sassi to visit my Mom until she has the house "professionally child-proofed". I think that George is being completely ridiculous, and once again presenting himself as a complete jerk to my family. Do you have any advice on how to mediate this situation?

Torn Between My Marriage And My Family

Dear Torn Between My Marriage And My Family:

I would first like to say that I am glad that nothing unfortunate happened to your little girl. It would have been an absolute tragedy if she had succeeded in sticking a metal knife into an electrical outlet. I have to ask: If this had happened, who would your husband be blaming for Sassi's injuries? Would he be lashing out at Jolene - who saw what was happening - for not yelling at your daughter to drop the knife? It sounds to me that Jolene was in a no-win situation with your husband, and it appears that she knew it. Although her display of temper was uncalled for, I, too, am getting a snicker out of imagining the scene.

George was completely out of line in so many ways. First, if he had an issue with Jolene yelling at Sassi he should have approached her privately - or better yet, had you tacitly approach her; he should not have reprimanded her, like he would a child, in front of everyone. Second, Jolene does not owe Sassi an apology. I do not know where George gets off thinking that a toddler deserves an apology being scared out of committing a life-threatening act. Third, he should not have "shushed" you in front of your family when you tried to mediate the brewing confrontation between him and Jolene. He treated you as one would a child, and if anyone is owed an apology it is you. Fourth, he has no right to demand that your mother get the house "professionally childproofed". Although, as grandparents, your parents should take steps towards child-proofing the house; your mother's reaction tells me that there is more to this argument than your letter reveals.

You do not say why Jolene and George do not get along; but you do make mention that Jolene is "a feminist", which has me connecting the dots and seeing a better picture. The fact that your entire family, and not just Jolene, is not fond of your husband is something you should take into consideration as you try to mediate the situation. I suggest that you speak with your family privately - without George - and ask them for their frank opinion of him, and why they feel as they do about him. Once all the cards are on the table, you can go about mediating the situation; illustrating to your family the ways in which George is "sweet, and kind, and caring, too". Hopefully, you will be able to work from there. Both sides - your family and George - will have to be open to compromise, and to discussing the issues as mature adults, in order to repair these damaged family ties. Otherwise, the only one having to decide which side to take will be you.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.