DR. WALLACE: I have a cat, and I love her very much. I feel that she is a member of the family. Whenever I come home from school, Kitty jumps up on my lap and licks my cheek. I know that she is glad to see me and she is giving me a kiss. My grandfather lives with us, and he hates cats. Whenever I talk to my kitty, grandpa gets mad and yells, "That stupid cat doesn't understand what you're saying, so keep it quiet!" My dad agrees with my grandfather. He also hates cats. It's a good thing that mom is on my side. Several times, Daddy has tried to get rid of my kitty cat but Mom always comes to our rescue. Do you think that my cat is kissing me when she licks my face? Do you think it's a waste of time to talk to her? — Cat Lover, via email
CAT LOVER: Your cat is glad to see you and shows it by jumping up on your lap and kissing your cheek. Grandfather is misinformed. Cats do have the ability to understand what humans say! However, it's not the specific words, but rather the gentle tone of your voice, the pleasant look on your face and the friendly hand scratching her neck. You also receive abundant pleasure and enjoyment when talking to your wonderful pet. It would be nice if Grandfather and Dad would read this column. They don't need to love cats, but hating them is not suitable for a family with a pleasant pet who causes no harm.
ASK TEACHER TO CALL MOM
DR. WALLACE: I have a good part in an upcoming play at my school. I really like acting, and my teacher says I'm very good at it. My problem is that my mother keeps threatening to make me quit the play whenever I do the slightest thing wrong. For example, I forgot to stop at the convenience store to buy her some ice cream, and she got mad and said, "I ought to pull you out of that play for being so stupid."
Now I'm a nervous wreck. I would just die if she stopped me from performing. What would I do if she made me quit the play on opening night? It would be a disaster for the entire cast and the school itself. Please tell me what to do. I do my very best to please my mother, but at times my best just isn't good enough. I'm human and make the occasional mistake, but they are always minor. I have never been in big trouble anytime in my life. — Actress in Training, Los Angeles
ACTRESS: Tell your drama teacher what's happening at home. Ask the teacher to call your mother and let her know that you are a talented actress and that everyone else in the production is depending on you. It's imperative you be allowed to perform your part without threat of being pulled out over minor issues at home. Drama is an important part of your education, just as important as history, math or any other subject. Your mother must be made to understand this, especially because your performance and participation means so much to many others who have worked hard to make your production an upcoming reality.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.