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Cage Licking

Dear Frankie,

I hate my boyfriend. Everything about him makes me want to smash him in his face with a frying pan. He's not abusive, or mean, or anything like that. It's all the little things, like the way he flicks his tongue around his mouth after eating. And the way he sighs... if I hear his nose hairs whistle one more time I'm going to lose my mind. We both work in the tech industry, and are working from home during Corona Virus - in a one bedroom apartment. I don't think I can take being around him 24/7. I still love him, I just want to choke him out from time to time. Do you have any advice for living in a small shared space?


Balled Fist

Dear BF,

I feel your pain. Being around people sucks. Us cats are solitary psychos who tolerate the presence of humans, but only really love a select few humans - sounds like you might have a little cat in you. I was on my third shelter when I met my new life-mate Eric, so I understand a thing or two about small shared spaces. I held my own by being just a bit crazier than the other cats around me. In your mind create an invisible wall. Anyone that approaches the wall gets hissed at. Cross the divide - prepare to meet my claws.

What I'm saying is: you need boundaries, and ya need to speak up. That's the hiss. It's good to recognize your desire to choke and smash - the human equivalent of claw work. It's not natural for a solitary hunter to not be ready to fight. Just know who your enemy is. It probably isn't your boyfriend's annoying human ticks. I mean - ya LIVE with him. It may sound sit-com-esque, but try dividing the apartment in half during the work day, or working on opposite ends of the apartment. And wear headphones. When the time is right, mention the tick you'd like him to change in a playful way, like, start laughing and say "Holy crap! I can hear your nose hair whistling! That's hilarious! You should probably take care of that..."

This quarantine/work from home era will test the boundaries of lots of relationships. Just know that tigers locked in cages will always lick and groom each other as well as growl and hiss. These are tense times that require released tension; every growl needs a groom and every hiss need a lick. Good luck!



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