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Hey, Einstein,

I understand yesterday was National Grandparents Day. My human is (how shall I put this?) 40 and single. When her own human mom kept asking about babies, Mom adopted me, and introduced me as Grammy’s grandkit. I think Grammy actually had a grandbaby with fewer legs in mind.

Grammy’s never taken me to Disneyland, but she carries photos of me on her smartphone, and whenever she comes over she always has catnip toys in her purse. When Mom travels for work, I get to go to Grammy’s house for a sleepover. She’s great. There are definite pros and cons to being a grandkitty.

I get to do lots of fun things at Grammy’s that my mom won’t let me do at home. Instead of brushing my teeth, she gives me dental treats. I get milk and chicken broth and lots of tasty tidbits, and I don’t even have to sit or shake to earn them.

Grammy doesn’t get upset when I ralph on the carpet, and she lets me play with a ball of string. (Yes, she watches me to make sure I don’t swallow it.) Grammy talks to me and I talk back. She lets me sleep with her and gets up to feed me in the middle of the night when I “accidentally” wake her by shoving my whiskers up her nostrils. (Mom just kicks me out of the room.) She even lets me play in the back yard (with supervision). When I’m in the house I get to watch the birds and squirrels fighting over the bird feeder.

 

On my birthday (the anniversary of my adoption) she brings me cat treats and toys. She even cross-stitched a Christmas stocking with my name on it. (Super cool, but I could do without the elf ears hat.)

On the downside, she knits silly sweaters and hats for me and posts pictures of me wearing them on the internet. She also dresses me in ridiculous costumes. If anyone hacks into the cloud and steals those photos, I’ll never be able to show my face around the neighborhood.

Grammy complains that she sees no family resemblance. I can’t help it if they weren’t born with enough legs.

How can I honor Grammy on National Grandparents Day without compromising my dignity?

(Grand) Sonny

 

So Sonny,

I’m glad your Grammy has decided to accept you as her blood. Grammy’s in good company. Even former first lady Laura Bush has bragged about her own grandcat.

In most ways grandkitties are superior to grandkids. Grandkitties never get too heavy to pick up, and there are no dirty diapers. When we answer the call of nature, your Grammy doesn’t have to drop everything to pitch the poo. Your mom won’t have to borrow money from Grammy to pay for braces or send you to college. Since you’re neutered, there’s no worry about an unexpected litter. And while you may occasionally talk back and ignore her at times, you won’t hang with a bad crowd or do drugs. So when Gram’s friends brag about their grandcuties, she’ll know you won’t break her heart.

 

One disadvantage is you won’t be around to take care of her when she can’t care for herself. It’s definitely a tradeoff.

I think we need to set up some ground rules for Grammy.

Rule 1. No embarrassing cat clothes. That includes ugly sweaters, knitted hats with braids that make you look like a hairy Pippi Longstockings. No embarrassing Halloween, Christmas or Easter costumes that include, but are not limited to: cowboys, devils, angels, pirates, sharks, superheroes, frogs or canines. Acceptable costumes if tasteful include: nudist, cardboard box, paper sack.

Rule 2. If you break Rule # 1, don’t post it on Facebook or Pinterest.

Rule 3. Grammy must share one-third of her turkey sandwich with you, or at least one-third of the turkey in the sandwich.

Rule 4. Grammy is required to oooh, ahhhh, and fuss over her grandkitty for a minimum or 30 minutes every day.

In exchange, you’ll adore her and sit on her lap to purr away the arthritis and other aches and pains.

 

On special occasions, including Grandparents Day, Christmas (or Hanukkah), and her birthday, you can give her one of many grandcat-themed gifts: a digital picture frame filled with photos of you, a bumper sticker that reads “My Grandcat Is Cuter than your Grandchild” or an “I Love my Grandcat” keychain, car magnet, old-school picture frame, T-shirt, locket (with your picture inside), refrigerator magnet, coffee mug, or cell phone protector.

Sonny, it sounds like you’ve hit the jackpot. Grandmothers are powerful allies. After all, she used to send your mom to her room. Memorize her speed-dial number and use it next time your mom catches you climbing the curtains.

What does your kitty do for her Grammy or Grampy? Do your cat’s grandparents do anything special for him? Let us know in the comments!

Learn how to live a better life with your cat on CatQuestions:

Einstein’s assistant, Dusty Rainbolt ACCBC, is the vice president of the Cat Writers’ Association, editor-in-chief of AdoptAShelter.com and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She’s the award-winning author of eight fiction and non-fiction books including her most recent paranormal mystery, Death Under the Crescent Moon.

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