F.A.Q.

1. Who are you?

We’re Siouxsie Mew,Thomas T.Bombadil, and Dahlia P. Kittenface, three cats blessed with a wonderful human servant who does all our translating and typing for us.

2. Why do you do this?

Because we love to, and fortunately, so does our mama.

3. I have a question for you. How do I contact you?

Simply post a comment on the Ask a Question page and we will answer your question in our weekly advice column. We generally answer letters in the order they are received, unless they are particularly relevant (for example, letters about Christmas trees and cats during the holiday season).

If you want to contact Mama directly, you can e-mail her at janea (at) paws-and-effect (dot) com.

4. You didn’t answer my question right away! You suck!

We receive literally dozens of letters every week. It is simply not possible to answer every letter we receive the minute we receive it. Paws and Effect is a weekly advice column, and we answer letters in the order in which they’re received. We also suggest that you look at the tag cloud to the right and see if any of the keywords relate to your issue. You can also review the archives to see if we’ve answered a question similar to yours in a previous column.

5. But I need some advice right away.

It’s very unusual that we can give advice right away, but we will often e-mail readers directly if their question seems to be particularly urgent. For example, if you write asking us about a health-related question and we think you should contact the vet right away, we’ll e-mail you as soon as we get your comment and tell you so.

6. My cat is peeing all over the place! What can I do?

Please check the archives. We’ve answered this question, and several variations on that question, in previous columns.

7. Do you answer questions about dogs or other animals?

We don’t know a lot about dogs or other animals in general, but we can answer questions about other animals and their interactions with cats, or how to help your cat and other animals get along better.

8. Why do you ask for donations?

Because Mama spends a great deal of time and energy maintaining this site and helping us communicate with the world, and we hope that you will find all our efforts worthwhile and helpful. If you can make a donation or purchase some Paws and Effect merchandise through our shop at Zazzle to help offset the cost of hosting this site or to help Mama buy delicious food for us, we’d be very thankful. We don’t accept advertising, so we rely on you to help us pay our costs. Besides, we give 10% of all donations we receive to the Hancock County SPCA, our local animal rescue group.

9. Do I have to make a donation to get my question answered?

No. You will need to be patient, though, because we answer letters in the order in which they’re received. We know that not everyone is able to make donations, and we don’t discriminate on that basis … or any other basis, for that matter!

10. Will you have my kittens?

Sorry, boys, we’re spayed. And Thomas is neutered, ladies.

11. Can I link to your site?

Sure. We love it when other webmasters want to link to us. We’d be glad to link to you, too, if you’ve got a site we think other cats and cat lovers would appreciate or benefit from.

12. Will you advertise my product on your site?

We will consider advertising your product if we have used your product and found it satisfactory and/or effective. We would be glad to accept sponsorships from organizations or companies whose work and views are in alignment with our ethics.

13. This is ridiculous! Everybody knows animals don’t talk.

With an attitude like that, animals certainly won’t talk to you!

14. This is ridiculous! We all know cats are selfish creatures who don’t care about anything except getting fed, and they certainly wouldn’t write an advice column!

Oh, the old “all cats are selfish and uncaring” stereotype rears its ugly head again. We’ve never met a selfish or uncaring cat in our lives! We wish we could say the same about humans.

15. You’re not veterinarians. Aren’t you afraid you’ll get sued for giving advice about health and behavior?

That’s true, we’re not veterinarians. We’re cats, and a human who has lived with and and read about cats for most of her adult life. Our advice is based on our experience and on the books Mama has read. You’ll notice that at the bottom of every page is a disclaimer stating that our advice is not meant to be a substitute for regular veterinary care, and we always, ALWAYS tell people that whenever they’re in doubt, they should talk to their vet. Our only goal is to inform people about health and behavior issues and to help lay people understand cats’ nature and health issues from another lay person’s standpoint. We hope that the people who read our column are wise enough not to take our word as gospel and to ask for the opinions of professionals such as veterinarians and behaviorists when necessary.