Dear Lyle,

It’s been a tough week. When stepping out for  a little supervised playtime, my human and I were shocked by the sudden appearance of a dastardly raccoon.  He headed straight for my human, so I was left with no choice but to intervene. I attacked the rascal, and in the process of nobly defending my human/food dish, I was dealt a nasty gash on my left cheek.

I retired to my quarters to nap this one off, but my human was having none of it. She put me in the travel box and took me to see a man in a white coat (who smelled a little funny, to be honest). He then gave me something he called “sedation” and I fell asleep. When I woke up, the most annoying thing had happened – someone has tied a huge, white plastic collar around my neck. I can’t remove it, no matter how many times I hit it against the scratching post. My human keeps calling it “the cone of shame”. Why do I have to wear something so shameful if I am the hero of this tale? No matter how plaintive my meows or how cute I look, my human just does not take the silly thing off. How can I bear this insult?


None-too-pleased Noah

Dear Noblest Noah,

Wow! It seems like you are a really tough cat. Fighting a raccoon? That is some intense stuff right there. I am so glad you escaped with only a scratch, and that your human did the right thing and took you to the funny-smelling dock-tor. I don't have much medical training (just an online first aid course for humans, and they didn't even figure out that I am feline!), but I know that it is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to injuries from wild animals (or any injury, for that matter).

As to the Cone of Humiliation you are now wearing, my best guess is that it is meant to help you heal up fully so that more bad stuff doesn't come of this incident. Maybe the cone produces some sort of energy field that makes owies go away! Or maybe, your human just wanted to help amplify your plaintive meows so that she could hear them even if she was outside the house or at work. 

If it really bothers you, perhaps you could suggest to your human that she decorate it with insignia and symbols that tell the story of your heroics, so that other cats will know that it isn't a Cone of Shame at all, it is a Cone of Honour. 

I hope you heal quickly and don't have to fight any other scary creatures any time soon.

Thanks for writing in!


Ask Lyle is our weekly cat-to-cat advice column from Modern Cat (and ridiculously outspoken gentleman), Lyle. Submit your questions to, and he will be happy to answer them. Don't forget to include a photo of the questioning cat so that we can post it with the advice!

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