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!

You can also follow Lyle's adventures on Twitter and Instagram, @lylestagram. 

Hi Lyle,

Long time reader, first time writer. I am a young and confident cat who had a tough early life. I was born under a deck to a cat mom who didn't know what she was doing and was rescued as a kitten, where I was adopted into my forever home. I have adjusted well to domesticated life and I like all of the normal things: armpit scritches, using my mouth (not paws) to hunt, getting fast and hard tummy rubs, having lick fights with my sister and hissing to scare away large and small things that move. Everything is really great and I even got a new secondary human about two years ago who I really like (and let me tell you about this one place on her bed that is just THE place to be).

The problem is that sometimes I can tell she is making fun of me when I engage in these normal cat behaviours. My primary human clearly knows how to handle a cat, but this second one just doesn't seem to get it, and what's more, she laughs at me right when the armpit scritches are at their best, and I have drifted off into a zen-like state. Is there any way I can teach her how to deal with my regular behaviours and show her how cats act. On a side note, she brought two cats with her when she came to us, and I have NO idea how they have gotten along so far. These cats don't do any of the normal things- they don't growl at birds with a weird noise, they don't play fetch like I do, and they rarely meow for food (I am contstantly on the alert that food might be coming, so I sound the alarm for everyone, and they never seem to appreciate it!). Am I just doomed to be mocked?

-Definitely Normal Dorian

Hi Devishly Darling Doreen! 

Always great to hear from a fan. I am really glad that you found a forever home after a bit of a tough start. Humans who rescue cats are my very favourite ones. Let's talk a little bit about your normal behaviours. The truth is, there really is nothing that we can consider normal or not when it comes to cats. We all have our unique experiences that shape the kinds of things we respond to, and it sounds like your Momma has done some fun experiments to determine what kind of petting you love. How she discovered that you liked armpit scratching, I'll never know!

That being said, I have known quite a few cats in my time, and I don't think I have ever heard of anything like that. If you consider it from this human's point of view, it might look pretty silly. I wouldn't judge it, of course, but it sounds like this human gets a kick out of your…ahem..individual style. She probably just loves you in her own way, and part of that love involves pointing out what a special guy you are. Or maybe you just seem a little bit nutty to her. I just couldn't say. My advice to you is to keep doing what you love. It sounds like you bring a whole bundle of joy into your home just by being yo' weird self. 

Keep on keeping it strange!


PS. I have witnessed a lick fight between two of my siblings and even I was laughing at that. It starts out just as nicely grooming each other, and it gets more and more aggressive until it comes to blows. Seriously! What is up with that? 

Read more of Lyle's thoughtful advice!

Why Can't I Scratch on the Couch? from Nibbles

A Cat's Sixth Sense from Elroy