Ollie is a rescued black and white Shih Tzu who turned his passion for helping other pets into a popular advice column. Ask Ollie questions by emailing him at Ollie@chathamcountyline.org


What’s the big deal about cats? Cats have been around a long time and they do just what they please. In contrast, dogs live to please their owners. Humans love their dogs and may live longer, healthier lives in the company of a dog. People even talk to their dogs, true it’s one sided, but it’s therapeutic. I’m a great dog, my man-human and I watch the waves crash at the ocean, play Frisbee and, when my manhuman’s favorite sports team loses a game, I’m the king of empathy. There’s talk in the house of adopting a four legged companion for me. But no, not another cool dog but a black rescue cat that they plan to name Bruiser. What can I do?

Sincerely, Greg, an Irish wolfhound Pittsboro


Your humans intend to rescue a cat! I like the idea of adoption, having been a shelter resident myself. So, I’m in favor of cats getting a forever home, as long as they don’t move in with me. The good news for your family is that black cats are plentiful. In fact, a 2013 ASPCA study found that 33 % of all cats coming into shelters were black; gray cats accounted for the second-highest number at 22 %. And of those adopted, 31% were black while 20 % were gray. Black cats are just as cuddly and just as good at keeping people company as any other color cat. Greg, I know you are a bundle of love for your humans and you see a new cat companion as an outsider. However, in 2019, researchers at Oregon State University found that cats can bond with us just as strongly as dogs or infants do. If your family has set its heart on adopting a black cat, get used to it. Since Halloween is just around the corner, my woman-human is dusting off a perfectly horrible pumpkin costume for me to wear. It’s true that black cats take a bad rap during that season but no one and I mean no one dares to dress them like a stupid looking orange Jack O’ Lantern. So, if your family is thinking about adopting a black cat, contact the shelter way before Halloween. And, if you ever see a black and white shih-tzu dressed as a pumpkin, it’s me.

Love is a four-legged word.