Ask Marla

Have a problem in your life that can’t be solved just by getting a Furilla? Then you’ve come to the right place. Our resident advice expert, Marla Kittens, is a cat psychologist (that is: a cat and a psycholgist), and  she’s ready to handle anything: relationships, cars, whatever. Send your questions here.

Hi Dr, Kittens here. I get a lot of emails asking how I became a cat psychologist, and of course, what does that mean?

Are you a psychologist that specializes in cats or are you a cat and a psychologist? The answer is both, but my work is mostly for humans. The next question is how did you become a psychologist? It’s simple, when I was a kitten , and while my humans last name was Kittens, thus my name Marla Kittens, I mean when I was a juvenile cat I was given a Signund Freud cat toy. I loved my Freud cat toy. When it became time for a major in college, I sort of naturally went to psychology.

Given this worked out the way it did, I developed a theory. What if I exposed other kittens, not my relatives, to other toys associated with other professions. How cool wold it be to have a cat airline pilot? Or a Cat neuro – surgeon. I tried it.

After this sort of worked I launched ( pun intended) The Marla Kitten Institute (MKI) (put Logo here).

We’ve trained several lesser known astronauts for NASA. Remember Captain Sarah “Whiskers” Reynolds, probably not, but she was a cat that initially trained on the toy Shuttle toy above. She was a cat. This saved the USA millions of dollars. Remember a cat goes from kitten to adult in 1 year and overall cat expenses are so much lower than a human.

The take home from this i is if you’re a parent, you can influence your child’s interests by exposing them to those interests.If you want your kid to become a cardio-thoracic surgeon expose your kid to lots of cardio thoracic experiences. If you’re kid’s a cat, get your them a chicken heart to play with and they’ll likely eat it . that’s a two for one. You’re welcome.

Dear Marla,

My girlfriend and I live together in Amherst, Massachusettes, and we love Spindrift, that sparkling water that is infused with real fruit Juice. We really like the lime version. We keep several cans in our Sub Zero refrigerator ( BTW, this is a spectacular refrigerator) and we each probably drink at least one can per day, sometimes two!

My problem is my girlfriend never washes off the tops of the cans and even though the product is boxed, I’m a little concerned that one of us may get the latest Covid variant from an unwashed can top. Because of this I always pour my Spindrift into a glass with these spectacular clear ice cubes (thanks Sub Zero). Even doing the pouring has me a little freaked, but yeah, I’m a risk taker and I do it. Sometimes though, when friends are over, I don’t want to seem like a wuss and want to drink directly from the can, but I just am afraid Ill get something.

Should we split up? Should I wipe in front of her? What should I do?


Better Safe Than Sorry

Dear Not a Can Licker. I mean, BSTS,

This is a big problem and I’m glad you’ve come to me. You’ve come to the plight race, I mean right place. I’m on a lot of pain killers and I’ve been mixing up my prefixes. I just got a set of Invisilign retainers. I feel like I went t from retainer 7 to retainer 3 and my mouth heally rurts, I mean, really hurts. I have a Cat dentist, that is a dentist for catts though she could be a cat. I think this whole Invisilign For Pets thing maybe a scam. Anyway, back to your problem

Ok, I got it. You’re definitely a little OCD, but i hear you, better safe than sorry given the whole pandemic thing. My humans love Spindrift, ttoo. I wish they made a meat based formulation for me. Your girlfriend may be right about the cans being clean given Spindrift being boxed, but do I look like a Food processing engineer?! No , I do not. I’m not at the canning plant so like you, I’m not super sure how clean those can tops really are. Sorry for the outburst I’m just in a lot of pain Since receiving your letter, I have licked a few can tops and I get nothing. I do see a Cybertruck after each lick. Yeah, I know its stainless steel. I’m just telling you what I see and taste.Yeah, some synesthesia on board.

Here is what I suggest:

  1. Wipe the can in front of her or anyone, this is a common practice Holy cow you live together. You should be able to wipe in front of each other. Some of the best airlines do this (at least for first class passengers). Also, I’m sure you’ve noticed Pellegrino cans have a foiled protective label over the can tops for this reason
  2. If you really want to prove your hygienic point with her, you could probably buy a pet turtle and play with it during dinner with her. She probably knows that this poses a Salmonella risk.
  3. Or, if you want to really prove your specific point, buy a a little Closstridium Botulinum bacteria ( you’ll probably get flagged as a domestic terrorist if you’re not an employee of the CDC) and put a couple of drops on your can of Spindrift. Have a cold one and youll get super sick, maybe even die. You may need to be on a ventilator. This will prove you’re right. Make sure not to use a credit card because if she pays the bills, you’ll be screwed when she finds out you did this to yourself.

Let us know how it goes.


Dear Marla,

My best friend and I have decided to s start a coffee business in Tacoma, Washington. It will be a small cafe where we’ll serve coffee drinks and pastries.

The space we’re considering also has enough space for us to do some roasting operations if we choose to. Or, maybe even a community space as we overlook the water and its beautiful. I’m a real people person and beyond serving the best coffee and supporting our coffee farmers equitably, our goal is to be a real staple for the community.

My name is Rhea and my business partner’s name is Diane. The problem we’re having is the name for the shop. I’m putting in about 70% of the funding to get us off the ground and I think my name should come first as in “Rhea’s and Diane’s Cup o’Brown”.

Then, early this morning I found out Diane was just diagnosed with Crohn”s disease. I know it’s not exactly deadly, but it can be difficult if not messy. Now I’m feeling bad about putting my name first.

What should I do?


Rhea Beenis

Dear Rhea,

I totally get where you’re coming from and I’m sure we could brainstorm a name for your new business that could be really fun that both of you would love, but let’s work with what you’ve provided.

I think this is simple given the latest health news, I think you should put your friend first. You will always feel good about this. If your friend does die before you, this will be a nice tribute to her as well. You should name the shop Diane and Rhea’s Cup O’Brown.

When I get to Tacoma, I can’t wait to try it and I’m sure the whole town will be buzzing with how much they love Diane and Rhea!

Dear Marla,

I live in Bellvue Washington, and I want to get a new 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Limited, but i cant get it with a heated steering wheel in the USA. The same car, made in the same Indiana factory is sold in Canada literally a couple hundred miles away has the heated wheel. I want to just order the part from a Canadian dealership and then transplant the new steering wheel. The wheel costs $1300 US dollars. Should I do it?


Hot Wheels

Dear Hot Wheels,

That sounds like a pretty good plan and I did look at the Canadian website and I can see the Heated steering wheel is controlled by a switch but otherwise identical. It is not part of either displays. The price is steep and certainly there are questions. I would inquire on the Subaru XV forum to see if anyone has done this Canadian to USA Crosstrek mod. I bet some one has.You don’t want to kill your warranty.

UPDATE: I would order this from Subaru of America from your dealer. You can find he parts you need from this site:


You might be better off waiting for the 2025 Forrester as it will have a heated steering wheel on one of the trim levels ( likely Touring). I bet the steering wheels will be identical. My last thought is ditch the Subaru and get a Tesla Model Y Long Range . 5 heated seats and a heated steering wheel.Fully electric ,you’ll save money on gas and you’ll probably never have to replace brake pads due to the regen.

Hi Marla,

I traded a work shift with my colleague a few weeks ago.The facility I work in had a gas leak. That caused an explosion in the area (pillow fill area) I work in, and my colleague was severely burned. Her face almost litteraly melted off and to make matters worse, the down filling (goose feathers) stuck to all her wounds She actually looked better covered in feathers It was incredibly painful for her to have each feather pulled from her injuries. I know this would have happened to me had I been there. I feel terrible.

This was bad enough, but it gets worse. I was having an affair with this colleague’s husband. He is one of the facilities engineers that helps run the plant.

What should I do?


Scarred and Feathered

Dear Scarred and Feathered,

No question, this is a tragedy and a bigger one should your colleague recover. Is the husband Mike Flynn of Provo’s PuffTtown Manufacturing? Is his wife Emma Flynn , that used to work for Hormel? I love Linked – In.

First I would visit her and be as encouraging as possible. I would keep the whole affair thing a secret for now, especially if she survives. Do not show off a ring to her that Mike gave you. I would also ask Mike if he knows what happened. Hopefully, sort of, if you find out that Mike engineered the explosion on purpose then at least you know he really loves you, or was just tired of his wife. I m going to hope it’s the former as dating a murderer is not so great.

Dear Marla,
I need tires for my Tesla and I want runflats as there’s no spare. What do you think?

Dear Sick O’,,
You can do runflats for sure but there are not a whole lot of All Season Chioces in
the 20 “ inch size. These heavier tires will negatively affect your range as well.

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