Cats from every background, whether living on their own in an alley, or with a family in a nice house, are finding themselves facing a variety of issues on a daily basis. Some have become so obsessed with their problems that they feel it is pawsitively hopeless. But if you or some one you know is having to deal with such troubles, there is now someplace you can turn to for help. "Help for Anxiety Ridden Felines" (HARF)  is a support group formed just for felines with issues. They meet every Monday and Thursday at 2 p.m. in the alley behind Luigi's Jewelry Mart on Grand Street.

Signs that your problems have reached a point that you may need the help of a support group are:

  1. Loss of interest in grooming
  2. Excessive grooming
  3. Loss of finicky appetite, eating whatever is put in front of you
  4. Never wanting to leave the house
  5. No longer attracted to chasing birds and rodents
  6. Forgetting to kick sand all over the floor after using the litter box
  7. Getting less than 20 hours of sleep a day
  8. Lack of desire to scratch the furniture   
  9. Loss of interest in tormenting dogs
10. Inability to cough up fur balls at will

Don't be embarrassed by your problems. Here are just a few of the problems our current members are facing. Of course names have been changed to conceal their identities:

Lester: "I don't know how it got to this point, but I am in love with a dog. I know it can never work out, but I love her. Her incessant barking, her dog breath, her silly game of fetch, these are just a few of the things that make me wild about her! But I must admit that the fact that she is a St. Bernard does create a size issue. I have lost all respect from my friends. Help! I don't know what to do."

Oscar: "Well, I have been living a lie all my life. I am a beautiful long haired Persian who has an extreme hatred of fur. It disgusts me every time I look in the mirror! Oh I prance around and pretend that I feel gorgeous, but inside I'm dreaming of being hairless. I have even considered shaving! Why can't I just be happy with who I am?"

Sheba: "My people don't understand me! They never know what I want. They put me out when I want to be in, and in when I want to be out. They give me tuna when I want chicken, and beef when I want turkey. They scratch me in all the wrong places, and when I bite and scratch at them they think I am just being affectionate. They don't take me seriously! Will they ever get it? Can I ever be happy here? Or is it time to move on?"

Princess: "I don't like fish! I have tried it every way; shredded, raw, baked, ground, freeze-dried, and I don't like it! What kind of cat am I? I always try to avoid social events where fish will be served so other cats won't find out. I'm tired of having to hide my tastes! What can I do? 

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