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October 19, 2010 Edition

 Dear Max:

I’ve heard a lot about you from my mommy and she tells me that you are the handsomest and the smartest dog in the world. Now she also tells me that I am the cutest and smartest cat in the world. I think we could go for world domination together but in your last column you mentioned that you find cats disgusting. Is there any way that you could get past that for world domination? Cats aren’t so bad you know, if you meet the right one…

— My name is so long I can’t remember it


How dare you even address me, CAT? Don’t you know you’re supposed to walk ten paces behind me at all times, which shouldn’t be an issue, considering your wee widdle kitty legs are even shorter than mine, CAT?

**Sorry, dude, I just had to keep up my cover. Brilliant creatures that we are, you and I both know that humans are incapable of reading between double asterisks. Just like they can’t hear a pin drop from two blocks away or automatically salivate at the sound of a can opener. Sad, pathetic humans.**

World domination? With YOU? That’s absurd, CAT! The very thought of it robs me of my appetite!

**Dude, I’m totally making that up. Nothing robs me of my appetite.  A Snooki/Dick Cheney/Carrot Top ménage à trois couldn’t ruin my appetite. Close, though.**

Why would I even consider dominating the world, CAT? I love humans!

**I hate humans. Well, most of ’em. I love cats. Well, most of ’em. (Don’t start, Sylvester. You know what you did.) And actually, dude, that world domination thing is a great idea. Other than my mommy and Jessica Alba, we can turn all of humankind into slave labor for all I care.**

Begone, CAT! Never darken my door again!

**See you Tuesday. Bring snacks.**

 Dear Max:

My family puts the fun in Dysfunctional. Between all the extended family from various marriages/divorces/etc., it seems like everyone’s got crazy drama. Is it too much to ask people to be considerate of one another and not take stuff so seriously?

— Walter on the East Side

 Dear Walter:

Your question’s a bit ambiguous, I must say. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on here, which of course won’t keep me from diving on in and giving you advice anyway. (Look, I give things on the street two sniffs tops before deciding to lick them, which I do 50 percent of the time, or go ahead and eat them, which I do the other 50 percent. I’m not what you’d call inhibited.)

So your family’s dysfunctional and full of drama, huh? Brother, do I ever know how you feel! It’s not easy being No. 9 in the litter when your mom only has eight nipples! You want to talk about sibling rivalry, I was lucky to get two sips in. I’m telling you right now, I would have been bigger than Marmaduke if I hadn’t been so malnourished as a pup.

Sure, you could ask your family members to “be considerate of one another and not take stuff so seriously,” but they’re probably exactly the sort of people to take that way too seriously. They’ll get offended and start a fight with you, because let’s face it, they’re drama queens.

I think it was Norman Rockwell who said, “Screw family — you don’t need ’em.” Well, it was someone, at least. If the fur flies every time your litter get together, blow it off! Unless you think you’re going to need an extra kidney soon — then just try to hang with the people whose company you can tolerate.

 Dear Max:

Woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof?

— Mike

 Dear Mike:

That’s some pretty heavy stuff to lay on a brother. I don’t know if I can answer all of that in a few paragraphs. But I’ll do my best. Because your question covers three distinct and complicated subjects, let me divide them up.

First, I believe that our spirituality rests deep within. With every wag of my tail or lick of my tongue, I feel I’m expressing my spirit and testifying to my own personal doggy deity. We all experience this crisis of conscience occasionally. You’ll get through it. I suggest reading up on some Gandhi, Viktor Frankl, and Danielle Steel.

Second, I have to go with Julie Newmar. No offense to Eartha Kitt or Lee Meriwether, both lovely ladies, but Julie Newmar’s enough to make a dog fall in love with a cat.

Third, woof woof woof woof, woof woof, woof woof. Furthermore, woof woof woof, woof woof, woof woof woof woof woof. Oh, yeah: woof.

Hope that helped. Stay strong, dawg.

 Dear Max:

I keep waking up at 4:37 a.m every single morning.  I can’t get back to sleep, and then at the end of the day, I’m a wreck. I pass out early wherever I happen to be, and then drag myself into bed, only to wake up again at 4:37 a.m. Luckily, the only person disturbed by this is me (and now you — well, maybe not you so much). Anyway, how well do you sleep? Any advice?

— Insomniac

 Dear Insomniac:

How do I sleep? That’s easy.

I sleep like a dog.

Next question…

(Yes, Mommy. I know I need to write more. But I’m tired. Look deep into my big, sad, puppy dog eyes and let me hypnotize you into letting me take a break. It’s working, huh? Look how sad I am. You can’t resist these eyes. Poor widdle Max needs a slice of roast beef, doesn’t he? Doesn’t he? Hey, you’re not looking into the eyes. The eyes, dammit! Look into the eyes!)

Sorry, Insomniac, I’m back. Dude, if you’re not Jack Bauer or Tara Reid, there’s no reason to be awake at 4:37 in the morning. I mean, unless you’re just trying to not get killed by Freddy Krueger, you need to crash.

Perhaps you’re just not exhausting yourself sufficiently during the day. For example, I chase my tail for a good two hours every day. I know this works for humans, too, because my buddy Dave says he chases tail constantly, and he seems to be pretty worn out afterward.

If that doesn’t work, apply for a meteorologist job at the Today show. You’re up early anyway, and the skinny Al Roker still freaks me out.

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