Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Wanting To Put This Behind Me in Michigan

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I read your column every day and finally decided it was time to ask for advice. Last weekend, my husband of nine years did the unthinkable. He hit me in front of our two children. He had been drinking excessively, and apparently, I pushed the wrong buttons. A few choice words were exchanged, and I told him to get out of our house. He wouldn't leave, so I took the children to my parents' home.

I returned the next day, and he said he was sorry and promised to quit drinking. I felt confident that we could work through this. Now, he is saying that because I took the kids to my parents, he cannot be around my family ever again.

I keep reminding him that he is the one who did this. It seems like he is trying to punish me for standing up for myself. If he were to just go on like nothing ever happened, we could start to heal and rebuild, but by refusing to be with my family, it is a constant reminder of what happened that awful night.

I say he needs to be a man and take responsibility for what he did. What do you say? -- Wanting To Put This Behind Me in Michigan

Dear Wanting: We think you are being naive. It's possible, if this is the only time your husband has hit you, that he won't do it again, but we wouldn't count on it -- especially since he will not acknowledge that he is at fault and continues to punish you. And a promise to quit drinking, by the way, isn't the same as doing it.

Please call Al-Anon at 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666) ( and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) (, and ask for assistance. Do it today.

Dear Annie: We recently found ourselves in exactly the same boat as "Look What the Cat Dragged In," whose neighbor's cat kept getting into her yard. After trying to be nice, I went to the animal control office and borrowed a cat-catching cage. I bought two cans of cheap cat food, opened one and placed it inside. When I caught the cat, I took it to the animal control office. They fined my neighbor $50 and told her next time it would be $100. I still have a can of cat food left. -- Oregon

Dear Oregon: We heard from several readers with suggestions. Here's more:


From Wyoming: We moved to a new house not long ago and had cats that liked to show up in the middle of the night. I also am an animal control officer. I brought home one of my cat traps and kept a spray bottle close by that was filled with water and food coloring. When the cat went home red or green, I never saw it again. This does not hurt the animal, but it gives the owner a hint that the animal is somewhere it doesn't belong. This may be a little more difficult on darker animals, but trust me, when Fluffy sits on the cream-colored couch and turns it blue, the owners get the point.

Connecticut: A simple fix is to go to the nearest feed store and get some natural predator (like coyote) urine. Put a little on a piece of cloth and hang it near any place you wish to keep the cat away from.

Illinois: Here is a simple solution: Grind a bunch of orange peels up in a blender, and scatter them on the lawn and garden area. It works.

Dear Annie: You can train a cat to establish his turf by leashing him and walking him around the perimeter of his "territory," and giving him a firm "NO" when he steps onto the neighbor's yard and praising him when he redirects himself. Those with cats who roam should tell the neighbors that they are trying to discourage Fluffy from visiting their yard and to feel free to turn the hose on the cat to chase it away. Sometimes just acknowledging that your cat is a nuisance will pacify the neighbor. If you own a pet, you are responsible for your animal. -- Cat Mother of Five


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at




Nest Heads David Horsey Between Friends Al Goodwyn Barney Google And Snuffy Smith Adam Zyglis