Dear Heloise: Some people love their TATTOOS. Others find that a tattoo is an unpleasant reminder of an earlier lifestyle, gang affiliation, love lost, or just plain ugly! What once was a “cool idea” may keep one unemployed or banned from the military if the tattoo is highly visible, especially on the face or neck. People see gang or prison tattoos, and this may cancel out your good qualities.

Thanks to your column years ago, I have been able to refer thousands of requests for affordable (nonlaser) tattoo removal to my programs, now in 15 states and five countries. Civic groups, private doctors or religious organizations easily can establish a program, as described on our new Web site,

This program “has been a godsend” for people of all ages, as related by one group that has a removal program. Especially for the young man who tried to do job interviews with tattooed eyelids. This is just one of far too many comments and examples of how a “bad” tattoo can affect a person’s life.

Fax your request for a referral to have a tattoo removed to: Tattoo Removal, 210-495-7145. Please be sure to include your city and state and a return fax or phone number. -- Dr. Tolbert Wilkinson, San Antonio

Readers, tattoos can be an expression of art, a message or a remembrance of a loved one or an event. I’m not making a judgment call, but merely printing Dr. Wilkinson’s letter. The last time this referral program was printed in my column (many years ago), there was a large response to find out more information about how to have an unwanted tattoo removed. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Surround ice cream in your shopping cart with paper towels, toilet tissue and the like. These act as great insulators to keep the good stuff cold. -- Michael K., via e-mail


Dear Readers: Have you ever watched a cat playing with catnip? It can be quite comical! Not all cats react to catnip, but for those who do like it, they will roll around on the floor in it and really have fun.

Related to mint, catnip causes a reaction in the brain when a cat smells it. It is safe for cats, but if your cat is playing with catnip, it’s probably best for solo play. Cats can become very aggressive, so give your cat a few minutes to relax.

Catnip is sold loose and in cat toys. To use loose, sprinkle a bit on the floor (yes, it will be messy, and keep away from children), or put some in a sock and tie it off. It is safe if the cat happens to eat some. -- Heloise

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate