Stumped on silly nil object but debug shows it is not nil

<%= faq.faqcats[:title] -%> in view kills it with this error:

"You have a nil object when you didn't expect it!
You might have expected an instance of ActiveRecord::Base.
The error occurred while evaluating nil.[]"

Extracted source (around line #16)

16: <%= faq.faqcats[:title] -%>

===scenario===

I am using :include => [:faqcats, :modes], in my controller find
request

in my view: <%= debug(faq) -%> prints

Like I said silly. I ended up having a Faqs with the faqcat_id of
Faqcats that had been removed.
so some nil objects. duhhh... (I knew I forgot to finish something
in the admin the other day)