Dear Dog Lovers:
Today's column will be of no interest to you. Cat lovers, you will enjoy it. It was written by Bob Story and appeared in the Laguna Beach, Calif., CoastlineNews. My warm thanks to Patrick L., who sent it to me "in appreciation of 40 years of great reading," and kudos to Story, who knows how to turn a cat-astrophe into a great column.
How to Give Your Cat a Pill
1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as though holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth, and gently apply pressure to his cheeks. When cat opens up, pop pill into mouth. Cat will then close mouth and swallow.
2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Repeat the process.
3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
4. Remove second pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open, and push pill to back of throat with forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of 10, if you are able. Hold cat's mouth closed as well.
5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call for assistance.
6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, immobilizing front and rear paws. Ask assistant to hold cat's head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into cat's throat. Flick pill down ruler with forefinger, and rub cat's throat vigorously.
7. Retrieve cat from living-room curtain valance.
8. Carefully sweep shattered figurines from hearth and set aside for later gluing. Remove third pill from foil wrap.
9. Wrap cat in beach towel and ask assistant to lie prone on cat with cat's head visible under assistant's armpit. Put pill in end of paper tube you've made for this purpose. Then, force cat's mouth open with pencil, and blow.
10. Check label to make sure pill is not lethal to humans. Sip water to take taste away. Apply bandage to assistant's forearm, and remove blood from carpet with soap and cold water.
11. Retrieve cat from neighbor's roof. Remove fourth pill from foil. Place cat in cupboard, and close door on cat's neck and head outside cupboard. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with rubber band.
12. Fetch screwdriver from garage, and put cupboard door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek, and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw bloodied, ripped T-shirt away, and fetch another from bedroom.
13. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat.
14. Call 911, ask fire department to retrieve cat from eucalyptus tree.
15. Remove remaining pill from foil wrap.
16. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine, and securely tie to leg of dining table. Put on heavy-duty pruning gloves. Force cat's mouth open with tire iron. Drop pill, previously hidden in one ounce of raw hamburger, into cat's mouth. Hold head vertically with nose pointed to ceiling, and pour one-half pint of water down cat's throat, and two jiggers of whiskey down your own.
17. Ask assistant to drive you to emergency room. Sit quietly while doctor administers anesthetic, stitches fingers, forearm, and removes pill remnants from eye.
18. Drop off cat, along with a generous donation, at animal shelter, and adopt a goldfish.
Questions may be sent to: Ann Landers, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, Calif. 90045.
(c) 1999, Creators Syndicate