DEAR DR. MILLER:

City Kitty hates the sound of firecrackers and things like that. She heads for the closet. Can she live in there for awhile? Would a tranquilizer be better? --L. S.

When City Kitty's all wrapped up in this firecracker phobia it wouldn't do to "shoo" her out of her santuary. That's presuming closet accomodations can be better than "barely" adequate. If Closet Kitty can cope sufficiently there to carry on with the bare essentials -- eating, sleeping, and eliminating -- then it may be a better answer than tranquilization.

DEAR DR. MILLER:

It's been two years that my dog has had this messy thing called glossopharyngeal. He drools at lot and he has trouble swallowing his food. No cure I was told at the time. I wouldn't be writing now except that somebody said he looks like he has rabies. I was told not, but I think I'd like a second opinion. --D. F.

Glossopharyngeal is the name of the ninth cranial nerve. When it's not functioning properly, reflexes related to gagging, coughing and swallowing are interfered with. The affected dog would have trouble swallowing food or saliva and might drool, giving the appearance perhaps of a dog with rabies. A rabid dog in the later stages of his disease will often have a paralized glossopharyngeal nerve. Appearances could indeed be similar at that point. However, a rabid dog would go down hill quickly and would not appear otherwise normal, nor could it conceivably hang on for an additional two years.

DEAR DR. MILLER:

We've got a good spot I think for a fish pond. I'd hate to fill it from a hose, it could be pretty expensive. Where else could I get water to fill it, do you think? --L. P.

That would depend on what's available. If you have no lake, river or stream nearby you might have to depend on a spring or well water. If neither of these is available you might have to wait for rain. If that doesn't pan out, it's probably back to the hose.