An alert reader sent this gem to me recently; these are very handy instructions for the conscientious pet owner…
1. Grasp cat firmly in your arms. Cradle its head on your elbow, just as if you were giving a baby a bottle. Coo confidently, “That’s a nice kitty.” Drop the pill in its mouth.
2. Retrieve cat from top of lamp & pill from under sofa.
3. Follow same procedure as in 1, but hold cat’s front paws down with left hand & back paws down with elbow of right arm. Poke pill into its mouth with right forefinger
4. Retrieve cat from under bed. Get new pill from bottle. (Resist impulse to get new cat.)
5. Again proceed as in 1, except when you have cat firmly cradled in bottle-feeding position, sit on edge of chair, fold your torso over cat, bring your right hand over your left elbow, open cat’s mouth by lifting the upper jaw & pop pill in – quickly! Since your head is down by your knees, you won’t be able to what you are doing. That’s just as well.
6. Leave cat hanging on drapes. Leave pill in your hair.
7. If you are a woman, have a good cry. If you are a man, have a good cry.
8. Now pull yourself together. Who’s the boss here anyway? Retrieve cat & pill. Assuming position 1, say sternly, “Who’s the boss here anyway?” Open cat’s mouth, take pill & ….Oooops!
9. This isn’t working, is it? Collapse & think. Aha! Those flashing claws are causing the chaos.
10. Crawl to the linen closet. Drag back a large beach towel. Spread towel on floor.
11. Retrieve cat from kitchen counter & pill from potted plant.
12. Spread cat on towel near one end with its head over long edge.
13. Flatten cat’s front & back legs over its stomach. (Resist impulse to flatten cat.)
14. Roll cat in towel. Work fast; time & tabbies wait for no man – or woman!
15. Resume position 1. Rotate your left hand to cat’s head. Press its mouth at the jaw hinges like opening the petals of a snapdragon.
16. Drop pill into cat’s mouth & poke gently. Voila! It’s done!
17. Vacuum up loose fur (cat’s). Apply bandages to wounds (yours).
18. Take two aspirins (or martinis) & lie down.