Friday, February 10, 2012

Thoughts About Cats & Dogs on a Great Winter Day in Maine

It's Friday, I'm lazy as hell, the sky is a bright azure blue and cloudless... it's an absolutely gorgeous day in Maine! The temperature is just how I like it: great weather to layer on clothes, put on a heavy hoodie, throw a good scarf around my neck and go out and breath some brisk fresh air. I might take it with a chaser of salt... thinking of grabbing the bone hound and going for a walk along the ocean... Shadow's always game for that! Some bad weather looks like it's heading our way this weekend so today might be a good day to go out and play. The cats, of course, being cats and having the intelligence of the Ages, have found a sunny spot near a window and I know their feline little hearts are taking pity on me. They're yawning as I pull out my hiking boots but Shadow is already having a hissy fit; he can hardly contain himself!

"Hiking boots!" he slobbers and whines, "My God, that's almost as good as frickin' bacon!"

He's so excited he'd lace up my boots if he could; he's a whirlygig of pent up canine energy and as he slams into me with excitement I feel his raw power and remember how we rescued a worn-down depressed dog, suffering from heart worm and too many harsh hands. To see him now is such a joy: confident, strong, healthy and full of energy... usually all I have to do is say hello to him and he falls at my feet, submissive, his underbelly exposed and begging for my touch. He and I make sweet music together with this mutual adoration thing we have going... but now he just wants to be a dog; he's focused on the hiking boots with a laser like beam befitting a Scud missile and there's no going back now... returning them to the closet is NOT an option.

Shadow's running frenzied circles around me as I walk with the hiking boots to the front door, the last item of apparel I'll put on before we jump in the truck and head to the ocean to chase some gulls.
He whine more loudly; it's almost painful to hear: "Hiking boots! OMG! She has the HIKING BOOTS!!"

Suddenly it's all too much and totally overcome he sits at the front door and throws his beautiful head back on his powerful muscled neck and he lets out a hair-raising howl; he looks and sounds like a majestic wolf baying at the moon.

Shadow's in canine ecstasy and this is his song of primal unbridled joy!

The cats... well, as I said, they look on us with condescending pity and stretch; then they stand and look at one another, rearranging themselves carefully into an embrace and settle in for a heavenly  snooze.

I love them all. I'm neither a dog person nor a cat person... I love them both...they're just different but equal.

 Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.

Which reminds me of a great article I wrote last year... hmmmm.... where is it? It seems a perfect fit today: like great leftovers from a delicious meal... maybe even better the second time 'round. Yeah: a damn good article will stand the test of time.

OK, here it is; found it in the archives; I'll tweak it to fit today and repost. What the hell; it works for me and I suspect it will work for you. So, while Shadow and I are out walking along the ocean in gorgeous southern coastal Maine and the cats snooze contentedly back home in the sunshine, this is my Friday gift to you... may you have a laugh and then find the time to be with someone who loves you as unconditionally as a dog and as wisely as a cat.... peace. ~m.

How to Give a Cat a Pill

1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby.

Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth.

Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa.

3. OK, let's do this again.

Retrieve cat, get new pill and repeat #2 above.

Remember, YOU are in charge.

4. Remove soggy pill from your hair and generously cleanse your multiple scratches. This might be a good time to put on a thick flannel shirt.

5. Take a deep breath and get a new pill. Retrieve cat from under bed. Cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Remember: he's getting worn down and should be easier to handle.

Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

Now Get out of the Way!

6. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl

.... and cat from top of wardrobe...

Call spouse in from the garden.

7. You can do this. Breathe deeply.

Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Remember: You Are In Charge!

Retrieve cat.

Get spouse to hold cat firmly while you force open mouth with wooden ruler. Quickly let the pill slide down the ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously. Count to twenty.

Have spouse release cat and both of you JUMP OUT OF THE WAY.

8. Pick up table lamps and retrieve cat from curtain rail.

Make note to buy new wooden ruler and repair curtains.

Carefully sweep up shattered figurines and other glassware from the floor. Be careful to find all of the hundreds of very small shards of glass so the cat doesn't step on them and hurt his paws. You wouldn't want that to happen.

9. Remain calm. Let spouse retrieve the cat while you go grab another pill.

At this point, both of you might want to wear oven mitts or garden gloves.

Having a beer won't hurt either.

Wrap the cat in a heavy bath towel.

Have spouse lie on cat with the cat's head just visible from below spouse's armpit. Ignore cat's howls and hisses.

Put the pill in the end of a drinking straw, force cat's mouth open with wooden spoon, shove the straw in the cat's mouth and quickly slide the pill down the straw into the cat's throat.

10. Check label to make sure the pill is not harmful to humans and don't worry too much about the saliva; most cat spit won't kill a strong adult with a good immune system.

But as an added precaution, drink a beer. Maybe two.

Generously cleanse and apply band-aids to spouse's forearms and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

Your spouse should drink a few beers too.

11. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed.

Get another pill.

Have another beer and go to Plan B:

Throw the cat into a dresser drawer and close the drawer partially, exposing only the little bastard's head and neck.

Force his mouth open with a screwdriver and then slingshot the pill down his throat with a rubber band.

12. Call the fire department to retrieve the damn cat from the top of the tree across the road.

Apologize to the neighbor who crashed into your fence while swerving to avoid the cat. You might want to forget the beer and go directly to the scotch. Offer some scotch to your neighbor and reassure him you have excellent homeowner's insurance and you understand the liability is all yours.

13. Let your neighbor worry about the tow truck and ask your spouse to drive you to the emergency room. Take the bottle of scotch with you. It will help you sit quietly while the doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye.

14. My final advice: If Mutant Ninja Cat from Hell is still alive when you get home -- get a new vet. There's not a damn thing wrong with that little sonofabitch.

How To Give A Dog A Pill

1. Wrap it in bacon.

2. Toss it in the air.

'Nuff Said.

BTW: If you want to learn more about Shadow and how we rescued him and he became the inspiration for the character of Wolf in January Moon, be sure you read about him under the Tab titled "Trooper, Shadow and Wolf."


  1. Go Dogs!

    And Maine is beautiful any time of the year. Used to love visiting York and Old Orchard Beaches on the coast, and following the Brandywine as it twists its way down from Long Lake to Sebago. And you haven't been skiing till you've visited Sugarloaf.

  2. Did I say Brandywine? To much of both, maybe. It's the Songo river (before someone accuses me of never having been to Maine).

    I must have Tolkien on the brain, somehow. Yikes!

  3. Tolkien on the brain? I hope there's a cure for that! But there's sure no cure for Maine once you fall in love with it; I really think it's addictive in its own special way. Thanks for the comment!!

  4. How to Give a Cat a Pill is totally hilarious, Maureen! Really enjoyed it. Thanks! Karen Kirby

    1. Thanks, Karen! Glad you enjoyed it! It always makes me laugh! And believe me, I speak with authority. We had a cat, Hiway, (he's in one of my albums on Facebook), who needed medication and it was a battle of wills of mythic proportion... it was a lot like I described. In my experience, the only thing remotely comparable is trimming the nails on a large parrot. Suddenly a bird the size of a chicken becomes a 200 pound pterodactyl... you need body armor, a towel woven with threads of steel (to wrap around the bird), and a willingness to die in battle. Some day I'll write about it!