Health Yucks

Yel­low Urka-Gurkas and other gross dog things

YELLOW URKA-GURKAS

Dog runs around the house and hides under fur­niture while mak­ing a pro­longed “uurka-guurka, uurka-guurka” noise (the only noise guar­an­teed to wake up a dog lover who is hun­gover from a 3:30am post-dog-show cel­eb­ra­tion). After a mad scramble to cap­ture the dog and drag him out­side, the epis­ode ends with an indelible line of slimy yel­low froth from the liv­ing room rug to the back door.

BLAP DISEASE

Dog exer­cises hard and

a) eats large mouth­fuls of snow (winter blap dis­ease) or

b) drinks a bucket of water (sum­mer blap disease).

Within two minutes of return­ing inside the dog spews out large amounts of clear, slimy liquid, mak­ing a dis­tinct­ive “blap” sound and sharp per­cuss­ive noise as it hits the linoleum.

GARKS

Dog sud­denly clears his throat with loud and dra­matic “gggark, gggark” noises, fol­lowed by a pro­longed “iiksss” and then loud, sat­is­fied smack­ing noises. There is noth­ing on the rug. Don’t invest­ig­ate, you don’t want to know.

RALFS

Apro­pos of noth­ing, the dog strolls into the din­ing room and waits ’til the inno­cent din­ner guests are all watch­ing him. Then, with a single deep gut-wrenching “raaaallff”, dis­gorges the entire week’s con­tents of his stom­ach on the rug. Vari­ation: he eats it.

In all of the above events, the dog is entirely healthy and indeed, deeply pleased with himself.

(From the Owner-Handler’s Asso­ci­ation News­let­ter, via “In the Ring”)


How To Bathe A Cat

(Note: Jef­fery LaCroix is a veter­in­arian with an office in Wilm­ing­ton. He writes a column for the Morn­ing Star called “From Paws to Tails.” Here is his response to a let­ter regard­ing bathing a cat:
Dear Dr. LaCroix: I’ve heard that cats never have to be bathed, and that they have some sort of spe­cial enzyme in their saliva that keeps them clean. This doesn’t sound believ­able to me because there are def­in­ite “kitty” odors on my couch and dirty cat paw prints on our white hearth. Is this true about the saliva? If we do decide to give “Nice Kitty” a bath, how do we do that? — NSP, Wilmington

Dear NSP: For­tu­nately for you, sev­eral years ago a cli­ent gave me a writ­ten set of instruc­tions about cat bathing which I am priv­ileged to share with you:

Cat Bathing As A Mar­tial Art

  • Know that although the cat has the advant­age of quick­ness and lack of con­cern for human life, you have the advant­age of strength. Cap­it­al­ize on that advant­age by select­ing the bat­tle­field. Don’t try to bathe him in an open area where he can force you to chase him. Pick avery small bath­room. If your bath­room is more than four feet square, I recom­mend that you get in the tub with the cat and close the sliding-glass doors as if you were about to take a shower. (A simple shower cur­tain will not do. A ber­serk cat can shred a three-ply rub­ber shower cur­tain quicker than a politi­cian can shift positions.)
  • Know that a cat has claws and will not hes­it­ate to remove all the skin from your body. Your advant­age here is that you are smart and know how to dress to pro­tect your­self. I recom­mend can­vas over­alls tucked into high-top con­struc­tion boots, a pair of steel-mesh gloves, an army hel­met, a hockey face-mask, and a long-sleeved flak jacket.
  • Use the ele­ment of sur­prise. Pick up your cat non­chal­antly, as if to simply carry him to his sup­per dish. (Cats will not usu­ally notice your strange attire. They have little or no interest in fash­ion as a rule.)
  • Once you are inside the bath­room, speed is essen­tial to sur­vival. In a single liquid motion, shut the bath­room door, step into the tub enclos­ure, slide the glass door shut, dip the cat in the water and squirt him with sham­poo. You have begun one of the wild­est 45 seconds of your life.
  • Cats have no handles. Add the fact that he now has soapy fur, and the prob­lem is rad­ic­ally com­poun­ded. Do not expect to hold on to him for more than two or three seconds at a time. When you have him, how­ever, you must remem­ber to give him another squirt of sham­poo and rub like crazy. He’ll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rins­ing him­self off. (The national record for cats is three lath­er­ings, so don’t expect too much.)
  • Next, the cat must be dried. Novice cat bathers always assume this part will be the most dif­fi­cult, for humans gen­er­ally are worn out at this point and the cat is just get­ting really determ­ined. In fact, the dry­ing is simple com­pared with what you have just been through. That’s because by now the cat is semi-permanently affixed to your right leg. You simply pop the drain plug with your foot, reach for your towel and wait. (Occa­sion­ally, how­ever, the cat will end up cling­ing to the top of your army hel­met. If this hap­pens, the best thing you can do is to shake him loose and to encour­age him toward your leg.)
  • After all the water is drained from the tub, it is a simple mat­ter to just reach down and dry the cat. In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg. He will usu­ally have noth­ing to say for about three weeks and will spend a lot of time sit­ting with his back to you. He might even become psy­cho­ceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster fig­ur­ine. You will be temp­ted to assume he is angry. This isn’t usu­ally the case. As a rule he is simply plot­ting ways to get through your defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath.But at least now he smells a lot better.

How To Give Your Cat a Pill

  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 pro­ceed­ure 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 see 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 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 towl. 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 asprins & lie down.

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