Piddle's wee wee lagoon rescue rife with danger, diagnostic intrigue

Piddle's wee wee lagoon rescue rife with danger, diagnostic intrigue

Dec 01, 2006

At her last office visit, Mrs. Dimbulb was very anxious to share her latest theory concerning her cat's behavior. "You know, Doctor," she said. "I think I know why Pierce misbehaves when he's here. It's those heavy gloves you people wear when handling him. Those gloves scare him. My sister, Mrs. Tranquil, brings her cat here, and she told me that her cat, Honey Pie, behaves just fine. I think it's because you don't use those scary gloves on her cat."

I pointed out that Honey Pie had an attitude quite different from that of Pierce, the attack cat.

She did not agree.

"He is so gentle at home that you wouldn't recognize him, Doctor. He'll let my husband and I do anything. If my husband were here, he could hold Pierce for you."

I asked why Mr. Dimbulb hadn't come along then.

"Oh, he couldn't come with us. He had to go to the emergency room. Pierce bit him when he tried to get him into the carrier."

Her theory was full of holes. My hands were not. I thought it best to keep it that way.

It took three people with gloves and towels just to give Pierce a distemper shot. Mrs. Dimbulb helped by yelling at Pierce to calm down, and yelling at us to be gentle. (Or, maybe it was the other way around.)

No sooner was she out the door than I ran into another genius, Mr. Screwloose.

"We have a problem here, Doc," he said. "I think my cat went in his carrier again."

Glancing into the carrier, I saw his cat, Piddle, doing what looked like the breast stroke. For a moment I felt the urge to throw him a life preserver. It seemed more logical though to pour out some of the liquid and then pull the cat out onto a raft of paper towels. As soon as the rescue from the wee-wee lagoon was completed, Mr. Screwloose pointed out that he was prepared to help.

"You might not remember," he said. "But the last time I was here, Piddle did the same thing. I had cat litter in the carrier with him, and it made quite a mess. I was smarter this time. I brought along this big fluffy towel, so now we have something to dry him with."

I pointed out that the towel should have been under the cat in the first place. Then, we would have a dry cat, a dry carrier and a wet towel.

"Now, why didn't I think of that?" he asked.

It took the utmost restraint on my part to avoid answering: "Because you're an idiot, that's why!"

After the mess was cleaned up, the cat was rinsed and dried, and the entire lagoon was drained, we got around to the reason for his visit.

"He's been drinking a lot lately, Doc. I brought him in so you could take a urine sample." (Now, you tell me.)

He asked if we could ring out some of the wet towels to get a sample. (In a word, no!) I kept the cat in order to run some blood tests.