Dear Annie: Many years ago, my cat-loving sister clipped out an Ann Landers column called "How to Give Your Cat a Pill." She lost it during a move, and I'd love to surprise her with a new one. Could you please let me know where I might be able to find that? -- Cat Aunt
Dear Cat Aunt: I'd be delighted to reprint this hilarious piece. As someone who's had cats all her life, I can attest to its accuracy. (This should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: This is purely intended as humor.)
"How to Give Your Cat a Pill," by Bob Story
Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as though holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth, and gently apply pressure to his cheeks. When cat opens up, pop pill into mouth. Cat will then close mouth and swallow.
Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Repeat the process.
Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, immobilizing front and rear paws. Ask assistant to hold cat's head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into cat's throat. Flick pill down ruler with forefinger, and rub cat's throat vigorously.
Retrieve cat from living-room curtain valance.
Carefully sweep shattered figurines from hearth, and set aside for later gluing. Remove next pill from foil wrap.
Wrap cat in beach towel, and ask assistant to lie prone on cat with cat's head visible under assistant's armpit. Put pill in end of paper tube you've made for this purpose. Then force cat's mouth open with pencil, and blow.
Check label to make sure pill is not lethal to humans. Sip water to take taste away. Apply bandage to assistant's forearm, and remove blood from carpet with soap and cold water.
Call 911, and ask fire department to retrieve cat from eucalyptus tree. Remove remaining pill from foil wrap. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine, and securely tie to leg of dining table. Put on heavy-duty pruning gloves. Force cat's mouth open with tire iron. Drop pill, previously hidden in 1 ounce of raw hamburger, into cat's mouth. Hold head vertically with nose pointed to ceiling, and pour one-half pint of water down cat's throat, and two jiggers of whiskey down your own.
Ask assistant to drive you to emergency room. Sit quietly while doctor administers anesthetic, stitches forearm and removes pill remnants from eye. Drop off cat, along with a generous donation, at animal shelter, and adopt a goldfish.
Dear Annie: I agree with your response to "Wife of 'Bud,' Who Is Really Joseph, in Kentucky," who is frustrated with people's use of nicknames. Many years ago while traveling in Sweden, I asked our tour guide, "What is the name of this church?" He answered with an old Swedish proverb: "Kart barn har manga namn" ("A beloved child has many names"). It so delighted me -- because our family has always bestowed nicknames on loved ones, both family and friends -- that I came home and made a calligraphed piece for my teenage daughter, who had often squirmed at the many nicknames we called her in front of her friends. We always call nicknames "love names" in our family. -- Pam the Calligrapher
Dear Pam: Your letter put a big smile on my face. Thank you for sharing that beautiful proverb. Perhaps it will help the nicknamed squirm a little less.