by Peggy Althoff
2. Retrieve cat from top of lamp and pill from under sofa.
3. Follow same procedure as in 1, but hold cat's front paws down with left hand and 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 down 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 and pop the pill in - quickly. Since your head is down by your knees, you won't be able to see what you're doing. That's just as well.
6. Leave cat hanging on drapes. Leave pill in your hair.
7. If you're a woman, have a good cry. If you're a man, have a good cry.
8. Now pull yourself together. Who's the boss here anyway? Retrieve cat and pill. Assuming position 1, say sternly, "Who's the boss here, anyway?" Open cat's mouth, take pill and...Oooops!
9. This isn't working, is it? Collapse and think. Aha! Those flashing claws are causing the chaos.
10. Crawl to linen closet. Drag back large beach towel. Spread towel on floor.
11. Retrieve cat from kitchen counter and pill from potted plant.
12. Spread cat on towel near one end with its head over long edge.
13. Flatten cat's front and back legs over its stomach. (Resist impulse to flatten cat.)
14. Roll cat in towel. Work fast; time and 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 and poke gently. Voila! It's done.
17. Vacuum up loose fur (cat's). Apply bandages to wounds (yours).
18. Take two aspirins and lie down.
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