Archive for Sunday, February 22, 2004

Book explores dumb things smart people do with their pets

February 22, 2004


One of the great joys of pet ownership is that pets give us the ability to laugh -- both at their silly antics and sometimes at the really dumb things we ourselves do. Sometimes our best intentions go awry, and everything we do just goes from dumb to dumber.

Author Stephanie Marston, is collecting stories for a humor anthology, "Living Stupid: Dumb Things Smart People Do." In case you're wondering just what qualifies as a Living Stupid story, I'd like to share a couple of stories of funny things that pet lovers have done.

Amanda, from Dayton, Ohio, had adopted a tomcat, Smokey, that used to roam in the woods near her house. Smokey, a fluffy gray and white Maine Coon, seemed to think he had to act extra macho to counteract his frilly appearance. He came and went as he pleased, until Amanda and her husband moved to a new apartment. The new home was on a busy street, so Smokey became a strictly indoor cat. Without squirrels and birds to aggravate, he grew bored. As a result, Smokey began to "stalk" Amanda and her husband and playfully tear up the place. Amanda had read somewhere that two cats were better than one because they could play with each other rather than make mischief. She forgot to ask Smokey's opinion of this plan.

Amanda brought home a second cat from the local animal shelter -- a large black and brown tabby they named Nipper. The two felines disliked each other immediately (which stands to reason -- you wouldn't like someone you didn't know moving into your house with you either). Amanda remembered hearing about someone with the same problem. That cat lover had put both cats in the bathroom, dribbled tuna juice on the cats and left them alone. When she returned the cats had licked the tuna water off each other and were good friends.

Feeling confident, Amanda stuck both of the cats in the bathroom, dripped tuna water on them and left them for half an hour. When she returned neither cat had budged. Not only had they not cleaned each other, they hadn't cleaned themselves.

The tuna water had partially dried, causing their fur to mat and stink of dead fish. Admitting failure, Amanda washed both cats with the only shampoo she had available, strawberry scented. When she was done, instead of two grumpy, wet cats smelling of tuna, she had two grumpy, wet cats smelling of strawberries -- who still didn't like each other.

- Dr. Marty Becker is the coauthor of the new book "Chicken Soup For The Horse Lover's Soul" and a veterinary contributor for ABC's "Good Morning America."

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