One-Sided Pillow Talk

, , , , | Friendly | April 28, 2018

(My roommate and I, both young adults, used to be best friends, but we’ve been getting on each other’s nerves more and more lately, so we’ve decided to part ways when our lease is up in about four months. About a year ago, we each bought a beautiful and rather expensive meditation pillow made of recycled sari silk, mine in red, hers in blue. Six months ago, we took in her sister’s cat, when her sister was unable to take care of him anymore. The cat has a bad habit of clawing and puking on everything, so I moved my pillow into my bedroom and kept the door shut. My roommate left hers on the couch, and didn’t seem to mind when the cat moved onto it, and started, predictably, clawing it and barfing. It’s worth noting that I’m a professional seamstress, and I specialize in restoring vintage pieces.)

Me: “Huh, the cat really likes that pillow.”

Roommate: “Yeah, the goofball!”

Me: “He’s thrown up on it at least three times, though, and I mean, we’ve cleaned it up, but it can’t be good for the silk.”

Roommate: “Eh, it’s just stuff, and it makes him happy.”

(We both go back to our books for a few minutes until she asks, out of the blue:)

Roommate: “The pillow is one of the things we bought together, right?”

Me: “Huh? No! I got the red one, and you got the blue one. Remember? I moved mine into my room to keep the cat off it.”

(She immediately went pale, shooed the cat off the pillow, and moved it into her room. So, it was fine that the cat was shredding it when she could count on me to restore it, but as soon as she knew it was her responsibility, he had to go? I wasn’t sad to see her — and the cat — leave when the lease was up.)

It’s Getting Warmer In Here

, , , , | Hopeless | April 27, 2018

(My pet cat suddenly stops eating and develops jaundice. His mouth and ears are school-pencil-yellow. I take him to the vet once I realize how bad it is. I’m told he’s developed “fatty liver syndrome,” which is where a cat stops eating for whatever reason, so the liver tries to energize the body off fat reserves, can’t process it, and shuts down. I am told, even if we do everything, my cat has a very low chance of making it. I am a poor student. I’m scared out of my mind, as I just lost my dog of 14 years to cancer a few months ago, and now my cat — which I took from an abusive family situation — is on its deathbed. I tell the vet this, and that I lost one pet this year. I tell him if I had anything to say about it I wouldn’t let this one go, too, but that I am poor and can only do what I can from home. The vet proceeds to stock me up with saline fluid, needles, tubes, syringes, and antibiotics. He’s gambling that this was caused by an infection; if we get rid of that, hydrate him, and stimulate his appetite through meds, he might recover. He instructs me on how to do everything from home, including how to force-feed my cat, inject him with fluids, and take his temperature.)

Vet: “Do you have a thermometer?”

Me: “No, but I can get one.”

(He looks me in the eyes, pulls a thermometer out of a drawer, and slides it across the table.)

Vet: “Oops. I seem to have misplaced my thermometer.”

(Thanks to the understanding and support of this vet, his instruction, tools, and some hard-handed TLC, I can happily say that five years later my cat is doing just fine.)

No Need To Get Catty About It

, , , | Healthy | April 21, 2018

(I go to a human drugstore to get a new insulin vial for my diabetic cat, since his last one is expired. He’s been diagnosed and treated for four months now, and I have been handling his insulin shots every day, twice a day, ever since. I bring the old box with me, so I’m sure I’ll get the right one. In Brazil, you can have insulin over the counter, no prescriptions needed. Also, every drugstore has a fidelity card that offers discounts, and most of the health cares have partnerships that give you discounts; you just have to show your health care card. A third way to get a discount — a big one — is when you register with the manufacturer; it’s a long form you have to fill, with your doctor’s information, treatment details, etc.)

Me: “Hi, I’d like a small vial for this insulin.” *hands the box* “I also would like to check both fidelity and health care discounts.”

Employee: *cheerful* “You know, you could get the manufacturer’s discount for it.”

Me: “Yeah, I know, but it’s for my diabetic cat, so they couldn’t take us.”

Employee: *makes weird face*

Me: *uncomfortable, trying to be cheerful* “Yeah, unfortunately they didn’t accept felines for that. That’s a ‘humans-only’ kind of benefit.”

Employee: *goes to hand me the vial, backs off, looking at me as if I’m a child* “You know this needs to be kept on the fridge, right?”

Me: “Yeah, I know. I also need a ten-pack of syringes.”

Employee: *still making the weird face* “Syringes for what?”

Me: “Uh, insulin. I need the smaller ones, because he only takes two units at a time.”

Employee: *proceeds to teach me how to use the syringes, very patronizingly, ignoring the fact that I may know how to do it since I just gave her an empty box of insulin* “What gauge size you need?”

Me: “I never had to choose between gauge sizes, but since he’s a cat, I believe the smaller ones.”

Employee: “What size is he?”

Me: “Uh, cat size? About four kilos.”

Employee: *weird face*

Me: “Sooo, I guess I’ll take the small ones.”

Employee: *reluctantly gives me my stuff, still looking at me as if I was committing a crime*

This Isn’t A Shaggy Dog Story

, , , , | Friendly | April 20, 2018

(I am outside doing some yard work, when one of my neighbors stops by on her walk to say hello.)

Neighbor: “Hi, [My Name]!”

Me: “Good morning, [Neighbor]! How are you?”

Neighbor: “I’m just fine. Did you hear about the break-in over at that new neighbourhood? It’s just a couple miles down the road from us!”

Me: “No! That’s awful. When was that?”

Neighbor: “A few days ago. I guess they knew no one was home, because they tried prying the front door open with a crowbar in broad daylight!”

Me: “Oh, my God! Wait… How do you know they used a crowbar? Were there security cameras?”

Neighbor: “Well, there was a camera, but what happened was that the homeowner’s German shepherd scared the thief so badly he dropped the crowbar and took off! When they got home their dog was just sitting there next to a partially-opened door and a crowbar. He waited there the whole time until they got back, and nothing was missing from the house.”

Me: “Wow! I bet that guy won’t try that house again.”

Neighbor: “German shepherds can be very persuasive.”

Wishing For Her Hands To Be Bitten

, , , , , , | Right | April 19, 2018

When I was 16 years old, I worked in a children’s museum where I was in charge of the aquarium section. We had a “touch tank” where people could feel sea life. Because the animals are delicate, we had a strict policy that people could only touch animals I had put on trays at the edge of the tanks. Despite this policy, (and numerous prominent signs stating the policy) people would routinely stick their hands in the parts of the tank that were off limits.

One day, a woman came in and proceeded to repeatedly stick her hands into the tank, despite my requests. Finally, I forcefully said, “Ma’am, please don’t stick your hands into that part of the tank, as it distresses the animals.” She pulled her hands out, flicked water in my face, said, “You just need to chill,” and stomped off, cursing about “little s***s who think they know everything.”

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