Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pain in the Ass Menagerie

The Times has a piece today about the cats that inhabit the paper's Baghdad bureau:

Watching her, and the two litters of kittens she had over the following 18 months, offered we humans a new reaction to the cacophony of the war. The bloodiest suicide bombings, even miles away, have the sound and feel of the apocalypse, causing humans to freeze, no matter how often they experience it. Cats need to hear it only once. As they skitter to the safety of trees and bushes, they enter the blast and the tremor on the hard drive of their brains. On the next occasion, come the blast, they barely stir.

We can confirm this to be the case with the less-deadly but no-less-startling fireworks that sporadically erupt here as the three churches within rocket-launching distance compete with one another for God's limited attention. Even the perro, who would trash our place in New York at the first hint of thunder, doesn't even blink as the bombs burst in air.

Incidentally, the perro, as befitting an AARP-aged animal, is suffering from gastritis and acid reflux, which we learned last week on our first dual-pet vet visit, where we brought our vomiting dog plus a kitten with a dime-sized hole in her leg - through which you could see her tendons and bones - which she acquired while learning what we'd assumed all cats knew instinctively: you don't leap out of a thorn bush.

Also, it's been a while since we griped about the parrot next door, but he's still there, nearly every day jabbering and screeching and groaning and wailing and speaking in tongues - sometimes all of the above at once - in a creepy, gurgling voice that sounds like it's choking on its own blood. Imagine if The Exorcist had starred an enormous tropical bird. Now imagine you lived next to a drive-in playing The Exorcist six times a day. You see why we got a cat?

To say anything further would be evidence of premeditation...


Elizabeth said...

Try giving the perro a half a pepcid before he retires for the night. This works wonders for my 14 year-old pug.... If he's a middle of the night vomiter, I've been told that a half piece of bread administered close to midnight will do the trick. But I prefer to support big pharma and use the pepcid.

Julie said...

We used pepto-bismal tablets on our dog -- 1/2 tablet daily. Good luck!

Burro Hall said...

Thanks. The vet gave us some generic pharmaceutical, the name of which I forget, but I think it was something in the pepcid family. (Taking two animals to the vet on a Saturday cost a whopping nine bucks, by the way). The little butterball is doing much better now, thanks.