Monday, December 04, 2006

Cole Comfort.

I think we’ve spent enough time cooing over Quinn being just a teeny bit famous. I think we all need to go back to the original charter of The QC Report; that is, Quinn makes mistakes and we gaze upon her making them.

A few nights ago, I decided that five tablespoons of cole slaw didn’t justify a container the size of a snare drum clogging up the fridge. Having opened the container, I made an executive decision and decided no one in the house was interested in six day-old pickled cabbage and that I was going to dump it out. So far, so logical. Here’s where it takes the turn only I would take.

I hate wasting food.

I didn’t feel like driving around looking for a homeless person who was longing for a side dish, so I gave it to the dog. Because vegetables are good for dogs, right? And she can afford to put on a couple of pounds.

The dog that, while capable of eating the day’s mail, a roll of toilet paper and a twenty dollar bill without incident has a delicate stomach when it comes to actual victuals. By giving her the slightly elderly cabbage salad, I bought myself an endless, night-long, round-trip ticket from the living room to the back door.

Also, thanks to my extremely limited sense of smell, you will have to take Consort’s word for how exciting it is when an old dog eats old cabbage. Apparently, it was like Satan’s Traveling Potpourri.

But, wait! There’s more!

A few weeks ago, I noticed the cat’s back looked less black than brown. Had she been dabbling with Sun-In? Upon closer examination it was determined that Lulabelle was losing a great density of fur from the mid-back to her tail.

To put it in a less-than-ladylike way, Lulabelle was well on her way to a bald ass. At first, I thought it might be an excess of mechanical loving, and I had no idea how to explain that delicately to a veterinary professional. But, as it turns out, Lulabelle had developed an allergy to the moderately high-priced spread she was eating, and needed to move on up to the East Side, to a deluxe apartment in the sky, cat food-wise. I briefly thought about how she had been found as a tiny kitten living under a car, having come from a long line of feral cats who would have considered living under a car to be a fabulous dream. Four years later, she had become yet another living thing in Los Angeles with food allergies. She could start grilling waiters about whether her Chilean Sea Bass had any dairy or wheat products. Or, she could have me for an owner and get expensive stinky wet food.

I don’t like giving wet food to Lulabelle. First of all, it’s only slightly more unpleasant going out than going in. Second of all, Lulabelle is a wet food addict. After two days eating wet food, she tackles you as you walk in the front door and starts rifling through your pockets. A week and she’s mugging little old ladies and panhandling in front of Petco. And here I was, buying her drug of choice in bulk.

The morning before the cabbage, I had started her on wet food. She inhaled her daily portion and then stood for hours like an avenging gargoyle on the washer, screaming at anyone who walked by while looking pointedly at her food bowl.

Here’s how the Night of a Thousand Trips Outdoors went. The dog would get to her feet painfully, and then stand by her precious bed, looking puzzled. Her memory isn’t what it used to be, so by the time she was fully upright, she would have forgotten why she had bothered to stand, only noting dimly that her stomach hurt. Having bounded from the couch at the first collar-jingling I gently herded her towards the back door. By the fifth or sixth trip, I had traded in my herding skills for my collar-tugging skills, all the while crooning supportively, “C’mon, pretty girl. Nothing nicer than the dog run, let’s get there now”. I would get her to the back room, where the addict awaited me.

QUINN: (Gently pushing the dog out the door) Out you...


QUINN: ...go. Lulabelle, hush.

(The dog, distracted by the half-bald screaming shrew , stops in the doorway. I lean against her to push her into the darkness. She falls over.)


(I help the dog to her feet, and note that while she was down on the ground she found a magazine blow-in subscription card to eat. While leaning over to remove it, the cat jumps down, gets between the dog and me, puts her paws on my thighs and gives me a piece of her mind.)


(I shove the cat away, remove the bit of paper which hasn’t already been digested by the dog, push her into the night and throw the cat off my knee. Lulabelle jumps back onto the washer with the rudely empty bowl, and glowers at me. While waiting for the patient to return, I absentmindedly pet the cat. She licks me until whatever microns of wet food have been removed from my skin. Then, she bites me. The dog staggers back in, heads towards her blanket. With a forlorn sigh and a sulphurous emanation, she goes back to sleep.)

Repeat the above ten times.

I can’t complain, being as I was the one with the genius idea to feed the dog cole slaw. I can’t stand by the decision in retrospect, but I like to think that part of what draws my regular readers back is the nearly unanswerable question “…What moronic thing is Quinn going to do today?” And the nicest part is, I never really learn. Next week, sure, it won’t be cole slaw, but it will be a deli pickle beyond its expiration date, or a slightly cracked hard-boiled egg, or a celery stalk of yogic flexibility. I will decide it’s a sin to waste food, the dog will decide (if decide is something you can do with four brain cells) to eat whatever is placed in front of her maw, and we will both spend the evening living with the consequences.

Consort, being a gentleman, will say nothing approaching “Told ya”. The trash-talking half-bald wet-food addict on the washer probably won’t be so kind.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Similar problem here.
The vet told me to try a new kibble for my cat Tango-Lopez (he can't dance and I dont believe he's Hispanic)I bought said food. Tango loved it and ate it like it should be sold in some neighborhood on the other side of town late at night. Well I came home from work only to find out he couldn't make it to his box a number of times and when he did it ended up more of a messy trip to the wall next to the box. Lets just say it took a few days before I attributed it to his new food. He's "firmly" back on his old food.

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our ADHD Pug seems to have developed an allergy to something - and I think we have pinpointed it to the extremely expensive Sentinel 3 in 1 monthly pill. She has patches of baldspots - in weird places - unscratchable places - the hair is just falling out. She looks pretty pathetic. At least it is not affecting her "stomach". I could not stomach that - and my sense of smell is ultra sensitive.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, that hurt. The laughing, that is. I'm usually immune to the cuter dog 'n cat stories, but you had me at (obscenity deleted.) Thanks!

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, God. That was way too funny, and way too familiar. Our elderly and skinny Maggie needs fattening up, but the switch to the new food led to some alarming diarrhea (thank God, not in the public parts of the house, but in and around --- aaaaallll around -- the litterbox in the basement).

So she's back to the old kibble and getting pilled twice a day until she starts delivering turds that don't look like The Thing. Meanwhile, she screams in the evening for her beloved AWOL wet food. You nailed the whole foul-mouthed diva performance perfectly.

My husband is getting a link to this.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have that problem here too. The thing is, it's not the dogs who will eat the left-overs hovering in the back of the fridge, it's my Consort.

If the expiration date says 2005, he thinks that's close enough. In fact, he didn't even know there were expiration dates until I told him a couple of years ago. If that piece of pizza has been hidden for two or three weeks? No problem, it must still be good...besides, that pizza costs $11.25, we can't waste it.

I watch him closely when he starts to poke around in there. If I think he's about to share his "finds" with our dogs, I stop him. I don't want to be on dog watch all night and I'm reasonably sure that he can find the bathroom...reasonably.

Two week old pizza? $11.25
Can of Mountain Dew? $ .50
Bottle of Pepto-Bismol? $5.99
Entertainment value from saying "told ya"? priceless

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really really really don't give your dog eggs. The last time I gave my little terrier scrambled eggs, the resulting smell was actually bad enough to make my housemate cry. My housemate is a nurse, she is used to smells. But this was like nothing else on earth.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother's mother in law used to give cheese to her dogs. Boy that smelled bad!

8:35 PM  
Blogger Joie de Vivre said...

Ok, I was giggling quietly in the dark so as not to wake My Beloved, but Anonymous' comment put me over the edge ("bad enough to make my housemate cry"). Just the fix I need to dispel unreasonable amount of work anxiety which is keeping me from counting sheep.

BTW, Grandma Grace calls it "blowing daisies". Wha? Not sure, but it's a phrase that I like to say, now, and one which always makes me giggle :)

9:11 PM  
Blogger Joie de Vivre said...

Holy apropos, Batman! I just found this

9:24 PM  
Blogger clairehelene7 said...

That was hilarious. I just got a kitten and I'm so afraid to get him addicted to the wet food that I have yet to give him any.

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliantly funny, please tell me there is a book in the works!

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm kinda like that too, only in my case I was the victim!

You know how when cheese molds you just cut it off and it's still good?

Well, I had some lunchmeat turkey...It had been in there a while and a little green on it. I just chopped the crap off and ate it! The resulting "runs" were not pretty.

Seriously, what was I thinking?

3:17 PM  

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