A Teachable Moment


Okay, look--I see negative reader reviews of the book all the time.  And while they're never exactly fun to read, I'm astute enough to realize that they're an inevitability (any book that gets published is going to be disliked by somebody).  They certainly don't make me angry.  To the extent that I notice them at all, what they mostly do is serve to remind me how uncommonly fortunate I've been that the overwhelming majority of reader reviews I see are so very positive.  And then I'm happy again.  :-D

Well, maybe it's just the day I'm having today (it has NOT been a good day!), but a negative review of the book just went up on Amazon that's chapping my hide just a bit.  This particular reader didn't like the book (which is fine, of course), and particularly disliked the chapter in which I describe moving to New York with Homer.  Homer, as you may remember, refused to take his tranquilizer--which made for an uncomfortable flight both for him and for the unfortunate souls sitting near us on the plane, who had to listen to him cry and cry because of the pain in his ears the whole time.

Here is the remarkably clever suggestion for averting this cat-astrophe that my astute reviewer suggested: Hellooooo!  Ever thought of practicing with the tranquilizer before the trip???

Well, she's got me there.  I must be some kind of idiot.  Because the thought of "practicing" tranquilizing Homer--of giving Homer a mind-altering and potentially hazardous substance at a time when it wasn't strictly necessary to do so and in contra-indication to my vet's instructions--never flipping occurred to me!

I'm sure you can imagine how red my face is now!

Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, there are any number of things I should be "practicing" on my cats.  I mean, what if one of them has a heart attack and I have to administer CPR?  Have I practiced CPR'ing Homer???  Maybe I should take the wires from my lamp, shock him until his heart stops, and then "practice" reviving him--just to be sure I get it right if I ever have to do it for real.  Or, y'know, I suppose I could take Scarlett and Homer out on the balcony for a little target "practice" with the dart gun.  And there's that new hair dye I was thinking of using...Homer's fur is as dark as my hair...maybe I could "practice" on him!

Okay, obviously I'm wearing my cranky-pants today.  ;-)  And maybe it's hitting a bit close to home in the wake of Vashti and everything we went through with her medication.  But in my heart of hearts, I'm grateful that Homer wouldn't take his tranq that day--because all medications carry potential side effects (as we learned the hard way with Vashti), and Homer's such a little boy at only four pounds!  I'm actually more than a bit disappointed in myself, looking back on it all, that I was seriously trying to tranquilize him in the first place.  That day could have had a much worse ending than two "popped" ears and a handful of disgruntled fellow travelers.

Maybe it's just rubbing me all the wrong ways because right this second I feel that God will have been very, very good to me if I'm never forced ever again to give any of my cats pills out of necessity--much less for "practice."

And I guess I just also don't like the idea of other cat owners out there (which this reviewer was very careful to describe herself as) who are "practicing" making their cats unconscious.  I prefer to live in the happy world I've created for myself here online, where all cat owners love their kitties and take their responsibilities as seriously as we do!  :-D

I think I'm going to go "practice" hitting the punching bag in my building's gym for a while...

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