December 06, 2008

A Report on My Excellent Adventure My Trip and Other Reflections, by ... Cyrano!

[The following remarks have been faithfully transcribed by Cyrano's human. Cyrano carefully reviewed them for accuracy and has approved them for publication in this form.]

You don't know about me without you have read a post earlier this week; but that ain't no matter. That post was made by Mr. Arthur Silber, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen any human but lied one time or another...

Isn't that the truth. The original of that passage was written by a human more advanced than most. If you know the reference, you can share some of my crunchy salmon treats. Just a few, though! That's a very easy test. Dad has lots of books, and some of them are actually good. Not nearly as incisive and wise as our creations, but I'd better not go into that too much. It would sound too much like bragging. Hardly admirable behavior, although you make it very tempting since it's so easy. (Are a few of you still puzzled? Okay: here you go.)

To begin my report: I only yowled once. In light of the indignities to which I was subjected, I'm certain you will agree this is extraordinary. I should say it is extraordinary in terms of your typical behavior, which we find quite remarkably sad in most respects. Of course, my courage was nothing unusual for us. But you have a lot to learn. Look at the mess you've made of things.

When Dad placed me in the carrier and shut the door, I was completely silent. (It's a carrier with a big door I can look out of, so I can keep track of what's going on.) I remained silent during the cab ride to ... that place. But when Dad got out of the cab and began carrying me up to the door of that place, I certainly did yowl. Given the regrettable limitations of your sensory capabilities, you hear it as a yowl. In fact, I was protesting with great vehemence: "Noooooo!" (A brief note on cultural differences: I call Arthur "Dad," but obviously he is nothing of the kind. The sentimentality of humans is a source of great amusement to us. We exploit it to our own benefit very thoroughly, although not nearly as much as we could. We recognize that such exploitation is wrong, and we also know that you exploit us and other "animals" in ways that are much, much worse. Such exploitation as you commonly engage in should properly be called cruelty, for that it is what it is. By contrast, we exploit you only to the extent we must, and only for certain benefits we are thus able to obtain: a regular source of food, an indoors abode, particularly useful in time of bad weather, a comfortable bed to sleep in, etc. We have no objection to the playing and cuddling, which can be very enjoyable, but within limits. I must admit that Dad is especially good at the playing and cuddling. As a result, I've somewhat extended the limits for such behavior while living here.)

Of course, I knew that Dad was planning to take me to the veterinary clinic. Still, I thought that when the critical moment arrived, he would realize the inanimality of it. Since it's been so long since Dad has taken me on a trip (it's very difficult for him to get around these days, which Wendy and I think is very sad; it's also a source of great frustration to us), I thought he would reconsider at the critical moment. Perhaps we'd visit a high-end coffee shop or other gathering place -- one of the more civilized ones, with toys and fresh catnip in little dishes on all the tables. Or a visit to a museum! I can spend hours and hours in museums. But no: Dad was actually taking me to the vet. So I protested. Just once. While we were inside, during the entire examination, and on the way home, I never uttered a sound. I know you find this remarkable but, as I say, this is nothing for us.

I say I knew that Dad had made an appointment with the vet, and I had to remind him to be sure that I visited with Dr. McCartney, the kindest human who works there. Dr. McCartney is a lovely, softspoken man, with very gentle hands. That's important, especially since I knew he would do some poking and prodding. I have to say that Dr. McCartney is very impressive, for a human.

It was the whole tooth that fell out, root and everything. Dad hadn't thought it was. I told him it was, but he wasn't paying attention. Why don't you listen to us more carefully? Dad is usually better at this kind of thing. I wouldn't live with just any human, you know; I chose Dad very carefully. But he's been very distracted. I knew he was awfully worried about me, although he tried not to show it too much. (Why do you do that? Do you think it makes you appear "stronger" in some way? That's silly. Very typical of humans, though. In general, Dad understands this pretty well, and he writes about it a lot.)

Dr. McCartney said my teeth and gums are pretty much a mess. They should have a major cleaning, and one or two teeth might need to be extracted, an upper tooth in particular. But all of that would cost between $400 and $500. I don't think Dad can afford that. Anyway, I wish he'd take care of at least one or two of his bad teeth. I know they hurt him a lot sometimes. Dr. McCartney said it was best that the whole tooth came out; that way, there isn't anything left behind that might get infected and/or need to be pulled out. And he said there was some pus in the place where the tooth had been, so he gave me an antibiotic shot and pills for a week. Dad will have to check every day or so to make sure it's healing well. If it isn't ... well, darn it, we'll have to go back and have it cleaned out and sewn up. Ouch!

That reminds me: while we were in the waiting room, I chatted with a big fluffy dog. Coincidentally, he was there for a full teeth and gum cleaning. He said that when they do that, the humans give you some great drugs! So I guess it might not be so bad. Haha. Still, as I said, I don't think we'll be able to manage that. And $500 would buy a lot of toys and excellent catnip! And we've already spent $200, and we may have to spend another several hundred if we have to go back for the tooth that already came out. Besides, Wendy needs her teeth cleaned too. To care for us properly takes a lot of money, but I'm sure you agree that's only right. I wish Dad wouldn't feel so guilty that he can't do more for us. He does the best he can, and that's fine by us. And even though we generally frown upon this kind of thing, I have to admit that the cuddling here is pretty great. Also the playing, and the sleeping together, and the food. All in all, not bad.

Dr. McCartney gave me a full exam. He said that, except for the tooth and gum business, I'm great. Not news to me obviously, but Dad feels a lot better. The doc weighed me, too: 16 pounds. He said I don't need to lose weight, because I'm a "big boy." (The "gorgeous," "wonderful" and "perfect" were in the way he said it. He called me "Mr. Orange," too. A sweet guy.) Oh, I don't think Dad told you: I was ten this past August 15. Prime of life, baby. A lot more miles on me.

Now, I want to offer a special thank you to the 25 or so of you who have been so kind. You made it possible for me to take this trip, to make sure everything was okay. For humans, you're amazingly civilized. So ... THANK YOU! You've been great, and I'm very grateful. Dad says he is, too. Thanks again! But honestly, next time you want to give me something special, a few bags of those salmon or tuna treats would be all right, you understand what I'm saying? Oh, I know we had to do this, but still ...

We went to Dr. McCartney's place on Thursday morning. I'm sorry I wasn't able to write this report sooner, but the combination of the trip, the exam, the shots, and all the excitement (?!?!?) kind of wore me out. And Dad's been a wreck, poor guy. He takes these things very hard. We've been sleeping a lot in the last couple of days. Kinda nice. I know Dad has a lot of writing he wants to get done, and he hopes to get back to it later today or tomorrow. It sounds like he has some good stuff coming up. Wendy and I already understand all of it, of course. But some of you apparently don't. You're lucky that we have lots of relatives to look after you. I don't know what would become of you otherwise.

Okay, then. I think it's time for a nap. Yes, another one. Wisdom of the kind we have can be tiring, and trying to educate humans is exhausting. Besides, you only absorb the knowledge we have in very small amounts. So this whole process takes a lot of time. And a lot of food, treats, playing and resting. And the cuddling, of course. I actually like the cuddling more than I should. That'll be our secret, okay?

Many thanks again, kind humans. Some of you are definitely all right. Now you just need to work on the rest of them. We do our best, but we can't do it all on our own. So help out where you can, will you?

I enjoyed this. Hope you did, too. I may help Dad out in the future here, when I'm not so busy with all my other activities. Take good care of yourselves now. And remember: gentle hands and a gentle heart are very, very important. Be kind to each other. Why is that so hard for so many of you? I'll never understand it.

Very sleepy. Have to go now. Thanks once more, and I'll probably see you again!