lettuce - Column for 9/1

Ask El Conquistador Des Pets

Your Navigator Through The World Of Pets

This Week: Tummy Trouble

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Dear El Conquistador Des Pets,

Ever since we moved to the condo, my cat has been throwing up after meals -- usually once or twice a week. After $500 in tests, the vet says she's not sick. Could there be something in the condo that's bothering her?

Kavitha in Baltimore, MD

Dear Kavitha,

Vomiting means entirely different things to cats and humans. For humans, it is merely a poor reaction to binge drinking -- where for cats, it's a pleasurable experience, not unlike a long soothing visit at a Swiss mountain spa.

Oh, with each guttural heave, it's like a deep tissue massage to your cat, a feline backrub where the day's stresses of moth chasing, sleep, and showing her anus to you, are blissfully wiped away.

The actual expulsion of food matter is like a mud bath, cool and cleansing -- as the bile pushes out through her throat, your catís pores open up, refreshing and rejuvenating her skin.

But nothing compares to that final re-eating of the warm pre-chewed kibble, soggy with stomach acid. Ah, that is a therapeutic tea with revitalizing affects we humans will never know. But the evidence is clear: cats that eat their vomit live 16 to 20 years. Cats who don't also live 16 to 20 years, but spend most of it in unfulfilling relationships, or emotionally desolate marriages of convenience.

So don't worry when your cat gets sick on your carpet, your couch, your gorgeous teak hardwood floors. Though she is indeed disgusted by the silly trappings of your yuppie existence, her will to live beaten down by the life of idleness and boredom -- don't think the vomit has anything to do with it. In fact, it's the only thing that keeps her going.

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Dear El Conquistador Des Pets

I'm thinking of getting an iguana - I've liked them since I was a kid. Do they really make good pets?

Elise in Little Rock, AR

Dear Elise

I suppose that depends on what you look for from a pet. Do you want something that will come when you call? Fetch newspapers and slippers? Eat food under the table? Then get a dog. Then, if the dog doesn't do any of those things to your satisfaction, feed it to your pet iguana, because after all, that's what they're there for.

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Dear El Conquistador Des Pets,

What's the best way to get fresh water tropical fish to mate? The books I have all offer different advice.

Timothy in Sioux Fall, SD

Dear Timothy,

I suppose that depends on who, who wrote the book on fish love! I wonder wonder, wonder who that could be? Hahahaha. Of course, it's me.

In my 1978 handbook to fish mating: The Fucking Idjit's Guide To Getting Fish To Fuck. What? I Already Said 'Fuck'? Fuck, I detailed three reasons why Fish mate.

  • Evolutionary desire for species survival
  • Because guppy booty is fiiiine
  • There's nothing on after Conan O'Brian
  • It's important you keep these in mind while you construct your fish-breeding tank, a must if you want successful mating. First, fill the tank with sexy pink and black gravel, such as found in the Frederick's of Hollywood catalogue, if it were printed on gravel.

    Second, instead of a porcelain castle or little diving man, get a quaint bed and breakfast with a tiny diving retiree proprietor to politely offer the fish pancakes in the morning. And instead of aquarium plants, place lava lamps and scented candles along the floor of the tank. Sure, you can't get them to light in the water, but what do fish know of candles?

    Finally, instead of water, fill the aquarium with smooth malt liquor. Mmm-mmm, no Zebra Danio or Sailfin Molly can resist the rich taste of Olde English or Colt .45.

    Finally, once your fish have laid eggs, protect them, by placing marbles at the bottom of the tank, so the little fry have somewhere to hide. After all - the biggest threat to their survival is mom and dad, who will unknowingly eat the little tykes. If the marbles don't work, try extensive parenthood counseling, or move to Texas, where the parent fish will be given successive death penalties for each fry eaten. Defenses of "post-partum depression" or the fact that "they're just fish" won't work, and rightly so.

    But be sure once your baby fish have grown (approximately 6-10 minutes) that you immediately introduce them to your main tank. Fish are dumb, and aren't born knowing how to swim or breathe underwater like human babies. They'll need the guidance of other fish to learn that and other survival skills, such as what foods to eat, where to find affordable clothing, and which fork you use for a salad.

    Ultimately, if you follow these simple steps, your new babies will live long and healthy natural lives (approximately 6-10 minutes.)

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    Dear El Conquistador Des Pets

    Is there a Doggie Heaven?

    Peter in Globe, AZ

    Dear Peter.

    No. But there's a Doggie Hell. And it's filled with Brillo Pads and Funyuns, but the dogs can't eat any of them. Instead they can only watch the ferrets in Ferret Heaven eat them. Sure, it's unfair, but just part of the circle of life, Petey-boy. The circle of life.

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    Got a question for El Conquistador Des Pets? Send 'em to lettuce@lettuce.org. Or write them on a cave wall, in pictogram, to be discovered 10,000 years from now by French paleontologists, who by then will rule the globe.

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