2007-06-27 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

by Joanne Anderson

In photo, Cody and the Suffolk SPCA at the opening bell at NASDAQ. In photo, Cody and the Suffolk SPCA at the opening bell at NASDAQ. Pill Ploy: Cats are pains to medicate. Pills become projectiles. Stumbled on a trick that beats the advice I gave here 3 years ago when I insisted that if you uttered my friend's Yiddish mantra, your Felix would swallow a pill with ease. I was a bit naive. Soon as it came to print, a kindly Jewish man called the shelter to warn that this expression also had sexual connotations. Oy vey! No more Yiddish tips from me.

Veto (named for the Congressional office where he was found and for Don Corleone) is my ornery 3-legged cat. He's chummy with dogs, thinks he is an Afghan hound, tortured his cat sister, and although he sleeps on us all night, hates his owners. Even my vet jokes I deserve a sweeter cat. After reading Veto's x-ray last month, he left this curt message: "Veto is like Rasputin. You can't kill him." Now almost 10 my mobster needs meds for inflammatory bowel disease. Yeah, right. You try shoving them down his throat.

One chance is all you get with nasty cats, even with many nice ones. Multiple pills, forget it. Felines fight you or flee. At first Veto needed 3 pills (some cut in fractions) twice a day so I started putting them into a speedball imbedded in hairball remedy about a half inch of Petromalt or Laxatone. (Nutrical the vitamin supplement would work also.) Most likely other abused owners have thought of this gimmick too.

For those not cat savvy, hairball remedy is a lubricant that looks like molasses toothpaste-comes in a tube; very sticky which gives me great fine motor and anti-gravity control. Since the paste adheres to my index finger, I can fool slick Veto. I twirl my hand, pretending to do chores like watering plants, while never making eye contact, before pouncing on the unsuspecting patient.

This trick requires an abrupt ventriloquist maneuver. With the free hand do a quick, tight neck scruff; while the middle finger of the sticky speedball hand pries the jaw open from the side. Then swish the Petromalt pills (still on your index finger) into the side of the cat's mouth. Next hold the head vertically, and stroke the cat's throat with your gooey finger. The pills go down all at once. Your cat might wind up wearing some unsightly glop but it sure beats hiring a bunch of Hell's Angels to wrestle him to the ground for you several times a day.

Almost forgot- I hum the theme from "The Godfather" while pill pushing, just to gloat over my Cat Corleone, but you don't have to do that.

Tribute to a Trooper: On a more serious side, a wonderful 12 year old Golden Retriever-Cody, the mascot of Suffolk SPCA and a therapy dog for rescue workers at the WTC site, passed away 3 weeks ago. For the 2 months right after 9/11 while the Suffolk SPCA mobile veterinary hospital was camped at Ground Zero, the everwagging Cody became a virtual teddy bear for anguished police, firefighters and searchers. Cody, the beloved pet of SPCA Chief Roy Gross, was a constant at SPCA events, and received many honors. In the photo here, Cody along with members of Suffolk SPCA, and Lois Gross, holding Cassie (my dog's sister, both rescued from a hoarder) were invited in 2004 to ring the opening bell at NASDAQ.

To honor Cody's memory, Roy and Lois Gross have established the "Cody Foundation" to help furnish medical supplies for neutering feral cats and pets in the SPCA's spay/neuter van. All contributions are tax deductible. Call 631-382-7722 or visit:


For Adoption at Oyster Bay Town Shelter (677-5784) Miller Pl. Syosset: "Élan" #474 is a young, vibrant Vizsla mix while this dazzling male Siberian Husky #487 has been around dogs, cats, and kids. See more photos on the shelter's Petfinder site.

+Cats: 2 declaws in the lobby- "Fireball" #445- gorgeous, loving longhaired orange and tabby-"Frost" # 526- frightened because his owner surrendered him- always facing the corner but loves to be scratched.

+Dogs: "Buster"- #479- Golden Retriever mix; "Pickles"- #446- Beagle with cherry eyes; "Blue" #325- 3 yr. Rottie mix with gorgeous baby blues.

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