The Latest Method For Torturing A Cat

By Bill Hall

The pampered pet catalogue offers a kit for brushing the teeth of cats but the kit is missing one item:

A little straight jacket to keep the cat from eating your face if you try to brush its teeth.

I'm not making this up. The catalogue that came in the mail offers a kit that includes a cat toothbrush, cat toothpaste, cat breath spray and a jar of something called "gauze dental pads."

I don't know what that last item is but my guess is that gauze dental pads are what you put on your wounds after trying to brush the teeth of a cat. Or maybe it is for the cat's wounds. You spend a few minutes trying to ram a toothbrush into the face of a struggling cat and it isn't going to do the cat any good either.

It may be that after each morning's brushing both you and the cat have to sit around dabbing at the surprising new openings all over your bodies.

Cats are not as enthusiastic about their dental hygiene as are the people trying to sell you the products for that purpose. And some of those products are bizarre:

The cat toothpaste, for instance. It is flavored. Maybe that's not so odd by itself. A cat might be a little more willing to listen to reason on its dental hygiene if the toothpaste is mouse flavored or fish flavored or something like that. If they can sell people bourbon-flavored toothpaste, they should be able to sell cats bird-flavored toothpaste. Birds are the bourbon of cats. You may stop by after work for a bourbon and water. But a cat prefers a couple of birds after a hard day of doing what cats do all day absolutely nothing.

Actually, I have never understood bourbon toothpaste, even for people who love bourbon. Most people who love bourbon are not nearly so keen on it first thing in the morning. People who use bourbon toothpaste are the same people who have a quick pull on the bottle when they awaken just to get their blood moving. That's pretty hardcore.

The only people in deeper trouble are those who rinse with a stiff, high-alcohol mouthwash but don't spit. There are people who will tell you they quit drinking years ago but who have started using mouthwash five times a day.

The cat toothpaste isn't bourbon-flavored but it is a long way from the flavor you would expect just the same:

Malt. The toothpaste they are selling for cats is malt-flavored.

I was unaware that cats like malt. But who am I to question? For all I know, they may not stop by after a hard day of doing nothing for a bourbon and water, but maybe cats do like some sort of sparrow-and-malt blender drink a malted birdshake. (If anybody would go for blender drinks it is those hairy sissies who call themselves cats.)

I have no idea why cat toothpaste is malt flavored. My first guess was that it had something to do with bad breath. But the catalogue specifies malt "flavored." And the tooth kit includes a separate container of breath spray for the way a cat's breath smells.

The breath spray must be for the benefit of people who let cats breathe in their faces at close range. I don't even let people breathe in my face at close range.

But some cat owners are into that sort of thing and I'll concede I would use a breath spray on the cat if I were in the habit of sharing air with a creature that has just finished drinking a sparrow-and-malt blender drink.

Of course, cat products aren't the only silly part of a pampered pet catalogue. They also have toothpaste for dogs. And they specify that it is "no-rinse" toothpaste.

It is no-rinse toothpaste because dogs don't know how to spit. And they don't want to learn. Dogs specialize in putting things into their mouths, not in expelling them.

In other words, they swallow their toothpaste. That gives you a rough idea of what dog toothpaste is made of:

It's a blender drink made of malt and cat.


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