The Pet Lady


It all started five months ago when my boyfriend told our cat Henry he had stinky fishy breath and couldn’t sleep on the bed with us anymore. I was saddened so the very next day, when I was brushing my teeters, I looked over at big furry Henry and stuck my Oral B in his mouth and began brushing his teeth. At first he hated it, but I continued to do it every day until he became used to it, because I was determined to eliminate the stinky breath so he could cozy into us again. Although I never minded in the first place.

Well, this continued for months and yes, Henry’s breath began to smell good, (my b-friend even commented) “Say,” he said to Henry, “You smell good!” But my b-friend wasn’t aware I was brushing the cat’s teeth and using MY toothbrush. (Don’t worry, he is an indoor cat) GROSS, did you think he was an outdoor cat?! Here is my problem: Now, whenever I or anyone brush their teeth, Henry barges into the bathroom, jumps up onto the sink and MEOWS and MEOWS until his teeth get brushed. Unfortunately, I am the only one who knows why he is meowing. What should I do? Thanks for your help.


P.S. Is spinach bad for cats? Henry likes to eat spinach.


The Pet Lady is a bit nonplussed; she sees why you refrained from signing your letter. Brushing a cat’s teeth with one’s own toothbrush seems like a fine thing to do, so long as said toothbrush is burned in an enormous superheated fire directly afterward. Whether the cat is an indoor or outdoor version seems quite beside the point in terms of “GROSS”ness, though the Pet Lady supposes the differentiation here is the devouring or not devouring of rodents, etc.; but with a cat of any stripe willing to eat bugs, cat food, and vast quantities of its own hair, the dental environs of felines and humans should be strictly segregated for the sake of, well, God (should one adhere to such notions). (The Pet Lady would like to gently point out that both this and the previous sentence are examples of parentheses properly employed; in the prior, to enclose an aside, and here, to enclose an entire thought that may as well be completely done without—so let us move on, shall we?)

With regard to your stated problem, dear Correspondent, the Pet Lady is so taken aback by the coinage “teeters” that she can hardly continue without a belt of strong whiskey. Ah, that’s better; now where were we? “Cozy into us,” on the other hand, is a very sweet phrase. So, to the barging, meowing Henry: He ought to have his own toothbrush (soft bristles, one would think, perhaps a child-size model), and the brushing should be kept just between you and him, as should the fact that his dental hygiene was ever carried out with anything else. If Henry alarms others engaged in toothbrushing in your lavatory, you should just tell them, “Henry is meowing so loudly at you because he likes you, and he is a very selective cat.” People always want to believe that animals like them, so much so that any further questions will be effectively deflected.

In closing, indulge the Pet Lady as she remarks that your “b-friend” has a way with words; the Pet Lady does adore a gentleman who, in this day and age, is unafraid to preface a remark with the jaunty “say,” perhaps especially when addressing a cat. Best to him, Henry, and you, dear Correspondent. And oh, yes, spinach is fine for all.

The Pet Lady

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