Chapter Thirty Two—The Diet
About a month after our doctor’s visit, Grandma Brown had a doctor’s visit of her very own. Bailey and I both felt a certain sense of satisfaction that Grandma Brown had to go through what we went through. Not that I am bragging or anything, but I have to say even with my growl-grunts I still handled things far more graciously than she did. When she got home she was doing more than growl-grunting, she was saying stuff that filled up her “cuss jar” at an alarming rate.
“…mildly obese! OF all the Nerve…back in my day a doctor would have been tarred and feathered for speaking that way to a lady old enough to be his mother….Low Cholesterol diet? I’ll show that stupid pill pusher a thing or two about dieting—and to suggest that my eating habits are harming YOU two…who does he think he is? A veterinarian? Gahhh….”
Grandma Brown ranted and raved for nearly ten minutes. Both Bailey and I watched with shock and awe. Normally we’d all be sitting down to a nice tuna-spam snack right now, but clearly Grandma Brown was distracted, and neither Bailey nor I had the courage to interject with even the tiniest ‘woof’ or ‘meow’. It was oddly fascinating to watch Grandma Brown carry on so. I almost forgot about how much I was looking forward to our snack time.
Once Grandma Brown “got it out of her system” she calmed down and started to reconsider her doctor’s advice. She started doing her own research. She discovered that all of our tuna-spam snacks might have contributed to the severity of Bailey’s dental problems. Sadly, this also made her become quite concerned about the state of my teeth. Grandma Brown stopped making tuna spam snacks—for everyone. Apparently, tuna has high levels of something called “mercury” which is bad for children. Tuna is unhealthy for cats because of something called Urinary Tract Crystals, and it is unhealthy for dogs because of something called PH.
The only one who seemed unaffected by this change to our diet was Lolly. Lolly was currently going through something of a “peanut butter phase”, and really could take or leave tuna-spam. She ate peanut butter on just about everything: crackers, celery, apples, macaroni, muffins, toast, bagels, and even ice cream. In the absence of my snack staple, I was ready to try new things. So, whenever Lolly made herself a snack, I offered my services as ‘food taster’. At first, Lolly was careful not to share her snacks with me when Grandma Brown was around. But then, one day, Grandma Brown actually encouraged her to share some peanut butter with me.
Peanut butter was a lot stickier than spam or tuna. It got me to licking and licking my chops. Some peanut butter got stuck to the roof of my mouth. Of all the snacks I had before, this never happened. I didn’t quite know what to do. I would lift a paw to my mouth, tilt my head to one side and then the next, and all the while I kept trying to lick my chops.
Grandma Brown chuckled, “Oh Oscar—you are a fun boy!” Lolly laughed so hard she nearly choked on her peanut butter and toast. As for me, my jaw got really sore doing all that licking. Peanut butter was no tuna or even spam—but it was still tasty enough. However, eating it was tough work. Just a little bit of peanut butter lasted at least 10 minutes, and I needed a nap after I was done.
Not long afterwards, Grandma Brown let Lolly give Bailey some peanut butter as well. If they thought I looked funny trying to lick the peanut butter off the roof of my mouth, then Bailey looked hilarious. She shook her head and her ears flopped all over the place. Then, she tried using her paws—like I did—except her short little legs kept her from reaching her mouth. She made all kinds of grunting and groaning sounds. All the while, Lolly and Grandma Brown sat there laughing harder than they did that day I had litter stuck to my bottom. Bailey, excited by the first snack she had had in weeks, could care less if they were laughing. When she was done with the first dose of peanut butter, she begged for a second helping. She begged so hard that she laid down on the floor and rolled to show her tummy—this simple act of submission inspired Lolly. After that day, our lives would not be quite the same again.