Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Sunday July 10th 2016
Well, last week Laurian Cotes suggested on Facebook that coconut oil might help with Isis’s obsessive foot nibbling.
On Tuesday I manage to buy some in the local Sainsbury’s and decide not to resume the battle with the Hibiscrub. I don’t give up easily, but Isis wins this one: I surrender.
Isis is at her most biddable soon after waking in the morning, and on Wednesday morning I decide it is time to bite the bullet. Naughty podengo lies outstretched on the bed. There is an angelic expression on her face. But not for long, I predict.
I flip the lid off the coconut oil bottle and squeeze a curl of it onto my index finger. Cooing – she might feel positive vibrations – and after a few sycophantic strokes, I touch one of her front pads with the coconutty finger.
The angelic expression vanishes. She lifts her upper lip and snarls menacingly.
Very, very gently and calmly I begin to massage all the pads of the first foot. Communication commences along the following lines:
Isis: “Err-rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ………..” (Translation: Gerroff now, or else.)
Human: “You can growl and snarl as much as you like, dear but I’m not going to stop.”
Isis: “GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” .. sharp intake of doggy breath …..EH-RER–GRERRRRRAP! (Stop immediately or I’ll take your b. hand off. I will. I’m about to. Just you touch my foot once more.)
Human: “Don’t be silly. I’m not afraid of you. Now for the next paw.”
Isis: “GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR GRERRRRRAP!” (Are you stupid or something? I’m warning you. I’m not kidding. I’m going to bite you so b. hard you’ll need an ambulance.”)
Human: “Don’t be silly Isis. Doesn’t that feel nice, dear?” Just one more paw, sweetheart.”
Isis: “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrr.” (I’ve warned you. I’ve warned you. Just touch me again and you’re dead.”)
Human: “Last one, dear.”
Isis: “Hufffffffffffffffffffffff.” (Think you’re smart, don’t you? Well, there’s no way you’re doing another one after this.)
Once the protestations are over, Hairy One licks coconut oil from her front paw until I stop her and then carries on as though nothing has happened.
The results so far have been brilliant. She has progressed from worrying her feet on and off all day to having a nibble perhaps twice a day. The red saliva stains are fading already.
Human: I am delighted. Thanks Lauren. I’ll be buying a very large tub from one of the stores you suggested.
Isis: Damn you, Lauren. I’ll be finding out where you live and coming round to bite you. Hard.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk