Thursday, October 9, 2014

Communal Food Is Gross

As some of you know, I work in an office. Specifically, in a dinky CUBE in an office. I've detailed the glories of toiling in a cube here: Working in a Cube Is HELL.

Anyone who's ever worked with others knows the delights of SHARING: sharing cramped quarters, sharing a fridge, and sharing a bathroom. Let's not forget sharing food. And I'm not talking about the "sharing" that happens when you bring in yummy leftovers and store them in the fridge, and a rude coworker decides he wants to "share" them. (For the record, Sir HelpsHimselfALot, that's "stealing," not "sharing.") No, I'm talking about communal food. I suspect that almost every office has The Bowl of Rejected Candy in the kitchen. You know, a giant vessel with a grimy coating of crumbs and wrappers at the bottom, partially filled with anything that's not chocolate. So, the Runts, the Gummi-anythings, the lollipops...yeah, the shitty candy.

This has been sitting in a pathetic pile at my workplace for roughly 152 years.
Another office staple? The Canister of Crappy Snacks.

Yep, that's a plastic container with the remnants of some pretzels (in the kitchen for approx. 36 yrs.). Who the hell likes pretzels? And who the hell likes pretzels that 47 other people have sifted through? Okay, you know what? To this I say, NO! I've just been in the bathroom with you, and I know that you barely used soap and you for sure didn't wash for the 20 seconds that hygiene rules dictate. So, madam, please don't plunge your filthy hand in that bowl of pretzels, swish it around vigorously to find the verybestone, and expect me to follow suit. I'll be in my cube, muttering and slathering on antibacterial gel.

As you gazed hungrily at those pretzels, your eyes surely were drawn to the Toblerone candy bar to the left. I know what you're wondering. Did someone leave that in the kitchen by mistake? Why, no! Apparently, that's a candy bar for everyone in the office to share!

Mmmmm, I hope you used your mouth to break off that section.
Yes, indeed. The communal candy bar! Who in their right MIND would want to snap off a piece of that after dozens of filthy fingers have groped all over it? I admit, when I first saw the candy bar (and it was sealed), I had an urge to whisk it straight into my purse to enjoy later. Then I decided to not be a pig and let someone ELSE have it. But I expected someone to take the whole bar, not just nibble/pry off bits [shudder].

In the kitchen where all this food sits around, there are bound to be roaches rats hobos dirty dishes and crumbs. Fortunately, there also are cleaning supplies! Like this sponge!
Yeah, the dishes were cleaner BEFORE you used that sponge.
  And this dish drainer!
This exact collection of dishes has been here for at least a year. I'm thinking of painting a still life.
I spy with my little eye...something unpleasant lurking beneath the dish drainer! Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Dorito, circa 1987.
There's no mistaking that neon-orange glow! Who the hell brought in Doritos? And why don't we have THOSE out rather than the f***ing pretzels??

When discussing office sharing, it's impossible to avoid the topic of the beloved potluck luncheon! You know the drill: signup sheet in the kitchen; Jill with her famous meatballs that everyone secretly hates; me uhhhh, Amber, who always brings something with cat hair in it; Andy and his purchased-5-minutes-before-the-lunch bag of cookies...

The thing about potlucks, apart from the crappy food and stilted conversation, is that one can't help but think about just HOW that food was prepared. Here's a handy tip that the germaphobes in your office will surely appreciate you following: when making food for the office potluck, please, for the LOVE OF GOD, do not enlist the aid of your children. While I'm totally sure your son is the most adorable and sweet child on the entire freaking planet, I suspect he's also picking his nose and licking his fingers nonstop.

You know who DOES make a fantastic kitchen helper? Capt. Nap!!!

He totally washed his paws after this picture.
My frequently shedding, counter-lurking fur-baby is as clean as a whistle! That's why we let him lounge around on our clean clothes!

"Can a cat get some PRIVACY? I'm trying to pee!"
So if you see a cat hair or 20 in the food I bring it to the next potluck, not to worry! My cats are the cleanest, sweetest, most adorable kitties on the entire freaking planet!

Monday, October 6, 2014

My Cat Has No Teeth

Poor Captain Nap. You remember--this guy:

"Why you gotta treat me so bad?"
Capt. Nap is the unfortunate victim of the feline herpes virus. (My gyno SWORE he couldn't catch it from me.) (I'm TOTALLY joking. I didn't ask my gyno.)

Okay, okay. All kidding aside, it was this little minx who gave it to him. Remember the adorable Pepper Anne?
"I'm winking at you because you think I'm healthy, but I have a hilarious secret!"
Yes, the missing-an-eye (so, not winking) Pepper Anne, who we adopted in a moment of weakness, because, you know, she's so damn cute. Anyway, we've had her for nearly a year now, and she's been the cause of:

  1. Marital discord
  2. Horrific sores in Squeaky's mouth
  3. Capt. Nap's full-mouth extraction
  4. Plenty o' good times!

Without going into too  much detail (because it involves science and medical terminology I don't really understand), Pepper Anne, who we renamed "Peeper" (get it? One eye?), has this herpes virus, which is what caused her to lose her eye before we adopted her. The other cats, not being all that particular about where/what they eat, snuffled around in the same food bowls and caught the virus from Peeper.

Squeaky was the first victim.
Squeaky guarding her favorite toy from Peeper.
Because she's black, I didn't notice at first that she'd developed a sore under her nose. By the time I saw it, it was bleeding. I raced her to the vet (after a mighty struggle to get her in the carrier), who looked in her mouth and found a bunch of ulcers. We had lots of fun medicating Squeaky! She was quarantined in our bedroom for two weeks, which she seemed to like. A lot. In fact, she still goes in there every day. It's her Peeper-free sanctuary. We finally got her outbreak under control.

That's when I noticed Capt. Nap's breath. It had gone from regular-cat gross to atrocious. As in, he'd open his mouth a crack and I'd want to flee to another house.
The captain is embarrassed that I'm detailing his bad breath.
I raced HIM to the vet. She looked in his mouth and gasped. I'm not joking. She then called in a vet tech, who looked in his mouth and also gasped. She showed me what they were gasping about (surprisingly, not his breath). His gums were an inflamed mess; bright red and sore looking. The herpes virus had manifested itself as something called stomatitis. I nodded somberly, not realizing fully the magnitude of this condition until I got home and googled it. One of the cheering articles was titled, "Cats and Stomatitis: A Condition You Wouldn't Wish on Your Worst Enemy."

So the bottom line was his immune system was rejecting his teeth. Or something like that. The best way to treat a case of stomatitis that was as bad as Capt. Nap's was to remove the worst of his teeth. We started with a dental cleaning and extraction of several teeth, in the hopes that those measures would do the trick. They didn't. Last week, I bundled Capt. Nap into his carrier for the 4,786th time this year and dropped him off at the vet so they could take out ALL of his remaining teeth. It sounds extreme, I know. But I did a lot of reading about it, and talked at length to my vet, and it seems that a full-mouth extraction is often the best way to relieve a cat's suffering. Goodness knows, I didn't want my old friend to suffer.

He's back home now and gobbling his food as if he's in a race. Even dry food! Twice a day I put out canned and dry; usually he makes a beeline for the dry. Go figure.

He's still recovering, but I can tell he feels better. He's grooming himself (something he abandoned before because it was too painful) and even seems more playful. Hooray! It's been a long and challenging year getting Peeper integrated into our household. With the help of Prozac, Squeaky is coming around (although she does get annoyed with Peeper fairly frequently). Also with the help of Prozac,* my husband no longer seems in favor of divorcing me. He did say, however, that three is the ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM.

Also, I was wondering if anyone could lend give me $38,971.95? That's my rough estimate of what I've spent on vet bills this year.
The end. (Get it?)
*J/K about my husband and Prozac. Not j/k about Squeaky and Prozac, though.