The other day I woke to find a message in my inbox from a human named Ms. Rice that works for a company called Eli Lilly. She said Eli Lilly makes a medication called Prozac and they want to expand their market by advertising the drug for use with cats and dogs.
I contacted Ms. Rice and told her that my brother, Walter, has taken Prozac for almost a year now with excellent results [i.e., he chases me a little less] and that I would be more than happy to provide a testimonial for them.
She informed me that they already have a dog lined up and are in need of a cat. Evidently they tried to secure Grumpy Cat [who is already working with Pfizer to promote Zoloft],
then Henri, the Existential Cat [who eschews antidepressants as pointless band-aids that merely mask the unavoidable pain of our meaningless existence].
Since their first two choices were unavailable, they want to work with my sister Ethel.
I informed Ms. Rice that Ethel used to take Prozac but it didn’t work. She said that didn’t concern her so much; it’s Ethel’s dyspeptic personality that makes her such a good fit.
I tried to sell the Walter angle again, hoping somehow there would be a role for me – since this is MY blog [!] – but she insisted on working with Ethel. So I told her I would get back to her.
Naturally I wanted to consult my neighbor, Baby Girl, to get her thoughts. As a Certified Life Coach, she’s very knowledgeable about the world and always has great, if unique, advice [remember the rebirthing?]. I waited by the window until I spotted her coming to stalk our bird feeders.
Baby Girl told me that after reading a number of interviews with Tom Cruise, she is opposed to psychotropic medications [I had to Google that term – Baby Girl is SO smart!].
She said that she’s been studying the online teachings of a guru named Gwyneth Paltrow and, as a result, Baby Girl is now touting the benefits of a “detox lifestyle.” Her recommendation: Have Ethel cut out meat [aren’t cats carnivores?!] and eat an all-organic diet of whole grains and fresh, locally sourced fruits and vegetables while also beginning a regimen of cardio dance alternating with kitty Pilates.
While those sound like great ideas for humans like Ms. Paltrow [except for maybe the kitty Pilates], I’m not so sure they’re good for cats. But, then, Baby Girl usually knows best….
I thanked Baby Girl for her suggestions, but decided to get a second opinion. Walter, with his years of therapy, who also takes Prozac, seemed like the logical choice. I told Walter about the advertising opportunity for Ethel. He was worried that they would want to tell everyone that he takes Prozac which might threaten his hard-won Pack Leader status. [I didn’t have the heart to tell him that a) we all know he takes Prozac, and b) none of us consider him our Pack Leader.]
I assured Walter that they only want to use Ethel in their ads. But he still wasn’t on board. He said that years of intensive analysis have taught him to discern the difference between characterological deficits [resistant to drug intervention] and neurochemical imbalances [conducive to drug intervention]; he has the latter [debilitating anxiety] and Ethel has the former [plain old mean]. So to use Ethel in their campaign would equate to false advertising. Walter feared that such deception is not only immoral, but could lead to expensive lawsuits and potential criminal charges. Yikes!
Just as I was getting ready to respond to Ms. Rice to decline her offer, I heard the familiar “thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk” that sends shivers down my spine. A loud meow confirmed my worst fear as Ethel laid into me with a series of profanities that I will spare you, dear reader. Suffice it to say: She was angry.
Ethel overheard me talking to Walter and accused us of conspiring, yet again, to thwart her chance at fame. I tried to explain that this has nothing to do with her singing career and that the reasons the company wants to use her are less than flattering, but she wouldn’t listen.
She told me to stay out of it, that she will take care of responding to Ms. Rice since it’s her that they want. She proceeded to paw a personal letter: