Dearly departed fruit

Well, the tree is down.

And all the Christmas decorations are neatly arranged and/or shoved into plastic bins in the attic that aren’t labeled because otherwise how would P and I have our annual “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T FIND THE NATIVITY?” argument.

(True story. We have a nativity set somewhere in our attic that we haven’t been able to find for the last five years. And then this year we couldn’t find another one that we’ve had since we got married.)

(I don’t know that there’s much worse than not being able to find Jesus at Christmas time.)

And because you know I have to bring it up, the Aggies played an incredible bowl game. I was a little concerned after the first half but I don’t know why I work myself up because Johnny Manziel knows how to tiptoe down the sideline into the end zone for a touchdown. He is amazing.

Also, I’m pretty sure Bob Stoops stole the sweatshirt he was wearing out of his wife’s closet.

Anyway, it has been a lovely break. Did you notice I said “lovely”? That’s because I’m getting ready to watch the premiere of Season 3 of Downton Abbey and feel like I need to be ready. I may even make myself a spot of tea.

The break was nice. I read all three Hunger Games books in a record amount of time which will make me feel better once real life starts tomorrow and I fail to read another book until sometime around April. But it’s time to get back to real life.

We made ourselves get up for church on Sunday just to try to get back in some sort of routine. Caroline and I had completely adopted my preferred schedule and spent almost every night reading or watching movies until well after midnight and then sleeping until ten. And then staying in our pajamas until two.

Which is glorious for a while, but at some point you begin to realize that productivity is at an all-time low. And maybe you’re out of food. And toilet paper.

It was nice while it lasted. (The break. Not the toilet paper. Although it was fine too as far as toilet paper goes.) After a busy fall I felt like we needed the downtime to just relax and do nothing. And now we’ll be ready to face the real world again.

A week ago this past Saturday, I noticed that our dog Bruiser’s ear was swollen. This isn’t anything new because he had the same problem with his other ear about a year ago. It’s called an aural hematoma. Which is just a fancy name for a bruise.

So I knew that we needed to get him to the vet to see about getting it drained because that’s what we did last time. Apparently, draining the ear is supposed to help them not get a cauliflower ear even though that didn’t work for Bruiser and his right ear is now, in fact, a little misshapen.

But this was his left ear. The problem was it was the Saturday before New Year’s and I knew our vet wouldn’t be in until mid-week. And so I conferred with P who was at the ranch and we decided I should take Bruiser into the Emergency Pet Clinic.

I dropped Caroline off at Gulley’s house so she wouldn’t have to wait at the clinic with me and then hauled a very excited Bruiser to the doctor. He weighs about seventy pounds but is freakishly strong. I totally do the Phoebe Buffay run when I have him on a leash. Attractive.

When we walked through the door of the pet clinic, I noticed a couple holding a chihuahua in a festive holiday sweater. According to them, he was having a panic attack. My first thought was how can you tell if a chihuahua is having a panic attack?

My second thought was that his turtleneck sweater probably wasn’t helping the problem.

But who am I to judge? The holidays can cause the best of us to feel a little anxious.

(On a similar note, Gulley’s cousins once had a chihuahua named Frito. They named him Frito because their dad drove the Frito-Lay truck. He once hooked us up with more chips than you can even imagine when we were in college. Anyway, Gulley always tells me that they swore Frito took on one of the cousin’s asthma and she was cured. This story never fails to make me laugh until I cry.)

(For the record, this is apparently a fairly widespread theory because I found it on the google and everyone knows everything on the internet is true.)

(So maybe that chihuahua wasn’t having a panic attack so much as he’d taken on someone’s asthma.)

After what seemed like forever, they finally called Bruiser back. And the on-call doctor said they could do a surgical procedure where they drain the ear and then put buttons in it so it will look good. It’s basically a cosmetic procedure. Umm. Yes. This is a ten-year-old ranch dog who already has an ear that would make Evander Holyfield cry. He doesn’t need plastic surgery.

Option B was to just drain it and give him a cone of shame.


We have a winner.

As I was paying the bill for the painkillers and the cone of shame, an older lady walked in carrying a large flat box that was covered with plastic and some kind of sheet. She looked at the receptionist and said, “I brought kiwi for you today”.

I assumed she was just going door-to-door in the shopping center selling fruit. This may seem odd if you don’t live in San Antonio, but it’s fairly normal here. Tamales, fruit, whatever. And so I was just trying to control Bruiser while I waited for my receipt and discharge orders to print out.

In the meantime, the receptionist began to ask the older lady some questions. I figured she wanted to know more about the fruit. But then I heard her say, “Did he have short hair or long hair?”

And like watching a train wreck, I watch this woman pick up her box, place it on the counter right by me, and pull back the covering to reveal her dead cat. A dead cat who was apparently named Kiwi.

May he rest in peace.

She examined the cat for a few moments while I debated taking a few of Bruiser’s painkillers to dull the shock and then said, “I guess he had short hair”.

Yes. I guess so.

I also learned that Kiwi was thirty-eight years old. I’m going to assume she was counting in cat years.

It turns out that the Emergency Pet Clinic also doubles as a pet mortuary. Which you have to admit is a fairly brilliant business plan.

As for Bruiser, he should feel lucky he got out of there with just the cone of shame.

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  1. Leigh says

    So I am reading this and being thankful that I know someone who thinks like I do about tomorrow being the back to the real world day, and I chuckle at the bit about Stoops’ sweatshirt but then I get to the Kiwi part and now I’m gonna have to go take a swig of Robitussin because I laughed so hard I set myself to coughing!

    Happy New Year, Mel; you are a hoot and I am blessed to know you.

  2. says

    sometimes i wonder why i read your blog – but then as soon as i read a post, i always remember. brilliant! i will never eat another kiwi fruit without thinking of the dead short-hair cat. sooooo funny!

  3. says

    This made me laugh out loud for a good 45 seconds this morning – thanks for the Monday morning chuckle!! I can always count on your blog to be a good pick-me-up, and I often find myself forwarding your posts to my friends, who find them hilarious as well. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile via Google Reader, but one of my non-critical New Years Resolutions was to comment more on blogs that I love, so thanks again for making my morning here a little brighter!

  4. says

    Am I the only one who would’ve bought the kiwi from the lady? Or the tamales, if that was what she was selling? We’ve reached new lows of laziness around here this Christmas break that door-to-door fruit sounds like something from heaven…and so much better than actually getting dressed to go to the grocery store.

  5. Gizmo says

    It’s 7:00 a.m. on a Monday morning and I am checking out your blog at work which is a no no and your Pheobe Buffay comment made me snort my coffee everywhere. As you can tell I am a faithful Friends fan. Hope y’all have a great week getting back in the routine that we will all be whining about by the first of next week.

  6. Sommer says

    Now, now, now…don’t laugh too hard about a dog having anxiety! Our Bagle (that would be a beagle / bassett mix) went through a bout of anxiety, nothing that a lot of Xanax couldn’t take care of, for him that is. I tried to get the vet to write to presciption for me but she wouldn’t go for that. He is now better, no longer has to take Xanax, only the occasional Melatonin but nobody slept at our house for it felt like forever! And, although I did end up taking him to the vet, not to the emergeny vet – there are limits, and that is it!
    Thanks for the morning laugh and congratulations you your Aggies!

  7. Stephanie says

    My sister’s dog is OCD (who knew?) – he too is wearing the cone of shame right now. Apparently, his behavior modification medication wasn’t strong enough to get him through the holiday excitement and he licked himself obsessively until he developed two open sores. Now he is on double meds……seems crazy doesn’t just run in our family, it runs in our pets as well.

  8. says

    When I saw the title of your post, I thought we were going to be talking about Caroline’s oranges again. Then, of course, I had to read it to my husband, who pretends, to listen because your stuff is too funny to not share! LOL

  9. says

    Oh my word, this is hilarious! One of these years I WILL organize my Christmas decorations — but honestly, taking it all down is sad enough… I just wanna get it DONE. So for now, it’s all shoved and crammed and put away. :) Poor Bruiser…. hoping he feels better soon! Happy New Year!! Have a great start to your week….

  10. Melissa says

    You never fail to crack me up! We have a 90lb golden so I totally understand the pulling thing, you should buy a gentle leader for him, it makes all the difference in the world. When I have Watson on his it’s like walking a feather, when I don’t, I risk having an arm pulled out of the socket – lol.

  11. Debra D. says

    I may be experiencing a mild panic attack since I read the part about Kiwi BEING 38 YEARS OLD. We have a cat (which was brought into our home for our now-grown daughter) who must be at least 17 years old. Since my daughter never grasped the art of cleaning out the litter box, that translates to 6205 times I have had to clean out that stinkin’ box. Now, I am a fairly compassionate person but SERIOUSLY…are you telling me I have another 7665 litter box clean-outs in my future?????

    And by the way, our house is FSU country but we love us some Johnny Football!

  12. says

    Hysterical!! I thought this post was going to be about C’s orange tree. But Kiwi…..may he/she rest in peace. You never fail to make my mornings!!

    PS Glad Bruiser is going to be ok.

  13. Kelly says

    I hesitated in coming to your blog this morning because, well, I am a Sooner in the most serious of ways and I’m feeling A TAD WOUNDED this morning.

    And then you made fun of my husband, Bob. Look, that sweatshirt could have been MADE of the poor, dearly departed kiwi cat and it still would have looked good.

    I am officially taking AT LEAST 24 hours away from your blog to pout. Be back tomorrow. 😉

  14. Katie says

    The cone of shame made me laugh out loud…and I really needed that on this cold, yucky Monday morning. Thank you!

  15. Susan says

    I snickered a few times while reading your post today, which is par for the course, so nothing new there. But, as is also somewhat usual for me, I started reading without looking at the title of your post (always eager to get to the meat of the day’s big issues at hand). So, after reading, I’m scrolling back up to the top and I finally see the title, “Dearly Departed Fruit”……and now I’m laying over on my side, laughing out loud and wiping the tears away. I honestly think that it was funnier that way to me, not knowing what you’d titled this until after I read the post. I may always read the title last after this. Thanks for the belly laugh!

  16. katie says

    My son has asthma, and i cannot tell you how many people of the older generation have told us to get him a chihuahua! He is scared of all dogs, though, so that’s not going to happen!

    • Susan says

      My asthma was originally triggered by my daughter’s chihuahua, so maybe they giveth and taketh away!

  17. says

    Since I am feeling sorry for myself this morning for a variety of reasons – none of which are noteworthy – this post was a much needed laugh. Thank you. I will never look at kiwi fruit the same.

  18. Kim says

    The chihuahua with a panic attack in the turtleneck sweater had me laughing uncontrollably for quite a while. And “Dearly Departed Fruit”? Genius!

  19. Kim Higgins says

    My mama and her family swears that a chihuahua took away her asthma when she was a little girl. I was a teenager before I thought to doubt it. But my mama is 65 (and asthma free) now and still swears its the truth!

    And you would have had to pick me up off the floor is someone opened a box with a dead cat in it in front of me!

  20. says

    Oh my word. I laughed so hard at this. Thank you for starting my day off with a laugh. I don’t think I would have been able to keep my composure if I had heard what you heard about Kiwi. I’m sorry for the owner’s loss, but the way you tell the story is, as always, hysterical.

    Hope Bruiser recovers quickly and how nice the cone of shame is now flexible and not the hard plastic kind they used to have!

  21. says

    no way was dead kiwi on the counter. no way.
    poor ol bruiser. i’m certain you sound just like elle woods calling bruiser.
    darn that cone of shame. brinkley sends his love and encouragement.

    oh & boo hiss on returning to a schedule that does NOT involve jammies until mid day. which just out of curiosity what is the wardrobe of choice between daytime jammies and nighttime jammies? why leggings & a long sweater and uggs. naturally. and some kendra scotts just for the sake of all things fashionable.

  22. Brenda says

    Long time lurker, first time commenter: I have bodily fluids leaking from ALMOST everywhere because I’m laughing so hard. Thanks for making Monday a little more bearable.

  23. Beth says

    I am now laughing so hard I am shaking (can barely type) and have tears running down my face – just like I did when you posted (a couple of years ago?) about what P would do if he found a spider monkey in your garage – catch, kill, stuff, and have it holding TP in the hall bathroom! ha ha ha!! now I have another story that makes me chuckle even thinking about it!! thanks for making me laugh today!!!

  24. Nicole says

    Cosmetic surgery for the dog?! The thought of a ‘button’ in /on a dog’s ear leaves me feeling a tad unsettled. ; ) Our vet recommended we get our dog some allergy testing and shots I can administer AT HOME. Really.

    Yes, our last Pet ER experience was when we had to put the pet to sleep (not allergy dog) and they also doubled as a pet mortuary. They put the ‘cremains’ in a tin that very closely resembled a holiday cookie tin…

  25. Kimberly/OKC says

    Hey, congrats on the Cottonbowl game–y’all deserved it. :((( Thanks for a funny post!! Sooo many things to say/comments on your post/compliments for your humor but I’ll say this: the chihuahua (the only way I know how to spell that is by pronouncing it like the weather guy from WKRP in Cinncinnati) “taking on” the asthma is a story so typical in the south. I am originally from Iowa/Nebraska and NO ONE tells crazy stories like that up there. Those stories are why northerners think southerners are “hicks”. NO OFFENCE TO ANYONE because I LOVE THE SOUTH!! I moved to OK on PURPOSE! I just still think stories like that are funny just like you but I seriously know lots of people who wouldn’t laugh. No sir. LOTS of people!

    • Kimberly/OKC says

      Hope this comes off as friendly and happy because I was laughing the whole time I wrote it. LOVE stories like this!! Get a huge kick out of them!!

  26. says

    I haven’t been reading my favorite blogs…things got too busy around here, and I missed some good posts! Did you watch Downton Abey last night? I watched all but the last half hour until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. Love. that. show.

    Hope Bruiser is recovering well!

  27. says

    Every time I see a dog in one of those cone things around their necks I think of when my husband’s secretary’s little boy heard the vet say something about their dog’s “Elizabethan” collar on their dog and went home and said that the dog had on a “lesbian” collar!!

    So of course this is what Hubs and I always call it now!
    Hope your dog heals well!

  28. says

    How do you do it? Your brain just roams from one spot to another and you keep us in stitches. I Love It!!

    Thank goodness Bruiser was able to escape from that place!

  29. Sara says

    Now let’s ease up on dissing the great Bobby Stoops. Do not forget that your beloved Sumlin spent some years in Norman town learning a thing or two!

    I laughed so hard at the dog to the vet wrangling. I know the feeling!

  30. barbara says

    Hilarious!!! Love your stream of consciousness….Why would the receptionist need to know if Kiwi was a long or short haired cat? If it was being cremated, does it matter the hair length??? enlighten me, please. I must say that I got a great deal of entertainment from reading the comments….so funny!!!!
    Poor Bruiser…hopefully other dogs won’t make fun of his deformed ears because his mom wouldn’t spring for plastic surgery. Wonder what C. would have said if she’d seen the dead Kiwi at the vet.
    Not only do people sell fruit and tamales, I’ve seen toiletries and bootlegged movies sold in restaurants while we are EATING!!!! ha….Gotta love San Antonio….

  31. says

    “My first thought was how can you tell if a chihuahua is having a panic attack?” EXACTLY. Indeed.

    Interestingly, the chihuahua who lives at my house often smells like Fritos. She also wheezes rather asthmatically on occasion, so perhaps she does have asthma by proxy. I had not heard this theory, but it pleases me to embrace it. Perhaps it explains how she ended up on our doorstep–the person who owned her got cured and tossed her off.

  32. says

    I am DYING laughing over this post! This is probably…wow. I can’t even believe it! I love the Kiwi…and your dog with the cone. And I hope “Frito” made it through the holiday’s ok. Stressful time for all :)

  33. Brenda says

    THANK YOU! I so needed that laugh out loud moment that I got from this post! Of course-Sandy thinks I have lost my mind-but oh well :)

  34. Becky Fouts says

    thank you, thank you, thank you. I love to laugh, and you always oblige. Bless you! I so wish I could be your real life friend !

  35. says

    This post was hilarious! I was literally laughing out loud!!
    I’ve just recently discovered your blog and love it!
    Thanks for sharing!

  36. Kelly says

    My favorite portion of this post HANDS DOWN is the manic expression in Bruiser’s eyes with that cone on. AUGH! GETMETHEHECKOUTOFHEREEEEE!!!!!

  37. Kelly says

    PS: A thirty eight year old cat???? For REAL? They need to do an autopsy and some DNA testing there…

  38. says

    All I can say is I’m glad Cassie, the dog, is the only here while I’m reading this post, since I’m laughing so hard I’m crying! Not because Kiwi died, of course, may he truly rest in peace.

  39. Marie M.C.` says

    Ah, the cone of shame. Yes, my dogs have all worn it at one time or another. Someone I know called them “Elizabethan collars for dogs” which does sound a bit better. But whatever you call them — the dogs look embarrassed. As does your sweetie-pie.
    I have to thank you Melanie. The past two months have been the worst, most stress filled, trying time of my life. And since I’m 69 that’s saying something. (Please, everyone pray for me.) Then, this morning I open my computer, check your blog — and I’m laughing so hard I’m holding my sides. Laughter is the best medicine and you provide it daily. Bless you for bringing laughter into my life! I hope Bruiser’s bruise will heal soon! (How old is Bruiser in human years?)

  40. Susan says

    My aunt once had a chihuahua (long haired) for the sole purpose of helping her with her asthma. Apparently it didn’t work. The dog is long dead and the aunt still has the asthma. She also weighs over 300 pounds and has never once thought losing some weight might help with the asthma. But a chihuahua? Of course, that should do the trick.

    On another note, I went to a meeting a few months ago, and one of the ladies there was one of those who talks on and on and on and on without really realizing most everyone else stopped listening to her. I had completely tuned her out, and when I regained focus, I had to interrupt with, “Did you just say you have a dead cat? In your freezer?” Yes, yes she did. For over a year. She said she was waiting for her daughter, who is ten, to dig a hole to bury the cat. FOR OVER A YEAR!