Martin Lawrence embraces the life of a celebrity. He’s well-groomed, dines on the finest cuisine and has the most comprehensive health plan. Life is good, especially when you’re the king. The trouble is, this Martin Lawrence is neither a Hollywood comedic lion nor the shining star of the movie “Bad Boys.” This Martin, our Martin is a cat. He just doesn’t know it.
I have to admit that I have sent Martin mixed messages since rescuing him from the shelter. Reflecting on some of my over-indulgences, I see where I may have blurred the line between human and feline family members.
On one of Martin’s routine vet checks, I got a warning. Since Martin is a white cat who likes to sit in the sunlight – inside the door, that is – he is more susceptible to getting skin cancer. I had specific instructions to find lick-proof sunscreen for his nose and ears. I frantically searched for this product unfamiliar even to pet store employees. But, I was on a mission to beat any rapidly multiplying carcinoma, imagined or real. I finally found a suitable product, and had it shipped—from Belgium. Whew. Close call.
I also left this appointment with a plastic toothbrush and toothpaste to keep Martin’s gingivitis at bay. What I wasn’t told was that the phrase, “It tastes just like chicken,” doesn’t apply to cats. Nobody mentioned that the poultry-flavored toothpaste wouldn’t be enough of a selling point to coax Martin from under the bed. I certainly didn’t get the tip that maintaining Martin’s oral hygiene could become disruptive to my life. I had to learn that on my own, after arriving late for an appointment.
“I’m sorry I’m late. I was brushing my cat’s teeth,” I matter-of-factly explained to my friend.
The look I got said it all. Apparently not everyone is willing to go to the ends of the earth (or under the bed) for their pets’ healthy gums. Imagine that.