Friday, October 29, 2004

So fresh and so clean, clean

It is the mission of all beloved children to give their parents palpitations by endangering themselves in bizarre and unforeseen ways. Since the s.o. and I have no human children, and do not plan to, this duty falls upon our animals.

I'd agreed to loan a dress to a friend for Halloween, but the dress had been stored in our very unfinished "guest house" and therefore had a musty smell. It was also wadded in a ball. So I went to the laundry room (which is the back porch, as you all know) and rummaged around until I found a spray bottle of Downy Wrinkle Releaser that some well-intentioned person had given me a couple of years ago. Aha!, I thought. Just the thing.

I hung the dress on the bathroom door and misted it all over with Downy Wrinkle Releaser. Then the phone rang, and I took the bottle in hand and ran to get it.

A few minutes later, I returned to the scene and found Cairo standing there. He whipped his head up from his snout-to-the-floor position and guiltily licked his chops. It took me only moments to realize that the mist of Downy Wrinkle Releaser had created a slick on the floor and he'd been licking it.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" I screamed. The s.o. came running and very helpfully suggested I call the number on the bottle. When I did so, the recording on the other end of the line gave me the number for Poison Control. I called it.

I described the situation to the woman at the Poison Control Center. She hemmed and hawed a little and then asked a lot of questions about Cairo's age and behavior. I reported that he was acting completely normal, which is to say, exuberant. She told me to hold for a moment.

She returned. "What was the scent of the product?" she asked.


"What was the scent?"

I was thinking, How could that possibly matter? But I dutifully checked the bottle. "Light Freshness," I reported.

I heard papers shuffling. Then she told me that if he had, say, drunk the contents of the bottle, Cairo might be in for some serious gastric distress, along with vomiting. But seeing as he'd only licked up an application's worth, he'd probably be absolutely fine. I should give him some water to drink and continue to monitor his behavior, but I could be fully confident that he'd be okay.

What a relief!

As I write this, I can hear the s.o. playing with Cairo. "How you doin' there, Downy?" he's asking. "How you doin', Mr. Wrinkle-Free? Mr. Light Freshness?"

These are the moments memories are made of, I guess.