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Instructions for Giving a Pill to a Cat

1) Pick cat up and gently hold it in a recumbent position between your upper left arm and body, its head lightly grasped by your left hand. Position left forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens its mouth, pop the pill in. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2) Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Hold cat more firmly under left arm and try the same procedure again.

3) Retrieve cat from bedroom and throw soggy pill away.

4) Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat firmly in left arm, this time with head toward forearm as if holding a baby. Hold rear paws and tail tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right fore-finger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5) Staunch bleeding and Apply Band-Aid to deep scratchs on left hand, retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call wife in from garden and ask her to assist. Assure her again about it not being necessary to take cat to vet for such a simple procedure.

6) Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between your knees. Hold front and rear paws firmly. Ignore low menacing growls emitted by cat. Get wife to hold cats head firmly with one hand, insert the end of a wooden ruler into its mouth, drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7) Apply more Band-Aids and retrieve cat from curtain rail. Get another pill from foil wrap. Make a mental note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Sweep shattered Royal Doulton figurines from hearth, console distraught wife and consult household insurance policy for claim information.

8) Wrap cat in large thick towel and get wife to lay on top of cat so its head is just visible from below her arm-pit. Put pill in end of drinking straw. Force cat's mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9) Check label on box to make sure pill is not harmful to humans. Drink large glass of water to get rid of vile taste. Apply Band-Aids to wife's upper arm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap. Apologise again to wife for swearing and assure her you really like cats.

10) Retrieve cat from neighbour's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave its head showing. Keeping a firm pressure on cupboard door with knee, force cat's mouth open with handle of table spoon. Get wife to flick pill down cat's throat with elastic band.

11) Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to gash on chest and check medical receipts for date of last tetanus shot. Throw out ripped and bloodied tee-shirt and get new one from bedroom. Apologise to sobbing wife for totally unwarranted remarks about women and plead temporary insanity caused by cat's violent attack.

12) Ring fire brigade to retrieve cat from tall tree across the road. Apologise to neighbour who crashed his car into fence while swerving to avoid fleeing cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.

13) Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed, force cat's mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet steak. Hold cat's head back and keeping spanner inserted in mouth, pour in half carton of milk to wash pill down.

14) Try to calm wife, agree to see a marriage counsellor and get her to drive you to the emergency room at local hospital. Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill fragments from right eye. Stop by furniture store on way home to order new table and book carpet in for steam-cleaning.

15) Report cat's disappearance to SPCA and ask them to arrange new home for cat if found. Ring local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters. Ring wife at her mother's to ask how she is. Check freezer for TV dinners.

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