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Saturday, October 6, 2018

How to Be Thin

Happy Celine visiting Nana 

“She’s too skinny,” the vet declared as she poked around my fox terrier, Celine’s ribs yesterday.

I sighed and shrugged helplessly. “She eats exactly the same as my Chihuahua and he’s fat,” I replied. “It’s just that she never stops running around chasing balls.”

But the truth is, I suspect her lack of padding also stems from a nervous and unpredictable disposition.

Celine displays a temperament which can only be described as highly neurotic. 

At times when her unhinged, psychotic personality traits emerge, we don’t call her ‘Celine’, we call her ‘Ethel’.

Ethel is deeply disturbed.

Ethel refuses to eat her dinner if I give it to her at 2:55pm instead of 3:00pm. Ethel refuses to eat her dinner if I put it in the wrong place on the floor. Ethel refuses to eat her dinner if it is not mushed up exactly right.

Ethel slinks around petulantly if a visitor sits on her spot on the couch. Ethel will sit on a windowsill like a maniacal stalker, glaring at the visitor with a look of murderous hatred or perhaps an expression of abject forlorn, depending on her state of mind.

“What’s wrong, Ethel?” we cajole, offering her a biscuit from the coffee table. She will sniff the air wretchedly and turn her head away in disgust.

When Scotto leaves for work, Ethel’s temper surfaces in a manifestation of furious bile. She cannot stand for Scotto to leave the house. Ethel would rather kill Scotto than allow him to leave the house. One day she might even do it. 

If Scotto has the presence of mind, he will throw the nearest ball and Ethel magically disappears and Celine is once again returned to us, wagging her tail and panting like a puppy.

Ethel might appear in the morning and evening, one can never predict it. Most times, Ethel prefers her own company and buries herself in a pile of pillows. 

Ethel in a mood

Celine, on the other hand, displays great sociability. She sits between Scotto and me, following our banter with bright eyes and an inquisitive twitchy nose. If one of us happens to swear accidentally in our casual conversation, Ethel suddenly appears, growling and snarling. Ethel detests swearing with a innate revulsion. We don’t know the deep-rooted cause of this. One can only imagine.

Sometimes, Ethel frightens our visitors when she appears out of the blue. They are drawn into a false sense of affection when first meeting the affable Celine

It only takes a word, one gesture, one carelessly moved cushion, for the wrath of Ethel to materialize and poison the occasion.

According to the vet, I should buy Celine working dog food to help bulk her up a bit.

Personally, I think I should have requested an exorcism.