Anyway, the point is, I tend to be a person who reads and follows instructions. I've even been known to read the three-foot long paper enclosed with a prescription drug and usually decide not to take it because of its 1500 possible side effects.
When taking the Iowa Test of Basic Skills as a child, I always followed the instructions of the teacher proctoring the test: 'Be sure to read the ENTIRE paragraph before looking at the questions.' So, I read the entire paragraph first. As my eyes encountered the words, my brain was screaming, 'HURRY HURRY. THIS IS A TEST. HURRY HURRY.' Then I got to the questions, and none of the words looked vaguely familiar. Then I had to go back to the questions. I have sometimes thought I must have had A.D.D., but I think it's probably more a matter of P.A.N.I.C. Even today, any memory of test taking is stored in my brain where nightmares are stored.
All that to say...for years, I've bought Petromalt to feed my cats so that they don't get hairballs stuck in their gut. Petromalt is greasy brown stuff that comes in a tube and I guess makes the hair that cats ingest, during their obsessive grooming, slide right through. Okay. So, years ago I was instructed to pick up the cat, put a glob of Petromalt onto the top of his paw. The theory was that he wouldn't be able to stand the feeling of the glob, so he would lick it off. Of course, unless you get the greasy stuff mashed well enough into the fur on the cat's paw, he will flick it off onto the carpet, the bed, your pile of laundry, the pants you're wearing, etc. And, believe me, it's a real trick to get this stuff onto the paw of a squirming cat with long, sharp claws.
After 8+ years of doing this, one night recently I went into our bedroom to find my husband holding the tube of Petromalt and our two cats standing on their hind legs in order to lick the grease right out of the tube. RIGHT OUT OF THE TUBE.
I'm beginning to feel betrayed by my conscience.