We think Shirley might have a tapeworm. She is always hungry. Even after we feed her, she is on the prowl for more food. You have seen the photos of her eating soap. Anything. She is starving, starving she will tell you.
Then there is blood in somebody's poop (we don't watch the cats as they conduct their business, so we don't know whose poop it is, although we suspect Shirley, as she has not mastered the fine art of covering her poop and it is the bare poop that is bloody), so this morning, I took a toothpick and got a little sample to take to the vet's. Taking a cat's stool sample is easy.
Taking a person's? Not so much.
When I was finishing my Peace Corps stint, I had to go through all this medical stuff so the Peace Corps and the American taxpayer would not be on the hook two years later when I said Hey! I have this pain in my neck and I'm sure it's from the time I was in the Peace Corps and you guys have to pay!
Part of the medical stuff was submitting a stool sample.
The lab instructions were in Spanish, but after two years in Chile, I understood, "half the size of a lentil."
For three days in a row, I took a sample "half the size of a lentil" and put it into a little glass vial. After I had collected my three tiny little samples, I wrapped them in a plastic bag, then enveloped them in an unmarked brown paper bag, and took them to the lab.
I waited at the counter. Once I had the clerk's attention, I slid the bag across to her discreetly. As I did, a man walked up with three tubes in his hand and plopped them down.
Absolutely full. Pushing the cap off full.
He was proud of that poop.
Proud, I tell you.
Or maybe he was used to mighty big lentils.