DEAR PET LADY,
I recently attended Burning Man, where I took a lot of drugs and ran around like a gold-plated maniac in the desert and had a FAB-ulous time. When I got home, my friend called and said I should come to his place and we should go have some chicken-fried steak, but I can never remember his apartment number, which is C-1, so I double-checked and said, "C as in Cat-1?" and then wrote "CAT ONE" on my hand as I was pretty sure I'd forget in the four blocks between our homes. I got halfway down my street, scared of all that is our civilization (frowning people, cars, etc.), and looked over to see a calico cat lounging in its yard. It saw me and began shouting, "MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!" and RAN as fast as its little legs could carry it right at me. I bent to pet it and right there on my petting hand it said "CAT ONE."
Weird, huh, Pet Lady? I hung out with my new friend Cat One, who screamed all the while as I petted, and then picked up my chicken-fried steak friend, who laughed at my tale and said I better watch out what I write on my hand, and I said, "Yeah, what if I write 'poo'?" and we both looked down and right at that instant he was stepping in poo.
My questions: Can animals tell when you've had a mind-altering experience? And what do you think I should write on my hand next?
DEAR BURNING HUMAN,
The Pet Lady has not borne witness to the Burning of the Man in many years, but the Pet Secretary requested a leave of absence to attend this year and reports having had a time nothing short of "FAB-ulous" in the dusty never-never-land of wearing whatever you want, doing whatever you want, deploying whatever substances you want, and enjoying certain things with whichever other consenting adults you want. The P.S. further reports sporting a bindi (and only a bindi), riding a mechanical horse, ingesting an unexpected sno-cone, defeating a maze, swimming in what may have been a mirage, cross-dressing for less, and polka-dotting, all the while surrounded by impossibly generous, happy, and good-looking people. She also heard tell of a Martini Man administering perfectly made martinis in 107-degree heat, which both the P.S. and the P.L. applaud.
In fact, Human, the Pet Secretary may have encountered you, if you were the one in the gold-sequined dress falling off the bike with handlebar streamers in front of the portable toilets. The P.S., too, re-entered the world of scowlers and horn-honkers with difficulty, and still appears a bit stunned; in answer to your first query, of course animals can detect forces of nature such as, apparently, the P.S., you, and yours became in your time away from our collective madness. Secondly, accordingly, the Pet Lady suggests that the next thing you ink on your hand be "love and happiness," perhaps followed by "pie" or "cake," whichever you find more toothsome. The Pet Secretary and, indeed, Lady will see you next year.
The Pet Lady
Send your pet query and depiction to The Pet Lady, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org