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Bubblicious 

When The Observer's beloved cat Scout came down with an infection recently, we were struck with two emotions. Sympathy, of course (poor kitty!), but also dread — because administering cat medicine is a shrieking, painful mess of a task liable not just to strain The Observer's relationship with our pet, but with our better half, a fanatic cat lover unimpressed with The Observer's tepid cat-wrangling skills.

Since cats don't much like to take medicine — and cats have claws with which to resist — it helps if the stuff is doctored up to be a little more palatable. A little bit of chicken or salmon flavoring helps, well, the medicine go down. Sadly our vet offered up bubble-gum-flavored antibiotics. Maybe that works on a human toddler — although come to think of it, The Observer's own childhood memories of gum-flavored dentistry suggest that anyone, man or beast, responds with disgust to the sweet pink ploy. In any case, if you were wondering, cats really don't like the taste of bubble gum. One whiff sent Scout to a state of hissing and writhing well above and beyond her standard resistance to unwanted medical care. The Observer hasn't tasted the medicine ourselves, but based on the odor, the medicine manufacturers really went overboard. The stuff brings a bubblicious sensory assault.

At press time, we have administered four of the 10 required doses. The Observer and our better half have matching scratches on our forearms for our trouble. Our new trick is to wrap Scout up in a towel, which helps a little. Since The Observer's role in the two-person operation is holding her, Scout has begun flashing her teeth and scrambling under the bed as soon as we approach. Cats have short memories, so this will pass in time, and Scout will return to purring affection. As long as we're not chewing bubble gum.

While we're on the subject of four-legged friends: The Observer and daughter were walking the dog last weekend, watching her lumber down the sidewalk, when the daughter asked out of the blue, "Do you ever think, 'Wow, I'm bipedal?' "

You know, we never do. But we were inordinately proud that our offspring was pondering the mysteries of our genus.

And speaking of the sometimes hazy line between man and beast: Motoring past the corner of 2nd and Cumberland Streets in front of Copper Grill near the River Market the other day, The Observer noticed that the bronze dancing couple that had stood atop a curving steel pedestal there — a welcome piece of public art, meant to beautify this dreary world — had gone A.W.O.L. We're sad to say that their disappearance is thanks to yet another attack on art in Little Rock.

Sculpture in Little Rock gets no respect. Bronzes worth $20,000 were taken from the Vogel Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park last year, and some of the sculpture was vandalized the year before. A limestone sculpture in front of the Cox Creative Center of the Central Arkansas Library System was pushed over and badly wounded. Remember the pigs that were painted by various artists and placed around town? All defaced, stolen or removed before they could be damaged.

Moses Tucker Realty, which manages the 300 E. Third condos at 2nd and Cumberland, took down the dancing couple after seeing that someone had tried to saw if off the pedestal. Only a severed foot remains. The sculpture is being repaired.

One reason the sculptures are easy targets is their scale. The dancing couple was small — too small, The Observer once politely pointed that out to Jimmy Moses, who politely told us where to get off. The bronzes in the Vogel garden were small, too, easily wrested from their stands. Those who stole them did so to make a buck off the metals. The stone sculpture at the library — that was just pure dumb meanness. Pitiful.

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