Selma had been wandering through the sleepscape with increasing frequency.

The cat wanted something; I don’t know what. No, that’s a lie – I knew what she wanted, but it wasn’t in my power to give it to her. She wanted her brother-dog, but that wasn’t going to happen.

She had food, she had water, her kitty litter was clean. I sleepily offered her affection, but that wasn’t it. Cats pick their way across the nighttime covers as if someone was following and she’d said “Step only where I step – if you don’t follow this winding yet exacting path perfectly, the whole place is going to blow up.”

She’d walk across my head; I’d reach out a sleep-heavy hand to stroke her soft fur, but she’d move just beyond fingertip-on-tail range. I’d go back to sleep. She’d do it again. I grabbed her and tucked her under the covers; she lay still until I stopped petting her. Then she’d slither off again.

Next began the Knocking Things Off phase. (In my youth we had a cat who learned to knock the phone off the hook, knowing that eventually the horrible beep-beep-beep that meant “hang up your phone” would awaken my sister, who would then open her bedroom door to let the cat out; mission accomplished.)

Selma was knocking off hair combs and fingernail clippers. Nothing breakable; I’ve had cats for a long time and have learned this lesson. Once she dumped a glass of iced tea on my head, but now it was just stuff I could pick up tomorrow morning; no need to awaken. “Have at it,” I muttered and kept sleeping.

Then she discovered a pile of photographs I’ve been going through and began to loudly gnaw on them. “Oh, come on!” I said, shoving a pillow into the shelf and over the photos.

Thus foiled, she exacted The Cat’s Ultimate Revenge. She vented her bile by… well, venting her bile.

My sleep was interrupted by the sound of a bilge pump firing up. That “urk, urk, urk” sound that every cat owner knows well. Selly was presenting me with proof that she did, indeed, have plenty of food. And cats always know exactly where the flight paths are; she was opting to vomit exactly where my bare foot would step when I finally got up. (Is it better to tread through warm or cold cat york? I can tell you from experience that both are a very bad start to the day.)

I was cleaning up this morning, dimly admiring the cat’s ability to barf as an expression of annoyance, when it occurred to me.

Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if people could do that??

Let’s say I was on the treadmill and gasping to Barbara. “Four intervals, right?” And she would – as she does – shake her head and say implacably, “Five.”

And I’d just lean over, open my mouth, and present her with my breakfast yogurt and cashews. You’ve annoyed me. Here.

Or the guy at the bank. “You’ll have to come in and sign these papers to access your mother’s accounts, and we’ll have to have them notarized, and then reviewed, and this will take a few weeks.” And I could say “Step over here, brother – I’ve got something I want to share with you.”

As my scenarios got more embroidered for when I’d like to be able to hurl on command to give back some of the annoyance I’d been given, I got to giggling. Down on the bedroom floor with wads of paper towels and just snorting in amusement. And I am NOT a one to find gastro-intestinal humor funny on almost any level – but this one got me.

Venting my bile. Messy… but satisfying!

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 9.06.23 AM

Selma seems to be feeling better this morning. She looks so innocent and sweet, doesn’t she? Yeah – no. We’re learning our new normal.

2 thoughts on “Bile

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