M. Giant's
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Saturday, January 22, 2005  

Gag Gift

After two months, we're still working on getting the cats to bond with each other. Strat and Orca were inseparable by this point in the relationship, but he's quite a bit older now, and he gives off this unmistakable you kids get out my yard vibe whenever Phantom and Turtle chase each other across his line of vision, which is several hundred times a day. For their part, Phantom and Turtle have each other. They were friends before they ever met us, and they're closer to the same age (although Phantom is due to become a woman-cat any week now, which is why she has an appointment on Tuesday). So the two kittens aren't that powerfully motivated to become friends with the other cat in the house. And just like with kids, you can't force cats to like each other. It has to happen organically, and it'll probably be as a result of something you never could have predicted.

For instance, last weekend we were all sitting in the living room when Strat started making that unmistakable hrunk hrunk hrunk noise that usually precedes an argument between myself and Trash over whose turn it is to get the paper towels. But since Trash had her arms full of baby, this particular round was one that I lost by default. So after Strat got done leaving his wet, beige mess on the living room rug, I went back to reading. I like to wait a few minutes before cleaning up cat vomit, you see, because if there's anything more disgusting than picking up kitty puke, it's picking up kitty puke that's still warm from being inside a kitty belly.

Except this time, waiting wasn't an option. Something was happening that meant I had to clean up the hurl right away. It was quickly becoming obvious that by the time the gack was cool enough for me to pick up with a paper towel, Turtle would have eaten it all.

Trash wailed in horror.

So I scooped up Turtle, carried her into the kitchen, and grabbed a bunch of paper towels before putting her down again. Then I literally had to race her back to the puddle of Strat's heave. I've never seen a cat so excited to eat anything in my life. And why not? It tasted yummy like regular cat food, except it was soft, which she likes, and warm, which she apparently also likes, and who knows what kind of sweetening process it had gone through during its time in Strat's diabetic system? What's not to like?

Aside from the horrified noises Trash kept making, of course.

After just a few seconds of pushing Turtle away with one hand while manipulating a stack of paper towels with the other, it occurred to me that I was making my life way more difficult on two fronts. Why not just let these two problems solve each other? We could go back to using all of our paper towels the way normal people do, specifically as napkins. But of course, Trash was in the room, and you know how chicks are.

I did get the mess on the rug cleaned up. The parts that Turtle hadn't beaten me to, at least. As I was washing my hands in the bathroom afterward, I noticed Strat sitting in the hallway, that sort of dazed-tired look on his face that he always has right after a good yack. Turtle came and did something I'd never seen her do. She politely walked into Strat's shadow (she's still a lot smaller than he is) and stretched up to affectionately rub the top of her head beneath his chin. "Thank you for the most wonderful treat a cat ever had," she seemed to be saying. And then she walked away before he could thump her.

It occurs to me that Strat's been doing really well lately. He hardly ever throws up at all. Aside from last weekend, I can't remember the last time I cleaned up cat puke.

He has to be doing better. He has to. Now that Turtle is in the habit of licking our faces in the middle of the night, the alternative theory doesn't bear thinking about.

Today's best search phrase: "funny black people commute in one truck." I think I was behind that truck on the freeway the other day.

posted by M. Giant 7:03 PM 14 comments


Dude, consider yourself lucky. I've been trying to train Tansy to "clean up" Mona's barf for MONTHS now.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 22, 2005 at 7:38 PM  

I caught my dog eating cat puke the other day, which I think goes a long way toward explaining why her weight-loss regimen is failing miserably.

Can we have some more cat pictures? Maybe not of them puking, but whatever else you happen to think is appropriate?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 22, 2005 at 8:27 PM  

My elder cat has adjusted pretty well to the kitten over the past 6 months -- she's just sort of "meh", doesn't really play with her but doesn't beat her ass.

Now, the middle cat (neutered male) has a relationship with teh kitten that borders on creepy -- she was maybe a bit too young when we took her away from her mom, and middle cat is dark and similar in appearance, and the kitten is convinced that MK is her mommy. She nurses off him. He pins her down and cleans her head. Then they beat each other's asses and knock everything off every surface in the house. But it's cool.

Elder Cat is overcleaning as well, to the point that it's scary, but she also has an...appointment...this week, so maybe we can get her one ofthose Elizabethan collars and get it taken care of. Every time I see her big scary bald spot, I want to cry.

By Blogger parcequilfaut, at January 22, 2005 at 9:40 PM  

You mean your cats didn't do this for you before? Sheesh - we pretty much count on it. There is nothing nastier than cleaning up warm slimy cat puke - years of fostering kittens and living with cats have taught me that unless the pile contains the tell-tale hairball, 'pre-chewed' food will usually, and quite mysteriously (ahem), disappear all on its own.

Hey, I live with six cats. That's can mean occassional bouts of an awful lot of hairball hacking, believe me. One learns to cut corners any way one can.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 22, 2005 at 11:42 PM  

And sometimes you only need one. When my guy leaves a present on the floor, the result has usually be 'recycled' by the time I get back with the paper towels.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 23, 2005 at 12:18 AM  

We have 2 cats: one who pukes frequently, and the other one who is fat, I think partially due to the fact that she cleans up the puked food so willingly. Also, the other day, the dog alerted me to the fact that there was a small pile of puke right on the other side of the gate into the cat room. I moved the gate, and he cleaned it up for me. Good dog!! Why waste food, right?

By Blogger ThatGrrrl, at January 23, 2005 at 4:20 AM  

You guys make me feel so much better. The one time I told someone I let my cats clean up each others' puke, he was so horrified I thought I might have lost a friend. When I was a kid, we called our dog over and had her clean up anybody's puke (human, cat, whatever).

Whatever it takes so I don't have to grab the warm pukeball in my hands, I don't care.

By Blogger Joanne, at January 23, 2005 at 8:19 AM  

It'll get even more amusing as you go along. Someday when M. Tiny is older he'll spew up copious amounts of macaroni and cheese. Cats LOVE that kind of stuff -- er, at least our cat did when my sister ate too much macaroni. Still the grossest thing that I've ever seen.

By Blogger a Carrie, at January 23, 2005 at 8:33 AM  

There are two cats living at my house, Milly and Molly. Molly will hack up, and then a few minutes later, Milly makes her way over and laps it up. She also does the same with her own vomit. I usually am the only one who allows her to do this, mainly because cleaning up cat vomit is no where near the list of things I would like to do. Let the cat eat the vomit, just don't let Trash see.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 23, 2005 at 9:51 AM  

WAY too much information.

By Blogger Udge, at January 23, 2005 at 2:07 PM  

Turtle and Taylor are clearly brothers separated at birth. Taylor loves nothing more than a good puke breakfast; it's like kitty pate. And as of last month, Taylor was diagnosed with OCD for his constant licking -- he's worn the fur off on both of his "elbows" and has started scabbing. The vet wanted to put him on kitty Prozac, but seeing as how I refuse to have the stereotypical California cat, I went about things my own way -- catnip. I sneak Taylor a little of the wacky weed every night, and he's stopped all the crazy licking. And it seems to keep Olive from freaking out so much every morning that she pukes her meal. Yes, all my cats are dope fiends, but it's really worth it. Please give your cats some dope for me.

By Blogger pamie, at January 23, 2005 at 7:43 PM  

I second the request for pictures of the cats, and I add to it a request for pictures of M. Tiny. It's been weeks since we've seen him, and I'm going through withdrawl.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 24, 2005 at 7:37 AM  

I have just discovered that my cats are geniuses. Someone threw up, but did it right in front of our heating register. The result? Dried up cat puke, that was back to crunchy kibble. And then it became a crunchy snack for someone. Fabulous!

- JeniMull

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 24, 2005 at 11:36 AM  

Strange...reading Velcrometer doesn't usually induce writing in my desk chair, clawing at my eyes.

I have two cats, neither of whom has been known to perform this service, alas.

My favorite pet gross-out story is actually my sister's; she's got two cats and a dog who live to inflict psychological torment on each other. Picture if you will:

1. Cat enters litter box.
2. Dog bolts into laundry room where litter box resides, barking.
3. Angry, freaked cat bolts from litter box, snarling, mid-crap, and deposits turd on floor.
4. Dog, surprised at this turn of events, snarfs tasty turd treat in one bite.

You have to imagine all this taking approximately 3.2 seconds, while sis shrieks at her boyfriend to "do something." Hee.

By Blogger Kim, at January 24, 2005 at 11:46 AM  

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