That Sound

I was woken up this morning by that unmistakable sound. It’s a sound cat owners around the world can identify, because there’s nothing else like it. It goes something like this: Hck, heck, hreck, hrawk, hraawpl. That last one’s off but it’s one of those sounds that doesn’t have much of a literary equivalent.

It being a quarter to six, and me being me at a quarter to six, I fumbled for my glasses, poked my eye trying to put them on, and looked around. My cat was sitting in his bed, on the trunk at the foot of our bed, looking at me like I’d done something wrong.

“You little fucker,” I said in the most loving of tones. “Where is it?”

He licked a paw and elegantly folded himself into his bed, chin on paws.

I checked the floor on my side of the bed first, then checked inside my slippers, and finding those safe I put them on. Then I did the rounds, checking every inch of the floor in the bedroom. I checked the bathroom. I checked the hallway. Nothing. I was groggy and grumpy and I thought I might have missed something, so I checked everywhere again. I checked under the bed. I checked, improbably, inside the laundry hamper. Nothing

At this point I started to think that maybe it had been a vivid dream, and that there was no little hill of cat vomit waiting for an opportune time to squish cold and wet through my toes when I wasn’t expecting it.

I poked the cat, who’d already gone mostly to sleep. “Seriously,” I said. “Where’s the damned vomit?”


My wife had already left for work, the floor was safe in case he kids came into the room, and I was dead tired, so I gave up and got ready to crawl back into bed. And that’s when I saw it. A neat little pile of yarf, on the bedspread on my wife’s side of the bed. If she hadn’t already left for work and had woken up to find that the cat had puked on top of her, I think it would have gotten very ugly. If the cat had puked n top of me I know that it would have gotten ugly.

I picked it up as best I could, tossed the cat out of his own bed and out of the room, and went back to sleep, then later I threw the bedspread into the laundry. And that was the start of my day…

Yesterday’s headache disappeared, but has now come back as a regular but still annoying throb. I think it’s a sign that I haven’t changed my disposable contacts in a while. Also, I hear sleep is good. Maybe this time I won’t be interrupted by that sound.


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