|I can haz tongue, says Buddy Batcat|
A part of my soul has finally been awakened after falling head over heels in love with six lbs worth of aging cat. At 36, I finally became a pet parent - a term I would have previously scoffed at had I even known it existed - and my heart grew all fuzzy.
Enter one plucky moggy known as Buddy Batcat and the digestive glitches befitting his age.
"You might occasionally hear something that sounds like a baby crying", warned my beloved when I arrived in December, "so don't be alarmed if I dart out of bed - that'll be the cat warning us he's about to throw up".
Little did I know that I would soon come to recognize - and fear - that distinctive meow.
Loath to manhandle a cat I had just met and unsure of his clawing capacities, it took me a while until I found a way to carry him and prevent him from Jackson Pollocking the entire apartment. In the cat's eyes however, I was still staff-in-training back then, wielding a bottle of anti-bacterial cleaning spray in one hand, a huge roll of kitchen towels in the other and meowing madly in a bid to communicate.
Because I naturally have all the makings of a crazy cat lady.
At least the vet thought so. When we took the cat in for his rabies shot, she spoke exclusively to me and blanked the cat's human life partner - aka my beloved - altogether in some surreal sales pitch that had little to do with actual animal care. Her robotic delivery was rather chilling and I might have liked her better had she meowed, too.
Vet visit aside, I quickly became a dab hand at picking up our feline overlord and holding him over the toilet while he plays some loud belly accordion gigs, usually in two parts with a lip-smacking finish.
"Waaaah-waaaah-waaaah-waaaah-waaaaah, waaaah-waaaah-waaaah-waaaah-waaaaah, ooh-WOOOP, ooh-WOOOP, ooh-WOOOP... SPLOSH! Waaaah-waaaah-waaaah-waaaah-waaaaah, waaaah-waaaah-waaaah-waaaah-waaaaah, ooh-WOOOP, ooh-WOOOP, ooh-WOOOP. SPLOSH! Nyooom, nyooom, NYAAAP".
Sound effects both the beloved and I can recreate at will. Try us.
Monitoring the contents of the cat's litter box became second nature to me, too, and terms like "chocolate log", "truffle" and "nugget" have all been reclaimed to mean entirely different things.
Truth is, in this household, we measure peace of mind by what comes out of the cat's backside.
Unless of course the cat is backed up, which happens on a regular basis. Or producing something out of proportions like a jumbo Mars Bar in length. Or downloading three cans worth of food onto the kitchen rug into one perfect little cow's pat when we are out for the day. Or expelling something that still smells vaguely like organic canned cat food, cannot be identified either as puke or poop but is pungent enough to cause involuntary human heaving.
Because the cat is 16, it's fair to say that we do worry about him. A lot.
"Hope it was at least nugget-like? He had one last poop before I left and it was not unlike soft serve", my beloved texts after I inform him that the cat has graced the armchair with his sixth turdlet of the day in the space of as many hours.
"More like Jello meets Nutella, crusty tail beyond the reach of baby wipes, can you please pick up some kitty bath suds on the way home?".
We're giving the cat a bath tonight.
Did anyone say baby replacement?