Tag Archives: hairballs

Frankly, I think the hairball express is worse than the karma train

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For one thing, one can never be sure when (or if) the karma train has arrived. The hairball express leaves evidence.

If you’re a cat person–and by that, I don’t mean you’re a cat who turned into a person–you know what that evidence is. If you’re not a cat person, it’s better that you don’t know.

Cat people notice that when the hairball express stops, it’s more likely to be on a rug or a couch than on a tile or linoleum floor. It often stops at night: this means you step in what it’s left for you.

Some people “own” thee cats. This means the hairball express stops more often because the cats get together and set up a schedule so that–basically–the house has full coverage. That means more hairballs in more places at more times, than normal. In this case, less is never more. More is more and when there’s an epidemic, more often becomes the new normal.

That is, one expects to find a mess when they first wake up, whenever important company have come by for dinner, or while one is praying that the hairball express will stop at somebody else’s house. The people we have in mind when we create such prayers are those who keep missing the karma train.

You know who those people are. They have all the money and/or play hideous music on their car radios at midnight with the windows open. There’s more than enough trailer trash scum whose lives cry out for a visit from either the karma train or the hairball express to make things easy for the fates when they decide who’s gonna get it tonight.

I’ve sent countless e-mails to my cats explaining that hairballs are better left in the litter box than on: (a) my living room recliner, (b) the magazine that came in today’s mail, (c) my pillow, or (d) the first edition of the Gutenberg’s Bible that I was planning to take to the Antique’s Roadshow. I can here it now: “Malcolm, with this cat puke on it, the book is worth $37.50. Without the cat puke it would sell, at auction, for $1000000000000000000.”

I’m writing this post because the hairball express has been stopping by our house 4-5 times every 24 hours. This tells me somebody’s put a hex on my house or my cats. I will find you. And when I do, you’ll probably find a cow patty covered with gravy on your dinner plate after you’ve eaten half of it (the patty, not the plate).

Frankly, I think it should be obvious to everyone whether they’re named Frank or something else, that the basic design of cats needs to be tweaked so that there are fewer hairballs. Learning to clean themselves with a sponge rather than a tongue might be a start. Or, perhaps, strong stomach acid that works like Drano so that they don’t swallow a handful of fur and then throw it up on my brand new LL Bean shirt. Bean probably voids my lifetime guarantee on the shirt for such perils as cow patties, meadow muffins, and hairballs.

Look, one reason I signed on to be a cat person rather than a dog person is this: dogs have to do their business outside. That means somebody has to come home or wake up to let the dog out. Cats are supposed to do their business in the litter box. But no amount of training seems to get through to them that hairballs belong in the litter box. My wife and I try to set a good example by never throwing up on furniture or pillows or priceless heirlooms.

All that is lost on the cats. In fact, if you’re a cat person, you already know that–except for expediency–everything is lost on cats.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell promises you that when you read “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” you won’t find any hairballs in the story.

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Sick cat = sleepless night

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KatyInChairOur large calico cat named Katy is, in her estimation, queen of the household, ruling the other two cats.

She spends a lot of the day squeezed in behind me on my large swivel desk chair.

A week or so ago, my wife had a roller pan filled with blue paint for a hallway touch-up project. Katy participated in this project by jumping into the paint and then running throughout the house on the light-colored carpet.

Clean-up consisted of applying many cleaners, potions, traditional spot removers and elbow grease to the blue cat prints that adorned the hall and living room.

The noisier part of clean-up, that included my getting scratched up and listening to howling, consisted of scrubbing the blue paint off her feet in the sink before she licked it off and got sick.

Time went by until a night ago when she either had one heck of a hairball, was finally reacting to the paint she got too before we did, or somehow got into one of the other fix-up the house products such as the spackle. (She seemed more interested in the spackle than necessary.)

She is the hairball queen, but after a little too much throwing up and a refusal to east, we filled her mouth with the gooey anti-hairball product we call gat goop. Katy doesn’t like cat goop and resents people prying open her mouth and putting dollops in there in such a way that she can spit them back out.

The paint looked worse on the carpet than it does in this quick photo

The paint looked worse on the carpet than it does in this quick photo

She did in the dark afterwards behind a rocker after that, always a sign that a cat is either spooked or sick. She was still hiding the next day and turned up her nose at food. I kept checking on her until 3:30 a.m., after which my wife checked on her. A hairball is one thing, a blockage or something acting on her like a poison is another. Can’t ignore that and hope for the best for long.

Finally, yesterday, she at a little food again, became responsive instead of zoned out, and sat in my lap while we were watching “Master Chef.”  (Anything to do with food or that can be turned into food gets her attention.) Today, she’s squeezed in behind me again in my desk chair.

It’s nice to see her back to her old self even though she’s also back to trying to hog food and tell the other two cats (as well as us) what to do.

–Malcolm

With three cats in the house, and many before them, I’ve had plenty of models for writing my novella in progress called “Conjure Woman’s Cat.”