This summer has been hot and humid. One of the yardsticks I have to compare this hot-and-humid summer to summers past is the number of hairballs my cat Dickens has horked up. Dickens is orange and white and has ridiculously thick short fur. I have never seen Dickens’ skin. The fur grows too thickly for me to see it, even when I’m brushing it. This leads to a happy warm kitty in the winter, but to a kitty prone to horking up hairballs in the summer. This summer in particular seems to have been the Summer of the Hairball. This may be our Hairballiest Summer ever, in fact.
We’ve established a little routine. He waits until sometime between 2 and 6 in the morning, launches into his horking noises and I jack-knife out of bed at a dead run before I’m even awake, in a usually-futile attempt to catch him before he horks onto the carpet or one of my shoes or something.
The nice thing about Dickens (to be honest, there are many nice things about Dickens – he’s an extremely nice kitty) – as I was saying, one of the nice things about Dickens is that he’s OCD. If there’s a mess on the carpet – his or someone else’s – he helpfully stands near it and scrapes around it with his paw until I’ve done something about it. It’s very handy at when you’re standing in the living room, knowing that somewhere in your vicinity is a fresh hairball, but you’re not yet awake enough to be able to find it. Dickens will scrape away until I can find it by sound if not by sight.
Aren't you just really glad right now that you're seeing pictures of my cats, and not of their hairballs?
Wilkie almost never has hairballs. Her fur is very silky and not as thick as Dickens’. (Wilkie is the roly-poly one, leading my friend Mike-in-Melbourne to rename her Silky Bulky Wilkie.) When she does have a hairball though, she cries first, in that echoing haunting sort of way that makes my heart race and eyes widen in panic because something other-worldly has clearly taken up residence in my house and I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS. Then the horking begins and the familiarity of it is almost so comforting that I forget to be grossed out. Almost.
(I have two cats. Once I had a French roommate who loved Dickens and had no time at all for Wilkie. She called them ‘Thees Wan’ and ‘THAT Wan’. She just LOVED ‘Thees Wan’ and couldn’t understand why I even bothered to keep ‘THAT Wan.’ Which is one reason why I no longer have a French roommate.)
Ever been so sick to your stomach that you’ve been unable to eat that last thing you ate before you were sick? (Clearly this never happens to my cats.) Earlier this summer I had a violent 24 hour stomach bug. The last thing I ate was a York Peppermint Patty. I had only just rediscovered them and I was totally reliving my crush on them. Mmmmm. Minty creamy chocolatey. Mmmmm.
I am so totally faking it.
I may never
Sorry for the grossness. For some reason it just needed to be aired.