If you've never had a cat, there is something I have to inform you of before you read this post. See, cats puke a lot. I mean, A LOT. They don't do it because they are sick, or because they ate too much....no, cat's puke because they can. I think sometimes there is hair involved. Sometimes not. Sometimes they just feel like it.
If you've ever had a cat, you have learned to be on alert for a very specific sound only a cat can make. I've had dogs most of my life and I can tell you that even the sound of a dog getting ready to hack is NOTHING like the HORROR that will invade your soul at the sound of a cat getting ready to hack. NOTHING. Especially when said sound is made in the middle of the night...more on that in a minute.
See, many of the cat owners I know have one reaction to "the sound"....immediate mobilization of all resources. In our house it goes something like this.....we yell the cat's name repeatedly, sometimes interspersed with choice swear words (although we don't do that now that Toast is learning to talk) and hurtle all obstacles in hopes of getting to the cat in time to lift him gently (read: push and shove his writhing body) to the nearest linoleum or tile surface. ANYWHERE but the carpet. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, however, we are awakened at, oh, two AM by the sound of the retching. This is the worst. There is simply no way I'm getting out of bed to deal with cat puke, no way, no how. But it's a catch-22 because I know that in the morning the chances of someone (usually hubby) finding a pool of the stuff with a bare foot are maddeningly high.
My husband is 6'2", and he has a 6'4" wingspan....I only mention the second part because most people have a wingspan equal to their height....Hubby, however, has these freakishly long and skinny limbs. He is an amazingly graceful person with excellent balance and presence. Except when we are dealing with cat puke. This is how he earned my nickname for him: my gangle. Because he tends to leap and hop around holding up a pantleg to avoid the pools of cat puke...or if he's stepped in it, he limps around and his limbs tend to stick out at odd angles...kind of like a flamingo....he becomes, well, more gangly in these instances.
Hubby is a very strong person...in the course of raising our children he has been covered in every kind of bodily fluid just as often as I have, and never had a complaint about it. he cleans the gutters and never gags as he does it. But nothing, NOTHING grosses him out like cat puke.
So upon awaking this morning, we had this conversation.
me: "well, at least the cat puked in the bathtub last night"
Hubby: "Did you hear him in the middle of the night?"
Hubby: "I always hate that sound, it means I'm going to step in it in the morning"
Instantly I have a vision of Hubby, trying to be quiet as he rises at 6 am. He gets out the tiny flashlight he uses to find clothing in the dark of our room so he won't have to turn on the light. I wonder how many times he's silently sworn as he steps in something cool and gooey on his way down the stairs...and I picture his alter-ego...the gangle, prowling around with the flashlight in the early morning.
Starts my day off right, you know?