Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cat Vomit

Among all the pleasures associated with cat ownership, vomit is surely the most revolting. I don't know why this should be. I don't consider myself a queasy person. I can eat spaghetti while I watch Faces of Death or The Biggest Loser, but as soon as a cat starts retching I'm fleeing the room. Anyway, I've developed a new process for dealing with cat puke. My old procedure went like this:

Cat starts dry heaving.
Step 1: Curse God for inventing household felines while suppressing involuntary gag reflex.
Step 2: Vacate space in which said puke resides while going to great length to neither look at nor smell it (note that I'm trying not to do things I have little or no control over, like breathe or smell).
Step 3: Inform Aimee that one of her cats threw up and wait for her to finish "taking care of it" before coming back into the room.
Step 4: Pretend it never happened.

But what about if it happens when Aimee's not home? It depends. If she's not home but will be soon (within a couple hours), my policy is to let it be. But today a cat puked in the kitchen and Aimee's not going to be home for many hours. I can't let cat vom just sit there while I try to make my bachelor weekend dinner (frozen pizza), but I can't look at or approach it without the very real threat of adding to it's volume. What's a grown man to do? First I thought I would get up off the couch and head in that general direction to get a paper towel and clean it up, but before I even got off the couch I was dry heaving. OK, control yourself, I thought. Think about this! Navigate around vom while staring at the ceiling. It's tricky, because you need the puke to be in your periphery (so you don't step on it and need an amputation), but you can't look directly at it either. I managed to get to the paper towels and found a plastic grocery bag. My plan was to drop the paper towels on the puke and then get the whole mess up with the plastic bag the way that dog owners pick up poop. I gathered my courage and made my approach but had to abort and run around the vom and out of the room and try not to go all Linda Blair all over the place. Now I'm getting stressed out. New plan: delay cleaning it by placing a bowl (very quickly) over it, so that I don't have too see it and can move around in its general vicinity. Then I did a bunch of other things while I tried to work out a better way in my head. In the end, I found that I could bunch up the paper towels and hold them with a plastic bag bunched around my hand (so that my skin doesn't actually touch the paper towels, and therefore cannot possibly come in contact with vomit). With one hand I could lift the bowl and hold it just so, such that I can't see the puke. With my other hand (the plastic bag paper towel hand) I wiped it up without really being aware of any texture (I just gagged a little thinking about it) and pull the whole disgusting mess back into the bag then run to the trash and deposit it. Whew! A new paper towel and some Fantastick! lemon scented antibacterial spray eliminated any vestiges and I can face my girlfriend with pride. So for the future, I will stick with the old plan when Aimee is around, but when she's not, I shall:

Step 1: Curse God for inventing felines. Especially curse the particular ingrate who spat up the expensive damned food they're spoiled with.
Step 2: While barely holding back your own lunch, find a bowl and gingerly cover the puke with it. Leave it for as long as necessary to gather you nerve.
Step 3: Bunch several paper towels together and hold them with a hand inside a plastic grocery bag, poop collector style.
Step 4: Gently lift bowl at an angle the gives enough room for wiping hand without exposing the vom to your field of vision. It's best to do this while staring at a fixed point nearby, so that the bowl and your hands are just in the edge of your vision.
Step 5: Quickly wipe up vom with paper towels and retract into the plastic bag.
Step 6: Deposit into trash can.
Step 7: Disinfect the puke surface.
Step 8: Wash hands.
Step 9: Mix yourself a drink and gloat about how you're a "responsible cat daddy."

Good luck.

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