This post is dedicated to Jane, who wanted a post about cats and socks:
Once upon a time, I had a cat named Beatrice. Beatrice, from the time she was a tiny kitten who could climb up the legs of my pants, liked to chew on clothing. It was mildly exasperating, but nothing more than that until I came home to find her sitting on the floor with a peculiarly unsettled expression on her face. It was a mix of extreme discomfort, desire for relief, and unwillingness to admit what she’d done. I came to know this expression as “Oh my God, I just ate a sock.”
I took her to the vet who found that, yes, Beatrice had eaten an entire sock and it had gotten lodged in her digestive tract. In order to avoid a lingering and painful death, she had to have small animal surgery that cost more than six months’ rent at the time. As it happened, I’d panicked a few months earlier over what turned out to be nothing and had gotten pet insurance that covered most of the surgery. Still, when Beatrice came home, I sat her down to have a Talk with her while she was too dopey from the painkillers to run away. It went a little something like this:
Little Blind Girl: Beatrice, you know I love you. You know I’d give you anything to make you happy. But you can’t go around eating socks. They’re not good for you. Why did you want to eat a sock, anyway?
Beatrice P. Cat:
LBG: Well, if you say so. I can’t say I’ve ever found them very appetizing, myself. But the point is that they’re off limits. How did you even get to the socks? I put them away in a drawer specifically so that you couldn’t reach them.
LBG: Not buying it. Try again.
LBG: Nope. One more time?
LBG: All right, clearly you’re not giving up the trick. Level with me, kittenface, what’s it gonna take to keep your mouth out of the sock drawer?
LBG: Too late, I pretty much exchanged all my cash to get the half-digested sock out of your intestines. And no, before you ask, you can’t have it back. I don’t know, Beatrice. Are you mad at me? Were you trying to get back at me for something?
LBG: Geez, kitten, that was a joke! I didn’t actually suck out your brain, I just told you I did. I’m pretty sure, anyway. You’re such a talented cat. Can’t you find a hobby other than snarfing my hosiery?
LBG: Perfect! I’ll sign you up for some lessons, maybe you can get an agent, show some paintings in a gallery…this has to qualify for a talk show or two. All right, promise me no more socks, and I’ll give you a free pass on the next three non-litterbox urinations. Deal?
Should have seen that one coming. You can’t tell a cat anything. That was the last time Beatrice ate a sock, thank goodness. The ‘P’ in Beatrice P. Cat stands for ‘Pest’, by the way, something dreamed up by my Sainted Mother. All cats share this middle name. So, Jane, I hope you enjoyed the post. I’m trying not to turn this into a cat blog, of which there are many many excellent examples already, as you can tell from the pictures, but this post was fun. Let it impart the lesson: Be careful what your cat eats! You never know what it’s going to end up costing you.