First off, for anyone who might be wondering, Charlie's exam and bloodwork showed...nothing, really. We decided to do a round of antibiotics and some anti-nausea meds, and he seems to have stopped vomiting, but whether that's from the drugs or because whatever bug he had ran its course at the exact instant I dropped $175 on him...that's anybody's guess. Because he and Rover have both had unexplained gastrointestinal problems recently, the vet also suggested doing a fecal check, so I went back to the vet yesterday after work with a couple of randomly selected samples from the litterbox. (Here's a tip: even if you've put it securely in a ziploc, cat poop that spends an afternoon in your car with the windows rolled up ('cause it won't. stop. raining.) will stink it up. Blech.) Of course, I don't know WHOSE poop it was, exactly, of the [embarrassingly large number redacted] possible suspects, but I figured if one has a parasite, they probably ALL have a parasite. Big fun. They haven't called with the results, so I don't know yet if I stank up my car for nothing. (It's better this morning, thank goodness.)
And just to keep me from missing that first-thing-in-the-morning-puke cleanup ('cause they're thoughtful like that), one of the other cats decided to drizzle their just-ingested canned food and a hairball all over my computer keyboard. Lovely! I'm sure that won't cause any problems, right? Lordy.
Okay, moving on from puke and poop...I've had a request to elaborate on some of the freakier accidents I eluded to in the last post. Well, I aim to please, so today I'll regale you with the tale of the "gashed nose/bottle throwing" incident.
Years ago, during one of the summers I spent doing outdoor theatre, I befriended a young fellow we'll call Chris. (But only because that was his name.) Chris was kind of an odd duck, but very sweet, and for whatever reason, we really hit it off. I was pretty much his only friend there--he made kind of a bad initial impression on most of the cast members. They thought he was a Satan worshipper, actually. That sounds bad, doesn't it? It was really silly, though...he had drawn a symbol on the outside of his script (he was an artist, too, and was always doodling) someone thought was a pentagram, though in reality, it was some sort of anarchy symbol used by some rock band or other. (He was also a drummer, and had dreams of rockstardom.) At any rate, rumors spread, as rumors will, and because he didn't make any real effort to get to know anyone but me and his roommates (who he had gone to junior college with, and who knew he wasn't a Satan worshipper, but did nothing to dispel the rumors--how sweet), and because on some level I believe he sort of enjoyed being mysterious, people just generally kept their distance.
So he and I were pals. Many nights after the show, we'd buy a 12-pack of beer--okay, I'd buy a 12-pack of beer. He wasn't yet of drinking age. Yes, I contributed to the delinquency of a minor, sort of, but give me a break--it was 3.2 beer for pete's sake, and it's not like he was under 18. But I digress. We'd buy the beer and go somewhere to drink it. He really liked driving outside town on the unpaved backroads (of which there were plenty in that little town, back then), so we did that a lot. Occasionally we'd go instead to whatever communal party was being held at whatever cast member's place, but mostly it was just the two of us...drinking beer and talking. Nothing romantic, ever...we just liked each other, and enjoyed each other's company. It was sweet. He was all full of angst, of course...angst about his girl back home, angst about his future--did he want to be an actor, an artist, a rockstar?--and I was his older and wiser (hee!) confidante.
Okay, I've really gotten carried away with the back story, but I realize I kind of miss Chris. We actually did stay friends for several years after that summer, and wrote and visited back and forth while he finished college (with a graphic arts major--decision made). We ended up living in the same town again later, and, having gotten past the antisocial misfit vibe he was rocking that summer, he fit in nicely with my group of friends at the time. Eventually he moved out-of-state, and we gradually lost touch. I wonder where he is now? I hope he's okay.
All right, all right...I'll steer the narrative off the memory lane backroads and get back to the nose gashing!
One night, for whatever reason, his roommates asked if we wanted to hang out in their apartment after the show and have a few drinks. We were agreeable, so instead of hitting the backroads, we crashed in their living room and drank and chit-chatted. They were a bit more...staid, let's say, than many of the people I partied with during those summers, but it was fine. Low-key, but pleasant. Chris, however, was a bit restless. He had acquired a little bit of pot somewhere, and wanted to smoke it. His roommates didn't allow cigarette smoking in the apartment, much less pot smoking, so a little subterfuge was required. He made up some reason he needed to see me in the next room, and suggested we go in the bathroom and smoke a bit. Okay. We turned on the exhaust fan, stood on the toilet, and blew the smoke directly up, so his roommates wouldn't catch on. Oh, weren't we clever? Hee. Then we rejoined the group in the living room. We're chit-chatting away, when the newly acquired kitten of one of the roommates came into the room. They had been trying very hard, with limited success, to train her not to jump on the countertops. Of course, she immediately jumped on the countertop, so Chris grabbed an empty plastic 2-liter pop bottle, and chunked it in the direction of the kitten, intending to hit the cabinet below her, and scare her down off the counter.
Here's where it got weird. The bottle sailed through the air toward the cabinet, then made a u-turn in mid-flight, and sailed directly toward me, on the other side of the room. Honest to god, it all seemed to happen in slow motion. It was like the football smacking Marcia in the nose on the Brady Bunch--picture that, if you will, only replace the football with a pop bottle, and Marcia's face with mine. The bottle smacked me right in the face (an empty plastic bottle, mind you, as light as could be), and the ridged top of the bottle, the only part of the bottle with ANY substance, hit the bridge of my nose and gashed it right open. My hands flew to my face--again, picture Marcia Brady, "Oh, my nose!"--and my head recoiled, everyone's mouths dropped open, and I leapt up and ran to the bathroom, face cupped in my hands, and began to POUR blood into the toilet. We have a gusher! It was very dramatic.
Of course everyone came running, Chris was freaking out, and eventually the decision was made that I should go to the emergency room. Chris drove me; the roommates stayed behind. We got to the emergency room, and out came the young intern on duty that night. "Well," he said, "I could stitch it up, but that might leave a bigger scar. Or you could just tape it up and see your family doctor tomorrow. Which do you want to do?" I just stood there staring at him. May I remind you of the smoking in the bathroom that was done earlier? And may I just tell you that when I have partaken of such substances I become the most indecisive person on the planet? I stared for a while, then the rational part of my brain came to the conclusion that if young Dr. Intern couldn't even decide if I needed stitches or not, I wasn't letting him near me with a needle. We'll tape it up, thanks.
We stopped at the drugstore for supplies, and returned to the apartment. Chris taped me up all right...I had gauze and tape running from forehead to chin and ear to ear, pretty much. I looked like a mummy. The bathroom looked like a crime scene, the roommates apparently not feeling the need to clean up any of my blood in our absence. (Nice.) I'd done well, though, on my mad dash to the bathroom--not one drop of blood on any of the carpet. The toilet was another matter, though...which gave Chris an idea. He got a wire coat hanger, untwisted it, propped it in the toilet and started taking pictures. I know, I know...that is REALLY sick. But they were incredibly dramatic pictures. And yeah, okay...maybe I get why people were a little put off by him, but it seemed like the thing to do at the time. (The smoking, remember?)
The next morning I went to see my doctor, who looked like he didn't completely believe my "it was an empty plastic 2-liter bottle story," but taped me up in a more efficient manner, told me the black eyes would go away on their own time, and I'd be fine. I couldn't be excused from the show that night without losing a night's pay, so I sponged makeup all over the tape and under my eyes and hoped that distance would lend enchantment. When anyone would ask me what happened, I would say very dramatically, "Chris hit me in the face with a bottle." And then, once I had enjoyed the expressions on their faces, I would tell the whole story...but, like the doctor, I'm not sure everyone completely believed me. Sorry, Chris.
I'm sure there's a moral to this story, but I'm not sure what it is. Don't smoke? Don't drink soda from plastic bottles? Don't throw things at cats? Don't hang out with alleged Satan worshippers? I'll let you choose.