20 Jan

I’m sure it says somewhere in Bootsie’s Bible or at the very least, Ratso’s Rules of Order that feline hairballs must ALWAYS be tossed up on the nearest white or off white carpet or area rug.  It’s a simple fact … off white & white carpets, & probably beige ones, too, are cat “puke magnets.”  I’ve seen our cat, Max leave a comfortable place in the sun or even his daily brushing to run the full length of the house to deposit, just in time, an orange tinted hairball on my off-white dining room area rug.

Max has a delicate system. He’s a Himalayan with a lot of long hair & hairballs are a way of life for him. I brush him every day to help prevent them & keep them from being a way of life for ME. We give him food & anti-hairball treats that have no dyes or preservatives, so I am at a loss to understand why something that goes in gray gets barfed up as bright orange & yellow & causes a stubborn stain even the Bissell man would be hard put to remove from a white rug.

Max also ushers forth a long & mournful cry … almost a howl … just before giving oral birth to one of those hairballs. I hear him from rooms & levels away & I always run, REALLY run as fast as I can up or down the steps but never get there in time. I usually arrive just as the hairball makes contact with the off-white rug. It’s defeating.

Several times I’ve been able to grab him & move him off the rug in mid-hurl but Willy says that’s cruel. “How would you like someone snatching you up & moving you while you were heaving?” Really? Probably if I were pretty intent on the heaving process I would hardly notice. But those “snatch & move” in mid-heave maneuvers seldom work & seldom happen & I mostly just don’t make it in time.

It has to be hard on the cat. He is fastidious & likes to stay clean so he bathes a lot. That can only be a problem when bathing means ingesting large quantities of fur that make a second appearance as something extremely remarkable. The size, width & girth of his average hairballs are just plain amazing & you have to wonder how any food makes it past them on its way to its final destination in the litter box.  Any day now I expect the Smithsonian to contact me & ask for one of those gargantuan hairballs to keep “on loan” at the museum.

While I was still working in the Operating Room we’d done a particularly unpleasant surgery just before I came home one afternoon. It was a contaminated case from someone with an infection & I just felt dirty. When I got home all I wanted to do was get in our big whirlpool bathtub & relax.

Our big, beautiful tub is a corner tub between two windows & it was still early enough in the day that the sun was shining through the west window. I filled the tub, got in, turned on the motor & settled. With my eyes closed, the sun shining through the window on my face & the warm water swirling I was in heaven. It was far better than any Calgon Moment seen depicted on TV. I started saying to myself, “I’m at the beach. I’m at the beach.” And in a true Stephen King moment I actually felt as though I’d been transported there…until…

…to my right I felt Max jump up on the tub. He kind of likes sitting there watching the water swirl around while I’m bathing so I didn’t even open my eyes… until I heard the first heave. By the time I’d made my unexpected return from the virtual beach I’d been enjoying, Max heaved his final heave & tossed a Smithsonian-size hairball, trailing cat food & anti-hairball treats into the tub. The motion of the water quickly spread it throughout the bath except for the massive lump that was the hairball.

I turned off the tub as fast as I could before the gargantuan “foreign-body-thing” got sucked into the motor & I de-tubbed immediately. By the time I reoriented myself the cat was gone & the hairball was circling the drain.

After working really hard this afternoon cleaning the telltale orange barf stain off the off-white dining room area rug (again), I decided that was the most frustrating part of sharing our lives with a long-haired cat … until I remembered this story & my afternoon at the virtual beach cut short by that hairball interloper. Somehow the hairball on the off-white rug took on less significance….







6 Responses to “Hairballs”

  1. January 20, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    You’re so right.


    • heimdalco January 20, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

      LOL, Jeanne … of all the people who read this blog entry, I assume you understand it in a very personal way. Thanks for reading & responding …


  2. Willy S. January 21, 2014 at 2:47 am #

    I would yowl too if something that large came up from … eh, wherever it comes from.

    Good story and it was the first thing you told me when I got home that day (hope I didn’t laugh)


    • heimdalco January 21, 2014 at 2:56 am #

      You probably did laugh but stuff is always funnier in hindsight. When it’s happening … not so much. LOL & thanks. Hope you don’t mind being mentioned now & then …


  3. monkeys22013 January 21, 2014 at 3:59 am #

    Only a cat lover as myself can relate to the adventures of living with cats and the presents they produce in the form of hairballs. Thanks for bringing back so many lovely memories of my long haired kitty Bootie Boo. I miss her and having a kitty, hairballs and all. Thanks Linda, as always a good read. Love ya..Les


    • heimdalco January 21, 2014 at 4:32 am #

      Thanks, Leslie … I knew that “cat people” would relate to this. I didn’t plan to do a blog entry about hairballs until Max put this latest one on my area rug & BINGO, a blog entry came to my mind.


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