Warning: Read at your own risk.
This blog entry is not for the faint of heart (or stomach) and I probably shouldn’t even admit this right before I’m about to embark on a month long European book tour, leaving my girls with live-in catsitters, but here goes:
I don’t know how it started, I swear. At first I thought it was cute. Somehow, Henrietta got it into her head that the only thing she wanted to drink water out of was not her water bowl or the expensive cat water fountain we got her because she was ignoring her water bowl, but tiny, water bottle caps.
Yes. The only thing my cat wants to drink out of are water bottle caps. The kind that come off the top of water bottles.
And the only place she wants to do this is along the rim of my bath tub.
Which is fine. I mean, frankly, have you ever seen anything funnier than a chubby fourteen year old one-eyed cat trying to jump onto the rim of a bath tub…and missing?
I know I shouldn’t laugh.
But her persistence should be a lesson to us all, because what does she do when she misses, falls off the rim of the bathtub, and lands on her fluffy little fanny?
“Okay, so I fell down. What’s everybody looking at?”
She gets right back up and tries again, that’s what she does.
And when she does, she mews, adorably, for me to fill her bottle cap with water.
And by God, I do it, because she deserves that teeny tiny splash of water to delicately lap, which she does, like a queen, because she tried so darn hard to get up there.
“Yum…water! From a cap!”
But here’s the thing: Do you know what she does when she’s done with the water? She cries for more.
And after a while, it doesn’t sound so adorable. In fact, it sounds less like a mew, and more, as time passes, like the shrieking of a bald eagle as it descends upon its prey. I am not even kidding. Like CAW! CAW! CAW!
Only since cats can’t say CAW, it’s more like RAW! RAW! RAW!
And she makes this sound every time the bottle cap gets empty. Which it does almost immediately, because you can’t get much water in a plastic water bottle cap.
“More water, please. We need more water here! RAW!”
The solution, of course, was to put MORE water bottle caps on the bath tub rim, so she’d have, oh, seven or eight water bottle caps to drink out of. That way, she’d be getting her daily water requirement, AND I wouldn’t have to listen to RAW, RAW, RAW all the time.
Look, I know. It sounds psychotic. But it worked for us, OK? I’m a writer. I spend a lot of time by myself (except for the cat), and I work at home. You read writer blogs. You know what we’re like.
Things were going fine until, one day, out of the blue, Henrietta decided she only wanted to drink HOT WATER.
Okay, it wasn’t so out of the blue, and it was my fault. It was the result of an experiment gone horribly awry. Don’t even ask.
And don’t think you can just ignore her. He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog (by the way: I KNOW his name appears 573 times on Google. But he doesn’t Google himself, so he doesn’t know this. Please don’t tell him.) came running from the other end of the house, going, “What is wrong with your cat???”
Me: “Oh, she just wants me to fill her seven water bottle caps with hot water, not cold water. Ignore her.”
HWSNBNITB: “She sounds like an eagle descending upon her prey. Are you sure there’s nothing wrong with her?”
Me, brightening with hope: “Hey…yeah…maybe there’s something wrong with her!”
“Can’t you see I’m DYING OF THIRST????”
And so we took Henrietta to the vet, hoping that her newfound obsession with water bottle caps (filled only with hot water) might be a symptom of some kind of illness for which she could be successfully treated with a drug…like kitty Prozac.
Here is the thing about Henrietta, whom, in spite of her eccentricities (such as a propensity to want to sleep in a fort made of pillows all day, guard the top of the stairs to keep Slutty-McSlut-A-Lot from coming up them all night, and drink only hot water from water bottle caps): she is a stress pooper.
Seriously. When Henrietta is stressed, she responds by pooping. Not by freaking out and hissing and shrieking and pooping, but simply by very quietly and stealthily lifting her tail and shooting poop out of her butt in perfectly round pellets.
She is like a poop machine gun.
She does not make any noise or facial expressions while this is happening. She remains perfectly calm—up front. It is only in the back where anything is happening. In fact, if you are not paying attention, you would not even know anything was going on back there. Then, suddenly, you smell it, look down, and go, “OH MY GOD!!!! HENRIETTA!!!!”
It is just so shocking, because she has such a sweet, fuzzy, little Ewok face.
But beneath it…oh, my Lord, beneath it.
“I’m super normal! Just look at my face!”
Henrietta’s favorite place to launch her butt gun is in the security line at any major airport. Henrietta dislikes flying (in that way, she is like her mother), and by the time I remove her from her pet bag and carry her through the metal detector, she is usually quaking with terror, and throws her tiny kitty paws around my neck, burying her little Ewok head beneath my chin, trembling.
This always causes whatever female security agents who are around to go, “Awwww….she’s so cute!”
That’s when Henrietta usually unveils the butt gun, and the smelly brown pellets start flying.
Then the security agents’ eye widen with terror, and they shriek, “Noooo! Get her out of here! WHAT IS THAT THING????”
Seriously, if the army ever found out what I’ve got here, I could be in serious trouble. Lace her food with explosives and Henrietta would be the perfect weapon: Just aim and shoot. With that sweet, innocent face, no one would suspect a thing…until it’s much, much too late.
Many of you are probably thinking, “Why would you keep such a horrible pet?” and “What does this have to do with the trip to the vet about the water bottle caps?”
Well, the answers to your questions are, “I love her,” and “She unveils the butt gun at the vet’s office, too.”
“Don’t tell me YOU don’t poop in the security line at the airport. Everybody who’s anybody does it!”
When we got to the vet’s for our most recent visit about the water bottle caps, under REASON FOR VISIT, HWSNBNITB wrote MENTAL INSANITY—HER OWNER’S.
And it truly felt that way as we were explaining to the vet why we were there.
“You see,” I said. “She won’t stop drinking out of water bottle caps. And she likes only hot water…and by the way, I wouldn’t stand that close, because when she’s stressed, she poops.”
“She seems fine,” the vet said, palpitating Henrietta’s stomach. And she DID seem fine. In that she was meekly trying to slink off the exam table and towards the door, mewing softly with her fuzzy little Ewok face. “She’s eating all right? Everything else seems okay? She’s a very sweet cat.”
“Yes. I really wouldn’t stand too close back there–”
“Usually animals don’t evacuate on the table unless they’re very stressed–”
“Doctor, look out!”
And then it happened. Plop! Plop! Plop! Right at him, perfectly round, extremely smelly bullets. The vet tech grabbed her, trying to stop the assault…
And that’s when my beloved pet immediately launched the second weapon in her arsenal—a stream of pee, all over the vet tech.
The good thing was, the vet’s office got a stool AND urine sample in addition to blood work to send to the lab to find out what’s wrong with Henrietta.
The bad thing?
The lab work came back. According to it, Henrietta is 100% normal.
Oh, wait…I guess that’s a good thing.
“RAW! RAW! RAW!”
I have to go now. Someone is calling for me.
Gosh, I hope the catsitters are still going to want to come after they read this.