The Humbling


Friday afternoon. I was in the living room when the cat walked to her box with a newspaper, this means it’s a # 2. I hang back for a few minutes but I had been planning on going to the bathroom to comb my hair. I peek around the corner and the cat is in “the stance.” I wait. The cat leaves her box with a leap. She then runs back and forth through the hallway. I know there’s a problem.

I have found that at times the universe decides to humble me. Usually when I get a little arrogant, things are going well, I’m on my A Game, the universe sends me a little reminder that I am but a speck of dust on the hindquarters of all there is. I step in a deep puddle, get a pimple on my nose, put of my boxers backwards. I get humbled. This was that.

When the cat runs around after pooping, it means one of two, equally-enjoyable, reasons. The first is that she has gotten poop on herself and is therefore freaked out that the poop is on her. She then celebrates by running around my house and wiping it on everything she can find. The second reason is that the cat has eaten some of Burke’s long hair, which exists in my house more ubiquitously than does oxygen. The hair then must leave her body the way everything else does. It’s during this process that poop attaches itself to my cat’s butt by a long hair. The cat, disheartened by this scenario, is then possessed by the soul of a demonic horse and run around the house trying to buck the poop. Which – and I can’t stress this enough – doesn’t work.

The humbling then comes as Yours Truly has to chase down the cat, hold her down, and pull the poop out of her butt. The cat, notoriously uncommunicative to my English, doesn’t really understand when I implore her not to run away or onto my bed and she doesn’t seem to understand that the only way to rectify (sorry) the situation is with my help. She goes under my bed. She bites me when I reach to get her.

Kneeling on the floor, bleeding, covered in poop, and trying to catch a cat in order to do what I have to do makes me feel like a Disney princess before all the good stuff happens. It’s at moments like these that I wonder just what I have done to deserve such a situation. The real humbling comes when within ten seconds I can reel off six or seven things I have done to deserve exactly this scenario.

The cat feels guilty, bad, or self-preserving, because she comes out from under the bed and sits down. I hold her down and she meows, but we both know it’s for show. When everything is done she gives me a bite just so I know what’s what. She goes back to the living room and I go to the toilet to throw it away. I then sit on the toilet and think about what I have learned. Turns out, not much, except that it’s impossible to do this and not be humbled. I leave the bathroom a little older and wiser. I then go to the kitchen and drink with both hands.    

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