Eight Lives Left Apiece!


We adopted these two kittens last fall.  A black one who turned out to be a hefty brute, he came prenamed by the Humane Society as “Tank,” which we kept for his name.  And a black and white tuxedo who we named Healz (this is a gratuitous World of Warcraft reference, for you non-dorks, and is riotously funny to gamers but befuddling to the common muggle).

A few weeks after we acquired these little darlings, Tank’s curiosity got the better of him and he spent an exciting few minutes learning what the inside of a tumbling dryer looks like.  And feels like.  I recall standing by the washer sorting another load, having just started the dryer to fluff for a minute or two, thinking to myself “Hunh.  Wonder what’s in the dryer making that ka-thumpa, ka-thumpa sound?  I don’t remember putting anything in there that — OH CRAP!”

He more or less defined the term “dazed and confused” for a little while after that but eventually recovered his mojo and no permanent harm done.  I swear that kink was already in his tail when we got him.

Today it was Healz’s turn.  We returned home from some creaky post-Helga swimming and as I prepared to retire to the bed to read the last bit of a juicy Terry Pratchett paperback, Rhonda told me how the cat had just come in from outside and was all wet and looked really angry.  I went to have a look at him — he was furiously chowing on kibble at the time, which I later surmised to be to get the taste out of his mouth.  The taste of whatever the hell he was covered in.  It smelled like kerosene, or some other dank and horrible petroleum derivative.

Rhonda called the vet, and poor Healz was re-introduced to the cat carrier (“Oh cool, what’s this?  And why are you stuffing me into it headfirst? HEY I DID NOT AUTHORIZE –“)  and he and I sped to the clinic, where he was introduced to the bath, the IV, and the complete loss of any dignity he might have had left.  We are now obligated to syringe allegedly chicken-flavored famotidine and sucralfate into him for the next few days to protect his digestive tract from any of this mystery substance that he might have ingested.

We have no idea what he might have gotten into, and it never occurred to me that someone might have doused him with this substance in order to then set him on fire, but this possibility was raised by a friend after I posted on Facebook about it.  I hope so much that that wasn’t the case, but I am so mystified by how he could have gotten covered in kerosene if not by someone pouring it on him.  I’m so glad he made it home all right.

He spent the greater part of the afternoon clinging to me and purring.  I wore him like a greasy stole as I sat at my laptop, and if my shirt is stained I do not mind.  So far he seems to be all right.

2 responses »

  1. Our cat Möbius came home one night with one front paw smelling really chemically foul. We managed to wash him off in the sink, because it wasn’t all over him. I assumed he had inadvertently stepped in a spill or on some fence treatment… quite scary, though, the suggestion that Helz’s experience could have been mailicious!

  2. I absolutely hate the thought of someone doing something so diabolical as dousing a baby with kerosene. But that is what animals disguised as human beings do. I am not surprised. I’m glad little dude is alright.

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