I have two cats or, more accurately, two cats own me. People who live with cats will especially appreciate this dynamic. I feed them two kinds of food. My younger cat, Benedict Montgomery Cumbercat, a tuxedo with an adorably tiny, black “soul patch” on his white chin, mostly eats dry kibble, but does enjoy a bit of the canned food, as well. My older gray cat, Violet, with her two-inch long tail with which she was born (most of her litter mates also had a similar stumpy tail), eats almost exclusively canned food. Unless I am tardy in opening and serving up the contents of a fresh can. This makes her very unhappy, and she is never shy about giving me the what-for about it. On the rare occasion that she is forced to eat dry kibble, I have some serious apologizing and atoning to do.
Over the weekend, the dry food bowl became dangerously low. I purchase the giant, 13-pound bags since it’s most economical that way, and they’ll eat it all eventually, anyway. I have to store the bag in the front closet because if I don’t, Violet will claw at it until she makes a hole in it. I’m not sure if she actually eats any of it because, as I’ve already said, she doesn’t really like the dry food. I think that for her, the pleasure lies more in the journey rather than the destination, a philosophy I can certainly appreciate.
I lugged the giant, unwieldy bag into the middle of the kitchen to unzip the sewn-up top. I must admit, I’ve always found this strangely satisfying. And it always makes the cats come running. I’m puzzled as to why Violet would respond to this because she doesn’t even like this food. Unless I give her a few pieces from my hand, in which case she thinks she’s getting a treat. Yet to ask her to eat it from the bowl? As far as she’s concerned, that’s verging on cruelty. Clearly there’s a Cat Dictionary in addition to human dictionaries. Obviously, the human ones are egregiously flawed.
Once I’d opened the bag, I prepared to pour some of the food into the nearly-empty bowl. The food and water bowls are positioned on a mat in the kitchen along the half-wall with a short counter top shelf that acts as a pass-through between the kitchen and the living room. Normally, when the bag is this full, I use a large measuring cup or mug to transfer food from the bag into the bowl so I don’t end up accidentally pouring half the contents of the bag all over the floor. This time, I was feeling lazy, so I hefted the bag and prepared to pour the appropriate amount into the bowl before returning it to the front closet.
I was so engrossed in ensuring I didn’t pour out too much, that I wasn’t paying attention to anything else. Before I knew it, I had slammed the left portion of my upper forehead right into the 1-inch edge of the counter top shelf. Hard. I dropped the bag – fortunately, right side up – clutched my forehead with both hands and curled into a standing fetal position so I could suffer properly. The pain came on quickly and felt like the worst migraine I’d ever had, which is really, really bad. The only comfort I had was the knowledge that, unlike a migraine which might drag on for days, the agonizingly intense pain of this would probably subside within a few minutes. But they would be a long few minutes, and I found myself nearly wishing I had slammed my head just a little harder so I could pass out on the kitchen floor and skip this whole bit in blissful unconsciousness. Like that time at the gun range, which I now thought of with a renewed sense of appreciation. (I whacked my head on a low-lying beam at an indoor range and woke up sitting in the dirt on my ass. So embarrassing.)
During my agony, I spewed out a colorful spectrum of vocabulary words, none of which I would have been allowed to say while growing up, and half of which I didn’t even know at the time, anyway. Once the pain had begun to diminish somewhat, I slowly closed up the bag and returned it to the front closet, still half hunched over, grunting the whole way because it just hurt so @!#$%&* much. The cats remained, as usual, uninterested in my welfare. My services were no longer required and so, for the time being, I became irrelevant until they decided it was time for me to open a fresh can of food or scoop out the litter box.
I followed sound medical advice and headed for the freezer. I retrieved the light blue, elastic headband and an ice pack insert from the four-pack I had received after I’d had my two left wisdom teeth removed. Being a lifetime migraine sufferer, I’d saved this kit and had used it many times since. Whenever I get a migraine, I load up the headband with a fresh ice pack, and the headband holds it in place. It doesn’t look very attractive, but it does the job, and if you’ve ever had a migraine – not just a bad headache, but a real migraine – how good you look is right down there with how many times the dog of your eighth cousin thrice removed who lives in Brazil and whom you don’t even know exists farted six months ago.
The dog, not the cousin. Try to keep up.
So I followed sound medical advice and put ice on my lump, because that’s what it now was. And it was very, very sore. I immediately followed this by going against sound medical advice and decided to lie down on my living room futon, snuggle under a quilt my sister made, and binge watch a few episodes of “Archer” on Netflix while I took a nice little nap.
For those of you who may be unaware, when you get a nasty smack on the noggin, you’re definitely not supposed to take a nap right away. You may have a concussion, and if you take a nap, and it’s serious enough – and you don’t get it checked out at the ER – you could die in your sleep and miss the next episode of “Archer.”
I’m just now realizing that what my nephew told me at Christmas is probably true. He merely likes “Archer” a whole lot (He’s the one who told me about it in the first place.) while I “have a relationship with” the show. Which may sound sad, but there are worse things I could “have a relationship with.” Like heroin. Also, if you’re judging me, you probably have a favorite show that you “have a relationship with,” too. So get that smirk off your face right now!
Fortunately, I did not die (obviously), but my lump still hurts. Today, I couldn’t tell if my head was hurting outside or inside or both. My dad brought me his tube of “Thera-Gesic” which is definitely giving me some relief. (Thanks, Dad!)
For those of you who are interested, that’s when I realized that I also still have a bit of a migraine left. Unfortunately, it’s one I maybe could have avoided, and no, I don’t want to talk about it.
It’s only been about 48 hours, but I think the skin is beginning to turn a little gray or purple or whatever. I have a feeling I’m going to have one hell of a bruise on my forehead in the upcoming days. For the official record, some chick picked a fight with me, and I won.
But you guys know the truth.