I hazily woke up some 30 years ago, alone in my bed, shivering due to a fever. I had stayed home from school for days and the flu was reaching its zenith inside me. A gnawing pain in my gut reminded me to take sips of the 7-up my mom had left next to the bed. I had a small black and white tv in my room, and it was all I could muster to reach over and turn it on. Suddenly, I was hot and pushed down the blankets to my feet, ready to pull them back at the first sign of shivers. For hours I alternated between sweaty and freezing, slowly sipping from the 7-up glass.
During The Price is Right, our cat Panther paid a visit to my bedroom and jumped up on the bed making purring noises, and I stroked her as she pushed her clawless paws into my legs as if they were scratching posts. She purred and purred and rotated and extended her tail as I stroked her from her head and down her back to her tail. I actually started feeling a glimmer of happiness, sick as a dog, stroking the cat.
And then something unexpected happened.
While the cat was turned toward my feet, and her tail straight up in the air, a tiny bursting sound, a kind of phht popped out of her anus. It sounded like gas and smelled highly pungent and as I started gagging from the smell, I noticed tiny brown specks all over my white t-shirt and on the pillow behind my head. Uncontrollably, the 7-up jettisoned itself from my stomach flying clear across the room in one voluminous squirt, and I stood and staggered to the bathroom. Once in front of the mirror, I could see all the brown specks dotting my face and the dry heaves began. It took me an hour to get cleaned up and change the sheets, doing my best to stifle the nausea.
When my mom came home that day, I was feeling so awful and yet glad to see her. When I told her what had happened, she cried laughing, huge gasping uncontrollable laughter.
I still can't laugh about that story.