Kitty Bile

Kitty Bile

Cat Throwing Up

Back in the 1980s, our family was quite the shit — we were the first on our block to own a VCR, which we connected to our big-screen Curtis-Mathis. We supplemented that material coup with two others: a BetaMax machine and cable television. How having these items didn’t make me more popular as a kid still boggles the mind.

The novelty of these items wore off as quickly as we realized how much they weren’t built to last. The first VCR was worn out by constant use and replaced by another machine. As time marched on, we would eventually own at least a dozen of the video-playin’ beasts, since it was always cheaper to purchase a new one versus repairing one that was quickly outdated anyway.

Flashing forward to the 1990s, my father and I were watching an action movie on our VCR #6. I was sitting on the couch while he occupied his La-Z-Boy recliner. Because he was too cheap to purchase a decent media cabinet, our VCR teetered on top of the television. On top of the machine was my sleeping Siamese cat, Bonnie. This was one of her favorite spots: perched high above most everything in the room, and it was warmer than a late winter sunbeam shining through the window.

Like most felines, Bonnie ate strings, straw, hair, and other crap that a more-intelligent animal would know not to touch. In the middle of the film, Bonnie awoke, stood up on the VCR, and started making the distinct gulping noise that a cat makes before throwing up all that shit.

The two of us were all too familiar with that sound, having spent many of our nights on this earth sponging up various puddles of kitty bile. We simultaneously leapt from our seats and rushed forward to interrupt the disaster unfolding before us. Dad got there first — he reached forward and took a massive swipe at Bonnie to knock her from her spot. But right as he cocked his arm, Bonnie spewed chunks all over the top of the VCR.

So put yourself in the cat’s shoes: you’re not feeling terribly hot and think that throwing up might make you feel better. You stand up, gurgle a little, and then barf up some glowing yellow stomach grease. You then wipe your lips and go, “Ahh! Much better.” Then, some giant human smacks the shit out of you, sending you flying into the nearby wall. You and the drywall connect with a dull thud, and then slide straight down to the ground with all legs flailing hopelessly against gravity.

I’ve never seen my dad slap anything as hard as he smacked my cat. Right as Bonnie achieved suborbital flight, her puke dripped through the VCR’s vents onto its motherboard, and sparks and smoke erupted from all its openings. The movie stopped, as most movies tend to do when their cellophane tape is obliterated by hairball-fueled flames. My dad was dropping D- and F-Bombs left and right, and after he finally beat the conflagration into submission, he was on his way to the 24-hour Wal-Mart to purchase the seventh VCR we would own. It was left up to me to call Blockbuster Video the next day and explain to them why we weren’t going to be able to return their Steven Segal film.

Image credit: Adam Ellis