My friend's cat finds out what curiosity can do to him.
| My name is Pumpkin. One look at me and you’ll guess why. I’m a handsome male feline and though fourteen-years-young I still control my three female feline house mates. Well, control may be too strong of a word, I cohabitate.
My family is comprised of me, our human mom and three other cats: 12-year old Binky, a calico so-called "Alpha cat"; her 11-year old daughter, Bunky; and the youngest, a 7-year old named Rosie. Rosie I call "Shadow" because she's all black and when she's not in hiding, she slinks around the house. She's the weird one of the bunch.
Oh yes, my tale. There was a day about a year ago that I'll never forget. We lived in a large rambling two-story home. Snuggled under mom's arm (my rightful place being man of the house) I was taking a nap with her one lazy summer day. I yawned and stretched then decided to get a refreshing drink from the kitchen.
Aha, I said to myself, I believe there’s sunlight reflecting off the hardwood hall floor. That could only mean the firmly-off-limits downstairs bathroom door was ajar. I thought I’d just meander down to investigate. Hmmm, I think I smell water. After hopping on the tub’s edge I noticed there wasn’t much water, but a lick or two would be okay.
After all it was an adventure.
In the time it took for me to land in the tub, the sound of clattering feet reverberated across the bare floor and shouts of “stop” echoed in the hallway. There was hardly enough water to dampen my feet. Knowing I was busted for entering the hallowed chamber I realized I was far too orange, and tipping the scales at 20 pounds, way too fat to escape unnoticed. So I sat, pulled up a paw and began licking my seven toes. Yes, I'm a polydactyl cat. Fourteen toes in the front and twelve in the back. I prefer to think of it as being ... special.
My normally calm-under-fire mom went ballistic. Screaming on and on about drain cleaner and water in the tub, she scooped me up in her arms and darted up the stairs. She carried me to the most sacred of sacred places: the master bathroom. Well, suddenly the un-ceremonial journey was forgotten. I stopped struggling to get down as I marveled at the marble and glass interior of this region of the house. Still held firmly by mom, but with some decorum, I enjoyed a brief glimpse of myself in the vanity. Such a handsome boy I am, I thought.
Then mom opened the small mirrored door and grabbed a bottle. Still verging on hysteria she flung the top off, pried open my mouth and poured a pink, thick, foul-smelling and fouler-tasting liquid down my throat. It was only a drop or two but I was convinced she was trying to do me in. I bet it was Binky's idea.
Mom still had a death grip on me but now it was me or her and I struggled for freedom. In the fray, she put the bottle down. I twisted to and fro, but she used a two handed scoop to haul me back in her arms. Temporarily in control, she retrieved the bottle. I screeched and then with claws extended out of pure desperation, I grabbed her with all fourteen front toes.
For a split second a surreal silence followed as time seemed to stop. It was then I remembered she wasn’t wearing a bra. To this day mom swears it was deliberate but nobody in their right mind would want to see her face as it twisted in pure agony. Then her blood-curdling scream cut through the air like a hot poker through butter. That moment still gives me nightmares.
The worse was when she threw up her arms. Both the bottle and I went flying and in mid-air we collided. Undulating globs of gooey pink liquid splattered me all the way down to the floor, covering me from head to toe. Mom managed to snare me as I tried valiantly to shake the viscous liquid off. It was too late. Toweling me just rubbed it further into my fur. One look from me convinced Mom I didn’t need a bath as much as I needed to be left alone. “Me-now!”
With my pink fur, I was the laughing stock of the clan. Rosie took one look at me, paled, and dove under the bed. It took me a month for me to cleanse my body completely. I still have flashbacks. I thought it was over until last week when I attacked a bottle of pink hair conditioner.
I’ve never returned to the downstairs bathroom, but I still like the occasional exploration. Bunky, who for the most part went easy on me, like an angel of conscience sidles up to me every time and whispers in my ear “you remember what curiosity got you last time?”
Note: Our friend Pumpkin left a void in our lives at age 17, his personality and his presence is missed.