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Hangover Cat

November 9, 2009

I think I’ve mentioned at least once on here that my cat is lazy and fat and doesn’t do anything. I may even have used the phrase “contributes nothing to society.” Sappho, I apologize. You are definitely fat and lazy, but you’re also by far the best roommate I’ve ever had. I don’t know about society, but you contribute plenty to life in this apartment. I wonder if anyone else out there has a hangover cat.

Most of the time, I’m a responsible person. But exceptions define rules. I fucking love drinking. Liquor is delicious and it kills the inner monologue, which makes all kinds of interesting things happen, from important and long-overdue conversations to “really good” singing. About once a month, I like to get ratassed and enjoy the emotional freedom. (BUSINESS IDEA FOR DRUG COMPANIES: Create a psychiatric medication that makes people feel the way they feel after 2.5 highballs. Stop screwing with serotonin and this and that. You don’t know what you’re doing. Back in ought-six while I was being issued new prescription #9 or #10 or thereabouts, my increasingly perplexed and exhausted doctor finally just told me flat-out that psychiatry is a bit of a crapshoot because nobody understands how or why the brain reacts, or in my case completely fails to react, to any of these drugs. Which is totally not fair to either of the two people in the doctor’s office. All you need to do, pharmaceutical fat cats, is reproduce the psychological effects of mild intoxication while bypassing the physical side effects. It can’t be that difficult. Let’s git ‘er done.) To which end I hosted the fifth annual Porktoberfest on Saturday night.

Q: Kate, what is Porktoberfest?

A: Porktoberfest is a pork-themed potluck that takes place the first Saturday in November. (No, it shouldn’t be called Porkvemberfest. It’s Porktoberfest.) Everyone brings a pork or pig-related dish and way more than enough alcohol to get him/her through the night. With the delicious meal having been consumed, the attendees begin really drinking in earnest. By 0900 hours you’re more likely than not involved in some kind of impromptu Terrible Songs Dance Party that you and your cousin are tag-team DJing in between shots of smooth Burt Reynolds.

Q: But the next morning probably sucks, right?

A: I’m getting to that.

The next morning definitely sucks. Which brings me to the subject of this post. My cat is generally rather unaffectionate by cat standards. She was abused before I got her and she’s never recovered, even though she’s been living a sweet sweet life since 2002. She never sits on me; sometimes she sits beside me for a few minutes, but that’s about it. She hates being picked up. At night she occasionally sleeps at the foot of the bed for an hour or two, which to me is a big deal, but my friends with normal cats tell me that their cats sleep on their faces, across their chests, etc. every night. Sappho is just scrupulously polite and stoical when it comes to affection. I know she loves me, because every time I walk in the door she jumps off the couch and runs over and meows at me and follows me around for 20 minutes. But she’s not a touchy-feely cat.

Friends of mine who are in relationships have told me about this thing called “being taken care of.” Basically, if they are sick or injured or something, their spouse or significant other will do stuff for them, hang out with them, ask them if they need anything, etc. It sounds like a pretty good deal to me, but I’m an aging spinster, and on the day after Porktoberfest as on every other day, I’m on my own.

Bring me a beer.

Bring me a beer.

Or I would be, were it not for the fact that I am the proud owner of Hangover Cat. I swear to Zeus, Sappho knows when I’m not feeling well. From the minute I wake up, she’s right beside me. When I’m lying uselessly on the couch attempting to distract myself from the headache with season two of The Office, Sappho is snuggled up against me more closely than she ever would be at any other time. When I decide to give up on TV and have a nap instead, Sappho follows me into the bedroom and sleeps right alongside me for as long as I’m there. I get that most cats are like this all the time, but mine isn’t.

The first few times I noticed this happening, I thought it must be hungover hypersensitivity on my part. But it’s getting more and more difficult to be skeptical. I really think Sappho knows I’m unwell and wants to provide what comfort she can. My generally selfish, aloof, lazy cat is actually trying to take care of me. I haven’t been able to test this theory on genuine, non-self-inflicted illness because thanks to my kickass immune system (all kids should spend a few years in day care) I almost never get sick. But I bet if I had the flu, her reaction would be the same.

Maybe there’s some unromantic biological explanation for all this – Cats enjoy the smell of stale alcohol, or something – but if there is, I don’t want to hear about it.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sleepless in TO permalink
    November 9, 2009 9:48 am

    I can say that she IS trying to take care of you, in the best way she knows how. Evil Feral Dwarf Demon would do the same thing to me (except I wasn’t hungover, so it’s not the stale alcohol smell). She actually used to pat my head. But as soon as I felt better, she reverted back to being pure evil.

    Also I ate lots of bacon that day in your honour. Cluelessly Happy Big Dumb One with Special Needs had some too.

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