If you are having your breakfast right now, this probably would not be the time to read this column.
What I'm talking about today is cat barf.
I know, I know, there are probably a lot more desirable subjects to discuss, but I HAVE a legitimate question here: Can a cat make itself upchuck purely on spite?
The cat experts think not. I think they are wrong.
First of all, I DO know - and the experts don't dispute this - that cats can perform other bodily functions in a vindictive manner.
I recall several years ago when my cat, Spook, and I were living with a lady and her cat. One day, after a loud disagreement between her and me, I was ordered to leave the house. I did so, saying I would pick Spook up the next day when I had a place to stay.
The next day she was madder than when I left. It seems Spook (for the first time in our relationship) took my side in the dispute and left a rather unpleasant statement in the middle of her bed.
Openly I was appalled. "Bad cat, bad cat,'' I chastised.
Secretly I was thrilled. "Yesssssss! Good boy,'' I cooed once we were safely in the car.
In any case, people with cats are aware that they do discharge unpleasant bodily fluids as a means of protest or punishment.
But upchucking? My cat lady says she doubts it very much.
I admit, it's hard to picture walking into the kitchen and catching your cat shoving his paw down his throat. But I don't think it's impossible.
This is particularly true when you have a cat who is as vindictive and naturally nasty as is my feline.
It happened the other night.
Spook and I have been having a general problem with sleeping - I want to and he doesn't.
You see, he sleeps all day. This is so he can stay up all night and pester me.
Generally, I kind of go along with it, but he wakes me up so many times during the night I can't get back to sleep.
I tried to reason with him, but to no avail. Finally, one night I just made like I was leaving the room and when he scampered ahead of me, I quickly jumped back into the room and slammed the door shut.
People with cats will grasp the enormity of my crime at once. Cats detest closed doors. And you can be sure if a door IS closed, the cat will be on the wrong side of it.
This is a major crime in the feline world. At first, I don't think he believed it actually happened. There was an amazed silence, then a bleating of protest. This went on for quite a while.
Then silence again, which was rudely broken when there was a loud thump on the door. This was soon followed by another and another. The darn cat was hurling himself at the door, trying to knock it down.
I was tempted to give in but remained strong. Surely he would tire of this and give up. Much later that seemed to be the case. There was an eerie silence.
Ah, I thought: It was a tough job, but I've won. It was a good feeling.
That was until I got up in the morning to feed him. He was sitting outside the door with an accusing glare. I tried to say that the wind blew the door shut, but he wasn't buying it.
Oh, well, I thought. He'll forgive me when I dish out his food.
Then I walked into the kitchen and found not one, but four separate evidences of his rancor. And not just on the floor. He managed to hit two chairs and the table in his tirade.
The cat lady says it was just coincidence. But I'm not so sure. He looked innocent, but then, he always does.
The problem is solved now, though. He comes and goes as he pleases and I don't sleep much. But that's OK.
It's a lot less messy than the alternative.
If you would like to purchase a copy of Tom Ensign's book ``There's More Than One Way to Skin a Human,'' which is a collection of columns about life with his cat, click here.