I'm Stuck at This Here Table

Along about 4:45 this morning, I woke to the unmistakable sound of my cat about to cough up a hairball. This happens every couple weeks and is really disgusting. Paper towels are entirely useless in this operation, no matter how Brawny may boast. My hands inevitably get wet with the acidic goop. Blech. Double blech!

I was particularly attuned to this sound because just yesterday it occurred to us that our kitties, who have taken up an official residence on the new couch and booted us effectively out, might eventually throw up on it. It has happened numerous times on our bedspreads, and when it's coming, it's coming, and there's nothing you can do about it unless you have the foresight (or forehearing, I guess, in this case?) to scooch them gently off the bed before the matter launches out of their mouth. (Unless you've witnessed such a spectacle before, you might not know that you get advance notice in the form of the sound of choking.)

So when I heard that distinctive choking sound, I went wide-awake and tried to determine where the sound was coming from. Thankfully, it wasn't coming from the open door to the right, which leads into the reading nook with the couch. It was coming from the left, and it sounded like it was coming from somewhere within the bedroom. As neither cat was on the bed, I began to breathe a little easier. They would not be staining our bedspread again anytime soon, either.

Sufficiently appeased that our new couch and bed were safe for the moment, I waited for the hiccups and throw-ups to pass . . . 1 . . . 2 . . . 3. (Our cats always throw up at least three times in a row.) Then I lay there trying to decide if I had the energy to get up right then and clean it up or wait until morning. It didn't take long for me to realize that Kirk would be the fall guy if I didn't get up and do it now, since it had happened on his side of the bed while he was fast asleep. I really didn't want him to find out the hard way what had occurred while he slept if I he happened to get up before me in the morning.

So I got out of bed and snaked around to the other side of it, quietly calling each cat's name to determine the location of the crime. (Hey, I didn't want to step on it in the dark with bare feet, either.) "Diva . . . ? Sollie . . . ?" Neither one came.

I decided not to chance it further in the dark and chose instead to approach it from the other direction. (Our bedroom has two access points -- one from the hallway on my side of the bed, and one stepping down from the kitchen on Kirk's side of the bed.) I went back out the door to the hallway and into the farmroom and turned on the light. No cat and no throw up there. So far so good. I continued around and into the kitchen and turned on the light. No cat and no throw up there, either. Good.

Now it was confirmed the crime had indeed taken place in the bedroom, on Kirk's side of the bed. With the light from the kitchen casting some sheen on the wooden floors in the bedroom, I stepped into the bedroom and bent down to try to locate the messes on the floor against the sheen.

I couldn't see any.

Hmm. Weird. Now it was time to investigate the underside of the bed, as we have a big space under there that the cats sometimes like to inhabit.

It took a while for my eyes to adjust to the dark under the bed, but I thought I finally located three blobs on the ground, the largest of which was actually over by my side of the bed, near my nightstand. I stepped back into the kitchen to grab a handful of paper towels and then headed to my side of the bed to take care of the main event.

At this point, Solomon intercepted my path. I waited as he lumbered under the bed. "Maybe you're the culprit," I whispered, since I still didn't know who had done it.

With the coast finally clear, I swooped down upon the lumpy mass on the floor. I picked it up and looked at it. It moved. I suddenly realized I had picked up a cockroach. I flung the towel, along with the cockroach, back down to the ground with a high-pitched whisper-squeal: "Ew! Ew! Ew!"

I was hoping but also not hoping this would wake Kirk up. So far, nothing.

I stood and stared at the paper towel on the ground. I could only presume the cockroach had fled under the bed, right below where I usually sleep.

"Eeeew!" I high-pitch whispered again, shivering and wriggling up and down with the willies.

At this point, Kirk did stir in the bed and mumble, "You okay?" I told him what had happened, but it didn't register in his sleepiness and I got no more response. Darn!

Now it was dawning on me: I had caught a cockroach and brought it close to my face. Ewwww!!! Not only was that creepy and crawly and disgusting, but it also meant that now I couldn't clean up the rest of the mess under the bed, nor could I reasonably go back to bed. Go back to bed with the chance that the disgusting creature would climb up the wall and into bed with me? No way, man!

So now I'm out in the farmroom. It has slowly occurred to me that I'm stuck out here, since I sure as heck am not going back in the bedroom until Kirk wakes up and can help me bring closure to this fiasco. So, for the time being, I'm checking blogs and e-mail and figure I can start in on my homework next. Pretty soon I'll start the tea brewing and pull out my Bible, too. Maybe I'll read a little in my Mother Teresa book. Because as of right now, I've got a few hours to kill.

I am such a girl.