In the 1980s there was a married couple of Soviet Olympians whose daily morning ritual included drinking their own liquid excreta, and though I have been told that it is seldom the transmission vehicle for parasitic and bacterial infection that feces is, I have never been a fan of extra association with urine. The notion of brushing ones teeth with it (a fad in the Middle Ages, where it was shipped across Europe to serve as a special dentifrice), or frankly, any other ex-pissoir contact with the stuff, is truly nauseating. It stinks. It leaves crusty yellow residue around the toilets of men with poor aim (one reason one should never, ever, have carpet in a bathroom). Yet, somehow, I have been trapped in the middle of a piddling contest between antagonistic felines, with my visiting sleeping futon as the battleground. And there is little on earth that reeks quite as much as cats pee.
Pear is a late-adolescent bundle of high spirits in a furry tuxedo. Nadezhda is a petite calico, about ten years old. Pear is always eager to play, bounding around the house with irrepressible joie de vivre, while every time he crosses her path, Nadezhda crouches down and unleashes a stream of feline invective towards her energetic younger counterpart. I have a feeling it is she who has been unleashing streams of a noxious nature onto my bedclothes, and, tonight, my nightgown. It is most unpleasant to wander in from a Castle marathon to discover a mystery of one’s own with two viable suspects: a wet spot, and two inscrutable felines. I personally favor Nadezhda as the perp, given that she is shy and resentful of Pear, while he is seldom still and seems only to want to play when he approaches her (I don’t get the impression that I’m being personally targeted, as there were signs this behavior had begun before my visit). Be that as it may, it doesn’t keep me from having to launder an armful of whites every evening before bed, and threatening both with the doom of becoming key ingredients in a cat stew.
The experience has made me grateful that I am not a pet owner, and be grateful that it is my sister, rather than myself, who has gone into nursing. Blood I can deal with. The digestive process leftovers of strangers, be they man or beast, are another matter.