Thursday, October 23, 2014

That Time I Suffocated, Then Resuscitated My Parent's Cat

Not me in 5th grade. Not General E.

Listen to me very carefully. You need this story.

In the past, most people don't believe that this happened. So, just so you know I'm writing this with my Bible app open to signify the integrity and accuracy of these events. They are as I can best recall them. 

The names are real. The events are real. And there were no animals, well, permanently damaged in the wake of this incident. They all eventually died natural deaths.

So, here we go.

First, you must know two things about my childhood: One, I was (and basically still am) an only child. I had no siblings. No one to play with. No one to get into trouble with. No one to wrestle with or be rambunctious alongside. It was just me and the heaping mounds of naked Ninja Turtle toys that I made into pellet gun targets. The second formative energy pressing on my youthful flourishing was growing up in the country. This means two things. First, I had no close neighborhood youths around to have as an outlet for exertions of young boyhood adventures, reinforcing my only-childness. Second, and most relevant to our purposes today, living in the country meant we had animals. Lots of them. We had goats, chickens, cows, dogs, cats, rabbits, and the stereotypical raccoon we failed at taming--all of which at some point fell victim to being some sort of sibling substitute that I would try to bully. Yep. I was mean to those poor creatures to the extent that they fled upon the mere scent of me. God definitely hated me. True story.

Now, when it came to being mean to animals, cats were the preferred victim of choice. I mean, as a young boy who has a 16th indian surging through his veins, cats are fun to...hunt. They present a challenge. They're thinkers. They're sneaky. They eat their food in stealth. They have secrets. They like to hide, and thus one  must stalk them. You must instinctively outwit them. They're not smarter. And since they allow for such a trilling chase, once you get your hands on one, you mustn't waste such a prized moment by simply petting the thing. You must make that moment a good one.

That I did.

When I was around the 5th grade, my parents were particularly attached to their gray bob-tail tomcat named General E. He was sleek, shiny, muscly with blue eyes, and a prize catch, especially since he would only come to them. I took particular offense to this in addition to already being possessive of the title "General E." Given that my name is spelled Eron, I was the only General E of the household, damn it. Not him. Congratulations mom and dad. You've created the perfect recipe for sibling rivalry, with a cat.

I had my eye on General E for some time. My parents would get really angry when I would chase him and order me to, "Leave him alone!" I would retreat, though thinking to myself, "My time will come, precious mother. My time will come."

And that it did.

One day my mom was gone to town and my dad had left the house to go feed the farm animals. It was just me in the house, and I knew the General was around somewhere. I knew I had about 20 minutes to hunt, so I looked in the most obvious place I knew: my parents bedroom. There he was. All posted up, blue eyes closed on my parents bed. Sleeping, or was he? I slowly tip-toed up to the edge of the bed, quietly extended my reach, heartbeat drumming, and, "Gotcha!!" I knew I needed to keep my eye on my dad's return, so I went into the living room and sat on the couch with my prize.

I started out being nice. I wanted this to go well. I began by petting the General, and after a few minutes of him refusing to purr as with my parents, there was only one thing that made sense: a wrestling match. On to the couch we went. Me on top of him. Him on top of me. He was choking me. Then a headlock, which I skillfully maneuvered out of. It was a scrum indeed! I managed to secure a pin of my foe with my head pressed into his chest and his cat arms lifted above his head. This was it. It was about to be over. Then some foul-ass play happened. He managed to loosen one arm from my expert pin, and clawed the living caca out of my face. He also celebrated this little score by a hearty hiss which suggested, "What, you meowed, bruh?"

Oh, hell naw.

I snapped, and immediately said, "Oh, we can do that then," then lifted the couch cushion and introduced the ol' Gen-Gen to his new hiding spot. I sat with all of my weight on the cushion and waited until he learned that clawing faces is mistreatment of humans. It took about 30 seconds before he "learned" and I stopped feeling him fight beneath me. It was over.

Now, before you hate me, listen! You need this.

I immediately freaked! I remember thinking something like, "Oh. My. God. What have I done? My parents are going to KILL me! What have I become?! This is how serial killers are supposed to start, right?"

I panicked, and did the only thing that made sense in the moment. I reached under the cushion and grabbed the lifeless General. His blue eyes were sealed shut and he was limp in my grasp. I had once seen my mom give mouth-to-mouth to a kid goat that had suffocated during the birth process. Gross. But, it was all I had.

I laid General E on his back. I took my index finger and covered his pink little nose. I took my other index finger and slightly propped open his mouth. And right there on the couch, I gave that ruthless, face-clawing feline mouth-to-mouth. And it was working! After a few "cycles" (I mean, what do you call the sets of feline CPR?) I noticed his mouth move. He swallowed. I kept going. He started breathing!!!! What kind of world is this?! I'm a HERO! Wait, no, I am a textbook psychopath! Eventually his blue eyes squinted open. I turned him over and put him on the floor. A bit woozy he was. I waited on his cat consciousness to return and helped him walk, slowly at first. I began petting him softly saying, "Hey, bud. You're okay. Hey, shhhhh, It's okay."

Then, once he was back to being a cat again and before I released him back to his newly gifted life, I tenderly whispered, "Now who's the real General E, huh?" I think he knew at that point. Off he fled. Then my dad walked in and found me as if nothing ever happened. Incredible.

Yep. That definitely happened. General e (lowercase on purpose) and I were good after that, and I then began my slow ascent to being nicer to animals.

Happy Flashback Friday.