Dry as a Bone, Mittens

I had a cat when I was a kid. Her name was Mittens and it fit her perfectly. She was my first cat. I know my sister would say, Mittens was her cat, but I had exclusivity because of one incident that happened when I was about eleven or twelve years old.

A friend and I were discussing whatever almost teenage boys discuss one day and he told me that it was impossible to put a cat in the toilet. I remember, clearly, he had special knowledge of his facts in the matter and he was adamant. I, however, knew in my heart that the deed was indeed possible and I meant to prove him wrong. And we bet. I don’t remember what the bet was, but I’m sure it was for all the riches a twelve year old boy might imagine.

Days later in the afternoon while my mom and dad were at work and my sister was at the babysitter’s, I decided Mittens was going to be the object of my experiment and the eventual proof that my friend was completely wrong.

I gathered up the cat in my arms. She was always docile, purred a lot, and loved to be held, but I could sense she wasn’t happy with being in my arms then, so I had to hold her tighter than normal. I’m sure she sensed that my intentions were evil and she squirmed, but I held on to her and we went up the stairs to the bathroom.

I opened the toilet lid but was having a hard time holding on to the cat. She clearly knew I was up to no good and she became vocal, but the prize was too big to give up. I tried for, what seemed like an hour, to put her in the water that was just under the lip of the toilet. I never knew that cats could climb in the air, but Mittens was not going in the water. She became a fury, a ball of pure energy, with claws at least a foot long, and strength beyond any I could ever imagine. I liken the event to the cartoon about the spinning dervish Tasmanian Devil when he did his thing.

Try as I might, (the cat left me bloody on my arms, hands, legs, and even a couple of good slices through my little teenage chest), she never felt a single drop of water on her fur . She bit me numerous times and in the end escaped my clutches and ran away as dry as the high Colorado desert. The water in the toilet never sloshed even once. I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to cover up all my scratches and when that failed, I moved on to concocting the excuse story to relate to my mom about why I had scratches all over my body.

I don’t remember the story I told. I don’t remember the outcome of the bet with my friend. I suppose I hung my head in complete shame and paid up. The cat forgave me, and we became friends again.

It is not possible to put a cat in the toilet. Mittens, wherever you are now, I hope it’s high and dry. I love you!

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