And now a horrifying story.

I’ve been waffling back and forth all day as to whether I wanted to blog this, but it’s too awful and bizarre not to. Brace yourself.

My cat Charley is the cutest little fluffball ever, and has an awesome personality to boot. Here’s a particularly cute photo of him, which you may need to reference again a few sentences from now to get a horrific image out of your brain.


In addition to being cute and social, he’s also a good mouser, and this comes in handy in a New England home. Granted, it’s gross when he proudly brings a petrified rodent to the foot of my bed at 2 a.m., and unnerving for the entire hour beforehand when I have to lay there listening to him torture the mouse of the moment. But, it’s what cats do, he’s doing his job, it’s the circle of life, blahblahblah…I can deal with it.

What I cannot deal with is laying on the couch serenely, watching Top Chef Masters with a Yankee Candle burning, looking casually over to my yoga mat where the cat has oh-so-cutely paused in child’s pose… only to see him gag a couple of times, then hack up a slimy mess on said mat.

A slimy mess that started to move, rather quickly, to the corner of the mat, headed for the door. Antennae wiggling. It seems Charley found a snail in the recently flooded basement. It seems Charley has a penchant for rare escargot.

Alone in the house, I started talking to the cat as though he could help me out of this predicament.

Ohmygod what’s going on! What did you do! That is @#$*-ing FOUL! Ohmygod what do I DO?? What do I pick it up with? THIS IS HORRIFYING!!!”

I can only pray that he merely carried The Blob, which was inches long, upstairs, rather than going for total digestion. But I don’t know… all I know is that for a snail, one that was just accosted by a mammal who probably wanted to play with it, this thing could haul. As I spun around the house trying to identify the correct snail-removal-receptacle (Tupperware? Cake Pan?) I kept shooting glances back to make sure I didn’t lose sight of the new house-guest or his Snail Trail.

Charley was way ahead of me, though. He was already tracking his buddy, tail flicking, and I feared another helping was on the menu. This led to another series of yelps from me to the cat – “Psst! No! NOOO! Get away from it, Charl- no. Stop! Psst! C’mere!”

I mean, I don’t know what a snail is going to do to my cat’s digestion. And I would rather clean up a whole snail than one that has been finely minced. I finally settled on a plastic Chinese food container and an old facecloth to deal with the creature – Don’t ask, it made sense at the time. I coaxed it into the container with the facecloth and closed the lid. Running outside with my arm outstretched – mind you, snails don’t bother me per se, but the whole spectacle was enough to make me hurl – I gave the container a shake in the backyard and checked to make sure I had an empty lo mein box in my hand before I went inside. I figured he should have a fighting chance.

Charley was pawing at the slime trail left on my yoga mat and looking around frantically for his prize. He lost interest as soon as I came back into the living room with a clean hand towel to wipe off my mat, which I may never use again, and some catnip. I can only fervently wish that he’ll lose his interest in gastropods all together. And moreover, that this snail was a lone ranger.

Thanks for sharing in this lovely life moment.

Published: Thursday, 9 July 2009


A visitor‘ left this comment on 20 Jul 09
I don’t think that’s really very gross at all. I had all sorts of not-quite-defined but much grosser scenarios running through my head…. especially when the thing started moving, I kind of expected it to be an undead mouse, or headless but still moving critter, or…. i don’t know. So, please continue posting on re-gurge — no need for warnings! Your readers are ready for it. 🙂

Morriss Partee‘ left this comment on 9 Jul 09
Best. Cat. Snail. Story. Ever.

I didn’t think this was horrifying at all. But I can understand how close you were to hurling, having to deal with the regurgitated, yet living, univalve.

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