As an IT Security guy I tend to get called a tin-foil-hat conspiracy theorist a lot. So I appreciate the irony that I feel pretty much the same about people who claim to have been traumatized by encounters with flying saucers. I hereby apologize to all those people today, having finally had my own flying saucer experience – one that will probably leave me with quaking nightmares for some time. Read on at your own peril. You have been warned.
Our cats got pickier as they grew older and the two we have left are 15 and 16 years old now. As I’m sure you can imagine, this means we are constantly trying new foods to find something they like. At first this meant trying all the various foods and treats on the market. After exhausting all the commercial options we started making our own recipes. These generally start with a commercial product the cats kinda, sorta like and then we add stuff to make it even more disgusting. The grosser it is, the more they seem to like it so I’m always pushing the boundaries.
Today I concocted the most disgusting thing ever. I started with a tiny can of premium food with a photo of a luxurious white fluffy cat on the label, and a price tag that would cover the bathing and grooming it took to make the spokescat look like that. It’s wet, it’s clumpy, and if you don’t take shallow breaths the smell will make you puke. Both cats ate it enthusiastically until a few weeks ago when they suddenly decided it wasn’t disgusting enough.
To this I added some fish food flakes that I’d ground to powder. These don’t just smell like ass, they smell like slimy, bottom dwelling hagfish ass. The cats love it. Or they did until last weekend, hence my problem.
My tweak today was to mix into this vile stew a generous portion of clam juice. When my grandmother added clam juice this to her homemade spaghetti sauce it was heaven in a bowl. Used as a feline dietary supplement it’s more like hell in a bowel. Naturally, the cats love it.
Which is why I keep a bottle in reserve as a last resort for when the cats go on a hunger strike. They have since last weekend been on a hunger strike of Ghandian proportions and I decided to pull out all the stops and deploy the clam juice. The result was a stew so toxic that the mere vapors were peeling paint off the walls behind the counter. An entire colony of dung beetles showed up at the back door looking for work. The slime mold living in the sink disposal fled the state in embarrassment and humiliation. It was off-the-charts gross.
Which is to say this concoction smelled like ambrosia to the cats.
Mr. Jinx, who can’t jump up on the counter anymore, made a couple of earnest attempts, making it halfway up and then sliding down the cabinet door into a pathetic puddle of fur on the floor. What I didn’t know is that while Mr. Jinx was busy distracting me, Oscar executed a flanking maneuver, jumping up to the counter and landing squarely on the edge of the saucer containing the Stew From Hell. At which point I was a lot less concerned with where the stew was from and a lot more concerned about where it was going.
In this moment I experienced two epiphanies in quick succession:
- I realized I was in the middle of my first traumatic flying saucer experience.
- I wished it had been of the alien variety. That would have been less terrifying.
I watched in slow motion as the Stew From Hell did its best MIRV-equipped ICBM imitation and split into dozens of independently targetable pukelear warheads. Some detonated on the ceiling and immediately began peeling paint there. Others landed on the fridge. A few made it through the pass-thru into the living room and detonated onto the rug, couch and throw blankets. The stink was so bad the event registered on LANDSAT. Meteorologists around the globe are still scratching their heads.
To my increasing horror, several of these detonated on me. A few landed in my hair. Some on my face and chest. But the ones that will give me quaking nightmares landed under my nose and in my mouth. I immediately lost the tuna salad I’d had for lunch. Seems like flying saucer events really are as traumatic as people say.
The worst part of all this is that the cats didn’t even like the meal I’d prepared for them. They totally ignored all the clumps that landed within reach. After I get all this scraped up, sanded clean, and and the couch reupholstered, I’m going to have to take a long shower under a 2000PSI pressure washer and they’re still like “Nope. Sorry. Not eating that.”
The silver lining in all of this though, is that it looks like they will eat tuna salad, so long as it’s been softened up and a bit pre-digested for them. But I’m drawing a hard line at tuna salad and clam juice, I don’t care what the cats say.