Thursday, February 22, 2007

Harry's Habit

"Mirror Vietnam" by H. Campbell

Harry is obsessed with eating the rabbits’ timothy hay. I’ve tried buying organic cat grass, which is essentially wheat grass and has the advantage of lacking hay’s rough edges, which is what makes cats vomit. The cats wanted nothing to do with the cat grass; it was too succulent, too fragrant, too expensive. (The rabbits, on other hand, acted as if they’d been given crack, and tore into the stuff in a frenzy.)

So each time the rabbit room is open, Harry and I wage a battle of wills: he is determined to eat the hay; I am just as determined to keep him out. The following is Harry’s typical routine:

Sneak into rabbit room. Eat as much hay as quickly as possible, while rabbits look on with contempt. Moments later, fill the house with the GLOOPGLOOPGLOOP sounds of cat in vomitus extremis. As Joy comes running to move action into the bathtub, move quickly to ensure that the product of this gastronomic reverse is spewed not into the bathtub, not onto the stone tile floor of the bathroom, the hardwood floors throughout the house, or the newspaper by the front door, but onto the yellow rug in the living room. (For maximum effect, this step is best carried out directly after eating wet-cat-food supper.)

Repeat as often as possible, until loud threats of vivisection take on a ring of sincerity.

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