A rough, rhythmic hacking sound filled the softly lit room where the really real Chris lay sleeping. It slowly filtered into her sleeping mind...
Suddenly her eyes dragged themselves open and she limped into sleepy and clumsy action. Stiff fingers reached for the plastic bag she kept by the bedside, but it was too late. A steaming brown stream of liquified and partially digested cat food splattered onto the bed. She groped for the bedside barf towel and waited for the customary "encore barf." Twitch always barfed the same way. He would start with a prelude of lip smacking and twitching (whence he earned his name). Next he would sit up straight and commence an overture of raucous, full-body retched. The finale soon followed in the form of a dancing fountain containing his last meal. And finally, the encore, being a lesser version of the finale. On special occasions there could two encores and once he even managed three.
Luckily this was a short performance. when it was over Chris, still mostly asleep, half sat up and wiped away the barf, while Twitch, boldly, deliberately and inexplicably peed on her pillow.
This woke her up. "Twitch, man, what the fuck are you doing?" she asked, rhetorically. She checked the pillow, as if not believing what she'd seen. There was indeed a small wet patch. Verifying this, Chis asked yet another question to which she expected no reply. "Holy fuck, Twitch, what is wrong with you?"
She sighed and checked the pee stain for signs of blood that might indicate a bladder infection. It was clear. The strange pee behavior itself could by a symptom of infection, but she hadn't seen him straining at the litterbox or visiting it frequently. She made a mental note to buy the replacement part for the second automatic cat box, buy some cat litter, watch for signs of bladder infection, update Twitch's medical log, pick up his prescription from the vet and "clean the fuck out this house" when she woke up.
"Is it any wonder I write escapist fiction," she muttered as she turned the pillow over and flopped her head onto it. She put her CPAP mask back on and was thankful that it filtered away all smells. She dimly noted that regurgitated prescription canned cat food smell considerably better than it did fresh. "It's like opening up a can of shit!" had been her remark the previous evening.
Twitch cuddled up next to Chris. Mr. Kitten went over to the barfy towel on the floor and made a lot of noise scraping his paws on the carpet and trying to bury it until Chris pulled the mask away from her face and yelled at him. Chris petted Twitch lovingly, told him he was disgusting and went back to sleep.
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