Curiosity

Curiosity didn’t kill our cat, but it came within a foot. I was cooking eggs for breakfast and throwing the shells into the sink, and mostly hitting the target. My target was the disposal. The cat, thinking it was a game, jumped on the counter and started swatting the shells as they traced an arc between the stove and the sink.

I’ve been training the cat to stay off the counter. I use a bottle of water with its spray nozzle set on stream, but the bottle was across the room and so I made do with the tools at hand.

I only meant to scare him. I never imagined that he would put his foot in the disposal. I never imagined when I flipped the switch that he would swat the last remaining shell from the counter to the sink and through the black rubber fingers that guard the entrance to the whirling blades below. I never imagined that the cat would reach for the shell and try to prevent its descent.

I tried to turn off the disposal, but I’m not as quick as a cat. His paw disappeared into hole, he shrieked, and jumped from the sink onto the floor and disappeared. The cat’s hiding, and I can’t find him. I don’t see a trail of blood, and I checked the disposal, no paw there. But then there wouldn’t be, would there. I hope he’s okay. It’s a few days later now, and I still haven’t seen the cat. My wife says he’s just fine no thanks to me.
“I wrote about it,” I said. “Have you read it?”
“Yes, I read your story,” she said. “You’re writing more now,” she said, “and you’re lying more too.”
“Lying,” I said. “I’m not lying; they’re embellishments.”
“Lies,” she said.
“Simple exaggeration,” I said.
“Lies,” she replied.
“Poetic license,” I retorted.
“Lies,” she insisted.
“The stories are mostly anecdotal, mostly,” I said.
“The stories are mostly lies,” she said.
“They are the way I remember them,” I said.
“Right,” she said, “you and Scooter Libby.”

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