This is a first-attempt at a Rashomon experience deep in the past of Angry Dissenter and myself. After reading my version, go to his version here and be amused at how we remember a certain moment in our past.
It seemed that every time The Hater and I were in his car, a radio station would inevitably be playing Lenny Kravitz's American Girl as if Elvis himself had returned from the dead for one last recording of Hound Dog. We were in a googly stage of our relationship, early enough to know that we had a spark, but not completely past the awkward stage of wanting to hear all of each other's stories. We would go for days where he would quiz me on everything from politics to music, cornbread dressing versus stuffing, existentialism, religion versus spirituality, geometry versus algebra, feminism versus genderism, shopping carts versus buggies, and everything else you could imagine. Years later he would tell me that he was trying to see if we were compatible, and years later I would tell him that if he had kept asking me questions I would have pulled out every hair on his head and made him eat them with mustard if he was going to ask me one more question.
We were obviously a match made in Heaven...
But during all of those drizzly days on campus we came to find out that we both liked cats. Dear friends, I'm having trouble falling asleep, and thought it would be a great opportunity to share with you one of my first most memorable moments with The Hater... especially since he's sawing logs in the other room and is one of the reasons I'm not asleep right now. That throat-snore-spray has now been added to my ASAP grocery list.
The Hater lived with Angry Dissenter in the family apartment housing on campus. They had a one-bedroom cinder block apartment that was on the second floor of a circa 1970s building. It was located on the backmost corner of campus and they generally had good parking, but would have to hike a mile to get to any of their classes. Looking back, it was a glorified dormitory, but at the time we thought it was a really classy dormitory.
And like most dorms on campus, there were always stray cats nearby. There's something about college kids who can barely afford to eat more than an 11 cent package of ramen noodles -- they're great about sharing with the skin-and-bone cats outside. On several occasions we would notice cats outside of his apartment building. We would always try to call them, but they would run away as soon as you would get within fifteen or twenty yards of them.
Remember that we were still in the story-telling phase of our relationship. I mentioned how when we were younger some of my cousins and I found a litter of wild kittens in my grandparent's barn and we spent all day trying to catch them. I finally caught one, but it really clawed up my arm. By that afternoon she would come when we called her. He shared similar wild kitten stories and we decided if we found wild kittens on campus, we could probably catch and tame them. It wouldn't be that much different from catching them in the barn.
One day we started seeing a kitten outside of his apartment. She was a beautiful spotted cat that couldn't have been more than 4 or 5 months old, her mew was high-pitched and sweet like honey. We would look for her and talk about catching her to tame her... and how Angry Dissenter would be excited to have a kitten, too, because he was the biggest save-and-love-the-animals person in the world. We could catch the kitten and after she got over the initial shock, would be the most precoius cat in the entire world. Angry Dissenter became part of the discussions. It was decided; somehow in a twisted universe it was our moral obligation to save this kitten from a lifetime of leftover ramen.
Later The Hater and I were driving back to his apartment from renting movies and saw the kitten in the breezeway of the building. I crept to about twenty-five yards from her while The Hater snuck around to the other side of the building to catch her from behind. It was going to be perfect.
I held eye contact and sang the most soothing melodies as I saw him tiptoe into place, then pounce and grab her back from behind. The scene that followed had not been anticipated.
The cat flipped an exorcist-like twist in his hand, while clawing his arm, and bit down on the skin between his right thumb and index finger. She was hissing and snarling, this the darling kitten who we just wanted to pamper and feed and love.
The Hater cussed. Imagine a cat biting and clawing, except doing it to an extent that he couldn't pull it off of him with his other hand. The cat was still going nuts and clawing as The Hater continued to sling his arm in another attempt to rid himself of his leachlike barnacle, the furry demon.
The slimy cat didn't let go. Well, she quit clawing, but was still chomped onto his hand. He continued to sling. I'm tried to tell him not to hurt the cat, but I couldn't because I was laughing so hard that tears were rolling and I was beginning to double over.
He continuesd to pull with his left hand and alternate between shaking his right, until finally the mangy mongrel released her death grip and fled for the wooded lot behind campus. She turned around and hissed again before escaping into her den in the woods. Incidently, we saw her again a couple of times around campus, but never again at his apartment building.
Meanwhile, I walked The Hater up the stairs to his apartment, struggling to find a line between showing concern and laughing my guts out. Angry Dissenter was watching tv, waiting for us to bring back the movies, and was immediately concerned when we entered the apartment. I took The Hater directly to the kitchen sink and sat him in a chair while I washed his hand and arms to wash the blood and see if anything looked worthy of needing stiches.
What happened?, Angry Dissenter demanded as he handed me paper towels.
At this point I've lost all ability to struggle my emotions and I'm laughing so hard I can hardly breathe and I'm convinced that I will wet my pants before this is over. We tried to catch the kitten, I told him. One of the great things about Angry Dissenter is that he immediately fell with me into the I-can-hardly-breathe catergory of laughing.
The Hater started to laugh. We begin to gasp through acting out catching the kitten for Angry Dissenter, who at this point had gone back to the couch and fallen over through his laughing fits. I never thought you'd actually try it, he repeated as he rolled. I never thought you would actually try it.
I looked back at The Hater's hand. He was going to need something stronger than dish soap to clean it. But of course they didn't have any alcohol or peroxide, or even bandaids. They were rugged bachelors and had no need for pansy things like that.
We left The Hater holding presure on his hand over the sink as Angry Dissenter drove me to my dormitory so that I could gather first aid supplies. Halfway to my dorm we had to pull over and laugh some more, tears continuing to run down our faces, and we returned somewhat straight-faced to patch The Hater's hand and bruised ego.
I don't remember what movies we watched that night, but we probably drank either some flavor of Tropicana Twister fruit juice with Smirnoff or Jack and Coke.
Incidently, we never tried to catch a wild kitten again.
4 days ago