Monday, December 11, 2006

Harley's Biggest Bungles - Chapter One (The Great Ear Plug Disasters)

Harley, Queen of the Bungle

So Harley just LOVES the taste of ear wax. I shudder as I type those words, but I'm being honest here.

We discovered this perverse bent of hers when she was about a year old. We were living in a little house at the top of the ridge in Kensington, CA at the time of this Great Discovery. See, the only way I can sleep in the same room (much less the same bed) with David is if I wear those squishy ear plugs - otherwise, his snoring wakes me up and I end up sleeping on the couch or in the guest bedroom. (An aside: I used to work for a company that manufactured one brand of those squishy ear plugs, and at one time I had dozens and dozens of 'em, given to me by the Human Resources director when I was visiting the office in Indianapolis.)

Anyway, back to Harley's story.

I would put the ear plugs on the little bookcase next to my bed when I woke in the morning (yeah, I re-used them; I couldn't afford to use 'em once and throw them away now that I had to pay for them!), and I'd notice, every once in a while, that one would disappear during the day. I assumed that the cats had knocked one off the shelf and used it as a tiny soccer ball, and figured I'd find it when I vacuumed under the bed, so I promptly forgot about it.

Until a sunny morning when I was home from work, sitting at the dining table and drinking a mug of Peet's coffee, when I noticed that Harley had just puked. When I knelt down to clean up the mess, I saw a disgusting-looking, brown lump in the middle of it all, which I found the courage to pick up and examine. After a minute or two, I realized it was -- an ear plug, no longer bright yellow, but still recognizable. Blecchh!

Over the next few hours, Harley relieved herself of eight more ear plugs in various spots around the house. "What the F***??!!", I thought. "How many of these has she eaten?! Did she eat them one at a time, or did she save them for a huge feast? AARRGGHH!"

The next evening, I realized that Harley was sick. She wasn't eating or drinking and she was extremely lethargic. I managed to convince David that we needed to get her to a vet (of course, the only vet's office open at night was the Emergency Vet Clinic on University Ave. in Berkeley, where they charged the proverbial arm-and-leg for their services) NOW!! They put her on an IV drip because she was badly dehydrated, and did X-rays - X-rays that showed THREE MORE EAR PLUGS (two in her stomach and one in her intestines) for a total of one dozen ear plugs she'd ingested that never passed through her digestive system.

$800 later (and one stolen truck, but that's another story), Harley returned home, free of ear plugs. From that point on, I stored my ear plugs in a little wooden box on the night table next to the bed, and Harley returned to eating kibble.

Until Ear Plug Disaster Number Two, of course...


mdmhvonpa said...

Whoa ... that's like you or I eating a couple of throw pillows just for kick. YESH!

Libbi said...

Ahahahaha! You're right!

Char said...

I understand the throw pillow analogy, but the ear plug just has an additional twist to it. Give me the throw pillow, any day.

Billie said...

I am glad to know that my cat isn't the only one who loves earplugs. My cat used to do the same thing. When she was just a tiny kitten she would just gobble them up. She managed to pass them, thank goodness, and we don't leave them around any more. It was the oddest thing. Even today, a year and a half later, she still tries to get them when ever she can. She has even tried to get them out of my ear while I'm sleeping. She is a bit of a nutter.

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