Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thirsty Dreams

Betty the cat steers the rudder of our home. She, along with the rest of the household, just barely tolerates my presence. I'm pretty much allowed to go anywhere in the house but often times get a snake-eyed warning or a hiss for reasons that elude me. At night, Betty sleeps on my wife's side of the bed and occasionally opens one eye as if to say, "Don't try anything, buster. I'm watching you."

Every evening, I place a standby glass of water on the nightstand on my side of the bed, as occasionally, a dream will induce a powerful thirst, worthy of immediate quenching, and it's nice to have a beverage handy during these emergencies. Often times, a small sip of water will suffice, but during one thirsty dream, I awakened so desperately parched that I not only drank almost the entire glass of water, but splashed my face with the remainder. It was the dream where the very selfish Ann Coulter and I shared a life-raft adrift on the Pacific. She had a water bottle and refused to share even a drop, and proceeded to yak on and on about what's hers is hers and not wanting any of my left-leaning slobber. She laughed after suggesting I get out of the sun by sitting in her shadow (which had all the substance of a spaghetti noodle, almost no shadow at all). The thirst, the blistering sun, and the non-stop jabbering nearly drove me overboard til awakening safely in my room.

The thirsty dreams occur on a regular basis, and after a drink of water, I can usually fall right back to sleep. But last night, after a very thirsty dream involving Drew Barrymore, something unexpected happened. Drew and I were lost in the desert, brought there by our participation in one of those Hollywood scavenger parties. We'd been searching for Ozzie and Harriett memorabilia when we wandered off the beaten path. During the ordeal, Drew conducted herself like a lady and was almost apologetic while discarding several articles of clothing, revealing tattoos that not many people know exist. The unforgiving desert sun, along with Drew's tattoo revelations, caused me to startle awake and reach for the water glass, which, to my dismay, was occupied by Betty the cat, slurping and splashing like a riverside baptism.

Maybe Betty has these same thirsty dreams, but she has her own water bowl in the kitchen. Nevertheless, I patiently waited in the dark and watched her fall nonchalantly back to sleep, thoroughly refreshed, while I stayed awake, parched like an old saltine, wondering how many times we've shared the same glass of water.

In the morning, I questioned my wife about Betty's late night water excursion:

--Her: Oh, she's been doing that since she was a kitten.
--Me: So, you're telling me that for the past three years, Betty and I have been drinking from the same glass?
--Her: I suppose. I thought you knew.
--Me: If I knew, why would I drink from the same glass?
--Her: I didn't think it bothered you.
--Me: Drinking cat slobber bothers me.
--Her: She's probably cleaner than you. She's constantly grooming herself.
--Me: Yes, I've seen how she cleans her private parts, and then we share a water glass. At least I have the decency to use toilet paper.
--Her: Thank god for that.
--Me: I'm feeling woozy.
--Her: Think of it this way: it's her way of accepting you, a common bond. You should be complimented.
--Me: Should I return the acceptance by using her litter box?
--Her: Don't be silly.
--Me: I’m telling my doctor I've been drinking cat slobber. Maybe there's a special test and some medication to wipe out the cat cooties that are crawling through my body.
--Her: Now you're being ridiculous.
--Me: I'm woozy.
--Her: It's all in your mind.
--Me: OK, give me a kiss.
--Her: Not so fast, Romeo; you've been drinking cat slobber.

And so the romantic avoidance continues, only this time it's for the very legitimate excuse of unhygienic cat slobber. The possibility exists that I'm permanently cootied. A levelheaded call to a responsible medical practitioner should tell me how long it takes for cat cooties to wear off. I'm hoping the doctor can steer me towards a twelve-step, cat-slobber-sharer program where commiserating with other cat-cootie-carriers is a dignified road destined for healing. From now on, though, I'm bringing a water bottle to bed, something I won't be obliged to share with noodle-shadow Ann or Betty the cat, but Drew, oh sweet Drew, can have a sip anytime she wants.