If you read my post the other day, you may have caught the undertone that I felt a bit weird that talking about cat puke behavior and discovering that it was kind of, well, normal. During the course of the next few days, I saw one coworker do a full-body impression of a salmon swimming upstream, another squat down in a deer-pooping imitation, and a third doing a perfect rendition of Prancercise™. For a staid conservative company, there’s been a lot of physical comedy lately, intentionally or otherwise.
All of this pales in comparison to a story I stumbled across the day after I made that last post. I wrestled for a few years in middle school, and attended a few wrestling camps at Michigan in the summers. So when I saw a Wright Thompson ESPN.com article about the best wrestler ever to happen upon this planet, I dove right in. Dan Gable, if you’ve never heard the name, lost one wrestling match his entire high school and college careers, and his Iowa teams won 15 National Championships in 21 years as coach. Anyone who wrestled, even at a junior level, could tell you success at that level means that Dan Gable is one tough S.O.B.
Had I been drinking anything, I would no doubt have spit-take when I read this section of the Wright article:
It’s a Sunday afternoon, and he heads down to the basement, which is covered with trinkets from his travels. He loves the two cats, which like to crawl on his legs. Rudy is outside, playing in the woods, but Peekers is by the couch, hacking and dry heaving. The noise stops Gable and he looks down, his face stern.
“Don’t puke,” he orders.
The cat hacks a few more times, bobbing her head, then vomits all over the carpet. Dan takes a step back, then rushes toward the door.
“Oh, she puked,” he says. “Oh god.”
He looks up the stairs.
“What?” she calls.
“Kath! She just puked. It wasn’t good puke either.”
In the kitchen, Kathy starts laughing, imagining the scene.
“It looks gray,” he says.
He is helpless in the face of the sick cat.
This is one of those moments that makes you question reality; I’d known the name Dan Gable and associated it with real-life toughness for as long as it mattered, and now, the day after I post about cats puking, I stumble across a long, possibly depressing, deadly serious article about the legend, and it has a section about him losing to a puking cat? That’s so freakin’ bizarre I don’t even know what to say, except that possibly Dan Gable could learn something from the puke prevention techniques mentioned in that post the other day.