Rhonda's A 'Muse'-ing Rambles

Life and Times of a Busy Woman

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Cough it up

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on May 8, 2008

Coughing has become a major portion of my time spent this past month, so I’m reminded of a funny story that happened to my friend, Dina the werecat.

One of Dina’s jobs is to deliver and sometimes help plant items from her friend’s nursery in Central Texas. On this particular day, she was helping an elderly lady plant some spring flowers, and typical to the area, even though it was February, the temperature had soared over 90 degrees that day. Although not often affected by allergies or cold symptoms, Dina had a tickle in her throat when she left the nursery and was often clearing her throat to try and lubricate it or loosen it up so the tickle would go away.

Toiling away at the direction of the customer, a very nice woman, Dina began to heat up as did the customer, both over dressed and unaccustomed to the unseasonal heat. Before coming to work earlier that day, pre-dawn in fact, Dina had shifted to one of her larger cat forms and hunted for rabbit, dined nicely on the plump spring bunny, then spent a lazy morning grooming herself.  Now, she was hot, tired and thirsty. Sitting back on her haunches to wipe her sweaty brow with a sleeve, Dina reaches for the water hose to take a drink to soothe her parched throat, which was causing her to cough even more.  “Oh, honey,” says Mrs. Youngst, “don’t drink that water”. I’ve got a nice jar of sun tea that I set out this morning and it won’t take me a moment to get two glasses”.

Thinking the tea would go nicely towards soothing her tickley throat, Dina agrees and rinses her hands off before moving to a chair set in the shade of a nearby Burr Oak. When Mrs. Youngst comes back with two large sweating glasses of iced tea, they sit and visit for a few minutes about, what else? – the weather. Instead of soothing her throat, however, the tickle seems to get worse after a few sips of the cool brew and shortly Dina finds herself coughing and gagging. Concerned, Mrs. Youngst is hovering over her like a nervouse butterfly while Dina is waving her help away.

Suddenly, giving one last choke, something comes out and goes ‘splat’, right in her hand. Flushed with embarrassment, Dina quickly takes a napkin and hides away what is in her hand. “My dear, are you all right?”, the kind lady softly asks as she pats Dina’s shoulder gently. Dina, though mortified with what she holds in the napkin, assures the dear soul she is now fine and takes a long swallow of the now soothing tea. What she held in her hand, and quickly stuffs away in her work bag – is a hairball. She’d never coughed one up in human form before, only in cat form, so she hadn’t been aware of what the signals were telling her. Had the old lady seen the hairball, there’s just no telling what she would have thought, but for Dina, this was one of the most embarrassing moments she’d ever had in human form.


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