When Nan and I moved deep into the Smokey Mountains in westernmost North Carolina our old cabin up on Devil’s Slip Gap was so drafty in the winter we slept in the living room near the wood heater stove. Peter Gott had given us a grey male kitten that grew into a wild tom we called Grey Gott.
While I did love the little beast he would use his claws to crawl up my leg when I was wearing no pants, he stole our government surplus cheese and sometimes would glare at me as if to say, “Try to figure out what I did wrong.” He would stray into the woods for days but on cold winter nights curl up by the fire.
Nan and I were young, in love and we were so concerned about pregnancy that we used a diaphragm and a condom nightly. One night after passion knocks us out, I briefly came to enough to hear gnawing and smacking as if something wet was being eaten on the floor. I try to get up but in exhaustion and satiation I pass out again. The next morning I look around for my condom and cannot find it.
Two days later I notice something white hanging out of Grey Gott’s butt. For the rest of the day my cat walks around with half of my condom dragging behind him. Juxtaposed with the cat’s asshole my condom does appear to have impressive girth and length.
Day three Grey Gott is on the door mat clawing, yowling. I grab the end of the condom and pull. It’s firm in Grey’s butt. I pull harder. The condom stretches as the cat digs his claws into the doormat in our prophylactic tug of war. It finally snaps out of his ass and he shoots off the porch into the front yard.
Grey Gott clearly blames me for this ordeal and while I think we both share some culpability he will have nothing to do with me for a week. One day as I’m dozing in my rocking chair he uses his claws to crawl up my bare leg and with blood running down my calf I know I’m back in his good graces.