Growing up my mom and I took in a stray cat and called her Little Kitty because she was so tiny . She was this pure white cat with one blue eye and one green and she adored my mom. I don’t know how we discovered that cats love playing with straws, but we would play with Little Kitty for hours while she sat on the cat tree. We’d toss the straw to her and most of the time she’d catch it in her paws and when she didn’t, she’d leap down and grab it and jump back on top of the cat tree. We’d grab the straw from her and lather, rinse, repeat.
So when Spinelli was a kitten, I grabbed a straw and she would entertain me for hours playing with the straw. I’d toss it and she’d go get it and bring it back. Eventually we’d lose the straw and I’d grab another and before long, ratty straws could be found all over the house, in corners and crevices, in the couch even. You’d be sitting on the couch and all of the sudden this nasty flattened straw would land in your lap and the game would begin.
Now, I have this trick for hiccups that I do with a straw. Mom learned a variation of this when she was in the hospital with cancer the first time. She had the hiccups really bad and a nurse got behind her, plugged her ears, and had her chug water. The nurse didn’t let go of Mom’s ears until she took a breath. So we always did that to each other and anyone who was at the house if they got hiccups.
Fast forward years later when I’m living alone and get the hiccups. The first few times, I tried to prop a water bottle up with my legs while I plugged my ears. Too much water was spilled in my bed so I eventually figured out if I used a straw, I could plug my own ears and chug the water and release my ears after taking a breath. If it doesn’t work the first time, it always works the second time.
Spinelli has learned that the sound of prolonged hiccups means a straw is coming. Since getting Jayden, there are no more straws laying all over the house so the only time she gets to play with one is when I have the hiccups.
This afternoon I got hiccups out of the blue and was hoping they’d go away so I wouldn’t have to get up and go do the straw trick. I should have expected it, but I heard Spinelli’s little meow and she jumped up on the arm of the couch next to me and meowed after each hiccup. I finally stopped torturing her, did the straw trick and then played awhile. Jayden was by my side the whole time and I could just hear him thinking, “what’s fun about a straw?” C’mon dude, you like empty water bottles, what’s the difference?