When I told you last week that the topic would be food for this week’s trip down memory lane…a lot of thoughts raced through my brain…Do I tell you a cheese story? Should I tell you about Orange Pop Night? All the things I’ve shot out my nose from laughter? Pool cheese? Yes, those are all stories in the making…but not today my good friends. Not today.
Today I’m going to tell you how I almost died (well…you know…sort of not really at all). I was maybe 7 years old, at best. I was wandering around the kitchen looking for a snack. Mom was on the phone and I saw some pieces of cereal lying on the counter. They looked kind of like Count Chocula (without the marshmallows), which was one of my favorite cereals. So I reached out for them.
I swear, they were begging to be eaten, those chocolatey pieces of goodness. I scooped up the few pieces that were there on the counter next to the stove top and popped them into my mouth. I chewed. I swallowed. I gagged. Those were DEFINITELY not Chocolatey cereal happiness. I looked around and I saw what I had previously missed…the spilled box of cat food. Right in front of my eyes.
I immediately envisioned my pending death. I’m only 7! I’m too young to die! Will it burn a hole in my stomach? Will I throw up? Is it going to grow a tree of mini cats in my tummy like gum does with gum trees? OHMIGODIMGOINGTODIE!
So I went over to my mom and panicked. She looked at me with that Mom-look, like “Hey, kid. I’m on the phone. Give me a break. You’re not dying.”
So I started crying. “I’m going to die!” As if it should surprise you, I’ve always had a flare for the dramatic. My mother put her pal on hold, and asked me what was wrong.
“I think I’m going to die because I ate cat food.”
And then my mom laughed at me. And she told me that I wasn’t going to die. Of course, at 7, I didn’t really think about the fact that the cat survived on cat food, shrimp cocktail, and cantaloupe-why couldn’t I? But my mom tried to explain this to me. And I just smiled and nodded, and planned my impending funeral. I had poisoned myself with cat food, and had succumbed to the fact that there was no way I could survive it.
And my mom laughed a little more. And told me to drink some water. To help the cat tree grow?
As it turns out, I did not actually die. And I survived the cat food incident with flying colors. As I got older (and my brother and cousin found themselves snacking on dog food and dog biscuits for fun), I realized that yes, in fact, cat food was safe to eat.
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