I am forced to smoke my cat
-- An exposition in 7 word usages --

(Warning: parts of this may be offensive to sensitive cat lovers, esp #1 and #5, but you should have figured that out when you read the title.)

smoke, v. t. (Webster 1913)

1. To apply smoke to; to hang in smoke; to disinfect, to cure, etc., by smoke; as, to smoke or fumigate infected clothing; to smoke beef or hams for preservation.

It's been almost a month since Sausage and I have had any signal, and there is no sign of the supply plane. This far into the winter that's not a good sign, because the winds can really pick up around the canyon and it makes flying dangerous. Maybe they crashed; without a radio signal I have no way of knowing. Three days ago we ate the last of the cured meat; he exhausted the kibbles a week ago. I'm terribly hungry, and so is Sausage. The recent batch of snow is so deep that it's made hunting all but impossible, and the wildlife has all but disappeared with the storms anyway. We discuss this. We both went into this knowing the risks: if this situation ever arose, it would come down to who had the opposable thumb, and that's me.

I am forced to smoke my cat.

2. To fill or scent with smoke; hence, to fill with incense; to perfume.

One of the things they don't tell you when you move to the suburbs is that you are actually just living in a manicured portion of the wilderness. Deer. Raccoons knocking down the garbage cans, removing the lids and spreading the contents on the patio. And skunks. Goddamn skunks. It was only a matter of time before Frisky met up with one of them, and now it's happened. My god what a smell.

I try hosing her down outside but now she's just wet and mad on top of being smelly. Margaret read in an in-flight magazine that a tomato soup bath helps get rid of it. I stop for a moment to consider the logistics of this, and a picture emerges of the bathroom bathed in tomato soup, streaked up the walls, on the ceiling, like that Stephen King movie with Jack Nicholson and the typewriter. There's got to be another way to make Frisky smell at least a little better.

I light up a Morley and consider the options.

Then, I have an idea.

3. To smell out; to hunt out; to find out; to detect. Upon that...I began to smoke that they were a parcel of mummers. Addison.

Smudge? Have you seen Smudge anywhere?

Nope. Haven't seen her all day.

She's probably hiding under one of the couches.

Or she's over whoring at the restaurant across the way. Still, this is a long time even for Smudge to be out.

You know how we can get her back here...

Oh, dude, I thought we discussed that. It's cat crack. We practically had to send her to therapy when we made her go cold turkey the last time.

Yeah, but it's not like we're gonna actually *give* her any. (Opens cabinet, retrieves package of Bonkers(TM)). Here Smudgie...(rattle rattle rattle). Here Smudgie...(rattle rattle)

V R O O O O O M galumph galumph galumph. pad pad pad pad pad.

Meeeeeeew? nuzzle nuzzle Rrrrrrrow.

Awwwww!...Well, maybe just one...

4. [Old Slang] To ridicule to the face; to quiz.

SCENE: A foggy harbor at midnight.

Antonio: Who's there?

Bernardo: Antonio?

Antonio: He.

Bernardo: You come most carefully upon your hour. 'Sblood, such a sorry creature! What say you, sir?

Felinio: Meeeew.

Antonio: He has been eyeing the Lordship's puss of late; I am afraid that left alone they would make the beast with two backs, so I have brought him henceforth to the watch.

Bernardo: Such a foul-looking visage I have never seen. A suitor with such a face would surely...And ho! How small a furry little instrument you wield!

Felinio: Pfffft. Mewww.

Antonio: 'Tis true, by the length of his dagger he is only half a cat. 'Twould be more useful for bagging mice, methinks. What say you? A most excellent mouser!

Felinio: Meew?!

5. To inhale and puff out the smoke of, as tobacco; to burn or use in smoking; as, to smoke a pipe or a cigar.

Dude, was that, like, the room inspectors I saw just now?

Yeah, man. I guess it was a surprise inspection or something.

Bogus. Oh shit, they didn't find the coffee maker, did they?

No, it's cool, I put it in a drawer when they knocked.

Oh, and I had, like, some serious doobage out on the table over there.

Relax, man, I scraped it into that container. It looked like you already had some discards in there anyway.

Dude, you didn't. Those aren't discards, they're *ashes*.

What?

Like, remains. Remember how I said my family cat died this summer? The one we had for like, years and years?

No way! Oh man, I'm really sorry about that. Seriously I had no idea. What are you gonna do now?

6. To subject to the operation of smoke, for the purpose of annoying or driving out; -- often with out; as, to smoke a woodchuck out of his burrow.

"Now Snuggles, you come down from there. You're going to get yourself hurt. Honey, I bet if we called the fire department or something they could have a ladder up that tree in about five minutes."

"I know that, but it's not about just getting him down now. This is about being a spoiledey-ass cat. You hear that whiskerface? You gonna go up there and sulk like this every goddamn time we switch to dry food? Is it my fault they're out at Pathmark?"

"Oh come on, let's just go inside. He'll come down when he's ready."

"The hell he will. Grab that rake and help me make this pile of leaves bigger."

"What?"

"We'll see who's going to sit in a goddamn tree all night. Where the deuce is my lighter?"

7. [Automotive slang] v.i. To be conspicuously fast. "That processor really smokes." v.t. To win or defeat, as in a race. "With this engine installed you can smoke a regular sports car"

It's the same deal every time. I swear she's psychic or something. I grab her and head for the bathroom and she just knows it's coming. It's not as if I say "bath" or "wash" either. If I don't do the whole thing in one swift motion and close the door, she bolts at the first available opportunity.

And today is no different. As I reach for the door handle she wriggles away. She races through the living room, out to the back porch and into the yard. I chase her out around the house and through the azaleas, but as soon as she gets into open road she really takes off.

I need something fast and nimble, so I grab Bobby's new scooter and I'm off in pursuit. Moonlight is only so quick on open ground, and she makes the mistake of heading downhill toward the Miller's place. I push away a few times with my right foot and tuck down, and I'm really flying. That cat and her little legs are moving like lightning, but she doesn't have a chance because the scooter is going like gangbusters down the hill.

I sail up to her with ease, but the balance on the scooter is so shaky that I can't exactly scoop her up without risking a fall, and I zoom right past. As I hurl at lightning speed into the oncoming intersection, I think: I guess there are no brakes on this thing.

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