"The Finger"

Another Crazy Johnny Urban Myth

I did debate telling this story at all, ever, to anyone, let alone the entire world on the internet.  Because it reveals just how far down the rabbit hole Johnny has taken me.  But the elements of the cat, the suspense, the heart pounding terror, the immense relief when it was over, all make it an irresistible Halloween story.

I then debated telling the punch line up front to spare my readers the fright I experienced… but it’s nowhere near as funny if you know the secret beforehand.

So here goes.

One night, not long ago, there appeared a thing on my living room floor.  Just in front and slightly to the left of the television cabinet where the light from the screen shone on it and illuminated its silhouette.  From across the room, I couldn’t tell what it was; a longish, plumpish, whitish thing about 3″-4″ long, about 5/8″ thick…. with a slight glisten to it….

‘What the--?’ I said to myself as I approached it.  It had a familiar shape, but I couldn’t clearly make it out.  With each step I took toward the object its shape came a little clearer: fat and jagged at one end, slightly tapering on the other.  As I closed in, the flickering light from the television hit it in different angles and cast it in new colors. ‘What on earth....’

As I took the final three steps to stand directly over the object, my blood went cold and my heart shot into my throat.

It was a FINGER.  A perfectly formed, anatomically correct, SEVERED finger - all three sections in tact, knuckles in place, fingernail slightly long, and the entire thing blanched a sickly grayish white… drained of blood.

That was the first shock.  The second, almost simultaneous shock, separated from the first by just nanoseconds, was that this finger was lying in a small, pinkish, foamy puddle.

Cat owners know what that puddle is.  This FINGER had been swallowed, and regurgitated, by one of my cats.  OMG!  The horror!  The double horror!  I was every shade of green.  Every hair stood up and danced on the back of my neck.  My spine tingled, my stomach turned, my heart pounded and I began to hyperventilate.  Oh help, I swooned, where on earth would one of my cats get a finger…

Then the third horror struck.  My cats don’t go out.  A severed finger can only have come from a body.  There must be a body…. in HERE!

And now I started to shake.  I was absolutely terrified.  Where could a body be hiding in here!?  The closet?  Under the bed?  In the refrigerator? OMG.... who IS IT?  (OMG who has my keys…. my mother… my cousin…. one of my neighbors… OMG!!)  OMG, was it a natural death?  Was it MURDER?!  GASP!  Did some murderer dump a body in MY apartment?  Why ME?!  OF ALL PEOPLE!?  Should  I look?  ogodno I can’t look.  I have to call the police.  omg.  I was on the verge of panic.  I reached for the phone.  And recoiled from it as I heard the script play in my head: “Hello, Police?  I need you over here NOW.  One of my cats spit up a finger.”  Ohnonono.  I can’t call the police.  My cats will become evidence.  They’ll take them away to impound and…. and….. omg…

And then I saw something else.  A hair.  A WHITE  hair.  My brow went up.  I got down on my hands and knees and went eye to eye with the finger…. being very careful not to disturb the crime scene.  And I saw that it was…..

……. a hairball !

A WHITE, compact, neat little finger of a hairball.

I almost fell over from relief.  I’ve never been so happy to see a hairball.  I got a paper towel and (after I swabbed away the tears of joy), scooped the filthy thing up, and scrubbed that patch of floor with peppermint soap.  If it hadn’t scared the wits out of me, I’d have taken its picture.  Because, of course, no one will believe it now.  Another Crazy Johnny myth.

How could I mistake a hairball for a finger!?  Because a)- I never saw a white hairball !  Johnny never threw up a day in his life.  8 years!  All my other cats are tabby.  Their hairballs look like hairballs:  scraggly, dark, chewed up cigar looking things, usually a lot bigger than this, and not sculpted into artistic forms.

And b)- that thing was anatomically perfect.  I'm telling you, it had knuckles, a fingernail, perfect bloodless coloring - everything.  It would have fooled the Coroner.

Johnny has done a lot of terrible things to me.  But I’ll never forgive him for that finger.  That thing gave me a whole streak of new gray hairs, and probably took a couple years off my life.  - JD