too many words by laura lemay

Not for use by small animals

A very old photo of a cat sleeping on a printer

So if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that I have a cat. The cat’s name is Ariel. After Shakespeare, not after Disney. Ariel is the cat of a thousand moods, all of them bad. She likes to sleep on top of my printer, as you can (kind of) see from that (very ancient) picture.

Usually this is not a problem. Particularly since once the printer begins printing, she becomes alarmed and jumps off. Every once in a while she’ll wait until the paper comes out towards her before becoming alarmed.

The other day I was printing some stuff I had written and Ariel was on top of the printer in her usual spot.

The printer was printing, and she was staring at the output slot in horror as the sheet of paper extended towards her. “You’d better move,” I told her, which registered about as well as any sentence that doesn’t have “food” or “NO” in it, that is to say, not at all. But she did seem somewhat perturbed by the ever advancing sheet of paper, and twitched her tail angrily at it.

There are these rollers on the printer where the paper comes out. Little rubber rollers. Ariel is a long-haired cat. And with apparently deliberate intent, said rollers grabbed hold of Ariel’s tail and began sucking it inexorably into the printer.

Suddenly VERY alarmed, Ariel began to shriek at the top of her lungs, which sounds something like AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA except much louder. I had only been half watching her, but when the shrieking started I AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA decided I had better get up and fix things but I soon found that AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA pulling on the tail didn’t work much, cause the fur was firmly caught in the rollers, and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA the printer was sucking harder all the time, and it looked like it was going AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA to crunch down on bone soon, so I turned it off but AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA the tail was still stuck in there and the noise was getting louder so I opened AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA the cover, but damn, it was really wedged, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA and I got bitten trying to pry it loose and I figured AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA I had to do something desperate, so I grabbed AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA the tail and yanked, and it came loose and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Ariel stopped howling, jumped of the printer, shot me the “you will burn in hell for that, human” look, and strolled off.

Except for the large tufts of hair left in my printer, there was little harm done.

She has now decided that the scanner would be a much better place to sit.