On The Subject Of Cats And Tongues
“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”
And that was Becky’s problem; that was literally what had happened. She had been making faces at Barleycorn earlier at home. He apparently wasn’t in the mood, because when Becky stuck her tongue out at him, he took a swipe, ripping the tip of her tongue clean off. He then proceeded to pick up the fleshy chunk in his mouth and disappear with it out the doggy door.
Unable to talk, Becky drove herself to the Emergency Room rather than dial 911. But now that she was standing at the ER’s front desk attempting to check in, her inability to speak was still a problem.
Also a problem? The woman at the desk didn’t consider the dried blood caked on Becky’s lower lip and chin reason enough to give her priority treatment (it was apparently a busy night in the ER). Instead, the woman continued her unhelpful oratory on the subject of cats and tongues.
“Well, if the cat did get your tongue, I hope you got it back.”
Becky stifled her gag reflex just as she had done earlier when she was swallowing what was probably an unhealthy amount of her own blood, but this time it was over the realization that she had never thought to get the tongue piece back, and it was surely too late now. She gagged again thinking of what the cat may have done with it.
As she sat in the waiting room, the remainder of her tongue sending stabbing pains throughout her mouth, Becky thought about how she’d have to live with a mangled tongue from this day forward and how she’d probably have to re-learn to talk with this new tongue, what was left of the original, and she knew one thing for sure: Barleycorn was NOT getting a treat tonight.