Not For the Squeamish

Followers of my soon-to-be abandoned “personal” blog (this one is morphing into my one and only) are acquainted with the dog and two cats who live with us. Al is my daughter’s cat. He’s 18, and selectively incontinent. That means he prefers to do his business upon any piece of plastic he can reach in the basement, with the litter boxes (we have two–count ’em–two) as backup when the plastic is all full.

So you may (or may prefer not to) imagine my feelings when I was grooming him last night and came across a long tubular brown thing about the diameter of a slim pencil on the top of his tail. (It wasn’t what I thought, just so you know.)

I was like, “Yes, but on TOP of it?”

So I got a bit of paper towel and pulled it off.

It was a slug.

A slug.

I was like, “How inactive do you have to be, for a slug to hitch a ride?”

Slug-lovers, I regret to say that the slug did not survive its sojourn in the waterless world of cat hair and its subsequent retrieval.

Let us observe a moment of silence in its memory.


writing prompt: Give a character an aged animal. Is it his/her own, or one he/she is looking after long-term or short-term. What is the character’s attitude? What is the animal’s attitude?


I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Not For the Squeamish

  1. Heidi M. Thomas

    July 15, 2010 at 3:01pm

    LOL. This is great. When we first moved to the Pacific Northwest, my cat one day started batting at a slug and playing with it. Well, it didn’t take long before he was shaking his paw, trying to get that sticky stuff off! He never played with a slug again. (BTW, this cat is now 19 years old!)

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 16, 2010 at 9:05am

      He’s 19, Al–a year older than you–and HE doesn’t give slugs piggy-back rides. Take a lesson.

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  2. The Yard Bard

    July 15, 2010 at 3:14pm

    Ewwwwwww! A great big slug made its way into the house once, and I summoned my husband to dispose of “the nasty beast”. He came into the room, barefoot, to do the deed and promptly stepped on it.

    I’ve never seen such an inspired dance in my life.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 16, 2010 at 9:09am

      Eeeeecchhhhh! Slugs eat the garden (sounds like a quote from a Chuck Palahniuk book), but they leave such beautiful shiny trails….

      There’s a riddle to try out on a small child:

      Shiny trail
      Naked snail
      What am I?

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 16, 2010 at 9:11am


      Oddly enough, we used to have a fish called a dojo loach that looked a lot like a slug! We called him Flash, because he never moved unless it was chow time–or unless he was playing keep-away with our youngest daughter. She would put her face up to the aquarium and he would flash over to the other side. She would move to that side and he would flash over to another side. He only played with her–nobody else. Ignored everybody else. Unless it was chow time.

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