Before I begin this month’s tale, let me discourage a rumor before it even starts. A few years ago, to promote my first book, I released a poster (above) that featured me, mostly naked, sprawled across a white leather couch, my privates covered only by a very frightened long-haired white cat. The cat featured in the following story is not she. I don’t have a sexual attraction to cats, and I never have. Now let us begin.
In the summer of 1995, I learned that my roommate was leaving town. I decided to get my own apartment, but I still needed a companion. Gabby was an ordinary-looking gray tabby, though her mother, attacked by a black tom in an alley rape, had apparently been Siamese. After spending a few minutes with her litter, I determined that Gabby was by far the most amusing.
My first few years with Gabby were a magical textbook of owner-pet symbiosis. There was always another cat around; for a few months, Gabby shared space with my roommate’s cat Sylvie, a dyspeptic, smelly Siamese who liked no one but her owner, and, to everyone’s surprise, Gabby. Then I acquired Zimmy, the sorrowful creature who I described above, and the two of them became close friends. Gabby was never jealous of the women who, on rare occasions, I brought home. She charmed all she surveyed; she was one of those cats who could be called, in that most backhanded of pet compliments, “like a dog.” I concluded that she was the perfect pet, that she, in fact, had magical powers. But then something with Gabby went horribly . . . wrong.
In 1998, I moved in with Regina, the woman who I eventually married. She had two cats of her own, both extremely needy, enormous alpha males. One of those, Growltigger, was an obese sweetheart with a congenital heart defect. He had the terrible habit of excreting a foul-smelling viscous white liquid from his
"You and that cat," she said. "She’s in love with you."
anal glands whenever he became excited, a process that Regina charmingly called “assing,” as in, “ew. Growltigger just assed in my hair.”
Poor Zimmy shrank and metaphorically died in the face of Regina’s monsters, but Gabby somehow struck a truce, even curling up in their fat folds on especially cold Chicago days. At the same time, though, Gabby became increasingly attached to me, probably for protection. She developed a habit of draping herself around my shoulders as I wrote at my desk.
One day, Regina said, “Why is Gabby licking your ear?”
“Really?” I said. “I didn’t even notice.”
“You and that cat,” she said. “She’s in love with you. It’s unnatural.”
“Don’t be silly,” I said.
I still have nocturnal emissions. They’ve actually tapered off quite a bit in the last two years, but until recently, I often came in my sleep several times a month. In the fall of 2000, Regina and I moved to Philadelphia, for reasons that I still don’t quite understand. The incident I’m about to describe took place in our Philadelphia bedroom, illumined by the full moon shining through our skylight.
I was having a sexy dream, the content of which I don’t quite recall. But I do remember feeling very warm and full and murmuring “ohhhh,” if not out loud, then at least in my mind. Then came release, and a gradual satisfied emerging into consciousness.
Mmmm, I thought to myself.
What was that between my legs?
I looked under the covers. There, at my crotch, was Gabby. Oh, sweet God, no! I pulled her out. Gabby’s fur was completely slathered with my semen.
My brain filled with equal parts disgust, sadness and panic. Gabby protested grandly as I ripped her out of the bed by her underside to keep her from touching the covers. I held her in front of me at a careful distance, went into the bathroom, put her on the sink, and locked the door.
Out came a washcloth and soap. I turned on the faucet and started scrubbing. Usually, I’m proud of the fact that I come buckets. It was making this job much more difficult.
After a few minutes, Regina knocked on the door.
“What are you doing in there?” she said.
Gabby mewed in protest.
“Is Gabby in there with you?”
I was a twelve-year-old caught masturbating.
“Go away!” I said.
“Neal,” she said. “Open this door right now.”
I could no longer live in my private hell, so I let her in.
“What’s going on in here?” she said.
My sobbing began quickly and intensely.
“I . . . I . . . I came on Gabby!”
“She was between my legs, and I had a wet dream!”
Then Regina laughed, not just giggling, either, and not kindly. But it wasn’t funny to me. Not at all.
Gabby lives with us still. She’s still up in my face all the time, wanting to snuggle, to get on my shoulders, to lick my ears. I’m more likely to fling her off than not. The most common thing I say to Gabby now is “leave me the fuck alone, you little bitch!” She loves me anyway, and I feel guilty.
Barely three years later, that night seems like myth. I have to wonder how much Gabby had to do with my orgasm. The best possible scenario, and it’s not good, is that I did what I did because her fur was soft. At worst, she instigated the whole affair. Still, regardless of whether or not Gabby gave me a blowjob in Philadelphia, I’m a dog person now.
Bad Sex With Neal Pollack appears monthly.