The Real Story

I came up to the coffee shop counter to order. The barista’s eyes widened as her glance flicked over my face. Poise returned to her. “Do you know that your eye is very red-looking around it, like it’s bleeding?”

“Yes. My wife hit me.”

Her eyes widened.

I smiled. “I said something to her. I guess she didn’t like it, because she reached back and punched me. I reacted, but she caught some of my eye.”

“What’d you said?”

“I don’t remember.”

As the barista continued looking at me in shock, I smiled. “No, I made all that up. What really happened is that I got out of bed and peed. As I came back to bed at five twenty-five, I wondered where my cat, Tucker, was. I didn’t see him on the bed. He usually likes to sleep with us. I got into bed, and shifted my head and blanket to get more comfortable. As I did, I raised my head and looked over it, toward the headboard, and saw Tucker swing a paw at me. I guess he’d been asleep. I hadn’t noticed him, and startled him awake.

“Seeing the paw coming, I jerked back, but I wasn’t fast enough, and I was in the wrong position. One of his claws caught my eyelid and hung. Pitching forward, I freed myself, but not without some pain. I ended up with a scratch, about a sixteenth of an inch deep and three sixteenths long, on my eyelid. Luckily, he didn’t catch my eyeball or the cornea or anything.”

“Did you go to the hospital or get it taken care of?”

“No.” I smiled. “I cleaned it up and applied antiseptics with cotton balls. I believe I’ll live.”

“What’d you do to the cat?”

“Nothing. It was an accident, I think. He just freaked out. Although I have to say, when I fed him this morning, I told him that I was pissed at him and he needed to keep his distance for a while.”

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