My graduation tassel was hanging from a door knob in my apartment. I kept it there because my cat loved playing with it. Knocking it around, trying to catch it. All in all a fun time for him.
One evening I was taking a bath and my cat comes running into the bathroom, frantically rubbing his butt along the floor and leaving a lovely streak of poop behind him and meowing loudly. Something was definitely wrong.
I hopped out of the bath and grabbed his hind legs to see what’s up. There was something making its way out of his butt. It was not poop. It was dark like poop, but it had texture to it. Worms. The longest, most insidious, gargantuan parasitical worm I’ve ever seen. I wanted to scream and run but I knew I had to help my cat get through this. This was a moment when a 20-some year old becomes a responsible, step-up-to-the-plate adult. I knew then that I was being tested.
I got past the gag reflex going on and unrolled a massive amount of toilet paper. I grabbed hold of the end of the worm that was sticking out of my cat’s butt and pulled. He howled. I thought that this thing had hold of his heart and was going to pull internal organs out. But I persisted. I had to get this awful parasite out of my sweet, innocent cat’s body. So I pulled again. More resistance. More howling. Oh, it was so long. How could this thing be living in his body without me knowing he was sick? I pulled one more time and finally all of it came out.
The cat ran off somewhere to hide, traumatized by the entire event. I sat there stunned with this thing in my hand. I had to figure out if I should keep it to show the vet or just study it so I could describe it. The former was not an appealing option because I wanted to be rid of this thing.
I take a closer look at this poop-stained thing and note that its texture is very uniform. In fact it’s braided and I think that’s really odd for a worm. Then I noticed some of its color poking through. It’s gold.
Just like my graduation tassel.