CNF: My cat vomits grass

by Mykyta Ryzhykh


What does my cat do all day long? Continuously washes himself after I hug him. However, before that he comes and rubs himself against me. Even at five in the morning and with dirty paws, when I sleep he rubs his face, because the rest of his body is hidden by the blanket.

Often the cat eats: food from the bowl, bugs, grass. Sometimes he vomits on the walkway. The walkway is already stained with cat hair and vomit, too. I don’t blame my cat: I myself have vomited a couple of times in the last year from what’s going on around me.

Often a cat will hunt mice, then toss and chew on the corpse, and leave the mouse remains and guts by the side of the road. Animal instincts are incomprehensible to me: why kill and chew on mice if you’re already well fed?

Sometimes the cat plays with household items, from shoelaces to flowers on window sills.

Despite the fact that my cat is a filthy rotter – I love him. He came to our house after the war began and came to live with us. The cat doesn’t understand at all what’s going on around him, and I don’t explain anything to him: what if he starts protecting our house from the blast wave and dies?

It’s funny, I still haven’t figured out the gender of my cat, but by default I think he’s a boy.

Someday my cat will die without ever knowing that a war has broken out. What’s more, my cat will never know why the war started. I will probably die, too, without ever finding out why people go to war. I want to die without finding out that there is a war.


Winner of the international competition Art Against Drugs and ukrainian contests Vytoky, Shoduarivska Altanka, Khortytsky dzvony; laureate of the literary competition named after Tyutyunnik, Lyceum, Twelve, named after Dragomoshchenko. Finalist of the Crimean ginger competition. Nominated for Pushcart Prize.

Published many times in the journals Dzvin, Dnipro, Bukovinian magazine, Polutona, Rechport, Topos, Articulation, Formaslov, Literature Factory, Literary Chernihiv, Tipton Poetry Journal, Stone Poetry Journal, Divot journal, dyst journal, Superpresent Magazine, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Alternate Route, Better Than Starbucks Poetry & Fiction Journal, Littoral Press, Book of Matches, on the portals Litсenter, Ice Floe Press and Soloneba, in the Ukrainian literary newspaper.


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What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “My cat vomits grass”?

This passage was written after a specific event: I saw a cat throwing up grass that he had eaten the day before. And the times are difficult and dangerous now: people are sick of murders, blood, poverty, hostilities, terrorist attacks, war in general. It is likely that this feeling of disgust would also be transmitted to animals if they had a larger brain volume.


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

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