I leapt to my feet, thinking that James had done something awful to himself--severed his carotid artery shaving, or gotten a Q-tip lodged in his brain or zipped some vital part of his anatomy into his pants, and lunged for the bathroom.
With an unobstructed view of the bathroom, I paused. There was James, mostly clad, no anatomy appeared to be zipped, staring in horror and dismay (still wailing, I might add) at a cat turd on the floor.
My brain constructed the following scenario--a newly scrubbed James emerges from the bathroom, steps in cat poo, wails, flings foot around, turd is flung several feet away to land in current place.
This was a little odd, because Athena, while she will projectile vomit anywhere, at any time, without warning, uses the litterbox as well as any human uses the bathroom. She simply does not crap elsewhere in the house. But she's a cat, and James had been in the bathroom with the door closed, so I could see it happening.
"My god!" said James, ceasing to wail, "Look at the SIZE of that thing!"
This gave me pause. I am used to a lot of responses to stepping in cat poo--Loki was a random carpet bomber when displeased--and they usually involved screaming dire curses upon the cat, its lineage, and its brain power. I am used to a lot of weird things emerging from James's mouth--we're talking about a man who will grab my shoulders, look deep into my eyes, and say "Don't...crest...the weasel!" and then go off, laughing maniacally, to make dinner. I have come to accept a certain level of derangement, (because, seriously, who am I to call anyone else prone to weird non sequitors?) But still, "Look at the size of that thing" was just not what I expected to hear.
And further more, as cat turds go, this one was just not that impressive. Not quite three inches long and quite narrow. Wider than a shoelace, but not by all that much.
And curled into a neat disk at the end.
And hey, were those legs?
And then the screaming began, as I realized that there was a millipede in the house of sufficient girth and length to be mistaken for a cat turd.
I can handle the little ones, barely. I mean, just barely, and only because I have to. I hate and fear them, but I can manage. But this was Too Much. I mean, it was an antediluvian monster, a grotesque throwback to the days when Millipedes Ruled The Earth. It was huge. It was IN MY HOUSE.
If we get another wave of invaders like this, I may lose it, and I don't have that much of it left to lose, believe me.
Anyway, James disposed of our unwelcome guest, and I have been watching the carpet like some kind of textile vulture seeking a rotting rug carcass for lunch.