I was sitting on my friend’s couch in the middle of a crowded birthday party when the cat jumped up on my lap. The woman next to me stopped her conversation to smile at me and say, “You must be a cat person.” Iris the cat purred loudly and nestled in, so I began scratching her chin. “Oh, I am. I grew up in a house where cats outnumbered people,” I told the woman, and then I felt something warm seeping down my inner thigh.
I jumped to my feet, forcing Iris to leap to the floor, and a wet spot spread down the front of my jeans. My sudden movement made everyone’s heads snap to me. All I could get out was an incredulous “She pissed on my lap.”
It took a few seconds for the shock to subside, then a couple guests began discussing the best way to get urine out of clothes. After I’d changed and the washer was churning, everyone at the party struck up conversations with me; they already knew my name. As an introvert, I was pretty uncomfortable with the attention, but I had no choice: I was The Guy Who Got Pissed On. But I soon found the conversations that followed were easy, not at all the awkward first conversations I’ve tried to strike up with strangers at parties. My brain didn’t get mired in the social anxiety I’d usually feel. The people at the party and I immediately had a topic to discuss and since it was a shared experience I wasn’t worried about being boring or a nuisance. I made several friends that night. Having a cat piss on my lap turned out to be a positive experience.