Technically, the cat started it.

Today I realized that my cats probably hate me because when they start doing that hork-hork vomity noise I run over to them and pick them up (mid-hork) and push them onto the tile because it’s much easier to clean a hairball up there.

If I was throwing up and then – mid-vomit – my mother pushed me off the carpet onto the tile I think I’d probably be pissed.  Now I feel all guilty about cat vomit.  Again.

PS. Victor just read this over my shoulder and told me that “hork” isn’t a word.  I assured him that it is, and that it’s the word you use for the noise cats make right before the splort all over the tile.  Then he said “splort” isn’t a word either.  I need to get that man a dictionary.

Adorable. Until you realize she's mid-hork. Then it's not so lovely.

356 thoughts on “Technically, the cat started it.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. There’s no better alarm clock than hearing the dog doing that vomit noise in the middle of the night. Perhaps someone should record that and sell it as a ring signal to all the smartphones? Perhaps *I* should do that?

  2. Totally both words, and ones we use in my household all the time. Also: harf. Harf is usually used in the past tense, for example “Be careful in the dining room, ther cat harfed in there and I haven’t gotten to it yet.”

  3. “Hork” is most definitely a word.
    Here, I’ll use it in a sentence: My buddy’s wife told me yesterday morning that, on Saturday night, he horked all over their bedroom, and that they probably need to get new carpet installed.
    True story.
    I’ll take cat vomit on tile any day.

  4. I still remember, quite vividly, throwing myself down a hallway and sliding along a wooden floor just to stop my cat from throwing up in my shoe. Ah, the many joys of pet ownership.

  5. Totally a word. Don’t you hate it when disgusting guys hork up a lugey walking by you? Why don’t women ever feel the need to do that?

  6. “Hork” is precisely the word we use to describe the sound our animals make right before vomiting.

    Also “kekak”, for the sound they make right after horking, but right before splorting.

  7. I definitely did this to my cats as well. If you’re going to spew – spew on the tile. Or learn to stop ingesting so much fur. It’s just weird.

  8. “Hork” and “Splort” are most definitely real words, as any pet owner knows. Also can be used in the context of “The guy walking ahead of me just horked on the sidewalk!”

    I’m just so thrilled to be one of the first ten people to comment on one of your posts. I’m a devoted follower of your blog, but when I see that you already have 1,000 comments on a post, I assume that you will never get around to reading mine. I have the link to your blog on the front page of my blog, because I think everyone needs to know about you. It makes me happier just to know you are able to put yourself out there to inspire the rest of us to keep being our oddball, slightly fucked-up selves.

    Shelley Long (The Forest City Fashionista)

  9. I rush at them saying , “Nononononononono!” and they try to evade me (as well as they can all heaving and junk). It can be quite the dance.

  10. the cat barfing word is “wort”. Try it. Say it a few times in a row in a low voice and you will get it…

  11. My granddaughter tells her mom to hork at the cars when they’re in traffic. But as far as I know she hasn’t gotten out and thrown up on any of them. Yet. It’s Houston so you never know.

  12. Hork is definitely a word.

    What I wonder is, why do cats and dogs always want to spew on the carpets and rugs? Or beds?

    And, I’ve learned from bitter experience NOT to move cats, dogs, or children while they are in the process of spewing. Before the spewing begins is really the only window of opportunity to move the spew-er onto tile or linoleum.

  13. And by the way, an interesting appendix to your next book would be a Bloggess Glossary.

  14. My cats get shoved through the cat flap to outside so I can deal with ‘it’ later, much later.

  15. Laurie, I know why they always spew on carpets and rugs – if I didn’t have to clean it up, so would I! Why go and lay on cold hard tile whilst feeling at your worst, so much more luxurious to puke on the bed. And then go sit somewhere else whilst watching the clean up. Ah, I want to be a cat!

  16. I totally do this to, except it usually involves pitching the cat off the bed and onto the floor because it’s easier to clean up cat vomit off the carpet than the down comforter.

  17. I always pick my kids up mid-vomit to move them over to the tile. Just grab ’em by the armpits and swing them over the kitchen. So much easier to clean *and* it gives them material for their future therapists to work with… Its win-win.

  18. Hum…so it was a good idea to stop long enough to take a PICTURE of the cat as it was about to drop a hairball on the floor? I like your way of thinking!

  19. You could have just wrote “hork hork” without any other explanation and I would have known what you were talking about. So, formal word or not, it is necessary here, for story development.

  20. I do the same thing to my cats. It is usually in the middle of the night, and they are threatening to hork up a hairball on the bedspread. And hork is the appropriate word to use when referring to a cat expelling a furball.

  21. Totally a legit word. Also, if you’re dead asleep and the “hurka-gurka alarm” goes off, the adrenaline rush is pretty damn impressive.

  22. ..and my cat eats only kibble so everything that comes in contact with the hork-food-processor contents is permanently dyed a lovely, 70’s shag carpet burnt orange. It’s like time traveling, only messier. No wait, the 70’s WERE messy.

  23. It’s just because you spelled it wrong – obviously it’s “hoark”

    I had the same realization, so now whenever I hear it I just throw newspaper under them. I’m sure that’s almost as confusing, though. “I’m trying to puke and she thinks I want to read the sports section? My human is an imbecile.”

  24. One time I threw up at my babysitter’s house, on the carpet, and I got in trouble for not having the forethought to run over to the tile before barfing.

    I was a terrible, selfish, 6 year old.

  25. Hork is so totally a word that it’s used in the Disney animated film, Ratatouille. The main character tells his fat rat brother not to “Hork it down”, when he’s scarfing on food. If Disney says it’s a word, then for sure it is.

  26. Hork is totally a word. You used it, spelled it correctly, and everyone else knew what you meant. What else is necessary for it to be real?

    The dictionary is just behind the times. 😀

  27. When my miniature dachshund starts horking (which is usually the middle of the night and directly under the bed), I grab him and hold him over the toilet. I’m sure he hates me for that…

  28. Once, I was throwing up at sister’s house and my mother came in and started cleaning the toilet around me.

  29. Hork is so a word.

    I’m fine with Kitten Thunder using the rug if they’ll stay in one place. Obi walks backward whilst horking – like he’s trying to get away from the horrible gagging in his throat. But his throat goes with him. Oliver strolls around, finding nice clean spots to hork up some more fluid until the hairball comes up.

  30. Ugghh that is the worst – woke up to the cat horking in the middle of the night last week and attempted to push him off the bed. He was pissed at me (completely understandable) and turned around and splorted all over the dog. Dog slept through it until I started cleaning him off!

  31. Hork is totally a word.

    And I have picked up my sons in mid vomit and pushed them onto the tile. The one room with carpet still in it is our bedroom and of course that is where they come to tell me they feel like they have to throw up. No matter how many times I tell them to go into the bathroom first. I don’t need to know you are going to throw up. It’s something you should tell me AFTER you do it. IN THE BATHROOM. Not on my carpet.

  32. Hork is totes a word. PROOF: In the Pixar movie “Ratatouille”, the main rat tells his bro-rat to “chew his food. Don’t just HORK it down!”

    Disney says it. It is fact.
    So written.

  33. I don’t have cats, but my dogs make the same noise. Hork is most definitely the best way to describe that sound whether it’s a “real” word or not!!

  34. I thought I was a cat person until we rescued a greyhound. When the greyhounds (we’ve had 4 now) hork, they back up to survey the damage, then get right back in there and clean it up themselves. It’s a beautiful thing that no self-respecting cat would ever do. The real beauty though is that the dogs will clean up after the cats as well. Dogs just love cat food, and they don’t care if the cat has already eaten it once. Just sayin’.

  35. We do that too.

    We also deliberately chose non-carpet flooring in almost all rooms of our house when we moved in. I think I need to brush my cat more.

  36. You could make anything into a word, Jenny. You’ve heard of word porn, well this is blog porn.

    I mean, I know there are actually blogs with porn in it..but you get me…

  37. Hork is a word and is more commonly used in my family than I might like (because as you can imagine, we use it because it happens often).

  38. I, too, shove my cat to the tile when she’s horking.

    Spell check didn’t like horking. Techs need a dictionary too. Perhaps they can borrow Victor’s.

  39. Hork – totally a word. Splort – maybe. I use splorp, you know that sound that the cranberry sauce makes as it is leaving the can. Or a brain as it is being removed from a skull. Same sound.

  40. Hork is totally a word. Author Janet Evanovitch uses it when Bob the Dog horks up the leftover Chinese food, cartons and all, on Joyce Barnhardt’s lawn – I forget which book that is, but it totally happens, and hork is a word!

  41. I was awakened at some ungodly hour this morning to the horking in front of the closet door… I opened my eyes just enough to see which one was being sick and EXACTLY where she was splorting so I wouldn’t step in it when I got out of bed later. I was NOT going to jump up and grab her to throw her in the bathroom – normally I would, but she was in a tough spot and likely would have left the splort COMPLETELY in my path.

    Like Steph P, even though my cats get A LITTLE bit of canned wet stuff, it’s mostly kibble, so it really is that awful burnt orange color. What I don’t understand is, JUST YESTERDAY, my husband collected ALL of the cat hair from everywhere around the house into the canister of the Dyson Animal vacuum. So where did Cocoa get any hair to splort? That’s what I wanna know.

  42. When reading your post, the word hork didn’t need to be explained at all……so technically it has to be a word, a word that only the gifted understand, same goes for splort

  43. I used to do the same thing to our cat. Guess that is why he liked to sneak up and bite me on the ankle occasionally. Whatever. It was totally worth it to avoid cleaning cat hork up off the carpet. Now, however, he is in cat heaven and can hork wherever he wants. See, it all works out!

  44. I do the same thing! I hat cleaning hair balls off the carpet or other soft surfaces.

  45. Once when I was a little girl, I ate too many Welch’s Grape popsicles and apparently woke up hours later with a tummyache. I apparently also managed to turn on the TV myself, and I do not recall doing this, but I apparently started puking whilst on the couch….and then down the hall, into my parents bedroom, etc until I got to my mom.
    Purple. Puke. Everywhere. It was apparently a major undertaking, and cost, to clean everything.
    After that, yes, I recall one of my parents shoving me to a bucket mid-hork and I think once even running me to a bathroom.
    In our house it’s 90% wood floors, old old old wood floors, and everytime they puke there it stains =/ But I can never get to them in time to shove them towards the kitchen, or I would.

  46. I, too, pick up my cats mid-hork and put them on the tile. And I also feel guilty about it but SO MUCH EASIER TO CLEAN UP! Also, hork is totally a word, and so is “horf” which is interchangeable with hork.

  47. I have been known to leap out of bed from a deep sleep when the horking noises start. Nothing can make you move faster. And I think the cats actually LIKE being hauled around mid-hork, otherwise they wouldn’t aim for the carpet every. single. time. “Look, mommy loves us, we’re getting attention! :::hork-hork-hork:::”

    BTW, I think your blog commenting system is broken, it’s trying to tell me horking is not a real word. So obviously wrong.

  48. Oh also, one time at a State Fair, I threw up into my mom’s friend’s purse. Talk about embarrassing. I still feel guilty about it 30+ years later.

  49. I toss my cat(s) (when I can get to them in time) into the bathtub. Then it’s just pick up the solid parts, and rinse!

    But yes… I know, and dread, the ‘hurk’ sound. And it’s kind of crazy, yes, but just like you can tell which cat it is by their meow, you can also identify which cat is about to hurl on the carpet by the sound.

  50. Blort is also a word, and has been in use in our family for two generations. “It’s your turn to change the baby–she just had a massive blort.” Blort and Hork are examples of onomatopoeia, the creation of words that imitate natural sounds (Merriam-Webster).

  51. Funny. I always yell at my husband when he does this to our cat! Though not too loudly as I do hate cleaning hairballs out of carpet…

  52. When my daughter was about 3 years old, one evening she said, “Oh no! (hork),” “Oh no! (hork),” “Oh no! (hork),” “Oh no! (hork),” spinning around each time so that when she was finished, she was standing in the middle of nine square feet of uninterrupted barf. That was the evening I asked her to, when she had that feeling, try to barf in the potty. From then on, she always managed to get to the bathroom. I was grateful.

  53. Hork is so a word! It is in both the Urban dictionary and Wiktionary. The latter even references cats!
    This is the definition:
    hork (third-person singular simple present horks, present participle horking, simple past and past participle horked)

    (slang) To foul up; to be occupied with difficulty, tangle, or unpleasantness; to be broken.

    I downloaded the program, but something is horked and it won’t load.

    (slang, regional) To steal, esp. petty theft or misnomer in jest.

    Can I hork that code from you for my project?

    (slang) To throw.

    Let’s go hork pickles at people from the back row of the movie theatre.

    (slang) To snort from the sinuses. (Similar to hocking.)

    I felt something plugging up my sinuses, so I horked a big loogie.

    (slang) To vomit, onomatopeia name for the sound

    The cat just horked up a hairball.

    (slang) To eat hastily or greedily; to gobble.

    I don’t know what got into her, but she horked all those hoagies last night!

    (slang, transitive) To move; specifically in an egregious fashion

    Go hork the kegs from out back, and then go to the party across the street and hork some girls back.

  54. I don’t blame you. In fact, when my kids make the hork hork sound I would like to pick THEM up and carry them to the toilet. Only they are too heavy and I don’t want them hork horking a pathway from wherever they are to the bathroom.

  55. Victor needs a cat owner’s dictionary. Hork is EXACTLY what they sound like, shoving them onto the tile is completely sane and appropriate behavior, and splort is totally a word. Although in our house, it’s called yakk, but whatever. It’s the same thing.

  56. So. I’ve been known to fling a cat at the beginning of the hork just to get it off the table, off the couch, off the bed, off the carpet and over to a bare floor. I am amused- grossed out- but amused as they fly through the air, horking. It leaves a long trail of horkness behind them though. They are not nearly as amused as I am and stalk off in a huff afterwards.
    I also try to heave a piece of newspaper under them if one is nearby during a horking episode. Ya gotta be fast!
    I love my girls, but ick. To the commenter with the colored vomit…I switched to a food that has no dyes so at least it’s all brown. Still icky but not a rainbow of stain left behind. Seems like around here that most of the horking involves scarfing down their food too fast as they eat and then immediately go barf it up. Why???? Why bother eating???
    Hork is a word and the only true word that describes this act. You are right and Victor is wrong. Sorry Victor.

  57. “Hork” is a multi-purpose word. “Somebody horked our clothes” has cinematic history behind it, and “hork” by itself is at the very least onomonopaeic. Tell Victor the masses are on YOUR side.

  58. Ha! I do this with my dog, too, but the good news is that somehow by simply trying to get her into a tiled part of the house when I heard her lurching, I accidentally trained her to vomit in the bathroom. 🙂

  59. I think the human equivalent would be shoving a trash can underneath/in front of me before I upchucked, which my mother did to me as a child and my boyfriend has certainly had to do for me as an adult. Not especially glamorous but I don’t think I ever felt unloved because they were helping me prevent a horrendous mess.

    Hork is totally a word 🙂

  60. This backfired on me big time one morning. The cat was horking at the far end of my daughter’s (carpeted) room. Before the horking could turn into a genuine yarf,* I scooped him up and made a mad dash for the wood floored hallway. He projectile yarfed RIGHT at the edge of the room, hitting the hem of my pajama pants. The contents of his stomach then sprayed out into an impressive radius of cat vom, leaving me with countless barf spots to clean, instead of one big one. Serious fail on my part.

    *Also definitely a word. Synonym, harf.

  61. I always spell it “hoark.” Just seems a bit righter, uh, more right, uh, damnit, just works better for me.

  62. Uh, hork is totally a word. Clearly, Victor never watched the classic cartoon, Ren and Stimpy. And yep, I absolutely pick up my cat mid-hork. Cat vomit on carpet? No thanks.

  63. Casey’s story of being a selfish 6-year old who horked on the carpet and not the tile, reminded me of my childhood story. I was at this daycare place and they were giving out those animal cookies that are frosted with sprinkles and I said, “No, thank you.” Then I got screamed at by an adult and forced to take one. She stood over me until I ate about half of it. Then she went around and gave out a second cookie but I didn’t get one because I hadn’t finished my first. A moment later I tell her I don’t feel good and ask to be excused. She says no I will sit right there. I had to hork and I remember thinking I could turn to the side and hork on the floor, but no! That lady was so mean that I made the conscious decision to hork right there on the table. That leaned her, huh?!

    But back to cat hork, you haven’t lived until you pick up the freshly horked up hairball and pull it apart with your bare hands to see if a foreign object in the midst of it.

  64. My delightful dog now horks in the kitchen, because I used to carry him there when he was a pup and hold his ears back and tell him it was okay. So that’s his hork place.

    On the other hand, my cat starts horking and runs into the wee tiny spot between my sofa and wall, where I can’t get him. Punk.

  65. Hork and splort are totally words, they even have a fancy name for the part of speech that they are. It’s called onomatopoeia.

  66. Vocabulary considerations aside, brushing them more will definitely reduce the frequency of messes. However, in my experience it also may increase the frequency of bleeding — yours, not theirs. So it’s a tradeoff.

  67. “Hork” is absolutely a word. (Men are so anal.) My cat uses a derivative of hork, she is of the “urk” persuasion. She was trying to urk the other day on my comforter (!!!! scuze me but that’s my hand-made nearly antique (okay it’s 34 years old…but it’s still OLD) comforter…that I MADE MYSELF). I tried, as gently as possible, to pick her up and put her on the floor (there was not time to get her to the tile…by the time she’s on the fourth “urk” you’re nearly “there,” if you know what I mean). Even though urking on the carpet is not great, urking on the comforter is way more problematic…since it barely fits in the washer…plus it’s nearly an antique and I don’t know how much washing/tumble-dry-on-low it can take. She’s urked pretty much all of her sixteen years…so I buy Resolve by the Maersk container-load. (That ship that nearly steamed passed Tom Hanks in “Castaway” was loaded with Resolve…headed for Utah.)

  68. “Splort” is a word because I’ve seen it in a comic book, so it must be so.

    I think it’s in the cat handbook that “Thou Must Hork on Carpet Whenever Possible.”

  69. I have vinyl flooring in my bedroom. The cat once very neatly hurked right into one of my expensive running shoes.

  70. I use the word “hork” as well when describing what my cats do. I’ve even gone so far as to describe what my cats must be thinking. “I don’t feel so good…hork!” One of my cats used to make this sound that sounded like he was saying “Mommommom”. And I’m also guilty for dashing my cats to the tiles as fast as I can.
    Splort is totally a word. If twerkin can be a word, I feel that splort should be a word.

  71. Hork and splort are TOTALLY words. I use them almost daily. And I am guilty of throwing horking dogs, cats, and children onto surfaces more easily cleaned. Very. Guilty.

  72. They are both totally words. They’re onamonapia words and there is really no other word for the noise of a cat puking. It can wake you up from a dead sleep on the other side of the house.

  73. I have long used the word “hork” to describe my cats puking.
    They seem to prefer horking on the rug as opposed to the wood floor as I’ll see them move from wood to rug and then start the process. More times than not they target the fringe which is even more difficult to clean than the rug itself.

  74. Hork is totally a word. I learned it in college. And I, too, try to move my cats to somewhere easier to clean. If no such place exists, I find something washable, like a towel, and put it in front of them. Oddly enough, they do not appreciate my efforts!

    Once, one of my cats starting horking from the top of the cat tree. Imagining the mess from a vertically-enhanced splort, I grabbed her and put her on the floor. She was so shocked, the splort never came. So far, sadly, I have not been able to reproduce this occurrence.

  75. Moving them to tile is the reasonable thing to do. I’ve done it to my kids, heck I’ve held a kid over a trash barrell when she horked in public before.

  76. My mother actually did push me to the sink when I was a kid. Then when I got old enough to do it for myself she would yell “You better not be barfing on my carpet!” from the other room. Ah, good times. To this day when I am not feeling well I carry around a bucket or a bowl.

  77. Nope…hork describes that noise precisely.

    I just wish I could move the cats pre-hork, but I never seem to get there fast enough. Instead, I go on “yutz” patrol each morning lest I step in something.

    And, I also wish the one “high-altitude” vomiter we have would stop feeling the need to puke from the piano, table, shelf, whatever. I’m sick of cleaning the huge splats plus those disgusting dribbles!

  78. I don’t have any cats, currently, but totally do that to my kids. Doing so has trained them so well, that they now know if they can’t get to a toilet or bucket, that they better at least get their little butts away from the carpet! One time my five year old had to puke and was on the carpet, he turned ran the four steps to the start of the vinyl flooring in the dining room and spewed. I was so proud.

  79. Just make sure not to say “no” while trying to get them onto a hard surface. Particularly if they are kind of shy and/or were previously abused. The first time my dog horked, I freaked a little trying to get him off the area rug, and now, if he has to hork, he goes and hides from me, so that I don’t find it until 3 days later. THAT IS THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES!

  80. I usually try and find an old newspaper to shove in front of them when they start horking (yes, it is a word), at which point they start backing up like I’m shoving radioactive fuel rods in their faces. Why they hate throwing up on paper (or linoleum) I have no idea. While I’ve had them throw up in my shoes, my pillow, my fabric stash, the worst was when one was on the headboard and I woke to the sound of them getting ready to fire the hork cannon down on my head.

  81. I grab my cats all the time mid-hork (totally the right word to use, and it is a real word) and put them down on the tile floor, even when they are horking on the wood floor, they get moved. I feel bad, but seriously, its almost a daily ritual because one of the cats eats too fast.

  82. I do the same thing to my cats when they start horking. I have this crazy idea that someday they’ll figure it out and only hork on tile.

    My mom used to shove a bag, trashcan, bucket something into my hands whenever she thought I was going to puke. It’s basically the same thing for those of us with opposable thumbs.

  83. Hork is totally a word when one is referring to a cat vomiting.

    That being said, I’ve on occasion scared a cat out of horking when I grabbed them and tossed them either onto the tile or outside. They were so startled they didn’t remember what they were doing. 😀

  84. Dude, I rushed my horking dog onto my hard wood floor and the floor is kind of old and I ended up with dog puke in the cracks between the wood that I could not get all the way out to save my life. I almost moved.

    Let this be a cautionary tale about re-hork-locating animals in old homes.

  85. I do that too, but it depends on how far from the tile the cats are when they start horking. Sometimes it’s better to just shove them off the couch or the bed or the pile of clean laundry because the tile is too far away. I have been known to attempt to stick a piece of paper under the cat to try to catch the vomit but that never works. She just moves before the splort part happens. I also admit to pretending not to notice the hairball and hoping my husband cleans it up instead.

  86. I’m just glad to know I’m not the only one who does this to their cat. And, funnily enough, whenever our cat does this we say “she horked” so it’s absolutely a word.

  87. Whenever my kids sound like they are going to hurl, I quickly get them into the bathroom so they can hurl into the toilet or tub: both more easily cleaned than say a bed.

    Years ago, though, I was plagued by an automatic “I can catch the vomit and contain the mess” reaction. This never ended well. Not only didn’t I contain the mess, but now I was PART of the mess! *cue bad memory of standing in the dairy aislecof the local supermarket holding a handful of puke waiting for my wife to get an employee with paper towels*

  88. Victor clearly needs to expand his vocabulary. Hork and splort are very commonly used around here thanks to 3 cats. One is a master horker – she can run backwards while spewing. It’s like she’s terrified of what’s coming out and is trying to get away mid-hork.

  89. While I have never heard of splort, we’ve been using hork for years. Totally a word.
    Surprisingly, my cat very rarely horks. But when she does, the dog takes care of it so we’re all good.

  90. Also, ‘Hork’ can be used either way: To hork something UP, or to hork it DOWN (as it gobbling down food). It is a word we use horrifyingly often when describing how our chickens eat.

  91. If “hork” and “splort” aren’t words, then they ought to be. Anyone who has shared a living space with a cat (because let’s be honest, we don’t really own them, no matter what we think) knows that those words perfectly describe the cat vomit process. I usually try to get a paper towel under the spot my cat is horking over, but they like to do that low to the ground, sweeping back & forth motion, so you never really know where the splort will end up.

  92. With two dogs and a cat — and a lifetime of other cats — I’ve given up trying to get there before the vomit hits the floor, whether that floor be carpeted or not. These days, if I hear the horking I just try to get to the vomit before the dogs decide to make a meal of it. I don’t always make it in time.

    No matter how gross and inconvenient the cat vomit, it’s never going to surpass the gut-wrenching, gag-inducing horrific nastiness of the dog vomit on the area rug after said dog had just ingested unbelievable quantities of cat poop. Activating my gag reflex even now at the thought of it, 16 years later!

  93. I can hear horking coming from any room of the house, and in any state of consciousness. I can be in the deepest, wine-induced sleep and can hear my dog horking on the far end of the house with the door closed.

  94. Hork or Hoark as it came up on my phone dictionary Is a true word. Disney dis a movie Hoark something & who gives a Who. Look it up Victor. I use the word everytime my cats vomit or. I’m sick. I grab the cat mid hoark or put paper towels down to catch the hoark.

  95. I do the same with by dog but I normally throw him outside, mean I know but I hate cleaning vomit off of my floors. Its so gross.

  96. ‘hork’ is most definitely a word. has victor never heard a cat vomit? i pick mine up mid-hork too, if i can. all too often they vomit in the middle of the damn night. usually in the path to the bathroom. which means we have stepped in it. and is probably why my husband wears socks to bed.

  97. After reading these comments, I’m gonna definitely get the hork ringtone.

    Hork – sound made before the splork of hairball hitting the tile.

  98. Believe that horking on the carpet could be similar to humans hanging on for dear life to a toilet bowl. Never know how much force might come out. Would be bad if we were blown over on our butts mid-hork, so kitties hang on to that carpet – you never know.

  99. Ours do the same thing, and hork is definitely a word! Also “Gack”, which is the sound I always hear after all the hork-ing (The ‘gack’ sound also means I need to arrive on the scene having pulled the paper towels in onelongcontinuousstream of unripped paper, all the way from the kitchen…

    I’ve gotten pretty fast, though: I can pick our cats up, mid-hork, and literally open the sliding door and toss them out in the snow in one smooth gesture, without spilling my coffee…(although watching them hork through the glass is pretty unappetizing anyway).

    And WHY, when 95% of our house is easy-to-clean wood laminate, do they go find the ONLY TWO ROOMS WITH CARPET, to hork in? It’s WHITE carpet. And cat food stains are pretty much an ininvented form of orange dye, so this just gives us one more reason to have the discussion about how many cats is too many. (Answer: One. Or Four. Depending on who you ask).

  100. “Hork” is totally a word. And the cats aren’t allowed to be pissed unless they learn to clean up their own damn vomit. Honestly.

  101. We have only 1 room with carpet in it, and it is not our bedroom. Now the cat goes in there to hork. I just steam cleaned that room last night because the hork had gotten ahead of me and my spot cleaning. They can be sneaky little bastards, cats. I wonder…if I get rid of that carpet (which I want to do desperately) will the cat never hork again? Or will he just start doing it in my shoes or something…hmmm…Might need to keep the carpet until the cat goes to the big, carpeted cat room in the sky.

  102. in a world of onomatopoeia anything goes: hork, splort, horffle (hording-scarfing gobbling of food rhyming with the name of the cat that does it… in this case truffles) narf.

  103. If you’re a cat owner Hork is a very important word/sound. Hork in the middle of the night means “watch where you step in the dark without your glasses on.” We are currently shopping for Hork colored carpet… then we wouldn’t have to see all the hork colored splotches on the carpeting.

  104. Victor is completely wrong- they are both real words. And I used to do the same thing with my cat.

  105. Hork is DEFINITELY a word. And I do the same thing, but my cat is an a**hole and he gets me back by puking all over the bed whenever I forget to lock him out of the bedroom.

  106. You’re not the only one! I do that too.
    Or just quickly move the cat out of my bedroom and shut the door.
    Or flee to the other side of the house until I know someone else cleaned it up.

  107. I don’t have any pets that hork, but that’s because I have a hedgehog. Hedgehogs definitely snorf with their snorfers. Like the last time Gertie got a bath, she snorfed up some bathwater and was very irritated. The guinea pigs do lots of strange things too but there are actual dictionary words for most of their things. Except the wheeking. And the popcorning.

  108. I think I used “hork” in one or two of my books. I stand by it being a real word.

    Also? You are not along in shoving cats to the tile when they start making that unmistakable noise. Last time I checked, no one likes picking hairballs or vomit out of carpet.

    On that note, I’m off to eat some lunch.


  109. Hork is too a word. I’ve never heard splort before, but if by some odd chance, Victor is right and it isn’t a word, it ought to be. Someone call Oxford.

  110. I’ve also deposited a small child in a bathtub, right as they turned green and began doing the mouth calisthenics that mean barf is coming. Ten years later, she swears she remembers, but doesn’t hold a grudge. However, cats seem more grudgey than kids. Here’s hoping you don’t wake up to a hairball in your face.

  111. Yup totally a word! Although my cat definitely was more of a huk huk huk HOARK girl, but she was a senile old English girl, I would always do that too, she was always pissed off at me anyway so it made little difference.

    On a side note I once horked all over a book display in the gift shop at Sherwood forest.

  112. Hork is ABSOLUTELY a word. I use it, specifically, in reference to the cats. When they hork up a furball. And I also move them to the hardwood floor. Or put a couple of pieces of paper or a random magazine under them. (Don’t judge me, I hoard.)

    Hope you’re having an awesome time in the bush! And, though it probably won’t be well received, make sure you say as least once, “A dingo ate my baby!”

  113. “Hork” is definitely a word, and I do something similar with my cats, except I grab a newspaper, paper towels or something else nearby that’s totally disposable and stick it under their face to whorf on. One-step cleanup, without the risk of wearing a puke shirt.

  114. I totally do the same thing when my cat is horking! But it never occurred to me before that he might hate me for this.

  115. I think you just found your calling for your next book:
    The Bloggess Dictionary – almost like Urban Dictionary, but more Blogess-ey. All of your awesome words and their meanings, as described by you would make for a lovely, humorous read.

  116. Oh no, sorry Victor, hork is absolutely a word. It is a nuance of vomit.

    Generally, I run over with a kleenex or towel and put it under them when they are heaving and about to vomit. I don’t know if it makes me any more popular than you because I always get a “look.” First from the cat for disturbing their horking session and then from the dogs because I’ve cleaned up the potential dog treat.

  117. Hork and splort are both words. If necessary, tell Victor that they’re onomatopoeia. That’ll shut him up.

  118. I had a cat named Fey, who would RUN in from outside to throw up on my bed. True story. I saw her do it more than once. In case you were wondering, becoming airborne does not impede the horking process, at all.

  119. My dog pukes a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I’ve done this same thing to her so often that now she just knows to only puke on tile or linoleum. It’s my greatest dog-training achievement.

  120. Through the Rule of Common Usage, “hork” is most definitely a word.

    In my household, it is used to describe something happening “The Cat is going to hork” and the result “There is cat hork in the hallway”.

  121. I do the same thing! I’m also neurotic enough to think that when my cats hork mere inches from the tile/pergo flooring they are doing it to spite me!

  122. All acceptable terms. If I may, I’d like to add “pumpgag.” That’s the initial hucha hucha hucha thing they do, the short window of opportunity to relocate from carpet to tile. “Shh! I think I just heard the cat pumpgagging. Mover her before she whorfs on the rug!!”

  123. Now that you’re in Oz you can start using “chunder” instead of “hork.” I believe there are Men at Work who would support it as a word.

  124. Our cat would do this weird singing gargle (the only way I could describe it) right before he hurled up his food. It almost always happened at night. We’d fly out of bed and chase his furry ass downstairs to the hardwood.

  125. Have you ever had to pull iscles (you know those plastic silver things for trees) out of a cat’s ass?

  126. I was just used the word “hork” yesterday when my boyfriend’s pug was doing just that! It’s most definitely a word.

  127. I have applauded my cats for yarking (<— The word I use) on the tile, or on the non carpeted area. I have also begrudgingly begged and pleaded when said yarking begins to get them to move to an easier clean up area. I know they don't understand, "Pluheeeeeeeeezeee don't yark there. I can't handle it, not today." And they puke on the carpet anyway. Then run around in circles in some sort of tribal celebration dance for flushing out the bad undigested kitty food demons.

    Or they just really dig watching me wretch while cleaning up their sick.

  128. Horking – defintely a word!

    I just had to laugh at this post… and Dorothy’s response
    “So. I’ve been known to fling a cat at the beginning of the hork just to get it off the table, off the couch, off the bed, off the carpet and over to a bare floor. I am amused- grossed out- but amused as they fly through the air, horking. It leaves a long trail of horkness behind them though. They are not nearly as amused as I am and stalk off in a huff afterwards.” ~~ couldn’t have said it better myself!!

    I’ve got one that just loves to hork all over my bed. Just before I get in it. So then I have to change sheets… or does it when I’m sleeping…horking wakes me up, I get up to clean it and step right in it… or sits and horks on the window sill..with the shades closed..and light from the street behind her so she looks like some shadow of a giant ghost cat coming to hork all over the place and scares the shit out of me.

  129. I definitely do this with my dogs! Or hang them over the side of the bed. I’ve even rushed them to the toilet to barf there!

  130. I love the use of mid-hork and think we humans should still it and apply it to…”I was in the bathroom mid-hork when there was a knock on the door,” or “Me and my husband were in the bedroom mid-hork when the burgular asked if he could join in.” Yup. Perfect.

  131. *FLAIL* We TOTALLY say splort! But when we say it it means the wet sound that comes from our newborn’s diaper that indicates he did in fact just mess his diaper and did not just “poot,” which is just passing gas – e.g. “Did he just splort, AGAIN?” “No, it wasn’t squelchy enough to be a splort. I think he just pooted.” “Oh, okay.”

  132. I knew exactly what you were talking about when it comes to horking. I’ve gone through that before in my life with cats…and the instinct to pick them up and move them is a natural reaction for me so you are not alone in that. I do get a little uneasy watching because I always worried that the hairball would get stuck and then….I can’t think about these visuals right now…


    I’m trying to live vicariously through you!

    Just hug a Koala for me, please? And don’t get chlamydia from hugging the Koala, that would be hard to explain.


  134. When my (now dearly departed) cat started to make that sound, I’d quickly put an old newspaper by his feet. He’d proceed to look terrified at the thought of throwing up on a newspaper and turn his head to the side to ensure he threw up on the carpet as was obviously proper.

  135. “Today I realized that my cats probably hate me because when they start doing that hork-hork vomity noise I run over to them and pick them up (mid-hork) and push them onto the tile because it’s much easier to clean a hairball up there.”

    Doesn’t everyone do this? No? Shit no wonder my older cat looks at me like I’m insane every time I grab him mid puke. But he’s never had to clean his own vomit out of my nearly century old threadbare Oriental rug. Meh. Maybe I should just let him have at it and just throw the damn thing out. The rug I mean. Not the cat.


  136. I find that the “hork” generally follows the “Whitney Houston howl”… If I can reach the cat between the howl and the hork, I’ve successfully relocated the cat.

  137. Hork is totally a word because that’s the word we use for cat harfing. (If I’m around) I always throw their asses outside or onto a hard surface… I think that’s why the fuckers aim for my throw rugs when I’m not home now.

  138. I am all-too-familiar with this….With 7 (yes, I did say SEVEN) cats, I like to say that a day without Cat Vomit is like a day without sunshine. Or something. I do try to ‘shoo’ whoever’s taking their turn throwing up onto the floor or slide a paper towel under. Now you know why my posting name here is “SqualorHouseGail”. No new carpet for me!

    I got one of those gigantic water bowls with a tank that refills the bowl and now I can’t tell when someone is “horking” or if it’s (blessedly) just the damn water bowl gurgling. I swear it sounds exactly the same.

    You all crack me up!!!

  139. Don’t feel guilty, we all push them on to the tile mid-hork….The cats, not the children…usually.

  140. I’m a total horking cat-pusher. Does something about my clean sheets nauseate them?

  141. When it’s the dogs I use “Yark”…as in, “Honey, your dog just yarked all over the floor…..your responsibility thank-you.”

  142. I’m impressed that you captured a picture mid-hork. Oddly enough that’s what I look like when I wake up in the morning.

  143. The worst is when the cat horks up on the carpet and then the dog gets to it before you do and then re-horks up the cat splort he just ate. On the carpet.

    On a side note this reminds me a few days ago my dog was horking and I told him he better be doing that on the tile (he was), at which point he walks over to the carpet and does a second splort.

    Thankfully the cat has more discerning tastes and doesn’t eat the dog’s horkysplort.

    I feel like there should be a moral in there somewhere.

  144. If it’s the middle of the night, and she’s on my bed when the hork-alarm sounds, my cat doesn’t even get the courtesy of being placed on a better surface! I just start frantically push-sweeping at her with my feet until she jumps down.

    One undignified act deserves another.

  145. I’d push the husband onto the tile if he were horking. I’ve done the same thing with my cats. I push them off the bed mid hork with my foot. I do not want to have to get up in the middle of the night and change my sheets because the cat horked up on them. So a little push with my foot and off the bed she goes to hork up on the floor and I only hope I remember the incident in the morning so I don’t step in it.

  146. I think this is why Lesbians are so fond of cats they have a common bond over hairballs and horking. HEY I’M A LESBIAN I can say that. I think.

  147. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with moving a horking cat to tile. It IS easier to cleanup. That has always been my first reaction when I hear that awful noise.

  148. As someone who just stepped in cat puke just THIS morning…very suspicious spot right by my bed…gag relexes are on high alert!!! I slid through it, but did not fall…I consider that a win!!!

    Or even better in living as the only girl in a house full of boys….My youngest will call to me…”Hey Mom…the cat just puked on the stairs!!!”

    Thanks…I got it.

  149. Hork is the *actual* technical term for when cat’s bring up a hairball. I’m sure of it.

  150. Oh, to be Jenny for a day…particularly the day(s) she’s corrupting Aussie-land. (Watch out, she may get Victor to saddle/ride a kangaroo so she can swipe a koala or a dingo). I can totally see that happening, and it’s not just because I have a wild imagination. 😀

  151. I am a veterinary technician and as such can assure Victor that ‘hork’ is a word that is regularly used by both pet owners and veterinary staff alike. Even in their Permanent Medical Records ;).

  152. OMG I do the exact same thing and I feel so bad every time I do it. It’s bad enough they have to throw up but to be pushed around or even picked up and tossed toward the tile while doing it must be the worst thing ever. BUt so is trying to get throw up out of my carpet, so I’ll toss a cookie tossing cat to the tile any time I can!!

  153. Why, oh why, must pets ALWAYS go out of their way to puke/pee/poop on the carpet rather than on a hard surface floor? Do they think that it is grass, and they are being considerate because hey, it will just soak into the soil underneath right?

  154. Yeah. It’s hoark. Gotta put that A in there. Kinda like the British “u.”
    Also, splort really has more to do with chicken poop than cat vomit. Maybe you should check Beyoncé.

  155. I usually use the variant “hurk”.

    As in: when I exit on the cloverleaf too quickly, it becomes a “hurk-circle”.

    Also, I would never want to meet the superhero “The Incredible Hurk.” I suspect he may still be green though.

    (Don’t believe the auto-correct. It was programmed by anti- onamonapia fascists).

  156. All kittehs need to put up with the mid-hork transport. I’m pretty sure they’ve been putting up with it since Ancient Egyptian times and probably expect it now as part of their genetic code. I wouldn’t give it another thought. 😀

  157. Yeah I totally do that too. Or shove a wad of paper towels under her face so I can just toss it without smelling it for too long. She hates that too.

  158. Came home to two pieces of evidence that “hork” is a word. *sigh* Once on the carpet (OF COURSE) and the other on a pair of sweatpants I foolishly left on the floor. Not a word? REALLY???

  159. Which cat is that? I know Ferris Mewler and Hunter S Thomcat, and am now immensely curious as to the identity of this cat.

  160. I do the SAME thing. Once, my cat Saphy was breathing weird after I shoved her onto the tile, like she aspirated some hork. It completely freaked me out hearing her wheezing all heavy. So I started to carry her to the car to take her to the emergency vet, then THAT freaked her out even more and she starting meow-moaning. That seemed to clear out whatever was troubling her. So now I feel doubly guilty because not only do I throw her onto the tile, but then I fake taking her to the vet to get her to stop being wheezy. I’m the worst. BTW- I read someone call “water yarfing” that thing where dogs drink too much too fast and then hork it up. Feel free to run with that…

  161. We use “hork” too, with the cats. One of my cats is a very polite horker. He tries to do it on a plastic baggy or on something that is inevitably trash and easy to throw away. I admit.. I try to move them off the carpet too.

  162. Hork is a word, but we refer to the noise the dogs make before horking as the hurka-gurka.

  163. I TOTALLY do the same thing! Horking cats = cement floors. These Persian rugs didn’t make it this long just to have those Persians puke on it!

  164. My fiance and I do the same think when our cat is coughing up hairballs and/or horking … we immediately run over to her, grab her and run her to a tiled and easy to clean area … sometimes I feel sorry for her, until I have to clean up cat vomit from the carpet …

    So we are definitely on your side.

  165. My favorite is when you put something impermeable in front of the cat (or move them to the tile) mid-hork–which is TOTALLY a word–and they BACK THE FUCK UP right back onto the carpet. Just to be a dick.

    However, close-second to that is when our cat decides to throw up her kibble onto the pine floor near the staircase. I’ve slipped on cat puke that’s FUCKING CAMOUFLAGED when it’s dark and all I’m doing is going downstairs to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Asshole.

  166. I thought about this for awhile, as my dog does this from time to time. I think she sounds more like “haurk, haurk…. aaaarrrkkkk” No one is going to tell me that “haurk” isn’t a real word, even though the spell check keeps trying to autocorrect it for me!

  167. hork – according to wiktionary, has 7 equally disgusting slang definitions (as well as the simple present, present participle, and simple past forms for completeness:

    hork (third-person singular simple present horks, present participle horking, simple past and past participle horked)

    (slang) To foul up; to be occupied with difficulty, tangle, or unpleasantness; to be broken.
    I downloaded the program, but something is horked and it won’t load.
    (slang, regional) To steal, esp. petty theft or misnomer in jest.
    Can I hork that code from you for my project?
    (slang) To throw.
    Let’s go hork pickles at people from the back row of the movie theatre.
    (slang) To snort from the sinuses. (Similar to hocking.)
    I felt something plugging up my sinuses, so I horked a big loogie.
    (slang) To vomit, onomatopeia name for the sound
    The cat just horked up a hairball.
    (slang) To eat hastily or greedily; to gobble.
    I don’t know what got into her, but she horked all those hoagies last night!
    (slang, transitive) To move; specifically in an egregious fashion
    Go hork the kegs from out back, and then go to the party across the street and hork some girls back.

    Note number 5: hairball! (c;

  168. My labs are notorious for yakking at 1 or 2 am…they’ve trained me to wake up out of a dead sleep to try and drag them off 1 of the 2 rugs in the house onto some bit of hardwood. My yellow at least has started using the floor in the dining room by the air filter thingy, so if he pauses over there i can get the door open and start coaxing him outside (provided he’s still making that noise he‘ll usually go, but if anything’s come up, forget it). If only they’d stop eating grass and pine needles

  169. You all make a very persuasive argument not to have pets. I had no idea that cat throw-up was such a regular part of cat ownership.

  170. Hork is SO a proper word for what cats spew forth from their mouths, as well as describing what I do when I have to clean it up!

  171. And I now feel lucky that I only have a dog. While he might hide his wares, they only happen very occasionally.

  172. I do exactly that, for exactly the same reasons.
    I don’t care what my cats thing when I do it.

    Also, technically, “hork” isn’t a word – it’s “hoark.” “Splort” is definitely a word too.

  173. I will launch my very sweet, but quite pukey 15 year old cat across the room when the hork-hork starts as he is on the bed.

  174. Sorry. My mother totally grabbed us mid **barf noise** and ran us to the toilet.

    Same thing.

    No shame.

    Final judgement.

    No, **you’re** welcome.

  175. One time when I was in fourth grade, I was standing at the blackboard doing some sort of work when I suddenly felt sick. The teacher wouldn’t let me leave, so I ended up puking in the tray that held the chalk and erasers. At the time, I was extremely proud that I hit the tray and none of it spilled onto the floor. When I told my mom about that, she gave me a horrified look that I clearly remember to this day. What was I thinking?!?!

    Oh, I push my dog onto the tile too when that dreaded sound starts.

  176. Here’s another word for you: chervil. That’s the watery goo around cat vomit.

  177. Allow me to add my voice to the chorus of “Wrong, Victor, WRONG!” Hork, splort, and snarf are all indeed lovely onomatopeiatic words that make it appallingly clear just what exactly is happening at that moment in time. (In all fairness, though, snarf–that is, to practically inhale one’s food–is the act that precedes horking and splorting, but it’s not a given that the latter two are follow-up acts…unless, of course, you’re living with me and my Jezebel. Why she keeps puking just outside her carrier/hidey-hole is beyond me; she must be coming out of it just far enough to manage to get most of her barf on the floor and not actually inside with her. *sigh*) Another phrase former roommates of mine from many moons ago used to like was “that noise that only cats make”, most memorably while describing the all-too-predictable results of a “Bar Trek” party (drink whenever X happens in a given episode of Star Trek: “Then all of a sudden we heard Martin make that noise that only cats make…” (in response to my asking about the big wet spot on the carpet near the living room closet). Wait till your cats get old and farty, though–I swear to God, cat farts are SO foul they ought to be outlawed by the Geneva Convention as cruel and inhumane treatment of all the humans within sniffing distance. *gag*

    (Ah, yes, onomatopeia–my favorite new word I picked up while working on my BA in English…*smiles dreamily*)

    Anyway, enough about the cats–tell us about your adventures Down Under, damn it!

  178. Oh, and let’s not forget how Jezebel (a) kicks litter a truly impressive distance out the front door of her covered litter box, and (b) then decides to just go ahead and crap on the floor next to said litter box, or, sometimes, on the litter that she kicked out of the box in the first place. (It’s a good thing you’re cute and I love you, fuzzy butt…)

  179. I do the same exact thing when my cats hork up stuff, I push them off the rug and onto the hardwood floor. What sucks is when we are not home and our lovely Theo decides to hork onto the bed, requiring a trip to the laundromat to wash both the duvet and the duvet cover (larger machines). YAY CATS!

  180. Victor is so wrong. Tell him to call me up on the phone and I will do a dead on imitation of one of my fur balls barfing up in the middle of the night. It will sound like “hork, hork hork ACK!”

  181. The worst horking offense comes in the dead of the night, when you are yanked from a deep and gentle slumber by the first “Haaaaaaack-sssspppp-sssppppewwwwww” emanating from the foot of your bed.

    And then the initial paralyzing anxiety for your dear choking furkid is displaced by the icy realization you left your new sweater lying…on the foot of the bed.

  182. Hork is totally a word.

    I do that to my cats too (when I can catch them at it). I figure it’s no different than my mom rushing me to the toilet to throw up in there when I was young.

  183. I…totally do that to my cats. Ahem.

    For real though…not on my bed. As humans, we know not to puke in our beds…these kitteh’s gotta learn.

  184. When the fuck did Victor change his name to “Mr. Fucking Webster”. Fuck Victor, are they paying per nag or something?

  185. Hork is SO a word. My husband’s cat (not mine!) starts making that noise and I have to run him all the way downstairs while making sure his horker is pointing away from me so I can lock him in the laundry room to hork there.

  186. I used to have a cat that ALWAYS managed to be on the bed when he needed to hork up a hairball. Cats are usually pretty neat about it. One hairball. Once spot.

    Dogs hork too. In the middle of the night. On the bed. Well, not quite ON the bed. I usually hear them in just in time to shove the culprit off the side onto the carpet. I’d rather clean the carpet in the morning than have to change the sheets in the middle of the night.

    But dogs don’t get it all out in one hork. They keep repeating as they stroll across the bedroom floor until their tummies are empty of EVERYTHING they ate in the last WEEK! Then it is impossible to get out of bed in the dark because I’m not sure where it is safe to put my feet. By the time I CAN get out of bed, the hork-piles are usually dry, so I can just scrape it off the carpeting. Boy, I sure do love my dogs!

  187. Hmm never heard the word hork.. but if the cat makes that sound then it’s totally a word.. I found your book at the Central Library today.. I’m considering mailing it to you for your signature if you promise to mail it back so I can return it 😉

  188. My dude will totally do that, dart up out of his seat and dive for the cat. I suppose he is an optimist.

    Not me. I will pretend I didn’t hear it and then just come around with the paper towels and vinegar. I once witnessed my cat projectile vomit so violently that intact cat food sprayed far and wide in a 180 degree radius. I laughed so hard, he looked so shocked. Would I want to dive for that? Nope. My mindset is “eh he already started, I’d never make it.”

    Also when cat is puking at 4am:
    Me: *pretend to sleep, wait for dude to leap out of bed* “YYAAAWWWNNN… huh? wha?”
    Dude: “Milo puked!”
    Me: “rreeaaaallllyyy? aw.” *trollface*

  189. The cats should be GRATEFUL! When my dog makes that sound, I drag his butt to the door and throw him outside.

  190. I believe Dave Barry used the word “hork” in a column when he was still writing for the Miami Herald sometime in the late 80’s to refer to his dogs. So it IS a word and has been around a long time.

  191. One time a dog visiting at my friend’s house horked up into my motorcycle helmet. It was ugly.

  192. With 6 cats and a sick foster kitten, I know all too well the hork preliminary sound! And we have one guy who has lots of tummy problems who makes a noise like someone above’s cat does —Momomomomom. He is REALLY gonna hork after that! I get a good couple of horks and some poops outside the box every day with this many cats. I am pretty laid back about it. No jumping up and trying to relocate them unless they are on the bed. I can’t stand to clean it up when it is still warm, so oftentimes I throw a paper towel over the mess and get back to it in a couple of hours. One of our Maine Coons likes to chow down when he finds a dry hork mess. Grosses me out! But they hork in their own food dishes sometimes too, or on the mat the dishes set on! I have a cleaning lady but I go all around the house the day before she comes and make sure I haven’t missed cleaning up a puke mess or an errant poop, and change all 4 litter boxes! Don’t want her to have to deal with those disgusting messes! And hey! Stop throwing your dogs and cats outside when they’re sick! Not very nice at all! LOL

    One time in my early drinking days my nephew had to take me home at the end of a party where we played drinking games all night. It so happens I felt the need to puke just as we got on the freeway and there was nowhere for us to pull over. Seems I projectile vomited all into his dash and heaters and vents, etc. (and into my purse). I felt so bad. He even ended up having to sell the car! We still can’t laugh about that one. Bad bad auntie!

    Have a fantastic time Down Under, Jenny! My friends keep going there for vacation and end up moving there!

  193. When my cat does that I rush her to the bathroom to HORK in the toilet. Either that, or we push her out onto the balcony. I can’t stand the smell.

    To be fair, when my kids vomited when they were little I’d rush them too the bathroom too. I don’t care if they liked it or not. I didn’t want to have to clean it up.

  194. Don’t feel bad, I do this to my cats too. But then maybe I should feel bad?
    I can’t think of a better word than “hork” to describe it either.

  195. The next time Victor questions your grasp of the English language, I would suggest you chuck a cat at him – preferably in mid-hork….

  196. Onomatopoeia is a valid plea for “hork” and “splort.” However, we tend to use “yak” for both, and “splort” is usually a mental sound effect for people like Peter North (khereva says don’t google, don’t google, don’t google).

  197. I’ve always thought of it as “horque”…dunno why I’ve always gravitated to the European spelling. But yeah, it’s totally a word. “Barch” is often used in our home – the combo of barf and belch – literally, when you throw up in your mouth a little (even though I loathe the popularity of that term).

  198. Haha! I feel relieved of years worth of guilt just by the knowledge that someone else does this too. Yes, cat vomit in the carpet is G.R.O.S.S. My Lola gets moved to the tile mid-hork all the time. And hork seems like a most appropriate word for that awful sound. Wow, I really related to you in this post…about cat vomit. What does that say about us? Friends forever? Okay.

  199. Hork is definitely a word btw. That’s the beauty of the English language. It’s adaptable, flexible and … anyway, have you considered the FUN cats have with us every day? What other species would commit flights unbelievable agility just to save their carpets from fur balls? Cat mothers spend hours imparting this art of persuasion onto their off spring.

  200. Actually I prefer “blorfing”. Victor would probably argue that it’s not a real word either and he’d be right. But I can assure you I’ve seen enough blorf in my day to know it’s real.

  201. lol we have dogs and they run to the nearest outside door by themselves when they start to “Hork” because I always kick them outside when they “Splort” so now I guess they are trained 😀

  202. You have perfectly captured the spelling of the sounds cats make when they are going to vomit up hairballs. Victor clearly needs a cat-language dictionary.

  203. I give my cat indoor cat food, and he almost never horks up hairballs. He’s a long-haired cat too, I think the indoor food helps him digest the fur.
    And my phone seems to think “hork” is a word.

  204. Maybe you’re spelling it wrong… whork or hjork or horke or hørk or heurke. Spell check is about to jump out and smack me now!

    PS Aren’t you in Australia?

  205. The word “hork” is also in use among friends who used to serve on submarines out of the US Naval Base at Groton, CT. For them when the software (or plumbing) has gotten “horked” it has been totally messed up….which when you look at what cats can’t digest, is just way too evocative.

    And since I learned my lesson, I started reading the comments before this and find that –YEP–the urban dictionary got there before me. I guess I’ll log back in after lunch now…

  206. Three observations after reading this post:

    1. I totally do the same thing to Phoebe when she starts making that sound.

    2. Hork is totally the word that describes that sound/activity.

    3. Victor is totally incorrect about “hork” and “splort.”

  207. Oh. My. God. So, not only did I laugh on my ass off at my desk at work I also (I think involuntarily) started making the “hork” sound at my desk. Sooooooo lovely. I’m just full of class.
    Anyway, If it makes you feel better I’ve been known to do the same thing to my dog. She doesn’t hack up hair balls, but when I see that heaving, glassy eyed, “I’m gonna puke and your sorry ass is going to have to clean it” look, I’ve definitely picked her up and run to her to tile usually while screaming “NO! NOT YET! OH MY GOD! GROSS! DON’T! I’M SORRY, I’M DOING IT BECAUSE I LOVE YOU…FUUUUUCCCKKK” It’s really a sight to see…or not…I mean who wants to see that??

  208. Another thought…if “spork” is a word, then “hork” is totally a word. The 80s could have been SO different. Instead of “gag me with a spoon”, we could have had “hork me with a spork” which is vaguely vulgar and totally more awesome.

  209. Hork is totally a word, and the best kind of word. It sounds like what it means, like kerfluffle and hiccup and moist.

  210. Hork IS a word. Victor needs to get with the program. My cats always hork like one foot away from the tile. Then when I move them to said tile, they stop until they’re back on the carpet…little shits.

  211. I totally do the same thing. I’m pretty sure my cats try to puke on the carpet instead of the wood floors on purpose..

  212. Hork is most definitely a word! I don’t blame you one bit for moving them to the tile. I used to do the same thing with my cat, tile and hardwood is SO much easier to clean!! Love your blog! It makes me happy!

  213. I once caught my dog’s barf in my hands so I wouldn’t have to clean it off the carpet. It was sometime during the night and I didn’t have time to grab something else to use. On the bright side, I was really glad it wasn’t one of the episodes where she’d first dined on cat doo.

    Also, it was pretty good practice for parenthood.

  214. I used to do the same thing with my cats. I now do the same thing to my 3 year old son who occassionally pukes after putting too much food in his mouth.

  215. Yesterday morning, my cat (Kettle) chased me around the house hork, hork, horking behind me. I was trying to make the kid’s lunches for school. There was no coffee. At least she was on the tile?

  216. There is nothing worse than hearing “hork-hork” while you’re half asleep and know that the horking is going on right at the foot of the bed, where you WILL step on the splort no matter how careful you are…

    I will look for ways to use “hork” and “splort” in a sentence every day.

  217. Don’t feel bad about moving the cat to the floor, I totally do the same thing. I’m always afraid that me grabbing the horking cat around the midsection will make him vomit immediately like some really gross squeezebox, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  218. I’m with you – hork is DEFINITELY a word. 🙂

    I think Whua-splash is more the sound my kids make when they puke. That only happens in the middle of the night of course.

  219. 100% a word although I spell it “horque” just to class it up a little. My cat starts making that noise and it doesn’t matter where in the house she is…she makes a hasty beeline for the most expensive rug in the house..every time! It must feel better to yack (also a word) on wool.
    Of course, that rug is under our dining room table because that’s where it’s the least likely to get food crumbs on it so that’s also slightly sad.

  220. Hork is TOTALLY a word, I’ve been using it for years. Your usage of that word was completely appropriate.

  221. When my dog “horks”, I pick him up and try to run him to the bathroom (if there is time) and place his front paws on the toilet seat. He vomits in the toilet. Clean up is only a flush away. I’m sure he hates it but it saves us money on cleaning products.

  222. I’m sorry. I feel like I need to just straight up apologize before saying anything.



  223. Hork works in other situations as well…
    “I just watched my cat hork down a whole mouse”
    its versatile!

  224. I have always believed that hork is the exact noise people make when pushing a ball of phlegm up their throat in preparation to spit it out. It sounds about right to me!

  225. Ok, I’m the zillionth person to comment, but, hey, Imma gonna do it! Yep – totally agree with you – used to shove my pesky critters over to the tile…and then they’d walk back to the carpet. Now I’m just apathetic (or is that pathetic) – I hear the ‘hork’ and think to myself, “Ok, gotta look for the cat vomit later so the kids don’t step in it…” I also sho…, er, *gently* move my children to the tile…or bring ’em a really big bowl. (Hey, I do it to myself as well!) I once dived for the front entry way *from* the couch across the living room when I suddenly realized that Taco Bell meal was *not* going to stay down. Called ’em & they totally denied it…until I explained ’bout my B.S. in microbiology and the fact that I would be reporting my experience to the local public health department. Then they were all “Yes, Ma’am. Very sorry, Ma’am. Our sincerest apologies, Ma’am.” Darn $^%*&^*&#^%#$& right you are!!!

  226. onomatopoeia……When you need to explain to your husband what sound the cat makes mid hair ball.. My Sarina did it too…on the rug….just inches away from the tile. 🙁

  227. First time one of your posts has depressed me. My Ghost cat never did this and suddenly a few months ago at 7 years old he started horking and couldn’t keep food down. Many treatments and tests later it turns out he has chronic pancreatitis. I just had to give him pred tonight to bring down the inflammation because he isn’t horking now but he’s still in pain and not eating well.

    Please don’t feed your cats dry food, feed them a good grain free canned diet or homemade or raw. Even if you do that they can end up with serious issues from commercial foods :(. It is not normal for cats to vomit regularly, it’s the shitty food most people feed them and the hairballs because we humans bred cats to have really long hair so either brush em or shave em. I did everything I could to feed them well but even so one has gotten sick with an issue that has no known cause. I swear to you though, if your cat vomits hairballs more than a few times a year, that isn’t normal.

  228. I just looked at this picture again and thought to myself…is that a lo mein noodle that he’s horking? Is your cat Asian?

    I know that’s really not the issue…but I’m curious now.

  229. One day I found a pile of cat splort and was cleaning it up when I recognized teeny tiny organs in the mix! (One way to discover you have a mouse problem). Didn’t think it could get much grosser, until the day my recently adopted cat barfed up a pile of yak that MOVED! Closer inspection of said pile revealed a large glob of cat worms! Mouse bits no longer seemed so bad…

  230. Two things: 1) Victor needs onomatopoeia lessons. 2) My subconscious did something similar to me yesterday. I was coughing too much at work and felt the pre-vomit hork coming, and inexplicably my instincts had me lift my shirt and vomit directly into my bra, which then overflowed. I guess my brain was trying to minimize the mess? Either way, that is NOT what I had in mind when I debated stuffing my bra back in high-school.

  231. Given that I’m in Australia and therefore my cats have an Aussie accent, mine “herk” not “hork” 🙂 🙂

    One of my cats has got the “herk… heerrrrk….heeerrrrrrrrrkkkkkkk…..glop” down to a fine art of less than 5 seconds between start to end 🙂 Not enough time to move said cat from carpet to anything non carpet….especially in the middle of the night.

  232. This is not relevant to the post, but Supernatural began tonight with someone dressing taxidermied weasel-creatures in Game of Thrones costumes. All I could think was “One of the writers follows The Bloggess.”

  233. I’m with everyone else. My mother certainly told me to go throw up in the toilet, or she handed me the salad spinner to puke into. Just the outside part, not the strainer. I’m not sure why a salad spinner, maybe it was the biggest bowl that wasn’t breakable?

  234. The last time I tried to move my 22-year-old kitty mid-hork off the ONE rug in the entire house she projectile splorted all over it. We have used the word “hork” for years. And gack is TOTALLY the sound they make when it comes out.

  235. This comment is directed more at the wonderful followers of this blog, some of whom I hope will see it!

    One of my coworkers ran the Boston Marathon last year, but was turned away from the finish line after the bombs went off (I’m very grateful she hadn’t made it to the finish yet). She’s running again this year, and she’s fundraising for a local mental health center. I know mental health is near and dear to my heart as well as to many of yours, so if you’re in a position where you can donate, it would mean a lot. The link to donate is here:

    Together we can make a world where mental health is viewed in the same light as physical health, where people can get the help they need without any stigma attached, and where mental health services are valued as highly as other health services.

    Thanks, and love to all!

  236. We have done that to a child. My eldest has a tendency to announce he’s going to throw up, and then he JUST STANDS THERE AND THROWS UP.

    Last time my husband yelled “Run!” and grabbed him and ran with him to the bathroom…where he splorted all over the walls as hubby guided his head toward the toilet.

    Sigh. Luckily, kid #1 doesn’t vomit often. The girls are much better at running to the bathroom.

  237. I do the same thing with my kid. Who wants to clean carpet.

    And Victor, whatever. We make up our own words and even though they are not in the dictionary they are still words since we came up with them.

  238. Just this morning I heard that noise, and sure enough one of mine was puking on the bed. I just left her there though because I was going to wash the blanket anyway. Lazy win!

  239. “…when they start doing that hork-hork vomity noise I run over to them and pick them up (mid-hork) and push them onto the tile because it’s much easier to clean a hairball up there.”

    I do this, too, and I never once stopped to think how much that would suck if someone did that to me mid-vomit. I am a terrible person.

  240. Hork is clearly a word as we have used it for years to describe exactly the sound of cats or dogs vomiting. Why however must they always get it on the fringe?

  241. I use my dogs penchant for eating disgusting things to clean up the hork. However, my imagination and hearing are out of this world so I have to plug my ears and sing “lalalalalalallahhhhh!” while the eating is in progress. Yuck.
    And yes, we too, launch our cats off the rug as soon as we hear the “ohnononono” call of the soon-to-hork feline.

  242. I pick my cats up mid-hork and throw them outside, which has to be rougher than just being tossed onto tile area! I don’t feel guilty one bit! –Evil laugh–

  243. I think it has been clearly established that Victor was in the wrong and all the words in your blog are, in fact, real words. So, I’m going to share my favorite barf story: 10 pound poodle discovers cooked salmon skin left over from dinner, scarfs it down without a thought, lets it marinate is his little poodle belly for a few hours, and then begins barf marathon around midnight. Husband rushes dog to tile, whispers sweet nothings while holding back his little doggy ears. Meanwhile, I get clean up duty… 13 times. Poodle-doodle threw up well marinated salmon skin thirteen times. The. Smell. Dear god, the smell.

  244. I did the same thing when I had cats. And they would usually go right back to the carpet. Jerks.

  245. We’re really lucky in that this is a rare occurrence in our house, even with a 15 year old cat. That being said, the hork noise will wake either of us up out of a dead sleep instantly. We also have a friend who has several derivatives of the work hork that are terribly useful:
    Hork and Seek- You heard the splort, you know it landed, now you just have to find it. At 3am.
    Horkey Pokey- You step out of bed and into a pile of yack. This is the one footed dance you do as you look for something to wipe off your foot.
    Hork-a-palooza- We don’t know what kitty did, but it is EVERYWHERE. Break out the carpet steamer and all the cleaning supplies.
    You get the idea. And, yes, Victor, it is a real word.

  246. Tyson thinks its my honor to send me on a “tripping up the stairs” spastic run/chase as she’s doing the exorcist cat “hurlking” sound. When I think she’s fine she winds up sitting and staring at me…unblinking. If I go missing….blame the cat. I’m probably buried in the litter box.

  247. I wish horking was my only problem when it comes to cats. Those I can handle, the half eaten birds with body parts and feathers strewn all over my kitchen floor is what I cannot handle. It looks like I imagine a crime scene looks after a group of psychopaths have been on a killing spree.

  248. Try giving your cats a teaspoon of plain yogurt a few times a week, in the bowl with the rest of the food. Cats usually love it, and the probiotics stop them from horking as much.

  249. I also do this to my cat. the sound of her horking up a hairball wakes me in the night as i desperately try to locate her and fling her to a hard surface much easier to clean than carpeting.

  250. Hork is totally a word, I have seen it used to mean exactly what you said many, many times. We used to have a cat that would dash from the kitchen (linoleum) to into the dining room (Chinese rug purchased by DH in Hong Kong) whenever he felt the need to throw up. Usually happened at least once a week, and he lived to be 16.

  251. I’ve basically given up on trying to shove the cat away in mid-hork. I have several (e.g. more than one) cat, and I quickly realized that there’s just no way to prevent a splorty mess every time. I just stock up on Resolve Carpet Cleaning Spray. It works.

  252. Hork is most definitely a word. It also refers to the act of “horking” which describes what my teenage sons do to all food that is brought into this house. Used in a sentence: I just bought groceries yesterday and the boys have already horked all the good stuff. Also splort is a word… it describes the sound a half rotten tomato makes on the counter or floor when I try to lift it out of the bowl in the kitchen and it slips out of my hand on the way to the trash can.

  253. I figured someone else would beat me to it, but since they haven’t:
    Not only is ‘hork’ an established word, the questioning and subsequent validation of ‘hork’ is an established practice. I present for your listening pleasure “The Björk Song” by Lore Sjöberg of The [Formerly] Brunching Shuttlecocks.

    The whole song is deliciously odd, but the citation starts at 2:49 if you’re in a hurry.

  254. A. Hork is definitely a word. I’ve been using it since at least high school (which was a long time ago).
    B. I do the same thing with my cat so if you’re a jerk, so am I.

  255. Lived in a 3000 sq ft home, with less than a 1000 ft of carpet. The cats (2) NEVER hit the tile. Always right on the carpet within inches of the tile. My next house no carpet, but lots of cats.

  256. I’m glad I’m not the only one to do this to my cat when he starts to puke up hairballs on the rug. The tile really is preferable, at least to me — but apparently not to him for some reason. He goes out of his way to avoid it, and hit the rug instead.

  257. Hork is a word. Especially in describing hairball emissions by cats. One of our houseguests was really amused when, upon hearing one of my cats starting to barf, I grabbed a piece of newspaper and put it under the emission end. Only cat I was ever able to do that with — Melisande was very dramatic about it all, she could even make me feel ill from her puking sounds.

  258. Hork is totally a word. Also, I do this to my kids too. Have you tried cleaning vomit out of shag, excuse me, frisee, carpet? It’s vile.

  259. Victor: It’s called onomatopoeia. You can look it up in the new dictionary The Bloggess is giving you. 😉

  260. I’m throwing in my vote that hork is a word. I have used it to describe my cat’s vomit noise. If two people that have never met use the same sounds to mean the same thing, that makes it a word. I’m pretty sure that’s science. P.S. I have a college degree in dramatic art and I’m a divorce lawyer, therefore, I know all about science-y shit.

  261. Hork is totally a word. Say it out loud,and every cat owner in hearing range cringes.

  262. I think I’m probably a much more terrible cat-parent. I take mine to the litter-box. My logic is, “I puke in *my* toiled, you can puke in *yours*.” They don’t seem to agree

    And “hork” is definitely a word.

  263. & here I thought I was the only one to move a cat mid-hork to tile. Glad to know I’m in good company. Actually I worry about the people who don’t now. Like do they like having to scrub the carpet that much that they’re all “hey that’s cool, wherever you feel like vomiting”?
    Funny story: first time I did it to my cat she totally stopped & just stared at me like WTF are you doing?? Then she promptly ran to the bedroom & barfed on the carpet before I could stop her.

  264. We use hork too. Horked up a hair ball seems like legitimate English to me! We have a word for that special streak cats leave across a floor when they have butt dirt..It’s Smurf. When the cat sits on the floor with its rear legs raised and scoots its bum along by pulling with its front legs, leaving a smurf. Watch out, the cat smurfed!

  265. Amateurs! If you move the cat to the tile you still have to clean it up.
    When our old man cat was horking regularly a couple times a week we would swoop him up and go to the garbage can. We’d hold up his back legs while he’d rest his front legs on the edge of the can and hork INTO the garbage. He had all the precision and aim of a bulimic supermodel!

  266. I have 3 cats of my own, and whenever I hear the sound of “horking” I chase them into the kitchen to finish the vomit on the tile. Cleaning up cat vomit is a pain in the ass especially saturated in carpet. So yes, my felines may hate me a little but they are also not the ones cleaning up their puke.

  267. Still laughing.

    I am SO glad to know other cat parents do this. I mean, last month I heard that familiar sound next to my head, in the middle of the night, while in bed, and grabbed Merlyn and heaved him through the bathroom door like a missile. Not hard, but enough that he slid into the bathroom and horked on the rug. Much better than the carpet OR the bed.

    I can’t do that anymore because he’s 18 years old and can’t see in the dark as well as he used to, so he’s missing the counter at night. He insists on drinking his water out of a cup next to the sink, thank you very much. So I leave the closet light on for him, and I block the light for me with a big old woven screen.

    The reason I can’t play “cat missile” anymore is because he will hit the screen. I do worry that I will half wake and heave him and THEN remember the screen, but so far that has not happened.

    I am so glad other cat parents have this problem!

  268. hork is absolutely a word. In fact, it’s the word we use when our cats are about to Hork all over the carpet. In fact we do the exact same thing to our cats. Though now that you mention it I feel guilty. Oh well, I think if feel worse if they didn’t poop everywhere as well as vomiting everywhere.

  269. I’m just glad I’m not the only one who uses the word “york”. Or yells at their cat to get off the carpet right as their doing it…

  270. One of my cats pukes all the fucking time. I used to scream at him whenever he was on the couch or the carpet, but then I thought, “What if I scare him and he chokes on his puke and dies?” And this is why I have cats, not kids.

  271. Typically running after them when they are horking results in a bigger mess spread out over a greater area. For example, on every carpeted stair between the carpeted room and the tiled bathroom.

  272. ROFL!
    My partner and I do the EXACT same thing. Except we are usually on the couch and one of is hears the god awful “Mroww oww oww oww oww” noise my cat makes before the vomiting commences. Then we spring off the couch in a search for the cat, who if she hears off takes off to hide under the bed because I’m pretty sure she’s pissed at us for the same reasons you wrote about. If we are lucky she’s on the linoleum (blah apartment) before the heaving starts…. If not then we know that there’s cat puke under the bed that someone needs to clean up…. Or the dog (chihuahua) get’s to it first…. And then the though of that makes ME want vomit…

  273. I do this too. However, be warned – it can backfire. You know, when the hairball turns out to be vomit and you manage to grab them and put pressure on their stomach a second before they spew. That’s right. Projectile cat puke.
    That took a while to clean up.

  274. My cat just yacked in the other room and I heard my husband yelling at it to STOP!!, like it could midway. So I yelled at my husband for chastising the cat for puking, and now we’re not talking. Cat’s fault for not politely moving to the tile floor and releasing its stomach contents. It’s so easy to blame the cat for just about anything these days.

  275. I would always pick my cats up mid-hork and dump them in the tiled laundry room to “finish up”. Same if they had poopy-butts that needed cleaning. “In you go! Paw at the door after you’ve taken care of your little problem!” I recently moved to Florida and practically our entire house is tiled. BARF WHERE YOU WILL KITTIES!

  276. First of all, “hork” is most DEFINITELY a word. Also, I have carpet in my bedroom that is the EXACT same color as the dry food that my cat Butters eats, and I am convinced that she has a fucking V-chip that will only allow her to hork on my damn carpet.

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