It's not like we always have cat throw up on our floors, but we'd been away for several days and when we'd gotten home the previous night, there was cat throw up on Squeakles' play mat. I'd cleaned it right away and vacuumed the whole living room, but I hadn't done the most thorough job around the edges so I worried that what Squeakles had done was unearth something that I'd missed.
Squeakles had thought he'd just picked up a piece of animal cracker that he might have dropped earlier, but the thought of it being cat throw up made him burst in tears. "Get it out of my mouf!" he cried.
In the meantime, J and I considered what the crumb might have been: cat vomit, an errant animal cracker, or maybe even a piece of tracked-in cat litter. At that latter suggestion, Squeakles cried even harder. J commented that maybe Squeakles would have to throw it up, and Squeakles wailed at the thought.
At this point I thought we needed to tone down the drama, but J was seriously concerned it would make Squeakles sick, and he also thought that the more Squeakles was freaked out by what he'd eaten that he'd be that much less likely to eat things off the floor again in the future. But Squeakles was getting a little hysterical by now so I tried to comfort him and tell him he'd be just fine. I think he thought he was on the verge of death - or at least, the verge of having to throw up. (Coincidentally, he'd thrown up the day before, so the memory of throwing up was very recent in his mind.)
We got out a bowl in case Squeakles did throw up, but it never happened. I offered to brush his teeth to get any little bits out of his teeth, and I've never seen him quite so willing to have his mouth scrubbed out. He drank a little bit of water and it was declared time for bed.
While J changed him into a nighttime diaper (he's potty trained for the most part, but not necessarily when he's in a deep sleep), Squeakles cried and cried. "Daddy's gonna read you a story and then I'm gonna go to bed and CRY!!" J told him that the best thing he could do right now is sleep because when you sleep your body fights off germs.
So Squeakles and J cuddled together in a chair while J told him a happy bedtime story (unrelated to cat vomit) and then put him in bed.
Squeakles had the usual nighttime wakings - a request to go to the potty and several wakings between 10 pm and 2 am due to a very congested nose. But he slept for about 11 hours in total and woke up much recovered. I would have expected Squeakles to have forgotten the whole incident from the previous night, but when J went in his room to get him, the first thing Squeakles said was "Did I fight off the germs last night?"
J reassured him that indeed he did, and hopefully from this point forward he will never touch another crumb on the ground again.