Scaredy Cat

April 15th, 2002 by

I have this ugly little cat that I rescued from an abusive home a few years back and named Queasy. I’ll attach a before and after picture so you can see the effects diesel fuel has on a cat.

I’m not a cat person, or a dog person, or any other kind of person. I like them all for different reasons. Cats are very entertaining (easily frightened, have trouble gaining purchase on a linoleum floor when trying to escape what they perceive to be certain death, get high on the ‘nip and chase nonexistent objects, etc…), and my cat gets sort of edgy when there’s something on the floor that she doesn’t recognize. She gets all low, ears forward, creeping up on it…then I usually make a noise or throw a sock at her and giggle hysterically as she makes a spitting sound and does acrobatics in blind panic trying to get away. Easily startled. Don’t go calling me an animal abuser. She’s not scared of me, and she leads a very happy existence sleeping on my shoes and leaving fur in my underwear drawer. Anyway, the act of startling the cat has always been a source of big laughs for me. Until last Saturday night. After Saturday night, I will never scare the shit out of my cat again.

I was the only one home, messing around with some cd’s and generally wasting time. I had to go out to my car a couple of times for various reasons, and the second time I went out there, I had this weird sense of foreboding. You know when you feel like there are too many places around you for someone to be hiding and watching? Someone is there, and at any moment you feel like they are going to brutally attack and most likely kill and eat you. I usually pay attention to this instinct because it has saved my ass on more than one occasion. So I had this feeling that something just wasn’t right. Now I know that this is what must be going through Queasy’s little cat brain when she sees a glove on the floor, and has probably never seen a glove in her life. Not a pleasant feeling, I assure you.

It was all dark and creepy, so I just halfway get into my car to find whatever it was I went out there for. Then I hear a crack, like someone stepping on a stick, and just as I’m about to turn around and look, there’s this huge thump, several snaps, stuff flying around my yard, and I went into catpanic. This all happened in the space of about three seconds. But what I recall of my reaction seemed like 10 minutes. I jumped, and I have no idea how long I was in the air, but I am pretty sure I executed several karate chops, did at least one complete flip, and yelled something that sounded like “Mannyabettggghalabbadoo!” in an unnaturally high pitched voice. I landed in sort of a half Bruce Lee stance like I was going to beat hell out of whatever it was that was trying to get me. I still didn’t know what had just happened, but I knew it would end in me fighting for my life. I was off balance, as I am in no way a karate master, and fell into our freshly mulched flower bed. Now I was lying on my back (sort of) straddling a small tree, kicking and flailing like an epileptic to gain a foothold, and the tree was shedding all sorts of petals and pollen thingies on me and generally not helping me up.

Finally, I was able to get up and assess the situation. A huge rotten branch, about eight feet long had fallen out of the oak tree in our front yard and shattered on the lawn. I had pine bark in my hair, one of my shoes had come off, and something was in my eye. I also had a small bump on my head from where my car didn’t get out of the way fast enough when I went airborne. I figured that if someone had actually been attacking me, I probably wouldn’t have done much damage, but I would have been very difficult to hold on to. I walked over to the branch, all cool and stuff, you know, just checking out the damage and making sure I could still walk and hadn’t soiled myself. As I turned to head back into the house, I look up and see Queasy sitting in the front window, watching the human who had just gotten a taste of his own medicine. I’m not one of those wierdos who thinks that animals have complex emotions and are capable of holding a grudge or being jealous, but in contrast to my slumped, defeated posture, she seemed to have a certain degree of smugness about her that night.

Don’t scare your cat. It’s not nice.

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