Tag Archives: FearofCats

Raccoons, Cats, and Me

A couple of weeks ago, Hubs and I were laughing about a post from a woman on the Next Door app who had a raccoon slip in through the doggy door. She shared the cutest picture of this little creature. Later in the thread, she posted that she determined it would in fact not be fun to let the critter roam about at will, and found herself throwing everything she could immediately grab at him until he high-tailed it out of there.

This reminded me of another ridiculous thing I saw on the Next Door app a couple of months ago. So Karen this lady posted footage from her porch camera which showed a girl about 10 years old throwing a book shaped object towards a cat sitting in the lady’s driveway. Of course it was her cat, and of course everyone lost their shit and assumed this was an evil child who taunts and torments neighborhood pets for shits and giggles. Unsurprisingly, everyone jumped on this kids parents and questioned what they must be teaching in their home.

I chose to not comment on this post, because my gut told me there was more to this story.

I felt for the kid. It made me remember how my mother, Bonnie, instilled in me a fear of cats. Back when I was in elementary school, Bonnie would be periodically hired to do some interior painting in people’s houses. The one thing she hated about this is the cats inside those houses. They freaked her out. She didn’t like how quiet and sneaky they were. She didn’t like how they climbed the counters and sometimes sit atop the cabinets and hiss at her. She did not trust them for a second.

When I was 12 or 13, some young, foolish parents (I honestly can’t remember who) chose to hire me to babysit for their 1 or 2 year old (?) kid so they could enjoy a night out. I didn’t know they also had a cat until I got there.

Now this was more than 40 years ago, so the details are fuzzy at best. I remember the cat pursuing me around their little house. Like I was prey. I avoided it as best I could.

With adrenaline running through my veins, I got a bright idea: I could trap the cat in the bathroom, thereby protecting myself from this evil feline for the remainder of the night.

I imagine I found some sort of treat which I then threw into the bathroom. Once the cat ran in, I slammed that bathroom door shut and then marveled at my resourcefulness.

Around an hour later, I had to pee. As Bonnie always said “like a race horse”.

That was when it occurred to me that there was only one bathroom (remember I said this was a “little” house).

Oops!

I panicked. I had zero confidence that the kid’s parents were coming back anytime soon. And I sure as hell wasn’t brave enough to let that demon out of the bathroom, especially considering how pissed he would surely be that I trapped him in there earlier.

So I came up with another bright idea.

I found a Tupperware bowl in the kitchen. Then I proceeded to put it on the floor, pulled down my jeans, and squatted down above the bowl, releasing everything out of my bladder. What relief!

I swear to God I do not recall what happened when the couple returned home. I like to think I disposed of the pee-filled Tupperware bowl, washed it thoroughly, and returned it to it’s original home. Yet, thinking back to how clueless I was at that age, I’m guessing I did not.

Now back to the story about the girl and the cat post on Next Door.

My gut was correct here. There was more to it. The child’s mother responded to the thread with a mixture of disgust for her asinine neighbors’ wrong headed reactions to the video and original post, and loving acceptance and understanding of her daughter’s side of things.

It turned out that the kid was deathly afraid of cats (like me at that age) and because of that fear she was trying to scare the cat away. She was not trying to maim or kill the poor thing (you can see I’ve evolved and am no longer scared of cats). And the kid was also a sensitive one, because when she heard about what all the neighbors were saying, her mom reported that she was devastated. This whole debacle probably put her in therapy, if she wasn’t there already.

**Header image courtesy of https://www.123rf.com/