Thursday, October 15, 2009
Curiosity Didn’t Kill The Cat, But I’m In Critical Condition: Run Away, RUN AWAY!
We all have are phobias, whether it be reptiles, things under the bed or midget clowns from space, there is something that scares us. Most of it is irrational, we can't be hurt by it but in our minds it will cause a slow and excruciating death. For me, I have a very common phobia; spiders, I just take it to the extreme.
While hiking one day with some friends, we came across a snake. The back end of the snake was under some shrubs on the side of the path and the front end was lying there lifeless out in the sun. The six of us stood in a circle around the snake arguing whether it was dead or just playing possum. One of us chimed up that they could see the rattles on the tail. I suggested we leave it alone and continue past the snake. I believed it to be alive. We followed the path up the rest of the shrub filled hill and there it ended abruptly. We made a u-turn back down the trail and came across the shrub where the snake was. I say was, because now there was only a little slither trail in the sand where it had laid fooling us into leaving it alone. Everyone was getting antsy and looking around, afraid the rattler was going to jump out and yell booga booga and bite them I them in the ankle. I seemed to be the only calm rational one out of the bunch. As we made our way to the bottom of the hill, looking in every direction but forward, we came across a field of dry grass about four feet high. Out in the field about a hundred yards was hill with wild gourds growing on it. I wanted to get a closer look but there was no trail out to the isolated Garden of Eden. Single file we decided to trudge out there. I was fifth in line in our parade of soldiers marching through the swamp of dried grass. About 25 yards into our little walk I got a quick glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. Instantly, I turned into a bowling ball and the five people in front of me flew off like pins into the grass. They knew me pretty good and I heard someone yell as I sped towards the hill leaving them lying in the grass to die with our enemies, "did you see a spider?" I gasped out of breath, still sprinting; "I dunno, it was black and moved!" Carl Lewis has nothing on me when there's a spider involved, or in this case a possible spider. I sacrificed all six of them to the Snake Gods of the Grass that day just to get away from a spider that may or may not have existed…and unfortunately, I'd do it again.
Yes, I have a quite common phobia of spiders. The advantage of such a phobia is I can always run away…or so I thought.
Rock was the Harry Houdini of cats. He could get from point A to point B and no one would see him do it. Before opening the front door I would scan the area for any signs of the sneaky mongrel. I would then crack open the door just enough to slide my body through, slip outside, shut the door and lock it. I would proceed down the steps to the sidewalk and there would be Rock, sitting there. To this day I don't know how he did it but he always seemed to get out the door without me ever seeing him.
One early evening he did this and as I got to the sidewalk to pick him up, he bolted. He ran around the side of the house with me in hot pursuit and like the bullet train entering a tunnel, he shot underneath the house. I called his name a couple of time and got nothing back. I went inside and snatched the can of treats from the kitchen and shook it a few times in front of the hole Rock had shot through. Like a Jack-in-the-Box from hell, Rock popped out of the hole, an all black cat covered in a thick mass of sticky, stringy spider webs. I dropped the treats and ran like I just saw Ichabod Crane come flying across the bridge of Sleepy Hollow.
I ran into the house gasping for breath and slammed the front door shut. "You're cats out wandering the streets; you need to go get him". I explained what just happened and out the door my other half goes to get the cat, laughing the whole time. As the web coated feline is snatched from the street and taken to the bathroom to be cleaned up, I stepped outside to grab something from the car. As I entered the house I find Rock sitting in front of the door way. I jumped back out and quickly shut the door and rang the bell. The following conversation took place.
"Who is it?"
"It's me, Rocks in front of the door and there is a spider on him."
"Did you see one?"
"I dunno, he's black and moving."
"Who is? The spider or Rock?"
After some convincing that Rock was de-spidered, I entered the house giving the furry spider bus a wide berth, just in case. I sat myself at the corner of the couch and Rock sauntered over and sat at my feet. I scooted over to the other side of the couch and Rock scooted over and sat by my feet again. I got up and preceded down the hallway, the mini spider toting terrorist got up and proceeded to follow me. I ran. He chased me. I sped down the hallway at break neck speed barely getting to the bedroom door in time to shut it and keep Rock from flinging anything with eight legs and a mound of eyes at me.
Rock chased me around the house for a few days before I was finally convinced that if any spider was indeed on the cat it probably died from the fumes emanating from the cat box during one of Rocks daily trips to it. I sat down on the couch and saw Rock in the middle of the living room floor looking in my direction. I whistled, called out his name and patted my knee with my hand. Rock looked at me, stood up, stretched, turned around and walked away.