Why I’m Afraid of CatsPosted: April 13, 2014
Aside from a couple of cats I fell in love with, despite myself, I’m not a cat person. You’re petting a cat, and suddenly another is jumping up to face off with him and you’re an innocent bystander in the middle of battle. Or you pet them on the wrong spot, like their tummy because they want you to pet their back but then they roll over and you accidentally touch their tum-tum and they scratch you. The cats I knew, I trusted, even though they were sometimes a little unpredictable. And as we know, any good relationship is built on trust. But there were a few things that made me afraid of cats, be it your domestic kitty or a jungle cat.
I was once bitten by a cat when I was petting it. I got scratched in the face by a huge Garfield-like cat who was also orange and fat and fluffy; he was sweet but I tried to gently rouse him from his sleep because he was lying on the guest bed and it was time for me to go to bed. Anyway, he started and scratched me right in the face, and even though he didn’t mean it, it was scary!
Then there was the instance of the dog-cat. Not having much experience with cats, I was walking around the house when my roomies were gone as it was their cat. It had never come to me before but I ran around and it chased my heels like a dog. I found a common thread as I can relate better to dogs. Anyway, I got tired eventually and sat down. The cat jumped on my lap! She’d never done that before and usually shied away. So I was trying to purr, as her human told me he purred to her when she was a kitten to create a bond because that’s how cat-moms communicate with the babies. Instead, I hissed. I figured it was a legitimate cat-sound, and it was, because the cat’s pupils narrowed in an instant and dilated to full size again as it stared at me. She held me captive on a couch and could detect the slightest of my muscle movements as I was trying to get up. The phone rang and I told her it might be important, but she didn’t care. She just held me down, slapping a paw on me, claws out, every time I tried to move. I finally got up, maybe fifteen minutes later, in one brisk, fluid movement.
So I could never trust a cat too close to my body or face, and although that was a faux-pas of my own ignorance, as I thought it would bond us, it helped to seal that terror I had when it came to cats. To make it worse, I’d imagine myself walking through big-cat territory and how you may not even know they’re there! I actually heard once that big cats like mountain lions will watch you if you’re on their turf and unless you misstep or walk too far, you’d never even know you were being watched! I imagine the tiny paw of the housecat I had my scuffle with multiplied by ten, and four-hundred pounds of brute force clawing your body. And the tiny jaws that once bit me amplified by the bit force of jaws that were descended of the great sabre-toothed cat. Even if it’s a “tame” wild cat, they have that unpredictable nature of their smaller household companion counterparts.
And that is why I’m terrified of cats.