Hey ya’ll! Most who know me IRL and through this blog know that I have a fear of cats. Ya didn’t know? Well, you can read about a monumental moment here or a painful one here. I guess fear is kinda understating it. I have ailurophobia which is defined as “an abnormal and persistent fear of cats which produces an undue anxiety reaction even though sufferers realize their fear is irrational”. And yes, I do realize that the fear is irrational. Lately, there seems to be an increased number of cats in my neighborhood and I’m not happy about it. MrTDJ was kind enough to give me a talking to last night in an effort to
laugh his azz off at my expense encourage me to remain calm when I encounter a nasty feline. He reminded me of an incident where me staying calm definitely did not happen.
A few years ago when we were living in D.C., our neighborhood had lots of cats. I bought those sonic devices to keep the cats out of your yard (I want a refund!!!), we lined plastic containers with ammonia and placed them around the perimeter of our house, etc. Nothing seemed to keep the cougars away. One day, I came face to face with the enemy. Let me go try to find a pic to lay things out for you. Here’s a track to entertain you while I’m gone:
Ok, I just wasted ten minutes of my life searching for a pic that would give you an idea of the landscape. No luck, so I spent the last four minutes drawing this oh so professional illustration so ya’ll would understand what happened. I’m no aspiring artist, so please bear with my simplistic rendering.
As you can see from the pic, we had a driveway next to our house. I used to park there and hubs would park out front. On this particular day, ya girl was in the car in the picture above, coming home from who knows where. I threw my left blinker on to dip into the alley, and then I was all set to make an immediate and sharp right into our driveway. But, out of NOWHERE, a huge grey and white panther (aka a scruffy alley cat) leapt from behind a trash can and began to stalk across the damn alley.
ARGH!!!!! What to do??? What to do???? A damn king daddy lion was walking around all casual, like he owned the whole freaking alley. I was trapped inside a vehicle, totally helpless and defenseless just waiting for the predator to decide to attack me!!!!!
I was frozen for a split second, then I performed an irrational and unthinkable set of actions.
I screamed in an octave I didn’t know I could reach,
I slammed on the gas instead of the brake,
I closed my eyes TIGHT, and
I took my hands off the wheel to cover my eyes!
I know, I know! Stop shaking your heads and laughing at me!! I was under duress and I panicked!!! Completely terrified, flustered and unable to make any rational decisions! The next thing I remember is my forehead smacking the steering wheel and the sound of water hissing.
So, um, yeah. You know that fence in the picture above? Yeah, that one. Drove through it.
You know that apartment building that is just beyond it? Yeah, that one. Drive into the side of it.
Yep, sure did. I opened my eyes to find myself looking very much like this:
My neighbors from all over came pouring out of their houses and the folks in the apartment building were staring down from their windows. Who knows where the menacing feline that spawned the whole incident went. I was uninjured, thank God, minus a tiny bruise on my forehead. If you know me IRL, look for it the next time you see me. *lol*
Our insurance, St.ate Far.m loved us for calling in and placing that claim. We paid our deductible, but the damage was well into 5 figures. Ouch! That hurt more than the damn bump on my head.
So yeah, my fear goes much deeper than folks realize. I was stunned and shell shocked in the moment, but within a few hours we were able to laugh about it. I scheduled a therapy session to try to treat the phobia, but I later cancelled. In doing my research, I learned that about 4 or 5 sessions in, most therapists bring the object of your phobia into the session for you to observe/interact/pet the thing???????? Awww, hells no!!!!
Moral of this story? No matter what anyone tells you, there is NO s@x in the champagne room and you should NEVER close your eyes, slam on the gas or remove your hands from the steering wheel while driving. NEVER!