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Fear factor

The Lotus Bun is having a rough week. It started out OK. Sure, I had some onsite work and wasn't home as much. That changed things up around here, and you know how gracious cats are about change. But the problem turned out to be not so much me taking myself out of the apartment but what I let in.

Two big dogs and a two year old.

Not all at once, but what kind of consolation is that? The dogs came over for an hour or so on Tuesday -- a German shepard (Blanca: Lunch date) and a Great Dane. These are big dogs, and though one is a stately lady in her golden years, the other has an irrational exuberance that would send Alan Greenspan into a tsking fit.

Then they left. Everything seemed OK. I was back to working at home, and many games of fetch were played. It was the morning and the evening of the next day.

Night fell.

I had left the house in the late afternoon, not completely out of character. Whether to get food, a movie (the Lotus Bun doesn't understand the significance of Netflix's red envelopes yet), or just take a walk, he didn't know. No worries, right? Surely the worst was over.

He trotted over to the door when he heard the key in the lock, as usual. I swung the door open, and we started hauling in the luggage my friend Kimberly had brought for her four-day stay. And her two year old caught sight of the Lotus Bun.

She lit up. "KITTY!" she cried. The Lotus Bun backed up, his eyes huge.

He's divided his time equally between beneath the couch and behind the oven. A couple of times we've peeked into the kitchen and seen him expertly pull cabinets open by the handles and dart inside. He scuttles fast from place to place, wishing, in spite of himself, to smell everything associated with this frightening interloper and yet not quite able to bring himself to approach her.

When the child was safely asleep, he chased her mother's toes for a few moments. She stirred, and he startled and leaped away again. In the night he calmed enough to sleep curled up behind my knees, but one wonders how restfully.

August 14, 2003