A little over an hour ago, I was trying to move around a bit so I wouldn’t feel like I’d spent the day in bed again. In the living room, I was polishing my nails and waiving my arms like a jet-propelled lunatic while Thursday’s General Hospital lurched to its inevitable conclusion. Sweetpea lay on the couch, licking her paws. Topaz sat on the sideboard, bathed in the golden afternoon light and looking back at me. Some time later, time measured perhaps in minutes or seconds, I looked back and saw no cat on the sideboard. A lot of tiny things happened very quickly in a row:
– I stopped what I was doing and walked to the open window where I saw
– a hole in the screen about the size of a six-pound cat
– without thinking, I looked at Sweetpea on the couch and walked up the stairs to find Drusy
– who met me on the stairs, and I stared at her
– then I kept walking up, hoping to see Topaz, who is often invisible.
– When I got to the attic, winded, and did not see Topaz, I did not panic. I came downstairs.
– Without thinking, I looked at Sweetpea.
– Thinking I was doing things out of order, I walked outside and saw nothing.
– Thinking I was overreacting, I walked across the strip of grass that passes for my front lawn and around the side of the house, where I saw nothing.
– Thinking I should go back in the house, I found myself standing on a corner of the sidewalk when I saw a tiny face peek out from the far, dark side of my back porch and I wasn’t one hundred percent sure who it was.
– Suddenly, my heart was in my throat. I called, “Topaz? My darling?”
– The face starting running toward me and hissed, then became Topaz in the light.
– I scooped her up and carried her to the front of the house. She fought me the whole time. I lost my grip on her once I was inside the vestibule, but before the door had closed behind me. For a moment, I wondered if I had just lost her again
– but I opened the inside door and she ran inside.
– Once the crisis was averted, I sat down in the living room and had a flaming nauseous panic attack.
This worked out well because I didn’t listen to rational me and I acted before I thought about how I was going to feel about any outcome.
On the bright side: my lungs worked great while I was hyperventilating.