Sweet Terror

There’s a wildcat in my house, and I’m scared.

The wildcat is a half-grown tabby with an overlay of vague calico splotches, a foundling from down the road. Her name is Dulcie, for “sweet.” She’s very sweet, when she purrs on my lap or naps in the sun or listens beside me while I play the violin.

Then she goes into manic mode, racing fierce-eyed, careening off furniture and walls, arching turning in mid-air, growling at unseen enemies.

That’s not what scares me. My fear is that this soft, furry invader of my home will likewise invade my heart. That I’ll love her too much, that she’ll leave me too soon, like the two before her and the one before that and others before them. I love, and they die or disappear, and it hurts altogether too much.

Yet what can I do? This little wildcat will grow into a civilized feline being, and my heart will grow with her, and somehow, together, we’ll get by.

For now, though, she’s still a wildcat, and I’m still scared.

This entry posted in Cats, Fear, Love, Philosophy. Bookmark the permalink. 

6 Responses to Sweet Terror

  1. It’s such a risk to love, huh? I think it’s already too late for you to turn back now…Hoping this one stays long.

  2. David N. says:

    I had my last cat till she died at 19 1/2. They do invade your heart, but it’s nothing to fear!

  3. oh carol, this reminds me of my love for my son. scared, because one day he’ll leave me. yet true love cannot be squelched, and i think, is found in the sacrifice. a beautiful ode to this wild creature that’s so blessed to have found you. (just so you know, this is the final imperfect prose until the new year. merry christmas!)

  4. Seré says:

    You’ve so perfectly captured that feeling — the dread, the courage, the wonder, the fun — of loving a pet. Is it worth the heartache that’s guaranteed to come? Absolutely.

  5. You have every right to be scared. They do break our hearts, but they also mend us.

  6. But no matter how crummy your days are, it’s always wonderful to come home to a wagging tail, a purr, a smile, a snuggle. Mikki, the last of our original Fort Worth “three musketeers” dogs is now 18 years old. She’s half blind. Completely deaf. She shakes, her legs now unsteady on the hardwood floors, and I have to carry her up and down the stairs. But every night when I get home from work and find her asleep in my spot on the bed, and she stirs and looks up at me, my heart just melts.

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