My Irrational Fear Of Black Cats.
(Suffolk, England. )
I have to admit that for many years I had an irrational fear of black cats. It was more of an unease about them rather than an out and out fear, and perhaps not entirely irrational, as I know where that unease came from.
When I was a child my mother worked part time two days a week. So that she could work in the school holidays an ‘aunt’, a friend of the family, looked after my sister and me. Mostly she came to our house for the day and that was fine with me. Sometimes though, we were taken to her house and that I did not like.
The reason for my dread was her big black cat. This cat, it was a she but for the life of me I can’t remember her name, used to sit permanently at the bottom of the stairs, third step up. She did not hiss or make a move towards me or anything, just sat there at the bottom of the stairs, scowling at me. That black cat was never anywhere else.
My sister, although she would never admit it, must have been scared of the cat too because she never once tried to stroke it. Normally she would be stroking and playing with a cat all the time.
I can remember pleading with my mother not to take us to aunt’s house. I was told how silly I was being and that as the boy I should be brave and I was a bad example to my sister. I never did overcome my fear of that cat.
Roll forward the years. My memories of that cat had slipped to the back of my mind. I was married and my wife and I had taken the decision to leave having children until we could better afford them. But I guess that my wife still felt the need to mother something, I came home one day to be excitedly told that we had acquired a pet.
There in a cardboard box was a tiny kitten. Yes it had to be a black kitten. The memories of my aunt’s cat came flooding back along with the unease. What could I do, my wife was obviously thrilled with the kitten.
So I held back my feelings and told my wife I was as happy as a sandman with the surprise. It didn’t take long at all for me to feel comfortable with that little kitten, and when the kitten grew into a black cat every bit as big as my aunt’s cat, I was still comfortable with it. In fact I loved that cat, she didn’t scowl, she liked nothing better than sitting on me and purring.
A fear of black cats? Not me.