I’m sitting on the floor of the barn, Indian style, at the farm where I grew up. I’ve got literally four cats either on my lap or curled up directly next to me, and several more cats are nearby, because I’ve just put out food and the entire cat population is there to visit.
Suddenly a neighboring tomcat that’s a bit of a bully comes charging in at full speed.
All of my pet cats scatter.
Tomcat notices me and puts on the brakes. Tomcat just happens to do this while positioned on an empty feed bag.
Tomcat becomes surfer cat as the feed bag acquires tomcat’s momentum, and he skids the remaining six feet, leaning back, eyes wide … wider … super wide. Hair standing on end, ears laid back, horrified at the thing happening to him.
Tomcat and feed sack slide ever so precisely to a stop, roughly two inches from my crossed legs. Still leaning back, looking like he’d rather be anywhere but here.
I lean forward and, not sure what else to do, let loose with a single shout: “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!”
Tomcat disappears so fast, if we lived in a cartoon world, the shadow image of him would have hesitated and then snapped away after him like elastic, leaving a cloud of smoke in his wake.