CHRONOLOGY OF A PHOBIA

  1. 1.
    Sit down on the ferry and prepare to mentally recap my day.
  2. 2.
    Hear a soft "meep", smile indulgently at the thought of a baby somewhere in the area.
  3. 3.
    Another "meep", followed by a "mew" followed by no other human-sounding sounds.
  4. 4.
    No. No no no. Please no
  5. 5.
    Yup. That's a cat. There is a cat somewhere on this ferry.
  6. 6.
    Oh you know where it turns out it is? Right in front of me one row down, in a cat carrier.
  7. 7.
    Note that this carrier was probably purchased from the "Mesh net, Flimsy" section of Taobao.
  8. 8.
    Try to move up from my seat but can't seem to actually do anything but stay frozen still.
  9. 9.
    It knows.
  10. 10.
    It's staring at me with a vengeance now it knows that I fear it it knows and it can smell my terror and it knows
  11. 11.
    It's noticed me. It's made eye contact. Shit.
  12. 12.
    WAIT. I WAS WRONG.
  13. 13.
    That is not A cat in a carrier mewing and staring at me.
  14. 14.
    That is TWO cats in a carrier mewing and staring at me.
  15. 15.
    Everything goes dark in front of my eyes.
  16. 16.
    Darkness, darkness all around.
  17. 17.
    Maybe I could be happy just living and dying in this ferry seat for the rest of my human existence.
  18. 18.
    It's ok if I can't move or look away. I hear they sometimes respond to unflinching fear.
  19. 19.
    Man with a golden furry dog walks up and sits beside me. The dog's nose nuzzles its way into the palm of my previously clenched fist.
  20. 20.
    I can move again.