…Freak Out Kitty.
When F.O.K. is on the loose anything can happen. F.O.K. knows the new (relatively new…okay, old but new to me) car I sank all my savings into two weeks ago is developing transmission trouble. F.O.K. knows I’m never again going to write anything good. F.O.K. knows I’m developing a drinking problem because I recently bought a bottle of port and drank a glass, at home, alone. He also says I’ll never get my apartment (all forty square feet of it) clean in time for a visit from my family in ten days. He tells me I’ll die alone in a snowdrift someday. He’s convinced Martha My Dear–also known as Laid Back Kitty—will:
a) drown in the toilet.
b) never eat again due to excessive pickiness.
c) develop an exotic feline disease that will make all her fur and
teeth fall out.
d) somehow escape the apartment and
d-1) die of a massive tick infestation, or
d-2) come home covered in poison ivy which will make my entire
body bubble until I look like a leper.
While Martha My Dear lounges on her pink, fleece-lined bed, F.O.K. races in gyroscopic circles around the inside of my skull leaving layers of claw marks in his wake.
I remember the magic words: Nothing bad is happening now.
Something terrible may have happened yesterday, or ten minutes ago. And something terrible will probably happen tomorrow or five minutes from now. But right now, at this moment, nothing bad is happening. Martha My Dear snores beside me. I’m wearing warm socks. The car runs fine. It doesn’t matter if the writing is good as long as I’m writing. The walls aren’t caving in. Lightning isn’t striking. The upstairs neighbor walks flat-footed across a wood floor, but that is the worst thing happening right now.
Freak Out Kitty, go to sleep.