How My Cat is Helping Me Overcome My Fear

mouseAlong with my mental health issues, which include bipolar, clinical depression, anxiety, and panic attacks just to name a few, I have several phobias. One of the biggest (along with claustrophobia), is my total fear of rodents!

In our old house, we were infested with rats and mice. They were everywhere! One night I was on a bit of a manic high due to a medication change. I was playing on the computer when I thought I saw something dart very fast across the room and under the door and then from there to under the linen closet door. I thought it must be a spider (another phobia) because I didn’t think mice moved that fast and it must be small. Either way, I ran to the bedroom barely touching the floor, woke up my hubby and started crying.

Every time I found poop in  my cupboards, towel drawer, etc., I felt shivers run up and down my spine. Once we were away visiting family over the holidays. We came home to find edible sprinkles all over the house (left over from a kid’s club cupcake decorating night). I dropped my suitcase and ran back to the car yelling “You are taking me to dinner!” I had calmed down by the time we got back but was still edgy as hubby cleaned up the mess and made sure the coast was clear. It went on with me almost stepping on one in our spare room, Hubby finding one in one of his computer towers (a real computer mouse!), we heard them in the walls and the garage. We got rid of the problem with traps finally, or at least we hoped we did.

I can’t watch TV or movie scenes with mice or rats (Mickey and Minny are okay) or even get too close to squirrels, hamsters, etc. And please don’t make me touch them. I actually like squirrels, but from a distance, please.

There is another side of this though. I can’t stand to see ANY animal being abused or killed in any way.

So, I finally come to the cat. Monkey has caught several rodents (and small birds unfortunately and brought them to the yard. I would let Hubby deal with it. We found we had a rodent in our storage room and Monkey “sat guard” at the entrance several times a day. She would also go in, sniffing, trying to find it. Well, two days ago she obviously got it. I was out getting the mail with Violet (our dog) and as we left Monkey came in through the back door but she didn’t seem to have anything with her. When we came back I thought she was playing with a toy – yup, a dead mouse. There was no blood on it so either she found it dead or it died of a heart attack or something while she tossed it around. I was trying to figure out what to do. I got a bag and was actually going to pick it up when she grabbed it and  ran out back. I closed the sliding door but I opened it later when she didn’t have the mouse in sight. Sure enough, she brought it back in and I chased her out again. The door remained closed but she was determined to bring it in. Not a chance!

I think my main concern was how did it die. Did it ingest poison and if so would Monkey get sick? I cried when I saw her with a dead bird, but for some reason, I was a lot more calm over this one. And I started to realize that if my cat (and dog, Violet is a mouser too) don’t fear them, why should I? I know that killing small creatures is normal for cats, and that part upsets me but I think that and my fear are finally balancing out. It took Monkey guarding the storeroom and finally getting her prey to realize this has all been silly.

Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t scream if one gets in my path… baby steps!



6 Replies to “How My Cat is Helping Me Overcome My Fear”

  1. Rodents are also scared of humans and the mighty elephants are scared of mice so you are in good company. Anyway fear is an addiction. The more one thinks about it the more the fear for something is reinforced in the brain. I too don’t like rodents very much then a couple of months ago the daughter of a friend of mice brought me her baby hamster. It was so cute that I stroked it and the dislike of touching hamsters at least went away instantly. With two defenders such as a cat and a dog you are more than protected so you shouldn’t worry too much. Anyway the best way to overcome fear is to get acquainted with it as I did with the hamster. The other is to stop worrying about your fear by breaking the thinking cycle. For instance you can close your eyes and count backward till ten or more. That should do it. Anyway you will find a lovely story about fear titled “The Giant” that is in my page titled “Stories”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I believe that I started the “getting acquainted” part by being prepared to pick it up with a bag. I also watched Monkey play for a few minutes (until my “the poor little creature” side one out) and didn’t feel fearful at all. I have walked in the store room many times and heard the mouse and didn’t freak out. So that’s how my cat is helping me with my fear. 😀 I will look at your story!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that small steps is the way to overcoming your fear of mice and rodents. I know how disgusting that creature is and it is definitely something to be scared of. I remembered that once there were two rodents that managed to get into my house. We found out about it when we discovered the leftovers were eaten in the middle. It was indeed horrifying to know that I might be sleeping with these creatures. Thank God that my father managed to catch them using traps.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: