There is something about a cat that makes you wonder why people love them so much. In ancient Egypt, they were even worshipped. I myself can't understand that concept. Ever since I was young, cats have stirred such terror in me-some frightening emotion buried deep inside my mind. That is why I have no desire to go outside my house. I have a maid and a butler to do those things for me. I am secluded, away from the town and all those people that have cats, and I am all right with it.
When I was very little, not more than five years old, I lived in a small cottage. It sounds odd, but that's what I always thought of it as-a cottage. It was in a clearing in the local woods, almost like a house out of a fairy tale. This fairy tale was about to become a nightmare that would follow me around the rest of my life.
We had an old dog. He was a pretty good guard dog, but his bark was worse than his bite. I never worried about "monsters in the woods" as some five-year-olds might, because of that wonderful dog. I didn't think there was anything that could get past him at all. He always woke us up if something was wrong, and our house was free of burglars and wild animals.
On a particularly noisy night, I was laying in bed. The house was settling loudly, and the walls creaked in the wind. The branches of the trees scratched together outside, and the animals in the woods had decided to serenade me in pure cacophony. Even the moonlight seemed lively, shining straight through my window and casting weird shadows on my bed. I pulled the covers over my head and drifted off to sleep...
An audible thump roused me from a dream, and I sat up abruptly. I didn't know where the sound had come from, and as I gazed around my room I thought it might have been part of the dream. But as I stared at the moonlight on my bed, I realized I was mistaken. There was a shape framed in the window-not of trees, but of one of those night animals. I blinked, and it was gone. Yes, I had been seeing things. I lay back down, satisfied that I had just been dreaming, and was about to go back to sleep when I heard claws clicking on the wood floor of our house. I expected to hear our good old guard dog barking his head off, but while the clicking continued, the bark never came. A little afraid, I pulled the covers over my head until the sound ceased.
Cautiously, I peeked over my sheets, not knowing what to expect. Two emerald eyes stared right back at me, set in the doorway. There was no light behind the owner of the eyes, just the two dots like fireflies hovering in the hall. I was terrified, but as I saw that the eyes made no move toward me, I decided to go back to sleep.
It was a full five minutes, and I had nearly forgotten the strange sight, until I felt it land on my bed. I peeked over my covers once again, to face those emeralds glaring at me, accompanied by two silver rows of teeth, grinning eerily. I panicked and tried to throw it off, but it lashed out with its shiny claws. I wrestled with the thing, and finally succeeded in getting it off of me. Throwing back the covers, I raced to my parents' bedroom, tears and blood streaming down my face. They, of course, were shocked as I told them my predicament, and the three of us returned to my room. Sitting on my bed, in the dark, was the thing that attacked me, daring me to come closer.
My father headed quietly down the hallway-he was going to get our dog. I heard him calling in the living room for the dog, and then I heard the front door creak open. He yelled for my mother, but I was too afraid to follow. My assailant and I just stared at each other. I thought that if I moved, it would come after me. It showed its glittery teeth again, and my mother finally called for me. Slowly, I inched away from the door, my eyes never leaving the animal. When I was able to breathe again, I came to where my parents stood at the front door, staring down remorsefully at the lifeless form of our wonderful guard dog.
"He was just old," my mother tried to reassure me. "It'll be all right."
No one but me seemed to notice the red-silver gashes on the dog, and the silent, shadowy form that disappeared into the woods.