As mentioned on this blog in another post, my cats are indoor cats. I have described in that post how, the other day, I have mistakenly left the door open; an opportunity not gone unnoticed by the felines. Soon after, when I realized they have ventured into the wild, I experienced that flash moment that occurs when realization sinks in. It is sort of like what movies and books described as time standing still, just before an accident, when your life flashes in front of you, though, in this case, of course, it was not as dramatic. But still, it was a powerful moment to observe; an instance where there is clarity of reality mixed with your worst fears; like you can see into the past and the future all at the same time.
It reminded me of a somewhat similar instance, some years ago. I was heading to New York City’s busy Port Authority Bus Terminal to catch a bus back home. This was after a long day of meetings in the city, and as I was running late for my bus, I took a taxi to 42nd Street. Upon arrival, I paid the cabby and was hurrying to the station’s entrance, when I reached out for my wallet to prepare the bus fare, only to realize my wallet was not there. There again was that flash moment composed of “Oh my God, the wallet must have fallen out of my bag when I exited the cab. New York City at 6pm; all the rush. No chance in hell I will find it now. Someone must have picked it up and is having a feast.” And then other gazillion thoughts rushing all at once: “how will I get home now?” “I need to cancel all my credit cards, issue a new social security card, new driver’s license; what else did I have there?” “I need to call my wife and let her know,” etc. I rushed into the oncoming traffic, looking at the road I just crossed with the vague hope that my wallet will be lying there, in the limelight, untouched and unharmed, just waiting for me. That didn’t happen. Ultimately I panicked for nothing; my wallet was safely tucked deep inside my bag… But the traumatic memory of that incident stayed with me all these years.
As for the cats, as mentioned in that other post, they didn’t go far. They were terrified of finding themselves all of a sudden outside, and rushed back home as soon as I showed them the way in. Still, that flash moment of realization, followed by a thousand nightmarish scenarios, is quite powerful and provides an insight into the working of the anxious mind.
Learned from: a mishap with an open door and two cats.