Last week, I was sitting on the couch in our dining room watching Xena: Warrior Princess on my laptop and working on a cross stitch project. I had been sitting there for a while, and was switching between watching Xena and browsing the internet. While switching between Twitter and Tumblr, I saw that the ABC 7 news Twitter account had tweeted about a mountain lion attack in a city that is about 13 miles from my neighborhood. I went and looked up the details about the attack and read several news reports about it. For those who don’t know me, one of my fears is that one day, a wild animal is going to break into our house and attack us and eat my cats (silly, right?). Ever since we moved to a neighborhood in the hills 7 years ago, coyote, skunk, and raccoon sightings have become commonplace. We’ve even had raccoons frequent our garage and stole the cat food. I didn’t really think about wild animals breaking into the house when we lived at our other home. We hardly saw anything other than the occasional stray cat or dog (several of which became family pets). I am no stranger to fear of “wild animal” attacks. Attending several summer camps located in the mountains and visiting friends who lived a ways away from civilization made that very clear to me.
About an hour or so after I had been sitting down there, I heard my mom whispering on the phone upstairs. “Close the windows!” she directed to me in an urgent manner. I listened closer and realized that she was on the phone with someone. I then heard “he’s on the greenbelt behind my house” and “he’s behind the tree”. That’s when I was sure that the mountain lion had magically travelled the 13 miles of freeways and residential areas and was in my backyard ready to eat me. Images of my cats getting eaten, me hiding in the closet, and the lion breaking through our glass sliding doors flashed through my mind as I ran to close the downstairs windows as my mom had ordered me. I wanted to look out so badly to see that it was the lion for sure. Dear readers, this is the part where the story gets very embarrassing very quickly. As it turns out, my mom was on the phone with the police, letting them know that it was a man (not a lion) behind our property and this man had a camera and was taking pictures with his camera facing my mom’s bedroom window (all whiled decked out in camouflage and reflective sunglasses). The police came and talked to the man and it turned out to be our next door neighbor. I sure got a good laugh that day. Our neighbor apparently is a professional bird photographer and was photographing a hummingbird nest that was in our backyard (though it would have been more professional to ask our permission to go in our backyard instead of climbing over to our side of the greenbelt).
I don’t really know the point of this story, but do feel it is a decent example of how anxiety can make us all crazy and jump to conclusions. I probably should keep Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tea handy more often and stop worrying about things so much.