Yes, the news you may have heard on this day was true: there was a pretty significant kerfuffle at our house, involving Tabby and Tiger. It started out innocently enough. I was doing long-term reconstructive therapy with the Tiger, trying to help overcome his recently acquired fear of bulls. (Yes, BULLS.)
You see, the Tiger is a fan of Art in all of its incarnations, and so last week, I took him to the Palmer Museum on campus, where he was practically scared out of his stripes by a huge bull mask. It's my fault, I admit it; I should have been more careful, more protective, more alert to his Tiny Tiger feelings. But no - things went poorly, and now the Tiger has an instantly acquired bull-phobia!
On this morning, my husband woke up and said (as he is wont to do), "I'm hungry." He went downstairs and got a potato out for home fries for breakfast. I looked at the potato and it was bull-shaped and it had HORNS, and so I figured - here's my chance! PHOTO OP!
So I leapt into therapist mode, and we began a process of successive approximation, getting the Tiger closer and closer to the "bull," rewarding him for each good effort. Finally, T. Tiger was even riding that zaftig creature, not unlike a mechanical bull at a Texas bar! Yee-haw!
The moment of triumph was short-lived, however, as Tabzilla came stomping along at just that very second. Suddenly, those flashy white paws went snicker-snack, here and there! Paws to the left! Paws to the right! It was like a Chuck Norris movie, only with Tabbies and Tigers!
And suddenly, we had creatures down! The potato/bull was down. Two Red-shirts were down. And one orange stripey Tiger was down for the count! (You may see a photo of the devastation in the extras.)
Oh, nobody was actually harmed, though there were a few minutes there that were touch and go. In the end, I set all things to rights and sent that Tabbycat to another room to cool his heels. (Do Tabbycats even HAVE heels? Hmm . . . )
So as the erstwhile therapist, I'm not sure how to measure our success for this day. The original phobia that started the whole thing may have abated somewhat; who can say. And as you can see in the photo above, the Tiger, for his part, though he be but Tiny, did NOT back down! And THAT's no bull!
The soundtrack song is Tom Petty's I Won't Back Down. I've got several versions for you: the original "official" music video, an acoustic version, and covers by Johnny Cash and Eddie Vedder. Enjoy!
Stand your ground, braveTiger!