Hello. My name is Anxiety Cat. I am the invisible but very real friend of my owner, Ms. A. No one else can see me and very few know that I am always with her, just like a child’s imaginary friend. Except I’m not imaginary.
This probably makes little sense right now, but press on, dear reader. I promise I will do my best to help you understand.
I found Ms. A when she still walked the halls of her high school. I was a tiny little anxiety kitty back then. She didn’t know what I was and felt scared when I showed up without warning. She thought it was her own fault that I had found her. She thought that maybe she had turned bad before she’d even lived, like a piece of fruit that never really ripens before it starts to decay. That maybe she kept doing things to encourage me to stick around. She tried to run, but I am not the kind of cat from which a person can escape.
I wanted to explain, but she was so terrified that she could barely look at me. I wanted to tell her that I had showed up all on my own. That I know I’m scary. Ms. A is my owner, but she did not choose me. It’s not her fault that I am here. I know it’s easy to think of me as this terrible monster cat who casts a dark shadow everywhere I walk, but I’m not evil. Sometimes a shadow is just a shadow; always present, like air. Except I don’t go away when she turns out the light.
I have been with Ms. A for over a decade. She is almost 30 now, trying to live her life with me in a carefully constructed equilibrium. Over the years she’s gone through bright and dark moments. Sometimes life has been as sweet as a peach that was ripened in the sun. Sometimes it’s been hell. In the past, she was scared of me. Then angry at me. Then ashamed that I existed at all. Now she’s growing to accept me. There are still days when she wishes that I would just go away, but there are times when I am useful to her, too. She understands that I will follow her to her grave. And that’s okay.
So, Hello. My name is Anxiety Cat. My owner is Ms. A. This is our story.