Once, sleeping over at a friend’s house on a mattress, while my dog slept on the floor beside me, I awoke in the morning to the most curious sensation of pure physical tension. The air was still, heavy, dense and weighed down my bare chest. On my left, around waist level, was my dog, now sitting bolt upright, shivering intensely, staring to my right. On my right hand side was a black cat, also bolt upright, eyes locked with my dog. It appeared as if the latest installment of that eternal conflict was about to take place in the vicinity of my boxer shorts. All I could picture was teeth, claws. And blood.
After the longest minute, the cat calmly broke its gaze, turned and leapt straight onto the balcony from which it had entered. I exhaled. And so did my dog.
His ears dropped in relief and he turned to me with an expression that I’m sure he believed said: “Yep, I could have taken it.”
but to me looked more like “Jeez, that was close.”