Noises alerted the household that the beast was stirring in its lair. All took the action they saw fit. Hunkering as low as he could get, Quinn zigzagged through the house and out the pet door, not slowing or breathing until he'd established a few yards between himself and the house. Everyone knew the beast never went outside.
Tucker raced into the office and found refuge on a window sill in the corner, knowing that the beast rarely entered this part of the house and never climbed the walls or jumped. Lady took to the bed, curling up to sleep. The beast might enter that room but it leaves the bed alone.
The cats' reactions to the vacuum cleaner reminded me of how well they react and hide. One cat, poor Roary, spooked by the movers, took off and hide. We'd put him into the bathroom. Putting tape across the entry, we had a large sign on the door: "Do not open. Cats inside." But someone missed the messages, blew through the tape and opened the door. Roary was out and disappeared.
We looked for him for almost an hour. It wasn't until I went into the bedroom closet to pack my military clothing that I found him hiding in one of my combat boots.
I admired his skill while saddened by his fear. I revisited the episode in later years. Part of an Inspector General Team, my job was to go out and inspect units' readiness through exercises and no-notice visits. My specific area was the command posts. During one visit shortly after arrival, I asked to meet with the reports NCO. He couldn't be located. Going back toward his area, I settled at a desk to catch up on phone calls, review plans and make notes. Noticing soft noises, I did some checking and discovered the missing NCO hiding under his desk.
After coaxing him out, I discovered he was crying. Crying over an inspection. I don't know why I acted as I did. Perhaps I thought of Roary and others who hid but I told him to get himself cleaned up and met him in the break room and had a cup of coffee. I didn't ask him why he hid as I didn't think investigating that would help the matter and I didn't tell anyone else that I'd found him hiding under a desk.
That command post didn't do well in the inspection. His area was one reason but there were many others. I never saw him again after those few days and never heard about him.
I do think about him when I wish I could just run away and hide. Sometimes I don't think of him until after I've hid from myself. I wish I knew what happened to him and could tell him, "I learned a lot from you." Most of us get desperate and sometimes try to hide from whatever is going on. I hide in solitude, sometimes hiding in anger or other emotions. There are right times to hide but more often, the things we hide from will little matter. Once you learn that, you begin to better understand when it's the right time to hide.
I'm still learning.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com