Photo from public domain, created by Hickey Bill, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
I don’t know how it happened, but I awoke with my hand in a lion’s mouth. I tried to withdraw, and the beast bit down hard enough to cause me pain. I relaxed, and so did the clench. I tried again. Same effect. I was trapped.
My wife came into the room . “You two playing again? Tsk-tsk. Time to get up.” She opened the shade and let in light. I looked at the cat’s face. It was blank. The eyes spoke with squinting. “You are mine.”
My wife left the room. I heard her moving about in the kitchen. The cat didn’t budge. I wondered how I would manage to shave. I gently tugged my arm. Ow. Still trapped.
My wife walked back into the room, dangling a slab of meat. It looked like a chuck roast. The cat released my hand and sprang for the raw red. My wife laughed and, as the animal chewed with vigor, she stood before it, scratching its ears and baby-talking. She left the room and the cat followed. I wiped my hand on the sheet.
I began plotting murder. I suppose “destroy” is the correct word. But the feeling was murder. I relished the fantasy of the creature’s demise. A bullet between the eyes? A tire iron on the skull as it napped in the sun? Too risky. What, then?
I walked to the grocery and returned with five pounds of ground beef. I crushed the contents of a bottle of ibuprofen and mixed it in.
“Here, kitty kitty.”
I went to my room and closed the door. In time, I heard thrashing and moaning. It lasted for hours. Eventually, silence. It was done.
I was resting peacefully, dreaming of warm Caribbean water and soft sways of palms, when I awoke with my foot in the mouth of a walrus.
Fortunately, I was wearing socks. I slowly eased my foot from from the tusked maw, leaving the sock behind.
I took my phone in hand and called the office of Animal Control.