Writing left handed

Mountain Lions in the Basement?

This happens every time.  I think to myself, “Yes!  I have a few days off!  I’ll go away somewhere for some peace and quiet.”

And then I actually get “away somewhere” with my laptop, my flash drive and high hopes finally finishing my novel and there’s so much peace and quiet that it takes every fiber of my being not to go running back to the city.

I’m mainly concerned about mountain lions.


I have never seen, heard or otherwise encountered a mountain lion but I did read Where the Red Fern Grows at a rather young and impressionable age.  (And if you’ve ever read Where the Red Fern Grows, you’ll understand.)

Growing up, I was convinced there were mountain lions in our basement (which might have something to do with my disdain for basement washer/dryer systems and laundry in general).   Now, I’m convinced they’re everywhere.

A year ago, I decided to spend a week at my parents’ house on Hooper’s Island.   I spent the majority of the time on the phone with TWD trying to convince him to join me.  “But I thought you wanted to be alone,” he reminded me.

“I did,” I replied.  “That was before I was actually alone.  Now I don’t want to be alone.”

I almost drove back to Philadelphia the very next morning but I forced myself to stay put and made a few feeble attempts at finishing a short story.  A day later, my father called to warn me of an approaching hurricane.

“Sorry to ruin your vacation,” he apologized, “but you’d better get out of there.”

It was the best news of my life: finally, an excuse to get back to Philadelphia!  Back to civilization!

I’m still not really sure why I didn’t go stir crazy when I rented the studio up in New England this past August.  Probably because of my yoga/coffee shop/library regimen.  Also, the studio was quite small.  It only took me about thirty seconds to ensure that it was mountain-lion free.

But this house is different.  This house is too big.  Worst of all, I arrived after dark and even though I asked one of my appointed technological experts (a dancer in The Lady Hoofers Youth Company) to teach me how to turn my Smartphone into a flashlight back at our show in December, she told me I didn’t have the necessary updates.  So I had to search the premises—and deal with any and all mountain lions— in the dark.

I’m happy to report that the upstairs is secure.

But I’m not so sure about what might be lurking below.

Mountain lions…


Extra blankets…

Come to think of it, I could really use an extra blanket.  But is it worth the risk?

Methinks not.  I’d rather freeze than take my chances.

PS: In addition to mountain lions, I have a thing about birds.  And no, watching the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name did not help.  I would feel much better about my own slightly irrational fears if you would comment below with your own.  Thank you.

8 Responses to “Mountain Lions in the Basement?”

  1. charlypriest

    Youre nuts, come on! Mounain lions are cute. They´re like big kittens…maybe a bit more agressive but they´re cute. Had a laugh with the line of you telling your friend or boyfriend to come and see you and he saying that he thought you said you wanted to be alone. No wonder I broke up with my ex, you girls drives us nuts.

    By the way, hope the novel is going good. What´s about? and in which format are you going to publish it? I already read two books from people I follow through wordpress and I don´t know why they don´t become the next John Grisham
    or another famous author, making big money out of writing. It seems to me there is a lot of great un tapped talent here. Hope your lucky.

    • Kat Richter

      They’re only cute if you haven’t read Where the Read Fern Grows— that book was traumatic! The novel is about… well here is where I get all wimpy and squeamish and say it’s not finished yet! I think there are actually only like two people in the world who know what it’s about (and actually my agent isn’t even one of the them so I’m probably going to have to rectify that situation soon). I’m pretty happy with putting the details of my personal life on the internet but I can’t say the same for my fiction 😦 Some day… But I hear you, there are some really fabulous bloggers out there! Which blogger books have you read? Any recommendations?

  2. becky119

    I have what is probably an irrational fear of being kidnapped/raped/tortured/killed anytime I go anywhere. (Especially in the dark). Yes, I always check the backseat. Yes, I frequently carry a taser with me when I walk my dog. No, I’ve never been attacked.

    This fear may stem from my morbid fascination with True Crime novels (currently reading ‘The Perfect Victim: The Story of the Girl in the Box’). Or maybe it is because I read too many articles about women who are taken in broad daylight.

    I think being a writer comes from having a vivid imagination – thus my fears are built one upon another until I’m convinced that something terrible is going to happen. Sometimes, when I’m home alone, I will turn on all the lights and watch Disney movies. Then I’ll glance out the window and be convinced for a minute that a creepy monster was peeking in.

    I’m afraid of too many things to be honest. I won’t go on a cruise because open water freaks me out. I don’t even like swimming somewhere where I cannot see the bottom. I hate small spaces – especially crowded elevators. I am very uncomfortable flying. Terrified of spiders. Mice freak me out, although I like rats (go figure). I also build things up in my mind, like A LOT.

    For example, if the boyfriend doesn’t answer his phone, I’m convinced that he is lying in a ditch somewhere, his car having veered off the road. The other day he was hanging out with a friend at home while I was at work. I called both of them and neither answered. My first thought? OMG, the house must have blown up!!!

    Don’t feel bad Kat, I’m way worse.

    • Kat Richter

      Haha, I heard a really great poem on NPR a few weeks ago. I don’t really like poetry and I can’t even remember the name of the poet (he was, however, I believe the official poet for Obama’s inauguration or something like that) but I do remember the name of the poem. It was called “Killing Mark” and it was all about how he freaks out and comes up with outrageous stories (all terribly morbid of course) about why his partner hasn’t answered the phone. You should check it out!

  3. landlord

    Okay…I “get” going to Hooper can make you stir crazy if you are not focused..I can get that being in PORTLAND, a city, did not make you crazy…but the “shoorah”???? And flashlights? There is electricity there 😉

    You know what my fear is, and they shall as always, remain nameless, but Becky You LIKE THEM?????? ay dios mio! Growing up as a child in the Bronx, during their ad campaign of “Starve a xxx today…and the public service announcements…crippling to this day, can’t even watch xxx’s on TV, irrational but real!

    Much better than the chauffeur’s ridiculous fears…they are so silly that I bet he doesn’t even put them out here 😉

  4. sarahnsh

    I have an irrational fear of getting lost and especially getting lost when I’m driving. When I can’t find out where I am going I go into panic attack mode, call my husband, and hope he can rescue me or at least tell me what I’m doing wrong. Also, I have a weird fear of parking my car too closely next to other cars so I’m the one person who will park the furthest away from wherever I’m trying to walk into. And, another weird fear is that I need to be facing doors in my bedroom in case something attacks me I won’t have my back turned to them. Oh, and I have a strong dislike and slight fear of dolls. I’d take a mountain lion over a creepy old doll any day! 🙂

  5. Chicago-Style Girl

    One of my best friends also has an irrational fear of mountain lions showing up any and everywhere unexpectedly. He also doesn’t trust that they have four names. My irrational fear is having one of my limbs slammed in a car door. If you spent as much time around accidentally careless people as I do, you’d be worried too!


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