As anyone who’s met me in the past year-and-a-half is probably aware, I have a cat. She’s called Shanti and she’s very fluffy and cuddly.
On any given day, I’ll probably say most or all of these things to her:
“You’re lovely.” “You’re so pretty!” “You’re beeeautiful.” “You’re perfect.” “You’re my bestest friend!” and so on.
All normal things for a crazy cat lady to say to her feline friend.
But one day I got thinking – how come I, or indeed so many of us, don’t give these compliments to our real-life human friends with remotely the same regularity?
Walking home from the library at midnight one night this week, I was struck by how paranoid both I, and a nearby girl, were. I left the library very close behind her and before too long she’d turned round twice to check who was behind her; I shortly overtook her, wherein it became my turn to keep looking over my shoulder. I passed only one man one the way home, and it is a well-lit, fairly busy road the whole way home, so why this natural reaction?
Perhaps it’s because I’m used to being either with my boyfriend or on my bike, or because I’m from a small island instead of a city, or simply because there are as many horror stories in the news as ever. Whatever it is, I wouldn’t consider myself as being scared, as I feel like I live in a safe city, but this feels like an unavoidable and all too common reaction to being out after dark.