Shelby’s Metal

Usually my cat is terrified of certain sounds. Anything loud or sudden becomes a moment to instantly flee or freak out over. It’s a matter of life and death to her. Even things such as birds suddenly chattering on the porch manages to make her little heart flutter faintly. Turn on the water faucet in the kitchen too quickly and she’s under the bed in my room. Flush the toilet without her knowing you’re in the bathroom and you can watch the inner conflict on her face, wondering if she should check on the flusher, or flee in terror. It’s one of her endearing qualities that makes me want to love and protect her, because clearly she would be unable to protect herself.

When we moved into my new apartment, I found myself reluctantly experimenting with her adjustment. Testing sounds to see how she would react. Peering around corners when dogs outside would bark. What I was most concerned about was my downstairs neighbor. He has excellent taste in music, and plays it very loudly. 

I’m not bothered by this noisy neighbor. He saves me the expense of playing my own music. Besides, I love ACDC and Black Sabath as much as the next metal head. What I was concerned about was my little Shelby. How would she react to thumping bass and the occasional scream of a hyped up middle aged man with everything to prove was only a guess. 
Our first week was quiet. My neighbor informed me he was going to head about an hour away to spend the weekend with his grandchildren. So I had nothing to worry about. The week after I kept a close eye on her. Wondering when the day would come, and partly hoping to have a camera ready just in case she jumped and hit the ceiling. 

The day came. At 10:35 am on a Thurday, he blasted his music. It was “Crazy Train” with its mighty cord progressions. Bass pumping out through the floor as the intro began. I sat on my couch eyeballing the cat as she stared at the floor beneath her four paws. 

I was in shock. 

She laid down. Calmly. Bearing her belly to the ceiling and pressing her ears to the floor. Then rubbed herself all over the floor, as if she could absorb the sound within her fur. It was like watching a cat on a heated seat with catnip strewn everywhere. Only, this she chose for herself. It was not a drug induced mosh pit of drunken joy. She actually liked it. 

I had not ever really played any of my metal music in front of my cat. I would usually wear headphones as I worked on design projects, so as not to disturb her. Had I known she would enjoy the sensation of thumping bass I would have played it for her. 

Now, to experiment with dubstep.

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