355. In this case, hearing one thing as another

November 11, 2014

While once taking dishes out of the drainer and putting them away, I stepped back to get around an open cupboard door—and heard the yeowl of an angry cat accusing me of stepping on its tail, and “saw” that very cat, gray, calm, and unaccusing, looking up at me from the floor for several minutes after the event, when, in fact, I hadn’t lived with a cat for over twenty years, had no cat at the time, and had merely brushed the cupboard door so that a hinge, which had never made a sound, squeaked at me, which I immediately interpreted as the yeowl I had heard, the entire event being a fiction created in the instant on the basis of the activation of a pathway in my brain that had been laid down years ago when I had in fact stepped on several real cats, none of which had been gray, long gone but apparently not forgotten as patterns of sight and sound lodged in my brain.

(I wrote that in one sentence because in my mind it is all one continuous incident.)

 

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