Ailurophobia. Small, furry… evil?

I’ve recently met someone who’s scared of cats–she saw a kitten paddling at the cage door for attention and pronounced that it had ‘an evil look.’ She’s trying to overcome this fear, starting with the smaller (and I suppose less evil) kittens and working her way up to the larger adult cats.

Not quite certain what it is she’s afraid of, but it’s being clawed or chewed on, kittens tend to do that more, if in a playful, fairly ineffective manner. Teeny needle-sharp kitten claws make an effective velcro-like application to your shirt and the skin underneath, for example…

Part 1 and Part 2 of my phobia poems are here, and what the phobias mean is listed at the bottom.

*     *      *      *



a silvery pool traps your gaze


from the corner of your eyes

turn and no one

is there

*     *      *      *


Terrible forced rhyme

and melodious chime

of words from meaning

stripped so the sound is seeming

like music or close enough

*     *      *      *

I’ve also discovered a surprisingly large amount of number-related fears. I always knew math was evil!

Arithmophobia is the fear of numbers.

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (another impressively long name) is the fear of the number 666.

Octophobia is the fear of the figure 8.

Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th

Triskaidekaphobia (one of my favorites from a middle school vocabulary quiz, because it’s fun to say) is the fear of the number 13.

*    *     *     *

Meaning: Fear of mirrors, poetry. Anyone who is afraid of mirrors should absolutely not read The Tain by China Mieville. Anyone who likes the weird should give this novella a try. Anyone who’s afraid of poetry should not have read this post!

*   *    *     *

Note: Because of the date of this post, I wanted to briefly mention this day of remembrance. I respect the heroes who stepped up in the wake of the tragedy, and we live on and find joy in defiance of those who would try to steal it from us.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

2 responses »

  1. Nicole says:

    I’ve learned a few new words.

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