“Dogs freak them out,” I said. That’s almost invariably true. Every time but one, their reaction to encountering a dog has been to freeze or cringe or just flee. But one time, they attacked.
That evening, when I told the lady with the golden retriever that “I have two cats,” her response was “Oh, that’s all right, he likes cats.”
A dozen clever rejoinders leapt to mind, but time was running out. “It’s not him, it’s them,” I said. “Dogs freak them out.”
“OK,” she sighed and walked to the middle of the street then circled around behind us. The cats freaked out, all right. They were on the dog’s back in a heartbeat, fur standing straight up, tails like tree trunks, hissing and sinking their claws into him. The dog was yelping and trying to shake them off, and the cats kept pursuing him and jumping back on, and the woman was crying and shrieking, and they were running—and I was chasing them all. I finally managed to get between one cat and the dog, and the dog finally managed to toss the other one, and the woman and the dog kept on running until they were out of sight.